HP has released a new version 4.10 of its Virtual Connect firmware for use in HP Blade Chassis. 4.10 is a minor update compared to the release of Virtual Connect 4.01 which added major functionality.
Virtual Connect 4.10 add IPv6 functionality which requires HP Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) 2013.09.0 (B), Onboard Administrator firmware 4.01 and minimum iLO firmware of 1.30.
The ability to hide unused FlexNics from the OS has been added which is very helpful. FlexNics that don’t have a mapping to any server profile connections are not presented to the OS. This means even if you have a full complement of 8 FlexNics defined in your profile but only map 4, your OS will only see 4 Nics rather than 8.
There is a new auto-deployment feature which allows you to configure a Virtual Connect domain from a centralised location using DHCP and TFTP.
SR-IOV support has also been added for direct VM access bypassing the vSwitch on certain FLBs and mezz cards for Gen 8 servers as well as BL620c G7 and BL680c G7.
There are a number of bug fixes as well including some Cisco DAC cables reporting as “Linked/Uncertified” when they should work.
Make sure to read the Release Notes in case there is anything else that may trip you up.
There is also an updated Virtual Connect Support Utility which can be used to update the firmware.
HP has also released an update to the Onboard Administrator firmware to 4.01 which adds IPv6 support, a few new hardware models and a list of bug fixes.
There is a problem with Emulex firmware prior to version 4.1.450.7 that can result in SmartLink otherwise known as Device Control Channel (DCC) not working with a 10Gb physical link when you have full height blades. When you upgrade the OA, you may lose network connectivity. Update the NIC firmware and look at Customer Advisory c03600027 before upgrading the OA.
HP has updated its ESXi customised images to reflect the recent release of ESXi 5.5 as well as its September 2013 Service Pack for Proliant.
HP’s customised images are fully integrated sets of specific drivers and software that are tested to work together. You can see the list of Driver Versions in HP supplied VMware ESX/ESXi images.
I have done an extensive update of my HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 & VMware ESX(i) pre-requisites post which includes these new customised images.
HP Custom Image for VMware ESXi 5.5.0 GA – September 2013:
HP Custom Image for VMware ESXi 5.1 Update 1 – September 2013:
The new and updated features for the HP vSphere 5.5 /5.1 customised Images for September 2013 include:
- Provider Features
- Report Smart array driver name and version.
- Report SAS driver name and version.
- Report SCSI driver name and version
- Report Firmware version of ‘System Programmable Logic Device’.
- Report SPS/ME firmware.
- Added SCSI HBA Provider.
- Report IdentityInfoType and IdentityInfoValue for PowerControllerFirmware class.
- IPv6 support for OA and iLO.
- Report Memory DIMM part number for HP Smart Memory.
- Added new ‘Test SNMP Trap’.
- Updated reporting of memory configuration to align with iLO and health Driver.
- AMS features
- Report running SW processes to HP Insight Remote Support.
- Report vSphere 5.5 SNMP agent management IP and enable VMware vSphere 5.5 SNMP
- agent to report iLO4 management IP.
- IML logging for NIC, and SAS traps.
- Limit AMS log file size and support log redirection as defined by the ESXi host parameter:
- Utilities features
- HPTESTEVENT – New utility to generate test WBEM indication and test SNMP trap.
- HPSSACLI – New utility to replace hpacucli
- HPONCFG – HPONCFG utility, displays the Server Serial Number along with the Server Name when using hponcfg –g switch, to extract the Host System Information.