Home > Flex-10, HP > HP releases Virtual Connect firmware 3.30

HP releases Virtual Connect firmware 3.30

September 7th, 2011

Updated: 9 September 2011 with new documentation links.

HP’s major announcement at VMworld was the HP VirtualSystem but also announced was the latest firmware update for Virtual Connect to 3.30 which is now available for download today.

HP says that 5 million ports have been shipped although I’m not sure how this is calculated. Each Flex-10 switch for example has 8 ports although typically most customers only use 1-3 so adding up all available ports in a switch which is typically underused seems like good old marketing hyperbole!

So, what’s new:

  • VC 3.30 has upped the mapped VLAN capacity per Shared Uplink Set from 128 to 1000.
  • With mapped vlans you can now provision 162 VLANs to a server NIC, up from 28.
  • You can now have simultaneous tunneled and mapped VLAN connections in a single HP Virtual Connect domain which looks very interesting as I’ve always been a fan of having tunneled vlans and using your hypervisor to do the networking but being able to have mapped vlans as well will be useful for hypervisor components such as XenServer’s management network which doesn’t support VLANs and therefore possibly not requiring additional uplinks.
  • New UI allowing you to configure VLANs in ranges, copy shared uplink sets and do global replaces on the VLAN names.
  • New CLI SHOW commands to see things like memory and CPU available.
  • New CLI SHOW CONFIG command to list all the CLI commands to create the current VC Domain.
  • VC 3.30 can automatically retrieve parameters from HP 4000 SAN solutions and attach them to the server profile, reducing manual entries to 2 instead of 18.
  • More security control by supporting role-based TACACS+/RADIUS protocols for authentication.
  • Being able to add a login banner if you need one for your security policy.
  • Virtual Connect Network Access Groups is built for secure multi-tenancy allowing you to group VLANs together in security domains and allow server admins to connect only particular VLAN groups to particular server profiles.
  • I’ve had confirmation the Server Profile Wizard is back! Can’t believe HP ever thought it would be a good idea to remove this and have you create each server profile manually.

The Virtual Connect Support Utility has also seen an upgrade to 1.6.0 and HP says “we have listened to our customers asking for enhanced firmware update capabilities and improved management and core networking capabilities from Virtual Connect.” I really hope this means HP has fixed the issues with the firmware upgrade process which can cause network outages when the switches reboot despite HP saying there should be no issues.

HP has also released a new Firmware Best Practices Planning Guide which they announced but as is unfortunately typical for an HP website, the link to the actual guide doesn’t work!

HPs FlexFabric launch page doesn’t really have anything new and on the Get the Details Page, the HP Virtual Connect Cookbooks linked to are now very out of date (references VC firmware 2.30).

I had heard from HP the firmware is due to be officially released mid September but it seems it has been released today.

The release notes state there is a known issue during the upgrade when using FCoE which could cause an outage. The resolved issues list is pretty short so hopefully that means they’ve found all the bugs!

HP has now also posted the PDF and CHM user guides for all versions, scroll down to find the HP Virtual Connect for c-Class BladeSystem Version 3.30 User Guide. The release notes are also on the same page.

I really hope HP hasn’t bitten off more than they can chew with this upgrade meaning we will be getting a 3.31 very soon and should hold off until the bugs have been found.

All I ask is:

  • The firmware upgrade switch reboots do not cause servers to fall off the network.
  • The NO COMM errors to go away.
  • When you insert a blade when the switches are synchronising, make sure Virtual Connect doesn’t get confused causing a network outage.
Categories: Flex-10, HP Tags: , , ,
  1. JLe
    September 27th, 2011 at 22:39 | #1

    Great information!!! Can you direct me to the best complete install/config guide for the HP C7000 with Flex 10 for ESXi 4.1?


  2. October 3rd, 2011 at 14:25 | #2

    Good guide, thanks for sharing.

    JLe, the best practice we have found is to run 2x 10Gig NIC’s to VMware using VMware Network I/O Controll to regulate the bandwidth, Flex10 is fixed, NIOC is fluid.


  3. April 23rd, 2012 at 15:27 | #3

    Julian, I have found this great source of HP Virtual Connect documents. http://hongjunma.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/the-virtual-connect-documentation-links-for-bookmark/

  4. WoodITWork
    May 2nd, 2012 at 10:13 | #4

    @Erik Bussink

    Great, thanks for sharing.

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