What virtual network adaptor to use in your VMware VM

Ok so you took the plunge and are running some version of VMware. Now you want to squeeze every bit of  performance out of  your hardware possible. In a previous post we went over changing your scsi controller to a para virtual adaptor fit hat is optimized for vm performance. Next up your network adaptor! VMware comes with 3 types e1000, vmxnet 2 advanced,  and vmxnet3. I prefer vmxnet 3 as it is optimized for vm operation and has a lot of advanced features. Only drawback is there are no native drivers in windows for it. you have to mount a vm floppy to install them or have VMware tools installed on the is to install the drivers. This link will explain the differences between the types http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1001805

here are the instructions on how to change your adaptor type:

I would like to share how to change virtual machine virtual network adapter manually. In fact, you may know you can add a new virtual adapter and choose the adapter type from drop down menu.

Virtual Network Adapter
Here you go:
1. Login to VMware ESX server
2. Type vmware-cmd -l and look for virtual machine (vmx = vm config file) which require change virtual network adapter
3. You may check VMware KB Article: 1001805 for available network adapters details.

# VMXNET — The VMXNET virtual network adapter has no physical counterpart. VMXNET is optimized for performance in a virtual machine. Because operating system vendors do not provide built-in drivers for this card, you must install VMware Tools to have a driver for the VMXNET network adapter available. # Flexible — The Flexible network adapter identifies itself as a Vlance adapter when a virtual machine boots, but initializes itself and functions as either a Vlance or a VMXNET adapter, depending on which driver initializes it. With VMware Tools installed, the VMXNET driver changes the Vlance adapter to the higher performance VMXNET adapter. # E1000 — An emulated version of the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet NIC, with drivers available in most newer guest operating systems, including Windows XP and later and Linux versions 2.4.19 and later. # VMXNET 2 (Enhanced) — The VMXNET 2 adapter is based on the VMXNET adapter but provides some high-performance features commonly used on modern networks, such as jumbo frames and hardware offloads. This virtual network adapter is available only for some guest operating systems on ESX/ESXi 3.5 and later. 4. Edit Virtual Machine vmx file and choose virtual network adapter as show below:

Flexible
Nothing have to add into vmx file.
Intel E1000
ethernetX.virtualDev = “e1000″
VMXNET 2 (Enhanced)
ethernetX.virtualDev = “vmxnet”
VMXNET 3
ethernetX.virtualDev = “vmxnet3″
Note: ethernetX = number of ethernet card.

5. Save the VMX file and power on your virtual machine.

6. Power on your virtual machine using virtual center or type # vmware-cmd your_virtualmachine.vmx start