VMware ESXi 5.5.0 U2 patches break Citrix NetScaler network connectivity

This posting is ~5 years years old. You should keep this in mind. IT is a short living business. This information might be outdated.

This is not a brand new issue and it’s well discussed in the VMTN. After applying the ESXi 5.5.0 U2 patches from 15. October 2014, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Some Citrix NetScaler VMs with e1000 vNICs loses network connectivity
  • You can’t access the VM console after applying the patches

VMware has released a couple of patches in October:

  • ESXi550-201410101-SG (esx-base)
  • ESXi550-201410401-BG (esx-base)
  • ESXi550-201410402-BG (misc-drivers)
  • ESXi550-201410403-BG (sata-ahci)
  • ESXi550-201410404-BG (xhci-xhci)
  • ESXi550-201410405-BG (tools-light)
  • ESXi550-201410406-BG (net-vmxnet3)

More specifically, it’s the patch ESXi550-201410401-BG that is causing the problem. It is reported that the patch ESXi510-201410401-BG is also cause problems. VMware has published a KB article under the the KB2092809. Citrix has also published a KB article under the ID CTX200278. The VMware KB2092809 includes a workaround. You have to add the line

 in the loader.conf. Check the KB for a detailed procedure. I recommend to exclude the patches from the VMware Update Manager baselines. Open the “Admin View” and double click the “Critical Host Patches (Predefined)” baseline.

vum_exclude_patch_1

Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

Click “Next” until you hit the “Patches to exclude” page. Exclude patch ESXi550-201410401-BG and click “Next” until you can finish the wizard.

vum_exclude_patch_2

Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

Now open the “Non-Critical Host Patches (Predefined)” baseline. Repeat the steps above and exclude the other 6 patches.

vum_exclude_patch_3

Patrick Terlisten/ www.vcloudnine.de/ Creative Commons CC0

That’s it. Now the patches are excluded. New patches will be added automatically to the baselines, because both baselines are dynamic baselines. If you wish to install the patches, repeat the steps above and remove the patches from the exclude list using the up arrow button.

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Patrick Terlisten

vcloudnine.de is the personal blog of Patrick Terlisten. Patrick has a strong focus on virtualization & cloud solutions, but also storage, networking, and IT infrastructure in general. He is a fan of Lean Management and agile methods, and practices continuous improvement whereever it is possible.

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