From time to time, customers will want to configure Virtual Connect PVLAN in order to work with their Cisco or VMware environment.
Virtual Connect has a checkbox for private network when you configure a “vnet” (internal vlan). However, it’s not the same thing as the PVLAN you find in Cisco Catalyst, Nexus switches or VMware VDS. I developed this deck some time ago to help to clarify some confusions, feel free to download here.
I also created Youtube video demos to show some lab captures when I tested the configuration.
I still get questions from time to time in regard to Virtual Connect initial configuration so I made this video. Hopefully it can help users to get VC up quickly. In the video, I also explained some common VC terms like Shared Uplink Set, Multiple Networks, native/untagged network, Smartlink etc.
Two of Virtual Connect interface counters: IfInDiscards and IfOutDiscards, are often seen as the indication of traffic packet drop issues. Actually, they are normal behavior inside VC operation. Please take a look at this VC advisory.
The intent of this Customer Notice is to explain how rfc1213_IfOutDiscards and rfc1213_IfInDiscards function in a Virtual Connect environment. There are several normal traffic switching behaviors in Virtual Connect that will result in an accumulation of these Discard counters. This document describes the counter’s behaviors. The rfc1213_IfOutDiscards and rfc1213_IfInDiscards counter’s behavior is normal and harmless to the customer environment. The counters have no adverse affect on the performance of the Virtual Connect environment.
The VC advisory collection link is as below. I use Flexfabric as example as most of VC problems are not individual model number dependent.
Another useful link is Emulex CNA advisory link.
If you are using Proliant blade server G7 and above, the good chance is that you are using Emulex CNA(Intel G7 has NC553i as built-in LOM, AMD G7 has NC551i as built-in LOM, NC553m and NC551m are just Mezz card form factor for G7 with same architecture as “i”(built-in); Gen8 will have NC554 as FlexLOM, which uses same ASIC as NC553, just different form factor). In many cases, the traffic issues are caused by end-point NIC/CNAs instead of Virtual Connect so it’s very important that you have up to date NIC/CNA firmware/driver.
I’m not sure how many people know this. If you want to quickly view the configuration for all Virtual Connect server profiles in a list format, there is a small GUI button for it. It’s there but not very obvious.
If you look at top right corner of “Server Profiles” page, you should see a button like “printer” sign.
If you click it, it will pop up a separate window showing config for all server profiles and you can cut/paste any field like WWN/MAC, which is something you can’t do from a profile edit view.
You can even filter by specific profile and it will switch promptly to the configuration for that particular profile.
Feel free to let me know anything else you like or don’t like for VC Manager GUI or CLI. I can aggregate feedbacks back to VC engineering.
If you are interested with how to design and configure HP Networking Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) along with HP BladeSystem Virtual Connect, this is the white paper I created that may be helpful.
Some concepts like IRF conversion sample is independent of Virtual Connect. Also, the same Virtual Connect design and configuration rule can be used when VC is connected to Cisco vPC or VSS technology.
This is the pdf download link.
This is the white paper I made to show case how to use Virtual Connect CLI to manage and configure its network part along with Cisco Nexus vPC topology. It also has a comparison table of network terminology and CLI syntax between Cisco and Virtual Connect.
You can do everything in this guide by GUI if you are a server admin but many network admins prefer CLI access hence the creation of this guide.
VC CLI network configuration guide with Nexus vPC configuration: