I have two intel pro 1000 pt nics. One quad and one dual port. I want to assign all nic ports to a VM. I enabled PCI passthrough on all devices but ESXi will only allow me to add two nic ports until it tells me the maximum number of pci devices have been added.

I have also tried setting up a virtual switch but it didn't seem like this would give full access to the nics.

What is the best way to setup the nics to the VM has direct access to them? This is for a firewall VM.

  • What are you trying to accomplish directly connecting the nics and not using a vSwitch?
    – Zypher
    Jun 2 '10 at 0:48
  • I want to set up a virtual firewall in addition to my other VMs. I have additional nics for the shared vlan and for management.
    – EsxiUser
    Jun 2 '10 at 2:18

If you want to do pass through with every NIC in the box, what is the point of having the OS run on VMWare? Since there won't be any other NICs for other guests you might as well install it on the metal.

Edit: In light of your recent comments - Why not use vSwitches and tag the ports appropriately at the physical switch?

Edit 2: I'm doing this from memory, as I'm not in the office so bear with me. In configuration > networking > add networking. Then you want to add a Virtual Machine network to each of the NICs that you want. Each one will have a different name and you should name them descriptively (ie FW-Trust, FW-DMZ, etc). You can choose to tag the traffic there, or you can leave it untagged and just tag the ports on the physical switch behind it.

Then in the VM go to edit > Add > NIC and then in the Network drop-down you should see the name of each vSwitch that you created in the configuration tab. Just add as many virtual NICs as you want that correlate to the vSwitches that you created.

  • I have additional nics for the shared vlan and management.
    – EsxiUser
    Jun 2 '10 at 2:17
  • Can you give me some instructions for how to do this? I have been trying to do something like this through the GUI but I can't seem to tie a port down to a machine
    – EsxiUser
    Jun 2 '10 at 2:43
  • @EsxiUser - see my edit
    – MDMarra
    Jun 2 '10 at 2:49

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