Thursday, December 06, 2012

Dell R720 NIC not detected by ESXi 5.1

Last week I installed VMware ESXi 5.1 on a new Dell PowerEdge R720 server.  After the installation, I was trying to the network settings and was “shocked” when the Integrated Broadcom 5720 quad port network adapter was not detected.  Well, it was not detected because the driver for the network adapter was not an inbox driver included in the ESXi 5.1 image.

To get the network adapter to work, I downloaded the driver from  The driver version that I have downloaded is 3.124c.v50.1 and the file name is

After downloading the driver, I can either install the VIB file on the existing ESXi 5.1 or I can create a custom ESXi 5.1 image with the driver included. 

I installed the VIB file net-tg3-3.124c.v50.1-1OEM.500.0.0.472560.x86_64.vib extracted out from the file on the existing ESXi 5.1 which was missing the driver.  I uploaded the VIB file to the /tmp directory and use the command esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/net-tg3-3.124c.v50.1-1OEM.500.0.0.472560.x86_64.vib to install it.

Since I have more Dell R720 servers to deploy with ESXi 5.1, I have also created a custom ESXi 5.1 image with the driver included.  I will cover the steps to create the custom image in my next entry.


MicXP said...

Alex thanks for the info
I have similar scenario
This driver 3.124c.v50.1 is for esxi5.0
Is it compatible and stable for ESXI5.1
I would like to use this nic as iscsi adapter to my storage

Alex Siow said...


According to the compatibility guide, it is compatible with ESXi 5.1.

I will be using it for vm network but have yet to deploy any vm so can't comment much on the stability. But I guess it should be okay since it is listed as compatible.