Broadcom Nic issues

It was first spotted by Les in the Partner groups and then seen by Nick, but there appears to be an issue with certain Broadcom nic drivers.  The resolution so far is to ask the vendor of the server to send you another brand of nic cards.  The code in the nic is at issue, TOE is part of the problem.

What to look for?  Well in the case of Nick, the issue didn't pop up until he installed ISA 2004 and the server lost connectivity.  In the original case that was reported, it was a virtual server known issue:

From your post, my understanding of this issue is: When one or more virtual
machines is started in Virtual Server, the host with Broadcom BCM5708C
NetXtreme II on-board NICs looses all connectivity.  If this is not
correct, please feel free to let me know.

Yes, this is a known issue which only occurs on Broadcom NetXtreme I/II NIC
and may be caused by incompatible new features/driver of these series NICs.
 To workaround this issue, you need to install the Scalable Networking Pack
(SNP) for Win2003 on the host machine.  For more information, you may refer
to the following Microsoft Web site:

The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack release

After the installation of SNP, reboot the host machine and then test this
issue again.

Please try the suggestions above and let me know the results at your
earliest convenience.  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have a nice day!

If that doesn't work you can check

I can confirm that disabling IPMI on the Broadcom NetXtreme II NICs is a
valid workaround to this problem.

Here is one procedure:

The procedure provided to me by Broadcom is done from within windows, can be
done via RDP, and doesn't require a restart, allthough there is a very short
network disconnect. I don't yet have permission from Broadcom to distribute
the files, but I've requested they make them publicly available.

And if all else fails, swap out the nic cards to solve your connection issues.

4 Thoughts on “Broadcom Nic issues

  1. Philip Olenick on December 3, 2006 at 9:20 am said:

    Your link

    This does not work…

    Pls if possible, can you supply the correct link?

  2. Chris @ Shrewsbury, UK on December 7, 2006 at 6:20 am said:

    The Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Scalable Networking Pack release

    This worked a treat, solved our problem which has been doing my head in.

    Thanks for the resource.

  3. Darrin Sollberger - BeechTree IT Solutions on January 4, 2007 at 3:59 pm said:

    The Broadcom Nic issue we had was from the drivers/management software supplied by Dell with the server. When installing SBS, it went a little haywire, and when installing R2, it just was not happy to the point where I was ready to make a server shaped smoking hole in the wall. Uninstalled the Broadcom driver and management software and loaded drivers directly from the Broadcom site fixed the problem.

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