HP NIC Teaming 8 and Windows 200x – Make sure you have the updates

First, I definitely want to start out this post by saying that I love what HP has been doing with their network teaming software on the Windows platforms.  They are doing a great job on building teaming software that works well and is intelligent on complicated networks.

However, there have been a couple bumps in the road along the way recently that I have seen effect clients.  I want to provide some information to get folks back unto stable ground.  HP has addressed the issues but action needs to be taken to make sure you are OK.

First, let me give you the information on the articles I have reviewed that seem like they could effect most environments if you are using HP NIC teaming 8 on a Windows 200x platform on HP Proliant servers:

Teaming V. 7.58:  SLB Teams need to be reconfigured (this can effect you even if you are on version 8.x)
Document ID:  CO050225_CW01

Teaming v. 8.00 or earlier:  NC series NICS may not join team
Document ID:  EM050819_CW01 

Teaming v. 8.10 or earlier:  With 802.1Q VLANs configured, blue screen may occur with gigabit adapters
Document ID:  c00571541

Teaming v. 8.10:  After reboot, may not be able to connect to server
Document ID:  c00573469

So after our experience with the problems and some input from HP, here are my recommended steps for getting stable.  All downloads would be available from HP’s Support website:

1.  For onboard gigabit ethernet cards like the 77xx, there is a firmware upgrade.  Check your cards and upgrade the firmware.
2.  Upgrade your NIC drivers.  This is especially important for the NC series NICS (see above).  As of the date of this post, this can most easily be done by installing SmartPack 7.51.
3.  Upgrade your NIC Teaming to at least version 8.37.  As of the date of this post, this is the current version and can be done most easily by installing SmartPack 7.51.
4.  If you are receiving Recieve Path or Transmit Path warnings in your System event log, change the Validation Timer Internal under the team’s Settings tab from 3 to 10.
5.  If you have an SLB team, delete and recreate your team.  NOTE:  Save your IP configuration properties (IP address, DNS server, etc) BEFORE deleting team.  You will need to configure your IP properties after the team is created and before you reboot the server
6.  Test your failover.  Make sure it is working in your environment.
7.  If your test fails for any another kind of team other than SLB, I would recommend doing step 5 before opening a case with HP just to make sure all your team’s configuration is written to the registry with the most current version of the teaming software.

About J.D. Wade

Lead Technical Cloud Architect, husband, active in community theatre, love watching movies, have been described as “quirky”, aka “KB Man”
This entry was posted in Infrastructure, Microsoft Windows Server, Outdated: Do Not Use, Technology and Software, Windows 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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