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Virtual Connect Flex-10 and ESXi 4 U2

Antonio Milanese
Trusted Contributor

Virtual Connect Flex-10 and ESXi 4 U2

Recently one of our client bought a new c7000 equipped with flex-10 vc modules to consolidate/virtualize some workloads, and so i've started researching for the best "cookbook" to implement flex-10 and ESXi 4 with DCC/smartlinks but now i'm really lost in traslation summaryzing the mixed info and feedbacks i've found on HP/VMWARE websites, forums,  blogs..

Yes i've already read all (i'm aware off ofcorse=) HP flex-10 guides/cookbooks and the FAQ in the forum
but I’ve found some other mixed experinces out there

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1556215
http://www.virtualtroll.com/?p=368
http://virtualnut.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/issues-with-esx-4-x-hp-virtual-connect-flex-10-firmware-v2-30/
http://frankdenneman.nl/2009/04/flex-10-lessons-learned/

and neither VMWARE nor HP have a clear (no HCL are messed) compatibility matrix  on their websites, something like SPOCK streams.

Essentially I'd like to get some advice or a blueprint on ESX build / firmware / driver compatibility to configure flex-10 vc in the following (and maybe general) scenario:

C7000 pls BL-495G6 pls NC532i (arrg those pesky broadcoms!)
2 FLEX-10 VC + ACTIVE/ACTIVE + VLAN MAPPED VCDOMAIN
2 SUS Smartlink enabled
ESXi U1 or U2
PROCURVE 2900al/5300 and CISCO 3500 in the mix

According to what i've read i'm thinking about two possible solutions to have DCC and smartlinks working (vNic beacons not feasible too many vlans broadcasts):

 

assuming VC FW >= 2.32 + NC532i code 5.017 + >= OA 3.0

 

1) the semi-official DCC supported ESXi U1 +  bnx2x version 1.48.107.v40.2 + VMWARE KB1017458 patchset
2) the official (but PSOD reported) ESXi U2 + bnx2x version 1.52.12.v40.3

 

Which is best/working?

Thanks in advance and sorry for my bad english =)

Antonio