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Network issue with Solaris 10 on VMware ESX

Posted on 2009-05-02
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I have installed Solaris 10 U6 on VMware VI3 ESX 3.5 U4.  Both are fully patched and as up to date on drivers as possible.  The server hardware is HP DL580 connected to the network with copper and 6 NICs or a HP Blade environment using the Flex 10 virtual connection.  The core switch is a Cisco 6509.  To my knowledge all firmware is either up to date or in full compliance with the VMware HCL.

The Solaris VM on very random occasions will drop SSH sessions and I can see it lose pings.  It is very intermittent and the way it fails would almost look like hardware.  A continuous ping can work for long periods of time then fail 5 times, continue on again and so on.  This does not seem to have a specific pattern but causes a lot of performance issues and connectivity loss.  I have VMotioned the VM between the DL580s and the Blades and I have the same problems.  No matter where I put Solaris 10 in my VMware environment I have performance and connectivity issues.  Windows and other servers in this environment are not affected.  Has anyone seen this before?  I hope you can help.  Thanks!

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Question by:dcoluzzi
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by:za_mkh
ID: 24287341
Have you installed the VMWare Tools for the Solaris client in your VM?
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by:dcoluzzi
ID: 24287403
VMware tools have been installed.  Let me also mention that this is the 64-bit version of Solaris 10 and it is using the e1000 driver.  VMware does not use the vmxnet driver for 64-bit Solaris.

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by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24289131
Please check the speed and duplex setting of the physical NIC where the vSwitch of this VM is connected to.
If the speed is set to Auto, manually set it to 1000 for Gigabit Ethernet and 100 for Fast Ethernet.
Also changes the duplex setting to Full/Half Duplex as per your requirements.

Please update your findings.

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by:dcoluzzi
ID: 24296751
From the physical switch all the way down everything is set to 1000 full EXCEPT for Solaris 10.  Solaris 10 does not support a hard configuration of 1000 full.  We have changed the config file to attempt a negotiation at 1000 full first but that's the best we can do in this regard.  The results are the same with intermittent packet loss.

The switch ports and physical NICs on the Blade environment and the DL580 environment are all hard configured to 1000 full.

I am including a packet sniff of the failure we captured using Wireshark.  I saved it as a text file so I could upload it but if you open it in Wireshark it will format correctly.

Capture.txt
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by:vmwarun - Arun
ID: 24302855
I suggest that you take a look at Page 346 of this guide - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/GuestOS_guide.pdf
It contains some of the issues which might creep up on Solaris 10 Installations in VMware ESX.
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by:nyaar
ID: 24303705
Do you have more than one default router on the Solaris?
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by:dcoluzzi
ID: 24305124
Only 1 default gateway on Solaris.  I should also mention that this is effecting multiple Solaris installs and not just one.


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by:dcoluzzi
ID: 24377595
We have tried Solaris 10 on bare metal with the same results.  We have run every update Sun has to offer so we are at the most current patch and driver levels available.  In doing research at the switch level we noticed that the MAC address for Solaris servers keep dropping from the CAM table.  Our current workaround is to statically map the MAC in the CAM or to have the Solaris box run a continuous ping to its gateway.  Obviously neither workaround is optimal.

Does anyone know of a setting on the NIC or something I might be missing?  Why would only Solaris 10 servers drop their MAC from the CAM table?

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dcoluzzi earned 0 total points
ID: 25418700
We moved all Solaris guests onto their own VLAN and this resolved the issue.

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