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Have you confirmed that drivers are updated to latest which are compatible with esxi version you are using ?
Looking at these messages and if you are saying that nics are not down then you need to look at the drivers and get them updated.
Firmware Version: 18.104.22.168
ESXi 6.0 U3 bnxtnet version 20.6.302.0 20.06.05.06
Do I need to upgrade my firmware?
Is it better to update to the latest version?
ESXi 6.0 U3 bnxtnet version 22.214.171.124 20.08.04.04
Yes its always recommended to be on latest versions of driver, unless that is compatible with esxi version.
I will upgrade.
Thank you for your help.