Traffic between an ESXi host and any external management software is transmitted through an Ethernet network adapter on the host. You can use the direct console to choose the network adapters that are used by the management network.

Examples of external management software include the vCenter Server and SNMP client. Network adapters on the host are named vmnic N, where N is a unique number identifying the network adapter, for example, vmnic0, vmnic1, and so forth.

During the autoconfiguration phase, the ESXi host chooses vmnic0 for management traffic. You can override the default choice by manually choosing the network adapter that carries management traffic for the host. In some cases, you might want to use a Gigabit Ethernet network adapter for your management traffic. Another way to help ensure availability is to select multiple network adapters. Using multiple network adapters enables load balancing and failover capabilities.


  1. From the direct console, select Configure Management Network and press Enter.
  2. Select Network Adapters and press Enter.
  3. Select a network adapter and press Enter.


After the network is functional, you can use the vSphere Web Client to connect to the ESXi host through vCenter Server.