This is an issue that has been bugging me for a lot time with ESXi. I had the issue with my old Dell server (ESXi 5.0 and 5.5) and even with my new Dell T20 (ESXi 5.5). For the current issue at hand I will only focus on the new Dell T20 server, to avoid confusion.

Whenever I try to upload something from my Windows 7 PC to any VM on the servers, I don't get more than 3-5 MB/s. No matter if I use Samba, SFTP, FTP or uploading ISOs with the vSphere client. When I copy a file FROM the VMs to my Windows 7 PC, I will get speeds of around 70-90 MB/s which looks fine to me.

I will list a few infos that I think may be helpful to determine the issue.

  • ESXi 5.5 U1 (#1623387)
  • Intel 82571 NIC (Gigabit)
  • 1 TB HDD (no RAID), ESXi & VM's are on this HDD
  • VMware Tools are installed and up-to-date
  • VMXNET3 NIC for the VMs
  • The management network is on the same physical NIC since I only have one
  • 2 active VMs running, but idling (Windows XP and Ubuntu 12.04)
  • Windows 7 is my current PC and not a VM
  • Using 3rd party NIC driver net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib from >here<

iperf speed test over 30 seconds (using 2.0.5 on Ubuntu and JPerf 2.0.2 on Windows):

Windows 7 Client - Ubuntu 12.04 Server: 1270 MBytes = 355 Mbits/sec

Windows 7 Server - Ubuntu 12.04 Client: 2.29 GBytes = 655 Mbits/sec

Windows XP Server - Ubuntu 12.04 Client: 7314 MBytes = 2045 Mbits/sec

Windows XP Client - Ubuntu 12.04 Host: 744 MBytes = 623 Mbits/sec

Graphs here: Link

If there's anything else you need to know, please let me know.

  • Can you provide your VMware build number? Have you also checked your network switch? From your esxi host, what is the output of esxcli software vib list | grep igb ?
    – ewwhite
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 9:47
  • The VMware build is 5.5.0 (1331820). Here's the output from the command: ~ # esxcli software vib list | grep igb net-igb Intel VMwareCertified 2014-04-11 ~ #
    – Jueki
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 9:54
  • Update your ESXi installation to the newest 5.5 build. My servers from build #1623387 show Intel igb version
    – ewwhite
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 9:59
  • Upgraded to the latest ESXi, new output from the command: Still no luck, though.
    – Jueki
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


Your network card uses the Intel igb driver. Under VMware and Linux, that device/driver can be troublesome. I'd try the following:

  • Your ESXi build number is 1331820 and includes version of the igb NIC driver. The current ESXi build has version of the igb driver. An update of ESXi may be appropriate.

  • The defaults on the igb driver don't perform well for certain workloads. Take a look at this VMware Knowledge Base article for guidance on the correct turntables for that card.

In a virtual environment, for certain workloads and (or) configurations, the network performance achieved on an Intel 1Gbps NIC using the igb driver might be low because the interrupt throttling rate for the igb driver is not optimal for that workload. The network Bandwidth of Intel 82576 and Intel i340T4/i350 do not go up to the supported 1 Gb/s It performs slower than other 1Gb/s cards

  • I just upgraded to the newest ESXi 5.5 U1 (#1623387) - no luck. Maybe I should have mentioned that ESXi won't run the installer because it can't detect a network card. The workaround I used is from this link http://blog.kihltech.com/2014/01/how-to-add-intel-nic-drivers-to-an-esxi-5-5-iso/. Basically, I modified my ESXi ISO to include the 3rd party net-e1000e-2.3.2.x86_64.vib driver from that website. To be honest, I'm kind of confused with all the different drivers and what to do now. Buy a new NIC?
    – Jueki
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 11:24
  • 2
    Oh, yeah. Get a straight up standard intel e1000 NIC that's fully supported.
    – ewwhite
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 14:28

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