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ESXi 4.1 Host Networking Issues

ryandavis
ryandavis asked
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Per the title, I am experiencing a network issue while trying to connect two ESXi 4.1.0 hosts (HP ProLiant DL580 G7). Each hosts will have two network connections - one to a Cisco 3560 PoE-48 switch and another to a Cisco 2960G (different VLANs).

The problem is that both hosts are unable to maintain a consistent connection to either network. Varying switch and adapter ports, as well as speed and duplex settings have been tried, but the servers are still unable to establish and maintain a consistent connection.

A few times, the hosts would connect and we are able to configure the vSwitches and VM IP addresses, but shortly thereafter, the connections would drop and the physical adapters would appear as 'down' in the vSphere Client console.

The are also two recurring events on one host - Physical NIC vmnic5 linkstate is up/Physical NIC vmnic5 linkstate is down. (every 10 seconds)                          

Any advice on troubleshooting and resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Looks like port flapping, have you tried updating the firmware of the NIC?

what NICs are you using?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
changed the patch cable?
Check for broadcasts on the network also

Author

Commented:
We tried using both the onboard server adapter (NetXen HP NV375i Integrated Quad Port) as well as two Intel NC360T PCI Dual Port adapters.

No firmware upgrade has been attempted yet.

Would the switch ports speed/duplex setting need to be set to the exact setting of the server port - or would Auto work?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
it depends and this is open to debate, we generally hard code speeds and duplex settings up to 100mb, but our Cisco engineer state you should leave gig ports to auto.

But both sides should match, but if issues exist hard code on both sides, weve had issues with cables where gig would not negiotate, and fixing caused more issues, change cable problems went away.

Commented:
The general rule with network port speed and dulpex is set them hard, then you know where you stand.
Of course this is a general rule.
For me I always set the speed and duplex hard both ends. If I see issues I then revert to auto.
Set your NIC's and switch port hard..
Download the HP Firmware DVD, 9.3 is the current version. Upgrade ALL firmware.

Now lets talk about your network setup.
You say you have 2 nics connected to 2 networks. do both networks have default routes? Can each of these segments route to each other? if so you are probably creating a routing loop or best case you have packets traversing the alternative path.
Be clear about your intended Network design for your ESX environment.
eg. 2 Ports for your Service console.
2 Ports for IP Storage
2 ports for guest IP traffic.

You need to put some thought and design into the network. If not your expensive DL580g7's will perform terribly..
Don't use the ESX Host Server to route traffic between segments. This job is best done by a dedicated router. (try vyatta at worst case)  
We tried a few things and eventually seem to have 'figured it out'.

At the root of the issue seemed to be IPv6 being enabled on the Windows Server 2008 VMs (on the ESXi host). Once IPv6 was disabled on all of the servers, one of the network adapters came online (after being set to 100 Mb/s, Full to match the switch port speed).

Eventually we were able to get all of the necessary adapters connected, first with the above change, then  eventually by plugging them in new switch ports.
Ernie BeekSenior infrastructure engineer
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Commented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.

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