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VMWare support for default NIC on BL465c G1

chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

VMWare support for default NIC on BL465c G1

Ramon had a customer question:

 

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I have a customer with BL465c G1 running ESX 4.1 U1 with the NICs as below. The default NIC is the HP NC370i Multifunction Gigabit Server Adapter.

 

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Lawrence tried to lead Ramon through the maze:

 

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I’ll endeavour to answer your question.  If I were posed with a question from the customer asking if the BL465cG1 is supported under VMware ESX 4.1 U1, the first thing that I’d do is to confirm if this is on HP’s supported OS compatibility list.  I’d start off with www.hp.com/go/vmware to see if such a compatibility list exists for VMware.  There is a link on that page titled “Certified Proliants” and this is where you will get to this page:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/vmware/supportmatrix/hpvmware.html

 

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Then, it’s a matter of working out what the name of the VMware driver is for the embedded LOM on the BL465G1.  If you click on the tick box, you will end up in the software downloads for this server, and eventually you will find that it’s a Broadcom controller, based on the name of the NIC driver

 

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( Taken from http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodNameId=3288154&prodTypeId=3709945&prodSeriesId=2510357&swLang=8&taskId=135&swEnvOID=4091 )

 

I clicked on the most recent link and then found a direct link to the VMware website under the “Releases Notes”

 

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Which led me to the direct VMware download page.

 

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And on the Vmware page, I see the actual file name for the NIC driver, which is “net-tg3”, and the driver version is “3.123b.v40.1”.  Keep in mind this driver version, as we need to check to see if this is the one that is in HP’s ESXi image.

 

So the last verification that I would do is to check to see if this “net-tg3” driver is bundled in HP’s ESXi image; we should always recommend to our customers instead of the generic VMWare ESXi image, because the HP image has embedded WBEM management agents for monitoring the hardware that the standard VMware image does not have.

 

I go to this link which I’ve book-marked:  http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/servers/software/vmware-esxi/driver_version.html

 

To my disappointment, I cannot find ESXi 4.1 U1 but I did find ESXi 4.1 U2:

 

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And I can see that the driver bundled in the HP ESXi 4.1 U2 image is the same “3.123bv40.1-1” as the Vmware website.

 

This table USED to have ESXi 4.1 U1 on it but that information has disappeared.

 

I cannot explain why the VMware table does not show that the NC370i as having support for Vmware ESX 4.1 but through the investigation process above, I am satisfied that this driver “net-tg3” does exist on their website, and this is the right driver for the embedded NC370i on the BL465cG1 drver.  Through this way I have some assurance that it will work and that HP definitely supports this model server on ESXi 4.1.

 

I would say that HP should contact Vmware to update that table shown in your email below.  That VMware table is actually wrong or confusing. 

The “i” suffix, as in NC370i, means that it’s integrated onto a systemboard.

 

Any add on adapter cards that HP sells will have a suffix “T” instead.  So for an add-on adapter, HP would call this card a NC370T – the suffix “T” denotes that its an adapter.

 

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So that table is wrong because it called the NC370i an “adapter”

 

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That Vmware table is also incomplete.  The same net-tg3 driver will work on the adapter (NC375T) just as well as it would work on the embedded LOM (NC375i)

 

Hope this helps!

 

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Thanks to Lawrence for leading us through the maze. Just realize that documentation often lags product releases or updates and you need to be aware that oftens times it may not be correct. Especially if you have multiple companies collaborating.