See the attached jpg. Notice that I have a vmnic10 and vmnic11, but no vmnic2 or vmnic3. I only noticed this today. It looks like ESX randomly renamed them. While this is a cosmetic issue, it threw me off, and now my required documentation has to be changed.
So is there a way to change those NIC lables back to vmnic2 and vmnic3?
I also noticed a somewhat simiar issue over the weekend with another 3.5. When i added a quad port NIC (to a 2port NIC system,) it labeled the ports "2, 3, 4, 5", which what I want to see...nice sequential numbering. I then shutdown the box, removed the NIC and powered up. I then shut down ESX again, Re-added the physical NIC and powered on. Now ESX names those ports "6, 7, 8, 9". Long story short (I was troubleshooting a NIC problem) each time you add it, it increments the NIC labeling. Does that make sense? Is there not some way once the NIC is removed, that those vmnic numbers are flushed out?
Its a known issue - there is a chance of vmnic renumbering whenever we make changes to the hardware (add, remove or change) or we upgrade the firmware of the hardware.
This poses a potential problem if vmnics are connected to different vlans and also for your documentation purpose.
There are two workarounds for this - 1. change the vmnic naming in the etc/vmware/esx.conf file. first take a backup of this file and then change the name wherever you find i.e vmnic3 to vmnic5.
2. Second ismore straight forward and risk free. You need to change the connectivity to vswitches of these vmnics by command - esxcfg-vswitch - U vmnic3 -L vmnic5 vSwitch1
For, both of these methods you need to first make sure name of which vmnic# is changed to which. You can do this by taking a note of entire networking page before and after the change.