You can install a remote direct memory access (RDMA) network adapter and configure its VMkernel binding.


  1. Install an RDMA-capable adapter that supports RDMA (RoCE v2) on your ESXi host.
    The host discovers the adapter and the vSphere Client displays its two components, an RDMA adapter and a physical network adapter.
  2. In the vSphere Client, verify that the RDMA adapter is discovered by your host.
    1. Navigate to the host.
    2. Click the Configure tab.
    3. Under Networking, click RDMA adapters.
      In this example, the RDMA adapter appears on the list as vmrdma0. The Paired Uplink column displays the network component as the vmnic1 physical network adapter.

    4. To verify the description of the adapter, select the RDMA adapter from the list, and click the Properties tab.
  3. Configure VMkernel binding for the RDMA adapter.
    In the configuration, you can use a vSphere standard switch or a vSphere Distributed Switch. The following steps use the standard switch as an example.
    1. Create a vSphere standard switch and add the network component to the switch.
      Note: Make sure to select the physical network adapter that corresponds to the RDMA adapter. In this example, it is the vmnic1 adapter.

      For information about creating the switch, see Create a vSphere Standard Switch or Create a vSphere Distributed Switch.

    2. Add a VMkernel adapter to the vSphere standard switch that you created.
      Assign an appropriate static IPv4 or IPv6 address to the VMkernel adapter, so that your RDMA adapter can discover the NVMe over RDMA target.

      For information about adding the VMkernel adapter, see Setting Up VMkernel Networking.

    The illustration shows that the physical network adapter and the VMkernel adapter are connected to the vSphere standard switch. Through this connection, the RDMA adapter is bound to the VMkernel adapter.

  4. Verify the VMkernel binding configuration for the RDMA adapter.
    1. Navigate to the RDMA adapter.
    2. Click the VMkernel adapters binding tab and verify that the associated VMkernel adapter appears on the page.
      In this example, the vmrdma0 RDMA adapter is paired to the vmnic1 network adapter and is connected to the vmk1 VMkernel adapter.

What to do next

You can use the RDMA network component of the adapter for such storage configurations as iSER or NVMe over RDMA. To learn more, see the vSphere Storage documentation.