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I will just share some of my experience with HP Nic Teaming in Windows 2008.

My setup is HP blade servers BL460C G5. I only have two virtual connect modules in the c7000 chassis for my nics, so I have 2 nics per blade.

I my setup I needed to setup a cluster which I’m going to use for an Exchange 2007 CCR cluster.
The cluster needs two nics, one for the client traffic and one for the heartbeat traffic for the cluster. I also need to use VLANs on both networks, and the nics should be teamed, so I can make service on one part of the network without interrupting the network traffic to the cluster.

I’m using HP Network Configuration Utility 9.40 (9.50 doesn’t seems to work at all in my setup) to setup the teaming and the VLANs.

I have created a team with the two nics in the blade, and configured two VLANs on this team. The network configuration utility then creates two new nics for me, one that I can use for the client traffic and one for the cluster traffic.
It seems that it works fine, but if you disabled one of the virtual nics, then the traffic to the other nics will also stop.

The Issue with the 9.50 version was that I looses a lot packets when I ping the server. Firmware upgrade of the blades helped a lot, but it didn’t solved the problem completely so I downgraded to version 9.40.
I have tested with both 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 2008. Windows 2003 doesn’t seems to have the same problems.

As part of the installation of a Windows 2008 cluster you are asked to run a configuration validation before the actual cluster setup. The report it gives you are required by Microsoft support if you at some point should need support from Microsoft.
The validation test will fail the IP configuration test, because the two virtual VLAN nics share the same MAC address, so the cluster will not work with this. It’s not possible to change the MAC address in the HP Network Configuration Utility.

The solution for me was to get two Virtual Connects more and mezzanine cards for the blades so I can have four nics in each blade.

Hope that it can save some time for you, so you don’t make the same mistake.

Regards,
Joachim

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