Update Emulex 10G NIC driver (be2net) in ESXi 5.X


We have a IBM HX5 with ESXi 5.0 update 3 installed. The blade frequently encounters the purple screen issue. For most time, it is PF relevant errors, but Today it has some new – Spin count exceeded.

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I have run the hardware diagnostic tool multiple times, but caught nothing. But I still think it is hardware related issues. I did some analysis of the dump files, and found something that I think are useful.

The first one is something about PCPU lost the heartbeat. I have heard that the Emulex driver causes similar issue on HS23.

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The second, I noticed there are a few ‘unhandled NETQUEUE OP’ errors. In the ESXi 5.X, the netqueue is enabled by default. Is it possible that the Emulex driver (be2net) version too low to support it well? I did see that Qlogic has similar issue, and the aftermath is PSOD.

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Due the frequent PSOD, this server is not in production. So I decided to update the Emulex driver to see if it can fix it. The version was 4.0.88.0, and it is 4.6.246.7 now. I will keep an eye on it in the next couple days, finger crossed 🙂

This is how I updated the be2net driver:

~ # vmware -v
VMware ESXi 5.0.0 build-1489271

~ # vmware -l
VMware ESXi 5.0.0 Update 3

Note: /usr/lib/vmware/vm-support/bin/swfw.sh checks both driver and firmware version.

~ # vmkload_mod -s be2net |grep Version
Version: Version 4.0.88.0, Build: 515841, Interface: 9.2 Built on: Oct 28 2011

/tmp # esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/be2net-4.6.247.7-offline_bundle-1233249.zip
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: Emulex_bootbank_net-be2net_4.6.247.7-1OEM.500.0.0.472560
VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_net-be2net_4.0.88.0-1vmw.500.0.7.515841
VIBs Skipped:

/tmp # reboot -d 0

Login back in and check the updated version:

~ # vmkload_mod -s be2net |grep Version
Version: Version 4.6.247.7, Build: 472560, Interface: 9.2 Built on: Jul 5 2013

References:
http://www-947.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/docdisplay?lndocid=migr-5093255
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1020105
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=1027206
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2053642

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