can you explain a little bit more what you exactly want?
do you want to rename vmnic1 for example to vmwarenic1 ? if this is the case, it is not possible..
if you mean the name of the virtual machine network, you can do this in the virtual switch configuration..
or you mean something completely different
The vmnic numbering corresponds to the physical NIC and in the order they are discovered. The only caveat, is whatever NIC was plugged in and used to be the initial service console connection, will become vmnic0, and then the remaining physical NICs will be recognized in order of lowest PCI Slot and Port.
You can rename a vmnic after it has been discovered by modifying the esx.conf, but this is generally not recommended. The esx.conf contains the physical device mapping, and modifying this file incorrectly can severely hamper your installation. If you haven't done anything on the server yet, the simplest thing to do would be to reinstall, and pick the lowest PCI slot as vmnic0, or the same as the other servers in your cluster, and then all servers should be named similarly.
As the hardware is changed in the esx server 3.5 system, the NIC names is changed too.
Originally the nic name is: vmnic0, vmnic1,vmnic2. etc.
but after some hardware is changed, the nic names becomes: vmnic0, vmnic1,vmnic32,...etc.
I had a similar issue during an esx upgrade from 3.0.3 to 3.5.
I needed to swap out a dual port NIC card for a quad port nic card which resulted in the vmnicrenamed from vmnic0, vmnic1 etc to vmnic4, vmnic5 etc.
To resolve this is what I did:
1. login via the console
2. type the command
this will show you all the NIC ports and their assignment labels.
Important identify which NIC port label is associated with the service console
3. cd /etc/vmware
4. backup esx.conf
5. vi ./esx.conf
search for the nic labels that you want to rename/number and edit their labels accordingly
Important you know whcih port is used for the service console.Particularly if you need to re-establish connectivity from VC to a esx host
The most important
6. save the changes
7. restart esx.
hope that helps.