Home > ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware > New Broadcom bnx2x drivers released for ESX but beware, not all are supported with HP Flex-10

New Broadcom bnx2x drivers released for ESX but beware, not all are supported with HP Flex-10

April 1st, 2011

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:

However if you landed up on the Model/Release Details page it also lists the new 1.62.15.v41.2 version for ESX 4.1.

Which is also available for download:

Direct Link:

You may assume this driver works with Virtual Connect as there is no note on the Model/Release page for ESX(i) 4.1 specifying which version is supported. There is a specific note for ESX(i) 4.0 but that is out of date as it references the 1.52.12.v40.3 driver.

To clear up the confusion, I’ve had confirmation from HP that the ESX(i) 4.0 1.62.11.v40.1 driver version IS supported with Flex-10 and SmartLink/DCC but the ESX(i) 4.1 1.62.15.v41.2 driver is NOT.

The good news is at least for ESX 4.0 you are now able to upload the offline bundles of these new drivers into Update Manager and patch your hosts. This is at last a step in the right direction. Update Manager should be the only way you need to update any ESX software or driver.

Unfortunately for ESX (i)4.1, despite being able to upload the new driver into Update Manager, it is not supported with HP Flex-10.

This means for ESX(i) 4.1 you still need to be using the 1.60.50.v41.2 driver which is a manual install along with the heap memory fix as described in http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1031805

I’m optimistically thinking it is just a QA issue that this new ESX 4.1 driver isn’t supported with Flex-10 rather than it going backwards and breaking DCC/SmartLink as the updates are known to do. Hopefully it will be fully supported soon.

My dream is HP Blade bnx2x drivers for the latest ESX version, fully supported by HP with working DCC/SmartLink and automatically downloaded through Update Manager with clear information on HP / VMware’s sites.

I’ve updated my Flex-10 prerequisites post with this latest information.

Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware Tags: , , , , ,
  1. Tim
    April 8th, 2011 at 10:23 | #1

    It is slightly confusing the way you refer to just ESX – I assume when you do you really mean ESX\ESXi ? Particularly important wrt your claim that 1.62.15.v41.2 is not supported in Flex-10.



  2. user
    April 11th, 2011 at 08:55 | #2

    But what about the document “HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 NICs Solution Recipe” (http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02713767.pdf)?
    The 1.62.15.v41 driver is listed for ESX/ESXi 4.1.

  3. Peter
    April 13th, 2011 at 11:17 | #3

    Called HP and confirmed that 1.62.15.v41 is fully tested and supported driver for ESX/ESXi4.1. Also can confirm on HP’s website, go to http://www.hp.com –> Support & Drivers –> Drivers & Software –> enter NIC model, i.e. NC532 –> follow link relevant –> select OS i.e. ESX/ESXi4.1 –> current support driver is 1.62.15.v41 March 31, 2011 🙂

  4. WoodITWork
    April 13th, 2011 at 12:28 | #4

    I’ve also been chasing HP to get the latest information and they have confirmed to me today that the new driver is in fact supported. Thanks for also chasing! I’ve done a new post with the latest details.

    Apologies for the confusion, My investigations have been mainly with ESX but you are correct, it should cover both ESX and ESXi. My understanding was the 1.62 driver was not initially supported for both ESX and ESXi, now it is though. I’ve made some post updates to mention both hypervisors.

  5. user
    April 30th, 2011 at 12:54 | #5

    I really appreciate your efforts on this topic (HP drivers/fimrware & VMware). I haven’t been really confronted with these issues before and your information has been very usefull to me. Keep up the good work!

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