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I've got a couple of Dell Poweredge R430 hypervisors that have Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet NIC's. I've never updated the drivers on these NIC's away from those which the OS installed... They are using a Broadcom Driver 15.6.1.3.

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I was reading up on some Dell issues as we're seeing intermittent poor performance on the VM's running on these hypervisors (VMQ is disabled, before anyone says it), and I read something about making sure you swap out the OS installed drivers if the Machine is a Dell and it is using Broadcom NICs.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Under what circumstances should the OS provided driver be replaced?

What symptoms would one be likely to encounter if the drivers weren't replaced?

I can't do this yet, as the machines in question host production VM's and I cannot take them down until the weekend, but I'm wondering If this is something that I should consider as being a possible root cause or whether its something and nothing.

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    If the server vendor provides drivers then you should be using those. Download and launch the Dell Server Update Utility and use that to update the drivers for the server. - dell.com/support/home/us/en/04/drivers/… – joeqwerty Jan 25 '18 at 15:00
  • wow... 8.5Gb! Downloading it now. Thanks for the info @joeqwerty – John Jan 25 '18 at 15:04
  • @John - yeah they can be big, don't know Dell but both HPE and Cisco do .iso files that can be booted from on the out of band management interface (iDRAC for Dell if I recall) and it will automatically update all firmware on all devices in all their server models, then you can mount it inside you OS and it'll update all your drivers too - so yeah, big :) – Chopper3 Jan 25 '18 at 15:25
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Not a straight answer but some advice:

In general, I don't use NIC (or storage) drivers that come with the OS. I may be using them very early in initial setup but they are updated by the server vendor's drivers pretty much first thing. This ensures best compatibility and functionality. Additionally, I don't update drivers through Windows Update on servers.

Sometimes, when the server vendor's driver are possibly outdated or having issues I might try finding newer drivers directly from the hardware manufacturer (especially for Broadcom NICs).

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I'd suggest you to update all firmware through Lifecycle Controller, here's how to do that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImWYrS4RGIY, Also, you can perform that via .iso https://www.dell.com/Support/Article/us/en/04/SLN296511.

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