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HP images of ESX and ESXi for Proliant BL460c G7, BL465c G7, BL680c G7 and BL685c G7 server blades

Resolution

When installing ESX 4.x on the ProLiant BL460c G7, BL465c G7, BL680c G7 and BL685c G7 server blades you are required to include network drivers for the NC551i and NC553i network adapters. These network cards use a controller from ServerEngines (now owned by Emulex), and the drivers are included in the Driver CD for ServerEngines BladeEngine 10Gb Ethernet Controller package (currently at version 2.102.440.0).  

ESX 4.x

Non-scripted Installation
 
For non-scripted install of ESX, download the ESX 4.x ISO image from vmware.com and the network card drivers listed above. The VMware install process gives the opportunity to insert the missing NIC drivers.
 
Scripted Installation
 
For a scripted (PXE or RDP based) install of ESX, the VMware install process does not have a mechanism for adding missing drivers. To perform a scripted install of ESX 4.x and its updates, you must download this custom image provided by HP.
 
Note: The drivers that are included in this image are the same ones that are available for download from the VMware site. 

ESXi 4.x/5.x

HP publishes an HP image for ESXi that includes:
  • HP management components – CIM providers
  • NIC drivers that are required for HP servers that are not in the base image

The VMware install process for ESXi does not have any way to include additional drivers. The ESXi installer checks to see if there is a valid NIC driver on the image and does not allow the install to proceed if a supported NIC driver is not found. If you are using the G7 blades, you must use the HP ESXi image. The HP image includes the drivers listed above.

HP Management Agents (both ESX and ESXi)
Unlike the network drivers, the HP management components for ESX and ESXi  can be installed after the base hypervisor from VMware has been installed. 

Based on VMware KB 1035114

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