What do I need to do before migrating my EC2 instance to a sixth generation instance to make sure that I get maximum network performance?

Last updated: 2021-06-16

I want to migrate my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance to a sixth generation instance. What steps should I take before migrating to make sure that I get the optimal networking performance from my new instance?

Short description

The currently available c6gn instance requires an updated driver for Elastic Network Adapter v3 (ENAv3) device generation. Running older ENA drivers with sixth generation instances might lead to suboptimal performance or elastic network interface attachment failure. Before migrating to sixth generation instances, make sure that your AMI includes ENAv3 compatible drivers. Or, if you plan to launch the instance with a new AMI, make sure that you select the correct AMI version with embedded ENAv3 compatible drivers.


To make sure that ENAv3 is installed before migration, do the following:

1.    If you're using Amazon Linux 2, or if you've ever updated the ENA driver for any OS in the past from the Amazon ENA GitHub repository, verify the ENA version by running the following command:

ethtool -i $interface

2.    Use the command results and the following table to verify that your ENA driver is updated. Make sure that your driver version matches the value in the ENAv3 standalone driver version column. If the results don't match the value in the table, then update the driver to ENAv3.

Environment ENAv3 standalone driver version AWS AMIs and kernel versions supporting ENAv3
Linux ENA GitHub Greater than or equal to v2.2.9 NA
Linux upstream Kernel greater than or equal to 5.9 NA
Amazon Linux 2 default version with AMI Kernel 4.14.186 or above
Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) default version with AMI RHEL 8.3 kernel 4.18.0-240.1.1.el8_3.ARCH
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) default version with AMI SLES 15 SP2 kernel 5.4.0-1025-aws
Linux Ubuntu default version with AMI 20.04 kernel 5.4.0-1025-aws
Windows Greater than or equal to v2.2.3 May 2021 Windows AMI or newer
DPDK Greater than or equal to v20.11 NA
FreeBSD Greater than or equal to v2.3.1 NA

Note: The following older ENA driver versions result in elastic network interface attachment failure with sixth generation instances.

  • ENA Linux: Less than v1.2.0
  • ENA Windows: Less than v2.0.0
  • ENA DPDK: Less than v1.1.1
  • ENA VMware ESXi: Less than 1.6.0
  • ENA FreeBSD: Less than v2.3.1

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