FCoE with Intel 82599 10Gbit connections

So in my lab I’ve got a Cisco Nexus 5548 and a SuperMicro SuperServer 6026-6RFT+.  I’ve put Nexenta on this, Windows, and several other things.  One thing I hadn’t tried is running FCoE.  Intel announced FCoE support for all Nintanic based chips several years ago, and I hadn’t tried it.

I figured this was as good of a time as any to play with ESXi and FCoE so I dug in.  ESXi 5.1 installed flawlessly.  It saw all of the NIC’s, all of the hard drives, everything.  The Nexus 5548 worked great, I sailed along creating new vSAN’s for FCoE, and thought, “here we go!”.

I followed the guide here for enabling FCoE http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/network-adapters/10-gigabit-network-adapters/ethernet-x520-configuring-fcoe-vmware-esxi-5-guide.html.  It all looked splendid until I actually got to the part where you activate the new FCoE Storage adapter.  Every time I tried to add the Software FCoE adapter, it acted like there was no available adapter that supported FCoE.  I knew this wasn’t the case, as it was very clearly mentioned that it _was_ supported.

After several hours of poking, prodding, trying different versions of ESXi, updating the system board BIOS, tinkering with BIOS settings, trying Windows – thinking maybe, just maybe ESXi wasn’t going to work, I gave up and sent an email to Intel.

Intel responded very graciously that since it was an integrated controller on the system board, there wasn’t much they could do for me, and that I would have to talk to my manufacturer.  I followed their advice, contacted SuperMicro, and got a fantastic response.

Would you don’t mind flash the EEPROM firmware. The firmware release on 08/09/11 will allow Intel 82599EB to support FCoE.


Steps to flash onboard LAN EEPROM

1.Extract the files and Copy them to a bootable USB stick or to a bootable floppy disk.
(If you don’t have a bootable USB stick you can make it using:

2.Boot up the system using the USB stick.

3.At the command prompt type —  <filename>.bat

4.Enter the 12 digit LAN1 MAC address, when prompted.

5.Power cycle the system.

6.Reinstall the LAN drivers after EEPROM is flashed.


Technical Support


After flashing the new EEPROM on to the LAN controller, I was able to sucessfully enable FCoE for this system using ESXi (and subsequently Windows Server 2008R2).

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013 Configuration, Hardware, Virtualization

2 Comments to FCoE with Intel 82599 10Gbit connections

  • xarope says:

    I have a supermicro 2026T-DE2R24L, and have a lot of problems with the newer SSDs. Intel 40vs and Ms are recognised, but everything else I’ve tried (seagate 600, intel s3700, intel 3500) are recognised as hitachi drives.

    Still waiting for Supermicro to help find a solution, but in the meantime, I’m curious as to what you are using for L2ARC and ZIL on your superserver?

  • A detailed parts list for the ZFSBuild 2012 system can be found here : http://www.zfsbuild.com/2012/12/13/zfsbuild-2012-specs-and-parts-pictures/. Odd that it’s detecting all of those drives as Hitachi drives. I’ve never seen that before.

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