One of my clients recently contacted me to let me know that they’d added a couple of additional network adapter ports to one of their vSphere hosts. The new NICs, which are actually just one board with multiple ports, have a different chipset than the onboard NICs they are currently using. For maximum availability, they wanted to separate traffic across different physical cards. For example, front end VM traffic would use one onboard NIC and one port from the new physical NIC.
Their question: Is it possible (and safe) to team network adapters with different chipsets in vSphere 5?
The answer is yes! This will work with no issues. Simply open the NIC teaming properties page and place the network adapters into the Active Adapters section of the page, as shown in the figure below.