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Last reply by 01-18-2021 Unsolved
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FW upgrade for on-board NICs on PE R610

I have a PowerEdge R610 that I’m running ESXi on. We’re having some issues with the NICs and I’m working with VMware to see if we can’t identify the issue and a solution. One thing they’ve come up with is that the onboard NICs are using an older bnx2 driver and Vmware suggests that I upgrade that to the qlfe3 driver. However, that also seems to require a firmware upgrade as well.  When I do a query on the on-boad NICs, they report as Qlogic NetExtreme II BCM5709.  It looks like the FW currently on them is 7.4.8 bc 7.4.0 NCSI 2.0.11.  From what I can tell they wants me to upgrade to the qlfe3 driver with FW 15.05/7.14. 

My concern is that I can’t seem to find a FW upgrade for this particular card. It seems that over time the Qlogic card is now a Broadcom card and I’m not 100% for sure if trying to do a FW upgrade to what VMware thinks I need is really doable and I don’t want to <Profanity removed> the NICS since they are on-board and not just an add-on card.

Any help or guidance is appreciated.


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I would start with the update located here. Also could you clarify the Esxi version as well as if it was installed with the Dell Custom ESXi image or VMwares?


Thank you. 

Chris Hawk
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I'll take a look at the link.  Using ESXi 6.5; standard VMware image.



I have some concerns.  If i use the newer driver and it doesn't work for some reason, I can simply roll the old one back into place and I'm OK.

However, it looks like I need to upgrade the FW on the "card" to a version that is totally different than what I am using now. So, with the name change of the card - Qlogic/Broadcom - is there really a different "card" in there now - like something really different in a newer R610 than in an older one?  I'm concerned that if I am do upgrade the firmware and if it doesn't work, am I out of luck or is there a way to go back?  One of the VMware HCL matrices also has a FW version that's blank... so wondering if I really do need to update the firmware in order to use the newer driver or not.


Hello jhyiesla,

You will be fine to do the upgrade as the updated drives & firmware has been tested to ensure that they will not harm your system.  In most cases you should be able to roll back the drivers, however it is best to read the release notes first to ensure that the changes will not cause any issues.

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