HP has released new Flex-10 firmware 3.18 and marked it as a * RECOMMENDED * update.
• Resolved an issue where a Virtual Connect Domain with large number of networks may experience an unstable network condition when a VC Ethernet module is restarted in one of the following circumstances:
* A power-cycle (Off/On) from the Onboard Administrator
* A reset/reboot from the Onboard Administrator
* A removal/reinsert into the Interconnect Bay
Best to wait and see if there are any issues before applying but early adopters can go right ahead!
Interestingly the Firmware Dependency lists the following:
OA: Minimum firmware version: 3.11 / Recommended version: 3.30
OA firmware 3.30 has not been released yet so could be imminent. The link HP gives to list firmware dependency doesn’t work, HP isn’t known for having a great support site!
When deploying HP Flex-10 switches in your racks, one of the things that is often overlooked is ensuring you have the correct upstream switch port configuration.
Your Flex-10 switches make up only one half of your network topology and need to be connected to upstream switches to complete the networking design. I’m going to use the example of Cisco upstream switches.
I’ve blogged previously on my ideas for a Flex-10 ESX design with simplicity and scalability, See Part 1 and Part 2
Ensuring your Flex-10 uplinks are connected to your upstream switch ports correctly is vital to ensure your Flex-10 infrastructure is always available and stable.
You may also have separate teams of people who look after your Flex-10 switches and your upstream Cisco switches as HP Flex-10 has often been sold as a networking technology which is easy enough to implement by server engineers and so may not be supported by your networking team. Always ensure your teams are talking to each other to fully understand the technology as finger pointing when things go wrong is the last thing you need!
HP has published a few documents to assist Cisco people in understanding Flex-10:
I’ve had confirmation from HP that the ESX 4.1 bnx2x 1.62.15.v41.2 driver is now officially supported with Flex-10. Although the supported driver is listed as 1.62.15.v41, the .2 at the end of the driver available for download was to facilitate a small change but has been fully tested and certified.
My previous post was after confirmation from HP on 31st March saying this driver was not supported but a new version of the HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 NICs Solution Recipe which is dated 23 March and says released on the 27th March wasn’t available when I checked with HP or looked on their site (although HP’s site isn’t the easiest to find anything on!).
I’ve had confirmation that this driver supports DCC/SmartLink and also contains the heap memory increase.
If you are upgrading from the 1.60.50.v41.2 driver you will not need to remove the previous heap workaround step.
Unfortunately, VMWare’s Compatibility Guides have not been updated to reflect the latest version, they still say the 1.60.50.v4.1.2 driver is the supported version for HP Virtual Connect, so hopefully HP and VMware will address this soon.
This is a great step as the 1.62 driver versions for both ESX 4.1 and ESX 4.0 are now both available for deployment from Update Manager. I really hope this is the end of chasing blade Nic driver versions to work with Flex-10.
As usual, my Flex-10 ESX pre-requisites post has been updated.
Registrations are now open for the London VMware User Group meeting on 12 May starting at the earlier time of 10am (no, we’re not late sleepers in London, some people need to travel quite a distance to be able to attend!)
There’s also a new registration system open at http://www.myvmug.org/e/in/eid=13
Things are stepping up a gear for this VMUG with the theme being “Your Journey to the Cloud” featuring multiple tracks, multiple sponsors and live labs showing vCloud Director.
If you haven’t attended a VMUG before, I highly recommend taking the time away from your desk to attend. Run by independent virtualisation enthusiasts, it is a fantastic opportunity to not only hear about virtualisation from fellow users but get involved yourself by sharing your experiences, common goals and gripes while having the opportunity to chat to some industry experts. It’s an informal yet hugely informative day ending at a nearby pub where you can meet, greet and network with your virtualisation colleagues and get answers to your burning questions!
It doesn’t cost a cent to join and I always leave having learned something awesome!
You can also follow #LonVMUG on twitter for more information and chitchat.
Citrix XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 is the latest release of XenServer but it is not supported as a hypervisor with either XenDesktop 4 or XenDesktop 5.
Have a look at the Citrix eDocs for Host Requirements / Hosting Infrastructure.
XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 1 has been out since 15 December 2010 and the release notes specifically mention enhancements to Provisioning Services and XenDesktop (only coming in a future release)
Provisioning Services improvements to Windows volume license (MAK and KMS) support.
XenDesktop platform enhancements. Provides local host caching of VM images to reduce storage TCO for XenDesktop VDI deployments. (Note: these platform enhancements will be enabled by a future version of XenDesktop).
XenDesktop 5 was released on 3 December 2010. OK, that’s only 12 days before XenServer FP1 but surely Citrix would have made the enhancements to XenDesktop 5 to support XenServer 5.6 FP 1…obviously not.
I’ve heard from Citrix that XenServer 5.6 Service Pack 2 is due for release soonish and will be supported by both XenDesktop 4 and 5. This does contradict somewhat with the release notes which state support will be in a newer version of XenDesktop rather than a newer version of XenServer.
If you are running XenDesktop 4 or 5 with XenServer 5.6 as the hypervisor, don’t upgrade to Feature Release 1, rather wait for Service Pack 2.
VMware has released some new Broadcom bnx2x Nic Drivers which are used in HP blades for the HP NC532 Nics.
As with most bnx2x network card driver updates and HP Flex-10 there’s good news, bad news and unfortunately also the usual confusing news.
Let’s clear up the confusing news first.
There have been two new drivers released:
- ESX(i) 4.0 – 1.62.11.v40.1
- ESX(i) 4.1 – 1.62.15.v41.2
VMWare’s Compatibility Guides show which drivers are supported with which ESX versions:
Under Model Details there is now a note which says the 1.60.50.v4.1.2 driver version is the supported version for HP Virtual Connect, so it is saying the new version 1.62.15.v41.2 is NOT supported with HP Virtual Connect: