10fb does not support flow control autoneg

Issue with nic driver on HPE servers after updating HPE drivers on ESXi 6.5

What happened

I ran into an issue the other day with a vCenter Server Appliance filling up one of its partitions. The partition that was filling up was the /storage/seat partition. This partition holds the postgres SQL database, so the vCenter server was in trouble.

After some digging around I realized that the root cause was a new event error from all ESXi hosts, that was coming at a rapid pace. The errors had started during the last driver and base updates, and only the HPE servers was affected.

Troubleshooting

If your seat partition is filling up, you can check what is causing the problem using your vCenter Management interface. It is located at https://yourserver:5480

Here you can clearly see that the Events are the main occupant of space in the seat partition.

If it is not obvious what is causing the events size to grow like this, you can log in to the vCenter appliance and check the top 10 events in the database.

# Connect to vCenter using ssh

# Enable the shell
shell.set --enabled true

# Start the postgres manager
cd /opt/vmware/vpostgres/current/bin
./psql -d VCDB -U postgres

# Query your database (This is for 6.5)
SELECT COUNT(EVENT_ID) AS NUMEVENTS, EVENT_TYPE, USERNAME FROM VPXV_EVENT_ALL GROUP BY EVENT_TYPE, USERNAME ORDER BY NUMEVENTS DESC LIMIT 10;

For reference and other versions of vCenter you can check out this VMware KB: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2119809

Quick FIX

There are both quick fixes and solutions to this issue. If your vCenter service is down, you can get it back up quickly by just expanding the disk, and restarting vCenter.

The steps you need to perform is first to expand the vmdk in your appliance. You do not need to shutdown the VM to do this, but you cannot have any snapshots during this operation. That reminds me. Be sure to have a backup. This is not what I would consider a high risk operations, but if is definitely done at your own risk, so cover you back.

You seat partition will normally be Hard disk 8, but check just to make sure. You can check in the following way.

# Connect to vCenter using ssh

# Enable the shell
shell.set --enabled true

# Run command to check disk sizes
df -h

# Run command to check disk number
pvs

Using the command df -h you can check the Size of the disk and compare it to the size shown in vSphere Web Client when expanding you disk. The seat disks normal initial size is 10 GB.

The pvs command will show you the disk and lvm correlation. The disk are numbered /dev/sd[number]. a=1, b=2, c=3 and so on. So h would be 8.

Now you just have to increase the disk size on the vCSA VM, like you would normally do on any VM. After the expansion you can take a snapshot for added safety. WARNING: In case you increased the size of the wrong disk. DO NOT TRY TO DECREASE THE DISK SIZE AGAIN. It will most likely not end well for you.

You now have to increase the partition size. VMware made a script to handle this operation. It will check all the partitions and expand them if the disks has been made larger.

# Connect to vCenter using ssh

# Enable the shell
shell.set --enabled true

# Run command to expand your partition
/usr/lib/applmgmt/support/scripts/lvm_cfg.sh storage lvm autogrow

# You can inspect the result with the df commmand
df -h

More information can be found in this VMware kb: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2145603

If for some reason you are unable to fix the issued right now by using the next steps, you can prohibit vCenter events from growing quite so much by settings vCenter so that it does not keep events as long. The normal event retention is 30 days, but I recommend settings this to at least 180 days for audit reasons. Right now we will be setting it to 7 days. Beware that you will lose all events older than 7 days. You do not need to do this if you are able to fix the issue right away, only if you need to keep it running for a while with this error.

To set the retention you have to go to you vSphere Web Client.

  • Go to Hosts and Clusters view.
  • Select you vCenter in the top left tree.
  • Go to Configure tab
  • Select General section
  • Click Edit
  • Select Database section
  • Set Event retention (days) to 7
  • Click OK
  • Set Task retention (days) to 7
  • Make sure that Event cleanup is enabled.
  • Click OK
  • Restart vCenter

SOLUTION

Now for fixing the issue, you have to perform the following steps on each ESXi server what is having the issue. You can check them by selected them in the Host and Cluster view, and going to Monitor, Tasks and Events and then selecting the Events section. You will see the following errors:

Description	Type	Date Time	Task	Target	User
Alarm 'Host error' on ServerName triggered by event 27362228 'Issue detected on ServerName in Cluster: (unsupported) Device 10fb does not support flow control autoneg (2018-07-03T17:00:44.478Z cpu25:65661)'	Error	03-07-2018 19:00:52		ServerName

Description	Type	Date Time	Task	Target	User
Alarm 'Host error' on ServerName triggered by event 27362227 'Issue detected on ServerName in Cluster:
 (2018-07-03T17:00:44.478Z cpu25:65661)'	Error	03-07-2018 19:00:52		ServerName

Googling this I found that Ali Hassan had a solution on his blog: https://www.alihassanlive.com/e2k3/2018/3/29/10fb-does-not-support-flow-control-autoneg-vmware-esx-65

I just did not want to download an older driver and putting it into production. I did not feel that it was a supported solution, so instead I decided to file a support request. The VMware representative informed me that this was a known bug, and that they had an internal kb on this issue. The solution was to enable the old driver, but on the servers I was working on, we did not need to install another driver, since the old driver was already there.

You can check what driver you are using by enabling SSH on one of your hosts, and connecting to it. (If you do not know how, you can read about it here: https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-6-5/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vcli.getstart.doc%2FGUID-C3A44A30-EEA5-4359-A248-D13927A94CCE.html)

# Connect to ESXi host using ssh

# Run command to check whatr driver you are currently using
esxcfg-nics -l

# Run command to list the relevant driver available
esxcli software vib list | grep ixg

I had two drivers available. ixgben and net-ixgbe, and I was using the ixgben driver.

I needed to change to the ixgbe driver. For some reason you refer to it with ixgbe, and not net-ixgbe.

The process on each host to switch the drivers is as follows:

  • Put host into maintenance mode
  • Enable SSH
  • Connect to host with SSH
  • Check the driver to make sure
  • Enable the old driver
  • Disable the new driver
  • Save configuration
  • Reboot host
  • Disable SSH
  • Take out of maintenance mode
  • Next host
# Enable new driver
esxcli system module set -e=true -m=ixgbe

# Disable old driver
esxcli system module set -e=false -m=ixgben

#Save configuration
/sbin/auto-backup.sh

I hope you found this article helpful.

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