Archive for May, 2013

HP Blade Emulex NC55X Nic firmware may cause network disconnections

May 29th, 2013 5 comments

HP has released an advisory saying that with versions of the Emulex Nic driver firmware pre 4.1.450.7 Device Control Channel (DCC) may not work which could cause your blades with NC55x Nics to drop off the network if the upstream network connection fails. This has been an issue which has plagued HP blade networking since the beginning and was a particular problem with the G6 Broadcom Nics so its disconcerting to see similar issues resurface.

4.1.450.7  is older firmware however and my post HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 & VMware ESX(i) pre-requisites recommends Emulex firmware version 4.2.401.605 so if you haven’t updated, now is the time.

HP blade servers have hard wired connections to their immediate upstream Virtual Connect switch via the chassis backplane. This means in normal operation the Nic on the blade will never see a down state  unless the physical Virtual Connect switch is powered off or removed. This would still be the case even if the upstream network connection failed if it wasn’t for DCC. DCC is a firmware component where Virtual Connect sees all uplinks for an Ethernet Network are down and then sends a command down to the individual Flex Nics to tell them to mark the port as down so the blade can fail over traffic to another nic in a port group or team. DCC  is what SmartLink does and requires coordination between Virtual Connect firmware and the blade Nic firmware which in the past has caused a lot of issues.


Something I noticed in the advisory however was you can actually now see whether DCC/SmartLink is working for each individual network connection. Navigate to the Interconnect Bays in the VCM GUI, then navigate to the server ports and view the DCC state:


{Source: HP}

This looks like a recent addition to Virtual Connect firmware and will certainly help troubleshooting network connection issues but hopefully the DCC disconnect debacle won’t be repeated.

Categories: ESX, Flex-10, HP, VMware Tags: , , ,

HP WBEM providers for ESXi 5.x may report incorrect version numbers

May 29th, 2013 No comments

HP has released a customer advisory saying the HP Insight Management WBEM Providers reports the incorrect “VersionString,” “MinorVersion,” and “RevisionNumber” properties in the SMX_SoftwareIdentity class output in HP SIM. Although this is a minor issue, it may trip you up if you use HP SIM for software version reporting so this is a heads up.

This issue is corrected in HP WBEM Providers for VMware ESXi 5.0 and vSphere 5.1 Version 03.02.00.

A workaround is to use the following command to get the correct version of the WBEM provider.

esxcli software vib list | grep smx
Categories: ESX, HP Tags: , ,