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HP Blade Converged network and Storage adaptor concept explanation ?

Posted on 2014-12-04
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Last Modified: 2014-12-14
All,

I'm getting confused myself here when trying to update the network card driver + firmware and also the Storage Fibre channel HBA card driver + firmware before upgrading to ESXi 5.5.

from the HP website: http://h20566.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?sp4ts.oid=5215333&docId=emr_na-c04218016&docLocale=en_US it saysthat the firmware update can be applicable to both hardware ?

from the vSphere console, the network is known as: Emulex Corporation HP Emulex FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port 554FLB Adapter

but from the VMware ESXi SSH console, the hardware or the driver is known as be2net ?

as for the Storage adapter, from vSphere console it is known as ISP2532-based 8Gb Fibre Channel to PCI Express HBA

So I'm really getting confused in this matter.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40482384
it's a device which has two functions.

it will also have a network device vmnic, and vmhba reference, one is network, and the other is storage.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40482439
But how come the name of the driver is different ?
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LVL 118
ID: 40482474
Because that's the way they have developed the driver.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40487903
ok, I now get more detailed information by using the steps described in this KB article: http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=emr_na-c03508269

using "ethtool -i vmnic0" in the SSH console.

So how do I update the network card driver without impacting the ESXi server VM network or causing outage ?
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LVL 118
ID: 40488051
You cannot update your network card driver, without expecting a network outage!
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40488102
ah ok, but from VMware ESXi perspective, do i need to upload a file into the ESXi and then execute the package ?

because if it is just a iLO firmware, BIOS and HPStorageArray controller firmware update, I can do that using HP SPP bootable .ISO with no issue.

I'm not sure how to perform VMware ESXi driver update for the Blade server. any pointer or comment would be greatly appreciated.
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LVL 118
ID: 40488308
You need to upload the vib file (zip)  to the ESXi server and install it.

Let me check the driver, and I'll give you the command to update.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40488667
Thanks Andrew,

my current HP Blade BL 465c G8 is currently running FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port 554FLB Adapter with the following NIC information:

pNic      DriverName      DriverVersion      DriverFirmware      bus-info
vmnic0      be2net      4.6.247.10      10.2.340.19      0000:04:00.0

that was the information I can gather using "ethtool -i vmnic0" command.
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LVL 118
ID: 40488738
I'm just checking back through this article, and is it applicable to you?

First the Advisory is for a G8, and BE3 nic ?

Did HP suggest this is for your server ?
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Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40488759
I don't know, my HP Blades are BL 465c G7 and G8 (mixed) within the same c7000 enclosure.

So for Vmware ESXi is this the correct one:
http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?sp4ts.oid=5215387&swItemId=MTX_36203ea2d4154750ba24a25ae4&swEnvOid=4166#tab2
 
Because it contains:
CNA (BE2) firmware 4.9.416.2 --> is this the correct driver for my ESXi vNIC
CNA (BE3) firmware 10.2.340.19
CNA (XE100 series) firmware 10.2.340.22
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40488769
This is related to the question that I posted long time ago: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_28544697.html

So I guess, I will have to update the VMware ESXi driver and then the firmware of the network card on the problem server only, but I confused myself here which one is the correct driver or hardware model.
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LVL 118
ID: 40488809
That is the correct firmware, it does not make any difference, on OS, because you will have to do this OFFLINE.

e.g. ESXi server down.

Network drivers are here...

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/datacenter_cloud_infrastructure/vmware_vsphere/5_5#drivers_tools
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40490421
ok, so is this the correct one for the Emulex Corporation HP Emulex FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port 554FLB Adapter ?

VMware ESXi5.5 Driver for Emulex and OEM Branded Adapters.      2014-11-05
VMware ESXi ESXi5.5 NIC Driver for Emulex and OEM Branded Adapters.      2014-02-03

or this one:

VMware ESXi 5.5 Driver CD for Emulex OneConnect OCe11102/OCe10102 10GbE Converged Network Adapter (Network Function)

my HP Blade server skills is very limited :-/
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LVL 118
ID: 40490687
let me check
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Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40498651
thanks.
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40498761
I've checked those driver CDs above, and they contain a network driver which is the elxnet driver, not the be2net driver.

and you want to update the be2net   driver ?

because that's the one you have seen in use, what version are you using of this?

I've not been able to find a later be2net driver than what is included in 5.5.

But this would seem to be a can of worms, see here..

https://communities.vmware.com/thread/463557?start=15&tstart=0
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Author Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40498790
ok, so in this case, can I just get away by using the ESXi 5.5u1 installation .ISO from VMware for HP ?
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 40498798
That is correct 5.5 u1 and u2, seem to have the latest drivers for the be2net driver.

BUT, it would appear this network interface can operate in two different modes, legacy mode when it used the be2net driver and elxnet driver mode.

and there does seem to be some issue as seen in the VMware Community, but I'm not seeing any documentation for FlexFabric 10Gb 2-port 554FLB Adapter, only the 553.

Which is maybe why I would suggest speaking to HP, and obtaining clarification.
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by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40498800
OK, so in this case I'll make sure that I apply the latest firmware update to all of the HP Blades components using the latest HP SPP while it is still running on VMware ESXi 5.1u1 and then use the HP ESXi ISO installation for the latest ESXi 5.5u2 to perform upgrade or clean installation ?

Would that be correct way to do it ?
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LVL 118
ID: 40498810
Correct, although personally, we prefer to complete a NEW INSTALLATION, rather than an upgrade.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Senior IT System Engineer
ID: 40498816
Thanks a lot
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