Updated be2net driver fixes issues with G7 blades

When we started to deploy our HP ProLiant BL620c G7 blade servers we stumbled over some issues with the driver (be2net) for the built-in FlexNIC adapters. They are documented in the VMware KB:
We followed the recommendation in these articles and updated the be2net driver to version 2.102.554.0. However, we still experienced hangs of the ESXi host and network outages whenever the host was rebooted or had its dvS-connections reconfigured.
These hangs were accompanied by VMKernel.log-messages like this one:

... vmkernel: 10:06:11:06.193 cpu0:4153)WARNING: CpuSched: 939: world 4153(helper11-0) did not yield PCPU 0 for 2993 msec, refCharge=5975 msec, coreCharge=6374 msec,

After opening a support call with VMware we finally found out that these problems were caused by improper handling of VLAN hardware offloading by the be2net driver, and that they only occur when you are using distributed virtual switches (dvS) like we did.
So, after configuring the blade hosts with virtual standard switches (vSS) the problem went away.

Since then we were waiting for a fixed be2net-driver (from Emulex) to be able to return to dvS. We really did not want to abandon this option because it offers some benefits (load based teaming of the physical uplinks and Network I/O Control) over the standard switch.

Today, the waiting finally ended. Emulex has finished the fixed driver, it is available here:
VMware ESX/ESXi 4.x Driver CD for Emulex OneConnect 10Gb Ethernet Controller

Update (18. Jul 2011): In the meantime VMware made two new KB articles available that reference the problems described here and the new driver:
In the latter one it is also recommended to update the NIC's firmware. The current one (as of today) is available at HP as a bootable ISO file. Thanks to makö for pointing this out in this post's comments.


  1. We just recently ran into a pretty similar weird issue on our 490c G7 blades with those Emulex OneConnect NICs:

    When we assigned a certain VLAN ID to a VMkernel NIC, the ESXi host would lose all its network connectivity permanently. The only way to fix that was to change the VLAN ID and reboot the host (reloading the be2net module would probably have done the job too, but that didn't work due to the module being in use/busy). I tried a dozen other VLAN IDs but it only occurred with one certain ID. Huh?
    It took some time to get to the bottom of this weird issue, when I noticed the message “list of pnics opted out” in the messages/hostd logs. I recalled that there were a lot of issues around certain VirtualConnect Firmware and ESX NIC driver versions as described in http://www.wooditwork.com/2010/08/09/flex-10-esx-pre-requisites/

    Then I found the updated be2net driver you are linking to and rolled it out via update manager, but the problem still persisted. It was then that I found KB article 2001858 mentioned above, which also states that the Emulex OneConnect firmware must be updated as well.
    And finally, after updating the NIC firmware from 3.102.517.703 to, it now works without issues.

    The firmware can be downloaded here:
    (While it only says, it updates to too)

    Bootable ISO:

    (Boy, do I love HP links.)

  2. Thanks makö, I updated my post accordingly.
    - Andreas

  3. Ok, there seems to be a lot more to it than just that. This blog features some really interesting posts around all these Emulex issues:

    He also describes a vCenter Plugin for managing Emulex CNAs:

  4. Looks like HP released a fix.


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