In my home lab I recently bought Intel S1200BTS motherboard with Intel Xeon E3-1220V2 processor. The board processor work perfectly with vSphere 5.1, however there is a small problem with the default install on vSphere. The board comes with 2 on board NICs. One is 82574L and the second one is 82579LM. The 82574L is correctly detected by ESXi but the 82579LM is not hence this NIC cannot be used out of the box in vSphere 5.1.
Here is a quick way to enable Intel NIC 82579LM on vSphere 5.1. To enable this you will need to download a new custom compiled driver with support for this card. Now I could have compiled the driver myself but I thought why not google if someone has already compiled it for this board 😉 and lo I found such a driver for vSphere 5.1.
Important: the following steps replace the default VMware driver for Intel NICs. If you don’t want to do that, stop here. Again this should not be used for production ESXi servers, useful only for homelab environments.
Here are the steps to enable the Intel NIC 82579LM:
- Download the alternate driver for Intel NIC e1000 (82579LM) here. (http://shell.peach.ne.jp/~aoyama/wordpress/download/net-e1000e-2.1.4.x86_64.vib)
- Connect to your ESXi box using the vSphere client.
- Using the datastore browser on your vSphere client, upload the alternate Intel NIC Driver to your datastore.
- Enable SSH on your ESXi box.
- Connect to your ESXi box using a SSH client (putty)
- Move the custom Intel driver package to /tmp directory:
cd /tmp mv /vmfs/volumes/my-datastore/net-e1000e-2.1.4.x86_64.vib /tmp
- For installing the vib package put the ESXi in maintenance mode:
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e true -t 0
- Set the host acceptance level to CommunitySupported:
esxcli software acceptance set --level=CommunitySupported
- Install the vib package:
esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/net-e1000e-2.1.4.x86_64.vib
- Exit the ESXi from maintenance mode.
esxcli system maintenanceMode set -e false -t 0
- Thats all, after reboot, just verify if your NIC card was detected.
PS: I would like to mention that, the real hardwork of compiling a new NIC driver for ESXi was done by Daisuke Aoyama.