SLES Virtual Machine on VMWare with 3 or more NICs does not keep the same NIC order

This document (7021961) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.

Environment

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 4
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 Service Pack 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 1
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications Service Pack 4
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications Service Pack 3
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications Service Pack 2
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications Service Pack 1

Situation

A SUSE Virtual Machine with 3 or more NICs under VMWare doesn't have the same NICs order as the hypervisor. See example below related to a virtual machine with 10 NICs:
 
vSphere adapterSLES name(bus, function, device)
vSphere first adaptereth0(0, 5, 0)
vSphere fourth adaptereth1(0, 6, 0)
vSphere seventh adaptereth2(0, 7, 0)
vSphere nineth adaptereth3(0, 8, 0)
vSphere second adaptereth4(1, 5, 0)
vSphere fifth adaptereth5(1, 6, 0)
vSphere eight adaptereth6(1, 7, 0)
vSphere tenth adaptereth7(1, 8, 0)
vSphere third adaptereth8(2, 5, 0)
vSphere sixth adaptereth9(2, 6, 0)

vSphere assigns slots to devices following the order function, bus, device while SUSE assigns NIC names following the order bus, function, device

Currently there is an internal discussion on how to solve this issue.

Resolution

The following workaround has been found and tested:  create an udev rule which does not use PCI-Paths but uses the ATTRS (label) assigned to the interface. 
The labels have values such as Ethernet0, Ethernet1, etc which the ESX Hypervisor uses to point at the correct interface; in this way, a "one to one" connection was created without using PCI-Paths, MAC addressses or similar. This rules can be used for all your ESX based virtual machines, if you ever will have more than 10 interfaces just extend the rules.

Example of udev rule: /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet0", NAME="eth0"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet1", NAME="eth1"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet2", NAME="eth2"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet3", NAME="eth3"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet4", NAME="eth4"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet5", NAME="eth5"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet6", NAME="eth6"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet7", NAME="eth7"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet8", NAME="eth8"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{label}=="Ethernet9", NAME="eth9"
Another alternative would be to create custom udev rules using the MAC addresses for each nic.

Example of udev rule: /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{address}=="00:00:00:00:00:01", NAME="eth0"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{address}=="00:00:00:00:00:02", NAME="eth1"
SUBSYSTEM=="net", ACTION=="add", ATTRS{address}=="00:00:00:00:00:03", NAME="eth2"

Cause

Refer to VMWare Official documentation: https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2047927

Disclaimer

This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:7021961
  • Creation Date: 03-Oct-2017
  • Modified Date:16-Mar-2021
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications

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