None of my NICs work in ESXi 4.x!

I’ve been driving myself nuts for the last couple of days trying to figure out why none of the NICs that I had previously used in ESXi 3.0 and 3.5 aren’t working on my latest ESXi 4.0 installs. I checked the HCL to find that nearly all of the 10/100 chipsets have been removed from the VMware ESX HCL. Bummer. Realistically, there was is no good reason to use a 10/100/1000 card for a WAN port.

I’m sure there is a way to reload the kernel modules for the card I need but it seems like a lot of work to do that every time I need to setup an ESXi server.

So, exasperated I went to the VMware HCL to find another card that does work. This normally would not be such a big deal if the VMware ESX HCL wasn’t notoriously difficult to make any sense of.

After a few hours of trying to find an affordable PCI-E NIC on the HCL I found this site:

It arranges everything nice and clearly. I ended up buying some bulk Broadcom NetXtreme PCI-E cards, and we’ll see how well they work in ESX 4.0.