NIC Teaming with VMware vSphere & HP Procurve Switches

I researched how to configure NIC Teaming for load balancing and failover for VMware vSphere 4 and HP Procurve Switches.  I won’t go into great detail, but here are the steps. 

NIC Teaming with VMware vSphere and HP Procurve switches.


HP Switch

  • Set ports on HP switch for trunking
  • Add new trunk to data vlan

 VMware vSphere

  • Add networking (new virtual switch) and configure NIC Teaming



HP Switch – Set ports on HP Switch for Static Trunk

  • Telnet into the hp switch where you want to configure Static Trunk:

Telnet <ip-address>

  • Enter password
  • Select switch (assuming stacking with a central commander)
  • Enter Password (assuming stacking)
  • Type Menu
  • Select Option 2 Switch Configuration
  • Select Option 2 Port/Trunk Settings
  • Select Edit and scroll down to desired ports
  • On Desired ports:
  • Set Group to a new “trk#”
  • Set  Type to Trunk
  • Enter and Save
  • Press 0 to return to main menu


Add new trunk to data vlan 20

  • Press 5 for Command Line Interface (CLI)
  • Type show vlan 1
    notice the new trunk is listed in vlan 1 (the management vlan)
  • Type config
  • Type vlan # (where # is the number of your data vlan)
  • Type untag trk# vlan #   (where # is the number)
  • Type show vlan #
  •  Notice you’ll now see your “trk#” listed in the data vlan


VMware vSphere – Add networking (new virtual switch)

  • Log into vCenter then the ESX(i) machine (or direct to ESXi machine)
  • With the ESXi machine selected, click Configure
  • Click Networking
  • Click Add Networking
  • Verify Virtual Machine is selected, click Next
  • Select desired network adapters and click next
  • Give the Virtual machine network a name under “Network Label”
  • Click Finish
  • Look for the new vSwitch, click Properties
  • Select the VM Network Port Group and click Edit
  • Select the NIC Teaming tab
  • Select Load Balancing and “Route based on IP Hash”
  • Click OK to close

You now have your ESXi 4 host configured for NIC teaming for increased bandwidth (load balancing) and failover.


ESXi Time Bomb Error

Problem with ESX 3.5 Update 2 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2:  As of August 12, 2008, Virtual Machine won’t power on after it has been powered off or rebooted.

You receive the error:

A General System Error occured: Internal Error

Your event will display:

This product has expired.  Be sure that your host machine’s date and time are set correctly.  There is a more recent version available at the VMware website:
Module License Power Fail

Here’s an email I received from the VMware team.  I have successfully applied the patch to our Test ESXi server using VI Update (which was installed when I installed the VI Client, look in Start\All Programs\VMware\VI Update).  I will install the patch on our Production server this evening because it does require the host to be rebooted in order for the changes to take effect.  If you are running ESXi in production, you won’t receive the error unless you power down or reboot the virtual machine.

You can also see the KB Article:

Here’s the email:

Dear VMware Customers,

We have released the express patches for the product expiration issue. Please go to for more information.


An issue has been discovered by many VMware customers and partners with ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 where Virtual Machines fail to power on or VMotion successfully. This problem began to occur on August 12, 2008 for customers that had upgraded to ESX 3.5 Update 2. The problem is caused by a build timeout that was mistakenly left enabled for the release build.

The following message is displayed in the vmware.log file for the virtual machine:

This product has expired. Be sure that your host machine’s date and time are set correctly.
There is a more recent version available at the VMware web site:
Module License Power on failed.

Affected Products:

– VMware ESX 3.5 Update 2 & ESXi 3.5 Update 2.

– The problem will be seen if ESX350-200806201-UG is applied to a system.

– No other VMware products are affected.


VMware Engineering has produced express patches for impacted customers to resolve the issue.


1. What do the express patches do?

There are two express patches: one for ESX 3.5 Update 2 and one for ESXi 3.5 Update 2. They are specifically targeted for customers who have installed or fully upgraded to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 or who have applied the ESX350-200806201-UG patch to ESX/ESXi 3.5 or ESX/ESX 3.5 Update 1 hosts. For customers who haven’t done either, these express patches should not be applied.

To be noted is that these patches have been validated to work with esxupdate. However, testing with the VMware Update Manager is still under way. In subsequent communications, we will provide confirmation whether the patches work with VMware Update Manger or if a re-spin is required.

We are currently testing an option to apply the patch without requiring VMotion or VM power-off and re-power-on at the point of patch application. To immediately refresh vmx on the VM, one can VMotion off running VMs, apply the patches and VMotion the VMs back. If VMotion capability is not available, VMs can be powered off before the patches are applied and powered back on afterwards.

2. When will VMware re-issue the upgrade media and patch bundles?

VMware plans to re-issue upgrade media by 6pm, August 13 PST and all update patch bundles later in the week. We will provide an ETA for the update patch bundles subsequently.


  • An upgrade media refers to ESX 3.5 Update 2 ISO, ESXi 3.5 Update 2 ISO, ESX 3.5 Update 2 upgrade tar and zip files. They are for customers who haven’t installed or upgraded to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2 but wish to.
  • The “patch bundles” here refer to those released at GA. They are for customers who do not wish to do a full upgrade to ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 2, but apply patches that are deemed necessary to hosts running ESX/ESXi 3.5 or ESX/ESXi 3.5 Update 1. They are not the same as the express patch which is described above.

3. Why does VMware plan to re-issue the upgrade media before the patch bundles?

Since we can complete building and testing of the upgrade media before the patch bundles, we want to make that available to customers right away instead of re-issuing all the binaries later in the week.

VMware ESX 3i Installation Video

Here’s a video I found of the ESXi installation, literally beginning to end in less than seven minutes.  If you haven’t had a chance to test ESXi yet, here’s a glimpse at what to expect…

Backing up VM files from ESXi

If you’re like me, then you have a separate, backup copy of your images and VM files so that if something happens to your VMware Server/ESXi Server or your storage of choice where your production vm files are stored, you can quickly move them from your backup location to a new vm server while you work to get the problem resolved.  This was pretty straight forward with VMware Server.  You go to your vm server, browse to the files where the “Virtual Machines” are stored, and copy them to a backup location (completely seperate from your production storage device, i.e. SAN, NAS, DAS, or local RAID storage).

This has changed in ESXi because you can’t log into your ESXi server (like you would a windows machine).  So, how do you get to the files?  There’s probably a number of different ways, but the way that I found is to use… VMware Converter!

Just like you used VMware Converter to move your VM files from the VMware Server to the ESX Server, you can also take your VMware ESXi files and move them to a network share (or your desktop) using VMware Converter.  You then have VM files that you could easily move to another VMware Server, or use VMware Converter to move them to another ESXi Server should something happen to your production server/storage.

With the full VI3, your options are available through the VMotion, HA, and other technologies available for virtually no-down-time moves from one physical server to another.  But, you don’t get that free with ESXi.  🙂

More on ESXi…

Just an update on the ESXi Server I installed yesterday.  I currently am running three VM’s on it:  Intranet, SpiceWorks Server, and our Certificate Authority Server.  Things are working great!  I really like the Virtual Infrastructure Client.  If you are using ESX (the paid version), then you are already using this.

I mentioned in my post yesterday that there’s not a “VM Guest Management Console” at the server.  To add, delete, and/or otherwise manage virtual machines, you do it from the VI Client.  The ESXi Server has a 32mb foot print, so there are primarily just a few configuration settings.  Here are a few screen shots that I snapped with  my phone.  This is everything you see at the Server.  Click the pics for a larger view…

WSUS as a Virtual Machine?

Anyone running Microsoft’s WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) as a Virtual Server.  I was leaning toward physical during early planning, but now more toward virtual.  I found this forum with network environments much larger than we are saying they are running it without any trouble.;jsessionid=F04F8B9AA07A905E5DA37E497D0796FC

What are your thoughts?

Virtualization Forum 2008 – Information

I wasn’t able to make it to Atlanta this week for the Virtualization Forum 2008, but here’s an email I received with downloadable presentations, etc. Click the image below for the online version…