I was adding two hosts to a cluster, both with new 10GbE cards, installed into slot three of each server. After applying my basic settings, I noticed something odd; one server listed the Intel Corporation 82576 Gigabit Network Connection ports as vmnic0 and vmnic1, the other as vmnic0 and vmnic2. Wait . . . what? I double-checked, and the speed was correct, and the PCI identifiers were also correct, but somehow the vmnic numbers were not correct. This, will, of course cause problems later in Host Profile compliance, and generally is not good management practice, where we try to keep servers as homogeneously configured as possible.
Fortunately, there is way to edit the PCI ID to VMNIC numbering relationship. The order is usually determined at boot time by hardware order, but sometimes becomes skewed for one reason or another. To edit, put the host into Maintenance Mode and then edit /etc/vmware/esx.conf, with via an SCP tool like WinSCP or using the built-in VI editor (see Basic VI Commands).
When you edit the file, you will want to scroll down (in my experience about half-way through) until you find the vmnic section: