Could you share the confirmation that the device(N/W card) and the server are compatible with the version of esxi..
please check the serial logging for ESXi during boot to check for any detailed errors.
Both the server and NIC are on the HCL.
What' the current NIC Driver -Firmware version on the server ?
Run the command -
1. esxcli network nic get -n <vmnicX>
2. vmkchdev -l | grep -i vmnic
Please check with the Hardware vendor and make sure you are using the latest NIC Firmware .
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I created a custom image with the driver VIB injected. Works fine now. I also upgraded to x520 NICs with are supported and on the HCL, so I dont have to deal with this in the future.