VMware has a driver for the ET dual port NIC and even the 10GB NIC but they don't support the ET quad port. VMware says that Intel is responsible for building a quad driver for VMware. What is the truth? I tried hacking the dual driver to work with the quad but didn't get it to work in ESX 3.5u4 and 4.0. I prefer Intel NICs for my servers but the limited driver support for anything other than Windows is frustrating. Please advise.
VMware released a driver for ESX4 that supports the Quad NIC:
Drivers are obtained in two ways. InBox support, where VMware takes the Intel driver, customizes it for the VMware environment and puts it on the DVD.
The second way is through the I/O Partner Program. Using this mechanism Intel takes the standard driver for a product, modifies it for VMware environment, validates it and then provides it to VMware, who in turn validates it again and then publishes it on their support pages.
Hope this helps clear up how things are done.