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HP MSA1510i with ESX3i switching controllers

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Experimenting with ESX3i running on an IBM server with MSA1510i iSCSI.  The MSA has two controllers, one active, one passive.  The controllers have been switching unannounced from one to the other leaving the ESX system without connection to the virtual machines.  Now the controllers ahve experienced no problem that I can identify; and why ESX loses comnection is not understood.
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Question by:jbriley3
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:davismisbehavis
davismisbehavis earned 70 total points
ID: 24082191
ESX comes with it's own multipathing software,  worth checking what you have this setup as.  Can't imagine it would cause the problem but you never know.

Seeing as you are using the MSA 1510i,  I'm presuming it's an ISCSI connection.  Ensure that the switch ports and the ISCSI NIC port in your ESX have the same speed and duplex settings.  I'm presuming it's 1GB Ethernet as well,  recently did some experimentation with iSCSI and 100MB Ethernet with really bad results.

The other thing to maybe look at is to ensure that if you have Cisco swithces that portfast is enabled,  this cuts down on Spanning Tree Protocol events which can take a network port out of action for 30 seconds + this can sometimes appear like a link failure to an ESX box and could be the reason for false positive failovers.

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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 210 total points
ID: 24082291
When I installed a few of these last year the MSA 1510i didn't support multipathing with both controllers.  They were going to upgrade the firmware, you may want to see if they have it available.  The last one I used was version 1.32, make sure you're using a newer once.
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LVL 55

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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 220 total points
ID: 24089283
I think that's still true paulsolov, single controller model is all that is supported according to www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?device_cat=san&device_id=1370
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 210 total points
ID: 24089620
that's what I thought..

1. Single Controller only.
2. Support for Windows guest operating system only.
3. iSCSI software initiator SP failover is not supported.

Only thing I can think of is an iSCSI HBA, but I would check with HP first
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Author Comment

by:jbriley3
ID: 24090093
Thanks for the suggestioons.  I'm thinking of deactivatimng one of the controllers and see how it goes.  Will get back to you all.
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 210 total points
ID: 24090115
Just an FYI that cost me a week worth of troubleshooting on this model.  When configuring hostnames on the ESX hosts do not use capital letters, the MSA1510i will not interpret the iqn correctly and will not connect at all.  After spending a week with HP/VMWare I wish they had a technote on it.
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Author Comment

by:jbriley3
ID: 24090125
Thanks.  Hadn't hung up on that yet.
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 220 total points
ID: 24091451
snip-snip from somewhere private...
Name Vendor Family Controller Firmware Host Mode
HP StorageWorks 1510i
Modular Smart Array Single
Controller Only
HP MSA MSA1510i 2.00 Build 803 VMware
Notes:
General Disk Array (1) Notes:
Supported Drive Shelves:
MSA30 (Ultra320): Firmware ver. CP20
4314 (Ultra3): Firmware ver. JB4G or later
MSA20 (SATA): Firmware ver. 1.52

(plus windows only - nothing about capital letters though)
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Author Comment

by:jbriley3
ID: 24107046
Thanks for all the useful input.  You guys should consult for HP.  They have seemed incapable of correcting MSA problems.

Have to do some checking.  But the tip that the MSA only wants one controller is especially useful.  Going to have the MSA reconfigured to stop fail over.  Maybe disable one controller and use it when the active controller fails, which seems to be too often.  Will get back to assign points in a week or two.

Will attach a show tech_support file for each controller.

Thanks again.
MSA-Active
MSA-Inactive
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LVL 55

Accepted Solution

by:
andyalder earned 220 total points
ID: 24108551
I just checked and capitals aren't valid in an iqn. Google iqn and "lower case".
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