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MS Server 2012 R2 VMs problems with e1000 and e1000e NICs

Question asked by Sean Patterson on Feb 4, 2014
Latest reply on Jul 10, 2014 by julez

Summary: In VMware Guest running Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2012 R2, there is a problem running the Standard e1000e and e1000 drivers, resulting in loss of connections and possible corruption.


After over a month of random problems I have come to conclude the issue is affecting only our MS Server 2012 R2 (and non R2) VMs.It may affect the Windows 2008 R2 (and non R2) Servers as well, just not yet to a critical point. Please feel free to add any information you may have.

 

All Server 2012 VMs were built using the default e1000e NICs. They all functioned well, until we received the notice to immediately stop using the e1000e drivers as data corruption could occur. suggested fix was to switch to the e1000 or VMXNET3 driver. Given the fact we  are a 1GB environment, I decided the e1000 would be the better driver. Also, some others informed of performance being better with the e1000 driver over VMXNET3 driver. With the change in place we ran for a week and maybe longer before we started noticing drives missing on the File Server (Server 2012 R2). A restart brings the drives back, as well as a disable, re-enable of the iSCSI NICs. This would happen randomly at all times day or night. Many searches later returned little about the errors, as it was not really producing any events, other than a basic network no longer available. After frustration, I decide to return to the e1000e driver on the ISCSI NICs. Problem solved, somewhat. We then started having the standard NIC (still on e1000) disappear and the server becoming unreachable. So, I believe the issue is the e1000 driver itself. I also have notice some less often, and shorter outages on the e1000e driver. Which lead me to the next test. I have now swapped all NICs to the VMXNET3 drivers on the Server 2012 R2 machines. No errors have been reported and no random (quick, or non quick) disconnects/reconnects. Drives seem stable, NICs are staying up.

 

So I guess now I need to know of any issues running a VMXNET3 driver in a non 10GB environment. No speed issues seem present as others have warned about. Having a clean Event Viewer is the goal here, and so far the VMXNET3 driver has been the best option yet.

 

^^^^^^ This last bit is the Question part! ^^^^^^

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