Few Points to take into consideration before architect HP c7000 Networking for Blades. – VCM (VCEM) firmware 3.x onwards

1 –  What could be VLAN Capacity mode i.e. expanded or Legacy.

Note -Virtual Connect release 3.30 provides an expanded VLAN capacity mode when using Shared Uplink Sets, this mode can be enabled through the Ethernet Settings tab or the VC CLI. The default configuration is “Legacy VLAN Capacity” mode. This scenario does require a change to this setting as Expanded VLAN capacity will be required. Once a domain has been set to Expanded VLAN Capacity, it cannot be reset back to Legacy mode. In order to go back to legacy mode, the Domain would need to be deleted and recreated. Expanded VLAN capacity will be greyed out, this is only supported with 10Gb based VC modules

If the VC domain is not in Expanded VLAN capacity mode, you will receive an error when attempting to create more that 128 VLANs in a SUS. Expended VLAN supports 1000 VLAN/SUS.There are 8 faceplate ports. Ports X1-X4 are SFP+ transceiver slots only; which can accept a 10Gb or 8Gb SFP+ transceiver. Ports X5-X8 are SFP and SFP+ capable, and do not support 8Gb SFP+ transceivers.

2 – The protocol personality of HP Virtual Connect Flex Fabric module uplink ports X1-X4 is determined by the type of SFP+ transceiver plugged in, i.e. – 4/8Gb FC or 10GbE SFP+. The remaining ports X5-X8 are fixed 1/10GbE protocol ports and will not accept FC SFP+ transceivers.

3 –  Enclosure EBAY addressing, OA and ILO IPs must be on same VLAN/Range in order to proper communicate.

4 – It’s up to you how you wants to configure VCM module Active/Active or Active/Passive. an Active/Standby configuration places the redundancy at the VC level, where Active/Active places it at the OS NIC teaming or bonding level.

5 – For supporting A/A or A/P you needs to configure LACP within the same Link Aggregation Group.

6 – Configure FAST MAC Cache Failover settings if you are architecting VCM modules on Active/Passive mode. Enabling Fast MAC Cache Failover forces Virtual Connect to transmit Ethernet packets on newly

active links, which enables the external Ethernet switches to identify the new connection (and update their MAC caches appropriately). This transmission sequence repeats a few times at the MAC refresh interval (five seconds is the recommended interval) and completes in about one minute. ( Not applicable in Active/Active Mode)

7 – VMware does provide several NIC teaming algorithms.. HP will support any of the algorithms except for IP Hash.  IP Hash requires switch assisted load balancing (802.3ad), which Virtual Connect does not support 802.3ad with server downlink ports. HP and VMware recommend using Originating Virtual Port ID with Standard vSwitch, and Physical NIC Load when using vDS and NetIOC,

Note – If configuring with Vsphere5, I would not recommend to implement NetIOC as we are segregating traffic based on different VLAN i.e Vmotion, Management, ILO for different purpose and we do have trunk enabled port configuration at switch level to handle these traffic based on VLAN Packet shaking mechanism

FlexFebric architectural limitation

Note – Each FlexNIC on a physical port can be assigned to a different vNet or remain unassigned, but multiple FlexNICs on a single port cannot be assigned to the same vNet. This is an architectural limitation and will not change (Adding the same vNet multiple times on same single port  looks as a constraint by architectural design & limitation of Flexfebric) means, same vlan like A96 and B96 ( A & B are SUS) cannot be used twice in same profile.


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