How to Find the NIC Driver Version on ESXI Host and get the Correct Driver from VMware

Recently, I had to Search for an QLogic 2x25GE QL41262HMCU CNA NIC driver to update it on multiple Dell R740XD hosts. It’s been a while since I used the Update Manager (vSphere 6.7 environment) and hence writing this post.

First thing is to SSH into an esxi host and then execute the following commands to check the firmware/driver version of the vmnic you want to update (In my case all my vmnics are Qlogic CNA NIC’s)

esxcli network nic get -n vmnic2

Output to the above esxcli command

Things to note is the Driver Name/Type, Firmware Version (First Part of it is sufficient), Version (This is the actual driver version on the esxi host).

In the Above screenshot the driver is ‘qedentv’, the firmware version is 8.53.3.0 and the version is 3.11.16.0

Now, we need to find the entries/numbers to search for the exact driver on the VMware compatibility website.

Execute the following command on the ESXI SSH session

vmkchdev -l | grep vmnic2

The highlighted portion is the one we require to search for the driver on VMware Compatibility website

Let us go to the VMware Compatibility website and IO section

We need to fill in the following values —

VID, DID, SVID and Max SSID to get the exact driver for your nic.

Let us fill in the values from our vmkchdev output

  • VID 1077
  • DID 8070
  • SVID 1077
  • Max SSID 000b
Input the values in VMware IO Compatibility list website
Qlogic Adapter and its versions by vSphere version

Select the vSphere version and click on the version to display the different driver versions we can download

I have selected vSphere version 6.7 U3 in this case and the screenshot is below

The esxi nic driver version and the physical adapter firmware version is different on my Dell server

As you can see, the esxi nic driver version and the physical nic adapter firmware versions are different on this Host. (Typically you should update the esxi nic driver once you upgrade the physical nic firmware as a best practice)

In this case my esxi nic driver version is 3.11.16.0 and the Qlogic NIC Physical firmware version is 8.53.x.x

To download the correct driver, you need to make sure that the esxi nic driver coincides with the Physical nic driver firmware for best compatibility. We will need to download the ‘qedentv’ driver.

We download the driver equal to the physical nic firmware version and the esxi nic driver name which is qedentv in this case

Download the driver.zip file using your my vmware credentials and you can use this zip file in the offline patches in Update Manager to create a baseline for your esxi hosts so this driver can be updated.

NOTE: Put the Host in Maintenance mode before you update the nic driver as this will reboot the esxi host.

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