HP Virtual Connect

In the second post I will guide you through configuration of networks and providing network connectivity to Blade Servers.

Virtual Connect configuration – Connections

After quite long introduction and setup it is time to setup some networking.

Virtual Connect Connections – Shared Uplink Sets

We start our Virtual Connect Module networking configuration in Shared Uplink Sets section.

Click Add and in next section we have to provide some additional information

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Networking 1

Give Uplink Set meaningful name and select ports where you have connected uplinks.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Networking 3

Select LACP Timer – best idea would be to discuss this setting with networking team. Remember that settings configured in Virtual Connect have to cooperate with existing networking infrastructure.

Virtual Connect Connections – Ethernet Networks

Next step is to add VLAN tagged networks in uplink set.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Networking 4

Click Add and provide following information

Network Name – human friendly network name. For example – Production

VLAN ID: correct VLAN number

Optional: Color and Label

Native – Identifying an associated network as the native VLAN causes all untagged incoming Ethernet packets to be placed onto this network. Only one associated network can be designated as the native VLAN. All outgoing Ethernet packets are VLAN tagged.

Smart Link – Enabling Smart Link configures the network so that if all external links lose their link to external switches, Virtual Connect drops the Ethernet link on all local server blade Ethernet ports connected to that network. This feature can be useful when using certain server network teaming (bonding) configurations.

Private Network – The Private Networks option provides extra networking security. When checked, the network is configured so that all server ports connected to it cannot communicate with each other within the Virtual Connect domain. All packets from servers are sent through the VC domain and out the uplink ports only. Servers on the network can only communicate with each other through an external Layer 3 router that redirects the traffic back to the VC domain.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Networking 5

Virtual Connect Connections – Server Profiles

The last thing to provide networking connectivity to servers we need to create server profile which will have desired networks. In order to do it navigate to Server Profiles and click icon to create new profile.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 1

Next window will open where you can configure networking for blade. Below you see empty profile without any settings.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 2

Server Profile with one network per NIC

Here is sample profile where one network adapter is assigned to one Ethernet network. Simply click Select a network and pick it from previously created networks.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 3

I entered following settings:

Profile Name: Your friendly name for profile

Hide Unused FlexNICs: selected

Ethernet Adapter Connections: Select as many networks as required. In my example I have eight network adapters.

Port Speed Type: You can select it according to your needs.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 4

If the speed type is “Auto”, the maximum port speed is determined by the maximum configured speed for the network. If the speed type is “Preferred”, the speed of the network is the same as the preferred speed of the network to which the connection is associated. If no preferred speed is configured for a network, it defaults to “Auto”.

Last thing you have to select is Assign Profile to Server Bay.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 5

Server Profile with multiple networks per NIC

In order to have multiple networks in NIC select Multiple Networks and select desired networks from the list.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 6

The last thing to do is select speed for NIC.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 7

And here you can see how complete profile looks like.

HP Virtual Connect Module Configuration - Server Profiles 8

Please bare in mind that even though you configured speed for your network connections you will not see it in profile until you power on your server.

Additional resources

In the last section of this post I would like to share with you some interesting links to documentation and guides.

Technical white paper Overview of HP Virtual Connect technologies

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Module for BladeSystem
c-Class – overview

HP Virtual Connect for c-Class BladeSystem Setup and Installation Guide

HP Virtual Connect for c-Class BladeSystem User Guide

Virtual Connect for Dummies

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Wojciech Marusiak

Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft
I am an innovative and experienced IT professional with over 13 years in the IT industry.

My experience and skills have been proven by leading vendor certifications like AWS, Alibaba Cloud, VMware, and Microsoft. I contribute to the IT community and I received VMware vExpert 2014 - 2019, vExpert Pro and VMware vExpert NSX 2017 Award.

My blog wojcieh.net - was voted #76 in Top vBlog 2018 contest!

Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.
Wojciech Marusiak
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