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Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

Rob Leist
Occasional Advisor

Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

I'm having some issues figuring out how best to set up Virtual Connect Flex-10 with multiple VLAN's and VMware ESX virtual switches.

We have Flex-10 Virtual Connect in interconnect bays 1 & 2. We have one 10GB uplink connected to port X2 on each module. We have all our server VLAN's including our ESX service console and VMotion VLAN's tagged on these uplinks. We have BL495 server blades with the Flex-10 onboard nics and will be loading ESX 3.5 with update 3.

In ESX we need the service console and VMotion VLAN's to be on one VMware virtual switch and all the other server guest VLAN's can be on another VMware virtual switch.

I originally configured the ethernet settings for "Map VLAN Tags", created a shared uplink set for each uplink and added each tagged VLAN as a network. I could then create a server profile where I mapped service console and VMotion VLAN's to the 1st sub port on both Flex-10 adapters and then mapped all other VLAN's to 2nd sub port on both flex-10 adapters. This would work fine until I needed to add a new VLAN to our ESX virtual swtiches. Virtual Connect will not let me add a network/VLAN to a profile unless the server is powered off. It seems any changes to a profile requires the server to be powered off, why is that? I could see if I was changing MAC's or WWN's or changing the number of nics in the profile, but just adding another VLAN to an existing NIC should not require that. It would be unreasonable to shutdown an ESX host just to add a VLAN.

So then I switched to trying "Tunnel VLAN Tags" mode. I added the same uplink to the 1st and 2nd sub ports on both Flex-10 adapters. But Virtual Connect does not like me mapping the same uplink port to more than one Flex-10 sub NIC, which is what I would need to do to get service console and VMotion on a separate VMware virtual switch.

Seems like to make this work with the current Flex-10 functionality I would have to add additional uplinks just for service console and VMotion.

Any ideas or thoughts?
Thanks,
Rob
4 REPLIES
julianwood
Occasional Advisor

Re: Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

Rob, I've come up with the same problem.

I would also like to use Tunnel VLANs tags so I don't have to specify the VLAn configuration in VC and just pass them through.

Do you have to associate an uplink per FLex-10 sub nic and so cannot share an uplink between different sub nics?
Adrian Clint
Honored Contributor

Re: Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

We are using Map'd VLANS in a similar config to except using FM 2.10 on Virtual Connect 1/10 Enet. And I am sure we can add vlans while a server is powered on. But I know we have to reboot to remove them.
WFHC-WI
Honored Contributor

Re: Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

Hi Rob,

Per the Virtual Connect documentation:
"IMPORTANT: The server blade must be powered off for all profile changes if there is a Flex-10NIC in the server, and the server is connected to an HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 Modules or in an empty bay."

Pg 164 of this document:
http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00865618/c00865618.pdf

I agree that adding a VLAN hardly seems to be a legitimate reason to bounce a host, but unfortunately that is the design. You are right that multiple Flex10 NICs cannot be pointed at the same logical network which means if you tunnel you are stuck with one physical NIC per Flex10 module.

I thought within ESX 3.5u3 you could map multiple VLANs to any virtual switch and have your VMotion and console networks on the same vswitch as your guest traffic.... but I guess I must be thinking of another version..?

At any rate, if you want to do it cheaply, you can run a second CAT6 cable to the Flex-10 and connect it with a 453154-B21 RJ45-SFP adapter. That way you won't eat up an expensive 10GB port on your switches.

good luck!
WFHC-WI
Honored Contributor

Re: Virtual Connect Flex-10 with BL495's and VMware ESX and multible VLAN's

oh, and assign points to your responders! :)