HP releases drivers for Emulex 10 GbE nic solving virtual machine disconnect when VMQ is enabled

Update September 15:

Someone reported that after installing this update on a HP Gen7 the problem still exists. 

Hyper-V virtual machines running on servers with Emulex network interface cards can randomly disconnect from the network when VMQ has been enabled. This is experienced by many. The issue both occurs on Emulex cards as well as on OEM Emulex cards. HP servers and some others use those Emulex 10 GbE cards.

See my earlier post for more info.

Today HP released a new driver  which solves this issue.  The driver is included in the  Service Pack for Proliant 2014.09.

However Emulex advised odd ping may still drop but no disconnects.  In the near future Emulex will do a complete rewrite of the driver to also fix the dropped pings.

Tim Johnson was so kind to keep me informed about this update. He  told me after installing this driver update he did not experience disconnects for the last 7 days.

HP-emulex-driver

Webinar: Building a Highly Available Hyper-V Cluster Using Free Microsoft Hyper-V Server

 Webinar: Building a Highly Available Hyper-V Cluster Using Free Microsoft Hyper-V  Server

 Tuesday, September 9, 2:00 pm ET / 11:00 am PT
 Featured Speakers: Alexander Karavanov, Virtualization Security Engineer, 5nine Software
Max Kolomyeytsev, Product Manager, StarWind Software

Join virtualization experts from 5nine Software and StarWind to learn how to create a cost effective and highly available Hyper-V failover cluster.
Discover best practices on how to:

  • Benefit from highly available Hyper-V failover cluster
  • Simplify the cluster and VM management using 5nine Manager for Hyper-V
  • Cut costs, increase resilience and minimize hardware footprint with StarWind Virtual SAN
  • Adopt the needs of your environment with easy scale up and scale out

Registration page: http://redmondmag.com/webcasts/2014/08/starwind-sep9.aspx?partnerref=starwind4

 

BSOD and kernel panic in virtual machines running vSphere or Hyper-V on Intel E5-v2 & E7-v2 CPUs

There is a serious issue with virtual machines running on vSphere or Hyper-V on hosts with Intel’s Ivy Bridge, Ivy Town, and Haswell processors (E5 v2/v3 and E7 v2/v3).

Virtual machine might randomly crash showing a Blue Screen of Death BSOD (Windows clients and Windows Server) or a kernel panic for Linux systems.

This issue occors on  Intel Xeon E5-2400v2, Intel Xeon E5-2600v2, Xeon E5-4600 v2, Intel Xeon E7-4800 v2, or Intel Xeon E7-8800 v2 Processors.

This issue does NOT affect servers configured with Intel Xeon E5-2400 series, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series, or Intel Xeon E5-4600 series processors. 

Microsoft reported this issue in this blog.

Microsoft provides a microcode update for Intel processors in Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This update improves the reliability of x64-based versions of Windows Server that use certain Intel processors. A hotfix for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be available in September, 2014.

Download the update here.

 

VMware reports the issue on this KB. Advised solution is to update the BIOS. When no BIOS update is available  change the virtual machine’s MMU mode on the affected host to Software. Instructions on changing the  virtual machine monitor mode (1036775) as described  here.

Taken from the HP site:

Intel has identified a processor issue where Virtual Machines (VMs) running on VMware ESX 5.x or Microsoft Hyper-V may experience a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in a Windows virtual machine or a kernel panic in a Linux virtual machine when using VMware ESX 5.x or Microsoft Hyper-V. This issue affects Intel Xeon E5-2400 series v2, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series v2, Intel Xeon E5-4600 series v2, Intel Xeon E7-4800 series v2, and Intel Xeon E7-8800 series v2 processors.

Intel has released an updated microcode for impacted processors that addresses this issue. Updated revisions of HP ProLiant System ROMs for impacted servers include this microcode. This issue is NOT unique to HP ProLiant servers and could impact any system utilizing affected processors if the updated microcode is not utilized.

This issue does NOT affect servers configured with Intel Xeon E5-2400 series, Intel Xeon E5-2600 series, or Intel Xeon E5-4600 series processors.

Dell has an update available here.

Someone experienced this issue on HP DL380 Gen8 servers. Update of the BIOS resolved the issue.

ICT-Freak.nl has a blogpost on this issue.

Gartner releases Magic Quadrant for x86 server virtualization. vSphere and Hyper-V lead, Citrix drops

As every year in early July, Gartner released its Magic Quadrant (MQ) for x86 server virtualization. This document provides an analysis of the market for x86 server virtualization. Again VMware is the clear leader as it has been since 5 year. Microsoft Hyper-V is the only other solution in the leaders quadrant. Citrix XenServer is dropping each year as the company is now targeting cloud virtualization and desktop virtualization.  It is now positioned in the ‘niche player’ quadrant.

The distance between VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V is in the MQ for 2014 about the same as in the MQ for 2013.

New in the 2014 MQ  is Huawai. Their x86 hypervisor is called FusionSphere and according Gartner it is mainly used in Brazil, Russia, India and China. FusionSphere is mainly running on Huawai serverhardware and primarily in China.

The full report can be read here.

See my post on the release of the Magic Quadrant 2013 here.

gartner-mq-2014

Looking for a cost effective way to manage Hyper-V? Introducing 5nine Manager 5.0 for Hyper-V

For managing Hyper-V servers, virtual networks, storage and virtual machines customers are required to buy the complete Microsoft System Center Suite. System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), which is used for management of Hyper-V, is not available as a separate product. Customers have to buy the complete suite including backup, monitoring and deployment tools.

For small organizations the costs of System Center can be unattractive especially because they get functionality they probably either already have or will not need. Not every organization needs Configuration Manager or Operations Manager.

5nine Manager 5.0 for Hyper-V is a nice alternative to buying the full blown System Center suite . Version 5 has been released end of June. Even if Hyper-V is not used this product is usefull. If Windows Server Core (no GUI) is used 5nine Manager offers a GUI to manage those servers.

The product has some unique features like the ability to manage the Hyper-V role installed on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 which Microsoft Hyper-V Manager nor SCVMM is able to.

5nine-hyperv-5-2

Another very nice feature is the ability to manage the free Microsoft Hyper-V Server. This software once installed does not come with a graphical userinterface. Basic configuration can be done in a command prompt. Advanced configuration needs to be performed using tools like PowerShell.  5nine Manager offers a graphical userinterface for Hyper-V installs without a GUI.

It is available in three editions:

  1. 5nine Manager free edition
  2. 5nine Manager
  3. 5nine Manager with antivirus.

The free edition only allows to do basic management. Actions like performing a Live Migration or a Storage Migration are not enabled in the free edition. However it offers some features not available in Microsoft Hyper-V manager console.
5nine Manager commercial edition has all features you want as an administrator.
5nine Manager with antivirus has all features of 5nine Manager including agentless antivirus for virtual machines.

A feature compare can be seen here.

What’s new in 5nine Manager 5.0 for Hyper-V

  • Automated virtual machine (VM) provisioning
  • Enhanced cluster management
  • VMs Guest connection views through FreeRDP or Microsoft controls
  • Support in the GUI for configuration of Hyper-V Replica which enables failover of production workloads to a secondary site for disaster recovery
  • Group operations for multiple VMs
  • Applications Logs

Additionally, 5nine Manager for Hyper-V performs the following features that are absent in the
standard MS Hyper-V management tool:

  • Own graphical user-friendly interface – file manager with built-in transfer virtual hard drive with a capacity up to 127 Gb for exploring files and network shares, even on Windows Core and Free Hyper-V.
  • Quality of Service management – setting of minimum and maximum Input Output operations per second (IOPS) throttling for the virtual hard disk attached to a virtual machine (applies for hosts with Windows Server 2012 R2)
  • System Status Report presented in the intuitive graphical form. Available in the full version of 5nine Manager for Hyper-V.
  • Failover cluster manager function, such as VM migration between nodes. Available in the full version of 5nine Manager for Hyper-V.

qualityofservice

5nine Manager 5.0 for Hyper-V is available immediately. It is priced per host, and pricing begins at $199

The administrators guide (for version 4.2) can be found here.