Re: VMWare ESX 5.5 and drivers \ firmware with HP image (1193 Views)
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Neighborhood Admin
chuckk281
Posts: 3,134
Registered: ‎01-09-2007
Message 1 of 2 (1,299 Views)

VMWare ESX 5.5 and drivers \ firmware with HP image

Eirik had an OS driver issue working with a customer:

 

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Just throwing this curious question out there.

 

I know we have been very strict with the firmware \ driver alignment of the Emulex \ FlexFabric cards, however at a “early adopter” customer yesterday I noticed something interesting..

 

Customer had installed ESX 5.5 HP image, this image comes with version 10.0.545.8 of the driver, however, when checking the ESX5.5 driver disks on vmware.com I found 10.0.545.9 which states “This is the first release of the elxnet driver” which baffles me a bit..

 

Also, when running the default way I use to identify drivers on ESX-server (running ‘ethtool –i vmnic0’) I only get back “no such device” with the HP driver installed..

 

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Reply from Lawrence:

 

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I didn’t see anyone reply to your question last year, so hope my response 2 months later is still OK.  J

 

So far, it looks like HP only has one vSphere 5.5 customised image (released in Sept 2013) and it has the following native drivers for the Emulex NICs like the 551i, 553i and 554FLB.  The tables below shows the versions that I could find:

 

Driver name

Function

HP Customised image version

Date released

 

Download location:    (these drivers already are in the HP 5.5 image)

Required CNA firmware version

elxnet

Ethernet driver

10.0.575.7

2013-09-13

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI55-EMULEX-ELXNET-1005757&productId=353

4.6.247.5

Scsi-lpfc

FCoE driver

10.0.575.8

2013-09-19

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI55-EMULEX-LPFC-1005758&productId=353

4.6.247.5

 

Driver name

Function

Non HP certified versions

Date released

Download location:

Required CNA firmware version

elxnet

Ethernet driver

10.0.575.9

2013-10-28

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI55-EMULEX-ELXNET-1005759&productId=323

4.6.247.5

Elxnet

Ethernet driver

10.0.725.2

2013-12-02

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI55-EMULEX-ELXNET-1007252&productId=353

4.9.311.6

elxnet

Ethernet driver

10.0.727.28

2013-12-24

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESX55-EMULEX-ELXNET-10072728&productId=353

???

Scsi-lpfc

FCoE driver

10.0.575.10

2013-10-29

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXI55-EMULEX-LPFC-10057510&productId=351

???

Scsi-lpfc

FCoE driver

10.0.662.204

2013-11-22

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESX55-EMULEX-LPFC-100662204&productId=353

???

 

The latest version available from VMware has not been tested by HP’s VMware labs so customers might want to stick with the drivers supplied in the HP customized image.

 

What really disappoints me is that the elxnet (and scsi-lpfc )driver versions do not use a numbering scheme which makes it easy to match to the Emulex CNA firmware version.

 

The proliferation of newer drivers for vSphere 5.5 newer than what HP has included in the customized image worries me a little, as it could mean that there are some bug fixes that have been addressed but not included in the HP image.

 

To check the elxnet driver version, there are two commands you can run:

esxcli network nic get -n vmnic0 (if vmnic0 doesn’t work, try the others like 1, 2, 3, etc)

               or

esxcli system module get -m elxnet

 

I am really interested to know how you went with your customer’s issues, and no doubt others are too.  Has the root cause of these issues been identified yet?  Are they using Cisco Nexus 1000V in their environment by any chance?  (there are known, unresolved issues with the Nexus 1000V on vSphere 5.5)

 

I have customers who want to go to vSphere 5.5 but I’m very discouraged by the apparent lack of stability.

 

**************

 

Comments? How is ESX5.5 working for you?

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Occasional Visitor
Damian_Rivas
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-21-2014
Message 2 of 2 (1,193 Views)

Re: VMWare ESX 5.5 and drivers \ firmware with HP image

From my experience as a VMWare consultant I have encountered this Nexus/Emulex driver bug after an ESXi 5.5 upgrade on HP BL460c G7 servers which have Emulex adapter.

 

The HP customized ESXi 5.5 image was used to perform the upgrade, after that, only some VLANs were visible through the adapter. There was also a PSOD cause of the elxnet driver.

 

I've tried many many things, like reinstalling the cisco vem package on the host, rebooting, getting the host out from vDS then added again, and nearly kill somebody because of frustration. After all of that, I've changed the elxnet driver to the legacy one be2net on the affected host and rebooted. Once the server was up again it was now able to see all the VLANs, but of course ESXi is not running elxnet which is the latest and proper driver. However, the host is working fine, no signs of instability. But as far as I know there is still no official fix for the Emulex/Nexus bug on ESXi 5.5.

 

Other blade servers on the environment like BL460c G6 have Broadcom adapter and there is no problem after upgrade there.

 

Upgrade to vSphere 5.5 is proving to show some weird obstacles, this bug is a clear example, therefore I'm still telling many customers to hold with 5.1 a little longer until things get more stable. Compatibility Matrix are not being as accurate as should be, and the impact of these bugs can be so big that it can delay vSphere upgrade project completion time a lot, because customer wants the IT department to work after hours to upgrade hosts that could be treated perfectly during business hours through maintenance mode providing the rest of the cluster has enough resources to satisfy VMs demands.

 

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If anybody is interested in the workaround, here are the commands that you must use to change to the legacy driver:

 

esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=elxnet

esxcli system module set --enabled=true --module=be2net

 

Reboot the host and everything should be normal again.

 

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I hope there is an official resolution on this issue soon.

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