At VMworld HP announced the availability of Virtual Connect firmware version 3.30. VC 3.30 delivers many of the features that users have been asking for. In addition to adding features and functionality, 3.30 includes enhancements to improve performance and reliability as well. Here’s a rundown of some of the enhancements:
While the VLAN support in earlier releases of Virtual Connect firmware met the needs of most users, some needed more. To fill that need VLAN management has been enhanced in two ways. First they’ve increased the number of VLANs that can be configured in Mapped VLAN mode. Previously it was possible to configure 128 VLANs on a Shared Uplink Set, VC 3.30 can support up to 1000. Where previous versions could provision 28 VLANs to a server NIC, VC 3.30 can support 162.
Supporting this many VLANs also required significant changes in the UI. Now it is possible to configure VLANs in ranges. It is also possible to copy a shared uplink set, and do global replaces on the VLAN names. This is a great time saver when implementing an A-B network design for active-active configurations.
The second are of improvement is the ability to mix tunneled and mapped networks in the same Virtual Connect Domain. This will be a great help for virtualized environments. A typical configuration would provision mapped network interfaces for the hypervisor, and tunneled networks to support the VLANs for the guest OSes.
The GUI and CLI user interfaces have additional enhancements to enhance monitoring and improve consistency and productivity. More telemetry information is now available than ever before. New SHOW commands were added to make thinks like memory and CPU available. More information is also available from the existing SHOW commands. VC 3.30 can automatically retrieve parameters from HP 4000 SAN solutions and attach them to the server profile, reducing manual entries to 2 instead of 18 (90% reduction) and greatly simplifying the complex task of configuring iSCSI storage.
More detail is available at the front of the User Guide, and the CLI User Guide. The enhancements are too numerous to mention here, so be prepared for significant changes when you upgrade.
VC 3.30 adds two new authentication mechanisms to better support the network and storage teams. Radius and TACACS+ have been frequently requested additions to the local accounts and LDAP authentication. In addition, VC3.30 also supports TACACS+ command logging.
VC 3.30 also adds the ability to configure a login banner as required by many security policies. Network Access Groups is a new security construct that will enable the network administrator to ensure that networks from different security domains are not combined in the same server profile.
Like most of the enhancements made to the ProLiant family, these features were driven by customer requests. The engineering team is driven to deliver the functionality required to support your business. What would you like Virtual Connect do for your organization? Let me know here, or drop me a note on Twitter - @BladeGuy
The firmware is now available at:
As Promised, here are the documentation Links: