Following up my own post, there exists newer drivers and firmware for this thing. Unfortunately, the X710 that comes in Dell servers is a proprietary version that Intel firmware tools won't patch.
Latest driver is 1.5.8 for ESXi 6.5:
Installed that, still had the issue shortly after sending traffic across this thing again.
Found the Intel firmware for the X710, currently version 6.01, where the card came with 6.00. Found the later at:
Unfortunately, if you try to use that tool, it simply identifies your Dell-branded X710 as "Intel Ethernet 10G 4P X710/I350 rNDC" version 6.00 and update not available. Dell's latest package for it on the 14g server generation, is 18.3.0 which just bundles the 6.00 firmware.
So, appears there is no solution to using this card reliably on vmware.
Thank you for posting in Wired Communities and I am sorry to hear what happened. Thank you for sharing the information in case there are other users using the same network card in the same environment.
Our workaround was to open the console then remove the driver with the command esxcli software vib remove -n i40en
This put it back to the i40e version and this has been stable although the update manager issue is driving us nuts. I have some forums where people said they ripped the nics out completely and replaced them (that is extreme).
Because we had our vCenter server on the host that went down we couldn't bring it back up very easily. We had to remove one of the nic's from the distributed switch and create a standard switch in the same network which we could use to bring it back online and then we switched back to the original network. This sounds easy but we burnt a few hours thinking of alternatives to this.
Anyway i hope this helps.
We also tried to uninstall the drivers but it didn't work...
We only hope that Intel releases a new version or VMware a fix. Our customer is really upset with this situation.
Don't know what else I can do...
Maybe buy a different ones because I don't understand why so many time to fix this issue.
Thanks for your comments, really appreciate.
Thank you for the information and I am sorry to hear what happened. Let me branch out the post and we will further check.
Please be informed Malicious Driver Detection is and open issue for ESX i40en driver version 1.5.8. The Malicious Driver Detection issue that we are aware of will be addressed in the next i40en driver release. The next driver is going through VMware Certification process and expected to release in a couple of weeks. We will have an official statement on this issue by next week. Thank you for your patience on this matter.
The Malicious Driver Detection issue that we are aware of is addressed in the 1.7.1 i40en driver release for ESXi 6.7 available for download here: Link to Download
Note: Drivers that address the MDD issue for ESXi 6.0 & ESXi 6.5 will be available in a future release.
For more information please see the blog post: Malicious Driver Detection (MDD) Event – Resolved