ESX with MPIO to NetApp is SLOW

Posted on 2009-02-19
Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a new ESX server that has a dual port HBA (LP11000) and have 2 connections coming back to the 2 switches and clustered netapp.  I have run MPIO from Windows servers before, but this is the first running MPIO over fiber from ESX.  I am getting terrible performance.  It will only move about 120mb per min.  NOT +1GB per minute we normally see.  Any ideas at how to debug this?
esxcfg-mpath -l

CD-ROM Drive vmhba32:0:0 /dev/scd0 (0MB) has 1 paths and policy of Fixed

 Local 0:31.2 vmhba32:0:0 On active preferred

Disk vmhba1:0:0 /dev/sda (380928MB) has 1 paths and policy of Fixed

 Local 1:0.0 vmhba1:0:0 On active preferred

Disk vmhba1:1:0 /dev/sdb (1904640MB) has 1 paths and policy of Fixed

 Local 1:0.0 vmhba1:1:0 On active preferred

Disk vmhba2:0:1 /dev/sdc (768062MB) has 2 paths and policy of Fixed

 FC 9:1.0 10000000c970c632<->500a09898524c8a7 vmhba2:0:1 On active preferred

 FC 9:1.1 10000000c970c631<->500a09818524c8a7 vmhba3:1:1 On

Disk vmhba2:0:2 /dev/sdd (768062MB) has 2 paths and policy of Fixed

 FC 9:1.0 10000000c970c632<->500a09898524c8a7 vmhba2:0:2 On active preferred

 FC 9:1.1 10000000c970c631<->500a09818524c8a7 vmhba3:1:2 On

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Question by:egarrison
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    I must say we moved much of our Wintel and ESx environments from EMC to Netapp about a year ago.
    the fas6xxxx series is quite a piece of kit but unlike the EMC DMX has some specific setup requrements.
    You really must know what OS ver you are running on the FAS before you know aht version of the netapp_fcp_esx_host_utilities_3_1.tar.gzhost utils you need to run on your ESX hosts.
    In our case we are at 7.1.3 so we are using LP11000 firmware 2.72 with Netapp host utils ver 3.1
    In effect you don't use any MPIO software on ESX, once you have installed the host utilities you then issue command "config_mpath --primary --policy fixed --loadbalance --persistent --access fashostname:RootPassword"
    This will establish all fixed pathing which has the same effect as MPIO
    You need to loginto the NOW site and download the ESX3.5HostUtilities. Enure you get you FAS OS Ver, ESX Ver, LP Firmware and Host utilities at a supported level.
    LVL 8

    Accepted Solution

    Oh the hosy utils also set some parameters for your HBA's to optimise them for NetApp SAN's.
    It's alos worth noting that NetApp are very good at iSCSI and NFS but don't perform quite as well over FC. BUT if you upgrade the FAS to 7.3.1 they say you increase your FC performance by 50%
    LVL 3

    Author Comment

    Thank you. I am going to take a look at that.
    LVL 3

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you.  I got this worked out and we now see about 10x or maybe a 100x boost in speed.  I am betting the MPIO was totally wacked out.  It looks like the brand new HBA had very old firmware.  We can now move a few GB's per minute vs 120mb.

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