vmxnet3 and Windows Operating System and network problems?

So lately we have had some customers complaining about network related problems on virtual machines running windows operating system with strange behavior like the following:
– Web page rendering issues for website on IIS
– Web page buttons that load with prompt to open a file.
– SQL errors from the web applications related to network.
– Page loads successfully on one browser, but not from a different browser on the same computer.

Debugging the problem:

Ran wireshark with mixed results.
On further investigation we were able to replicate the problem with random results through an external network on Org VDC’s Edge gateway.
My firsts questions was to look at the vAPP network to see if users can replicate this locally within the vAPP with own network and access the webpage through localhost, which was eventually reproduced.
We also figured out that when the network card was disabled and enabled again on the VM it seems to resolve the network issues but deteriorates after a while again.  This lead me to believe the issue is related to network card and windows OS and looked into the Chimney offload feature.
I remembered a few years ago we had some problems with remote desktop connections being slow for users from one international office to the other and was able to track this down to the “Windows auto tuning” feature. So had to give this a go.
We disabled the setting with the following commands:
Netsh int tcp set global chimney=Disabled
Netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=Disabled
After about 5 minutes we started seeing the network running without problems.
I contacted VMware about this and was told following:
The KB that says VMXNET3 doesn’t support TOE is only internal at the moment.  But basically they recommend the following options be turned off in the OS:
Netsh int tcp set global RSS=Disable
Netsh int tcp set global chimney=Disabled
Netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=Disabled
Netsh int tcp set global congestionprovider=None
for windows 8 & 2012 this command deprecated so use: Netsh int tcp set supplemental custom congestionprovider=None
Netsh int tcp set global ecncapability=Disabled
Netsh int ip set global taskoffload=disabled
Netsh int tcp set global timestamps=Disabled
From a practical point of view, offloading part of the TCP stack to a network card make sense in the physical world but not so much in the virtual world.  Hopefully VMware will address this in upcoming adapter improvements.

Setup ORG VDC within vCloud Director

I have put some bullet points together for myself to setup a new Organization with Org VDC.  Might be useful to someone else. Nothing advances and if you are a beginner i would probably view another blog or VMware documentation for assistance.
1.      Vsphere client:
a.      Setup ESXi hosts
b.      Setup new Datacenter.
c.      Setup new cluster
d.      Setup two different vDSs, one for management/vmotion and one for external & VCDNI    networks.  If setting up VXLAN, I would recommend setting up a separate vDS for this.
e.      Create port groups for external networks within 2nd vDS which was configured.
f.       IF VXLAN used, prepare the new vDS for VXLAN
                                                    i.     http://blogs.vmware.com/vcloud/2012/10/vcloud-director-5-1-vxlan-configuration.html
g.      Create storage profile.
                                                    i.     Create Storage capabilities.
                                                   ii.     Create Storage profile and assign storage capabilities to profile.
                                                  iii.     Assign Storage capabilities to datastores within created cluster
                                                  iv.     Make sure to enable the storage profile! (very often overlooked)
2.      vCloud director:
a.      Create Provider VDC
                                                    i.     Select previously created cluster
                                                   ii.     Select storage profile.
                                                  iii.     Select host to prepare.
                                                  iv.     Done
b.      Setup new Organization
                                                    i.     Simple setup wizard and very easy to follow and understand
c.      Setup network pool for virtual switch.
                                                    i.     Select network pool type ( I pick network isolation-backed for simplicity)
                                                   ii.     Specify VLAN and max VCDNI networks.
                                                  iii.     Select vDS created before.
d.      Setup external network and link to port groups created for external networks.
e.      Create ORG VDC
                                                    i.     Select organization
                                                   ii.     Select Provider VDC
                                                  iii.     Select allocation model.
                                                  iv.     Configure model. (for our QA/DEV labs I prefer pay-as-you-go)
                                                   v.     Allocate storage
                                                  vi.     Select network pool
                                                vii.     Configure Edge Gateway
                                               viii.     Select external network
                                                  ix.     Set IP addresses
                                                   x.     Sub-allocate IP Pools
                                                  xi.     Create ORG VDC network
                                                xii.     Name ORG