HP BL460c Gen 9 with Windows Server 2012 R2 no network or intermittent loss of network connection

One of my customers requested me to have a look at their Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 infrastructure. They had a strange problem with the HP BL490c Gen 9 blades. The blades are equipped with a 536FLB Flex 10 network interface card based on a  QLogic 57840S chipset.

The Hyper-V hosts are deployed using the bare-metal deployment in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2.

The customer has 6 blades in a C7000 enclosure. Blade 1 could not ping to Blade 2. However blade 1 could perfectly ping to Blade 3,4,5 and 6. All blades are in the same IPv4 subnet. Another issue observed on a few other blades was that the ping would time out a few times. So ping worked, then it did not work for a couple of pings and then network was okay again.

The customer has tried many things to solve this issue:

  1. placed the blades in a different HP C7000 enclosure.
  2. placed the blades in different slots of the enclosure
  3. swapped the HP switches
  4. installed full Windows Server 2012 R2 GUI.
  5. installed Hyper-V Server 2012 instead of R2
  6. disabled checksum offloading , LSO, RSS, RSC and VMQ
  7. called HP. HP was not able to solve this issue.

This all did not solve the issue. The customer was using the latest drivers for the adapter.

HP Virtual Connect 4.31 dated 2014-10-24
HP FlexFabric 10Gb 2 port 536FLB adapter drivers 7.10.39
HP software package 4.01.12

I deciced to start troubleshooting this from scratch by manually installing Hyper-V 2012 R2. The blade which initially could not ping to Blade 2 now was able to ping. Hmm, wondering why.

Next I installed Hyper-V 2012 R2 manually (no network configuration) and then manage it using SCVMM. SCVMM configured the networking of the host. Still the host was able to ping all other hosts in the same enclosure.

So for some reason when the customer is using the bare-metal deployment from SCVMM something goes wrong with networking.We are not sure what exacty. It could be related to BIOS changes. It seems that as soon as the BIOS of the blade is changed, the next bare-metal deployment will result in network issues.

I will update this post when we know more about the cause of this issue.

 

 

App Controller 2012 R2 unable to deploy Linux images

System Center App Controller is a self-service portal which allows non-IT staff to deploy virtual machines to clouds on-premise, in Service Provider clouds or in Windows Azure.

Windows Azure supports both Windows Server and Linux as guest operating system in a virtual machine.

However when using App Controller 2012 R2 those Linux images are not available for deployment. Three different Linux images are shown but are greyed out.

app-controller-missing-linux-images

When using the Azure Management Portal a choice of 9 different Linux images is available:  various versions of Ubuntu, CentOS (Openlogic distribution), SUSE and Oracle Linux.

This is caused by a limitation of App Controller. When preparing a deployment of a virtual machine App Controller creates a so called Configuration Set. This is an XML file which has information like the computername, user account and password or certificate. When user input has been recieved App Controller transmit this information to Azure.

At this moment App Controller 2012 R2 lacks the ability to deploy Linux images.

Recorded MMS 2013 sessions available and how to download for offline viewing

Microsoft Management Summit 2013 is being held at Las Vegas. MMS brings together the brightest IT professionals from around the world to increase their technical expertise through an intensive week of training led by experts in desktop, device management, datacenter, and cloud technologies.

A large selection of the breakout sessions presented live in Las Vegas will be available as recording free on Internet. For an overview see Channel 9. 

It is possible to download the video recordings so you can watch them offline.

Stefan Roth wrote a nice script. See his site for a detailed description on how to download.

See for another download script the Infoworks.tv site.

Update April 17: Phil Pritchett made some adjustments to the script of Stefan Roth. This script downloads also the Powerpoint presentations and makes the filename the name of the the breakout session instead of a name like AM-B301.

MyITforum has a posting about this script.

Download the scripts  here.

download MMS2013 sessions

download MMS2013 sessions

Poster: Networking in System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 added a lot new networking features. Some of those can be difficult to understand and to configure. Microsoft published a nice poster showing all the network features and configuration steps.

For an overview of blog articles explaining those new features see this post.

This poster for VMM in System Center 2012 SP1 can help you:

  • Plan your VMM networks using a logical view of VM networks, logical networks, and logical switches using a variety of configurations including VLAN-based configuration, no isolation, network virtualization, external networks, and with no virtual networking.
  • Configure networking in VMM using configuration steps by roles including fabric administrators, tenant administrators, or by any user.
  • Understand the network object model with diagrams of objects showing the relationships between objects.
  • Extend VMM with options including using a vendor network-management server with extensions, connect a VM network to other networks by configuring the VM network with a gateway, and load-balance requests to VMs that make up a VMM service tier by adding a load balancer to VMM.

download the poster here.

SCVMM2012SP1-poster

Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V public beta and webinar

At March 6 Cisco will introduce the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V during a webinar. Also you can participate in a Public Beta program.  Damian Flynn was first to blog about this.

For VMware vSphere virtual networking the VMware supplied virtual switches can be used (standard and distributed switches). However those switches lack the management interfaces of physical Cisco switches. In large environment in which management of networking, storage and servers is strictly divided in teams VMware virtual switches could be limited. Cisco has been delivering a virtual switch for VMware vSphere which is based on the physical switches of Cisco. Same interface, same management, same features.

Cisco offers two editions of the Nexus 1000V for vSphere: Essentials which is free and Advanced which has a price tag. Read more here.

This virtual switch, the Nexus 1000V will soon be available for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V with SCVMM 2012 SP1 as well.

The features are:

  • Advanced virtual machine networking based on Cisco NX-OS operating system and IEEE 802.1Q switching technology
  • Cisco vPath technology for efficient and optimized integration of virtual network services
  • Tight integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1
  • Layer 2 Switching with Transmit side Rate Limiting
  • Security Policy Mobility, inbuilt support for Private VLANs with local PVLAN Enforcement
  • Provisioning Port Profiles with deep Integration with SCVMM
  • Traffic Visibility, including VM Migration Tracking, NetFlow v.9 with NDE, Cisco Discovery Protocol v.2
  • And so much more

Join Cisco Gunnar Anderson (Cisco), Appaji Malla (Cisco) and Damian Flynn on Wednesday March 6th at 9am PST as they present the Nexus 1000V, Overview some of the amazing features which this solution enables, and most importantly share the details on how you can start working with the Beta Release right away.

Using or looking at Hyper-V for your workloads?  Learn how the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual access/distributed switch can help simplify your Hyper-V virtual environment through a non-disruptive operational model, policy based provisioning, and a strong services ecosystem.  You will learn about the Cisco Nexus 1000V architecture, how it integrates with Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) and the rich networking capabilities it brings to Hyper-V environments.

The webinar starts at:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 6:00 pm  Europe Time (Amsterdam, GMT+01:00)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 12:00 pm  Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 5:00 pm  GMT Time (London, GMT)
Thursday, March 7, 2013 2:00 am  Japan Time (Tokyo, GMT+09:00)

Follow this link to register for the launch.

If you want to participate in the  Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V Beta program, click here. Or send an email to beta-n1kv-hyperv@cisco.com with in the Subject field: ATTENTION: N1KV/Hyper-V Beta Feedback