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NC552m NIC on BL460c G8 intermittely drops off in VMWare 5.1.

Mike O.
Regular Advisor

NC552m NIC on BL460c G8 intermittely drops off in VMWare 5.1.

We have several C7000 chassis, with a number of G7 and G8 blades running VMWare 5.1 update2 (using the latest HP customized image). Most of our blades are the 465 AMD based models. Our standard G8 configuration has the on board FLB Broadcom flex-10 NIC, and an NC552 Emulex flex-10 on mezz2.

 

We've set up the NIC's to define all four possible flex NIC's from each port, but we currently only have the first on each set up at 10Gb. VMWare sees them as vmnic0 and vmnic1 on the Broadcom, and vmnic8 and vmnic9 as the Emulex.

We've been running this configuration for most of the year on the 465 G8.

 

Recently we purchased some Intel based 460 G8 blades for a new project. We configured them with the NIC's the same as the other G8's, with the 330FLB Broadcom, and the NC552 Emulex. I've installed and configured them the same as the other G8's (in their own VSphere cluster). I put a couple of minor test VM's on them to verify that the function OK.

The seem to work OK at first, but after a few hours it looks like the Emulex hardware just disappears. On the Network Adapters page, vmnic8 and vmnic9 are still listed, but show as "down", and the bold print line with "Emulex Corp HP Flex-10…552M Adapter" line is missing.

 

I reboot and everything is working OK for a while. It's done it on all three of the new 460 blades I've installed (not at the same time).  There doesn't seem to be any trigger event, VMWare just logs a message that "physical NIC vmnic8 is down".

 

The firmware and drivers match the latest in the HP recipe page. The OA and virtual connect firmware is also up to date. The other G8's in the same chassis, with the same NIC configuration are working fine.

 

I'll probably open a support ticket (with HP or VMWare, not sure which...), but I'm hoping someone else has seen this and can give me some advice.

 

Mike O.

 

3 REPLIES
Mike O.
Regular Advisor

Re: NC552m NIC on BL460c G8 intermittely drops off in VMWare 5.1.

I may have found the issue.   For the last few months I've been using the HP Esxi 5.1 update 2 image from September 2014 (2000251).  This has all the latest drivers recommened in the HP recipe page.  

 

On one of the "problem" blades, I rebuit it using the HP customized "update1" image and everything worked OK.  I then went applied the updates individually from the later HP image.

 

So far, I've updated everythign EXCEPT the Emulex driver 10.2.293.0.  The server is currently using the  4.x version.  The server has been performing perfectly.

 

The odd thing is the the 10.2.293.0 version of the Emulex driver has been working OK on most of our AMD based G8 blades.  I'm guessing that some other module in VMWare that is BL460/intel-specific in VMWare is having an issue with that Emulex driver.

 

 

Mike O.
Regular Advisor

Re: NC552m NIC on BL460c G8 intermittely drops off in VMWare 5.1.

Found more confirmation.  Since I narrowed it down to the Emulex driver, I did some searching on the specific driver version 10.2.293.0.  I came across several sites where users were reporting problems with that version, with the workaround to downgrade the driver to the previous version (4.9.288.0).   I've done this on the ones that I has having problems with and they are now working fine.

 

I'm not sure if I will downgrade the AMD based blades that we've been running with the 10.x driver for the last couple of months.  They've been working OK; it problem appears to be only in the 460/Intel based blades.

Server-Support
Super Advisor

Re: NC552m NIC on BL460c G8 intermittely drops off in VMWare 5.1.

Yes, I also having the same problem in my AMD Blades server HP BL 465c G7 and G8 with the following specs:

 

Emulex Corporation HP Emulex FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port 554FLB Adapter

 

upon Googling around the web about this issue, I have stumbled upon this Advisories: http://h20566.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?sp4ts.oid=5215333&docId=emr_na-c04218016&docLocale=en_US

 

which suggest me to upgrade the firmware from:

 

driver: be2net
version: 4.6.247.10
firmware-version: 4.9.311.20

 

into:

 

driver: be2net
version: 4.6.247.10
firmware-version: 10.2.340.19

 

I have successfully auto-update the firmware "accidentally" by using the September 2014 SPP, but if you want to update just this one NIC specifically, you can use: http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?sp4ts.oid=5215387&swItemId=MTX_36203ea2d4154750ba24a25ae4&swEnvOid=4166#tab2