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Using Shared Dell PowerVault MD3000 SAN with iSCSI for more than 2 Servers running VMWareESXi

Posted on 2009-04-07
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi All,

I'm in the process of getting new Virtualization Technology working in my office using:
2x Dell PowerEDGE 2950-III each installed with iSCSI Controller accessing the following SAN
1x the Dell PowerVault MD3000 (10x 300 GB 15k rpm SAS)

The VMWare ESXi is installed in an internal USB to load 4x VMs which is running SOLARIS ( serving as Project, homes, SAMBA file server and Source code repository and compiling the project source code as build server too.)

5x Windows Server 2003 which performing as Application Server running Apache Tomcat.
And I wonder if there is any performance benefits in implementing the Shared SAN for those two physical Server through iSCSI as opposed with Fibre Channel.

I am aware that FC is faster and more expensive but in this case I wont run any VM with DB server on it.

shall i go down in the path of having iSCSI or stick with the FC considering the SAN is running on 15k rpm SAS used by 2 ESXi server.

Please share some thought in regards to this configuration.

Thanks,
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Question by:jjoz
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by:nappy_d
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iSCSI will work well.  If you can create a separate gigabit network that is specifically for the iSCSI traffic.
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by:jjoz
ID: 24093485
OK, would that means i shall create a different SUBNET just for the sake of network traffic separation between the SAN and those 2 Servers ?
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by:nappy_d
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Yes, that is correct. You want to make sure that there is absolutely little to no interfence with communications between your iscsi vmkernel and your SAN.
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by:jjoz
ID: 24093530
alright, I'm looking to get 2x DUAL port Gigabit Ethernet so that each server can have 2 GB of Bandwidth into it.
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by:nappy_d
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ID: 24095406
hmmm over IP because of the overhead, I would  subtract %20-%30 right of the bat for throughput plus you have to contend with the system bus being a potential bottleneck.   I would tell you to use your two NICs in a redundancy scenario rather than teaming them.  Better to have backup than be dead in the water.
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by:jjoz
ID: 24103390

OK, in this case If I'd like to configure the Server like this:

2x Gigabit Ethernet on Server1 - connect to HP Procurve Gigabit Switch
2x Gigabit Ethernet on Server2 - connect to HP Procurve Gigabit Switch

Dell PowerVault MD3000 - connect to HP Procurve Gigabit Switch

and then the Procurve Gigabit connects to the other Gigabit Switch using 2 uplink cable so that the rest of the office could access the Virtualized Servers.
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nappy_d earned 2000 total points
ID: 24103757
I I think you should add another two nics for redundancy to your infrastructure if you can afford it.  See my Diagram below

Four NICs for each server configured as redundant links.  Two NICs for your SAN

A - from each server, configure two nics into a vLAN for communications ONLY to your SAN

B - The other two NICs are configured as redundant links for communication from your server to your production network.
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by:nappy_d
nappy_d earned 2000 total points
ID: 24103761
Here is my diagram..

Picture-171.png
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by:jjoz
ID: 24104011
great,

thanks nappy !
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by:jjoz
ID: 31567842
thanks for your help sir !
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 24124550
Hi nappy, this is my final plan for the deployment.

thanks for your inspiration.

VM-LAN.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 24125485
Excellent.  Thanks for the followup.
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 24134433
Again, in this case I'd like to simplify the diagram again so that i can use 2xdirect patch cable connection to the SAN from each server and just leave the production line access one cable to the unmanaged switch while those two pairs of the SAN-Servers running on it's own subnet
Please find the following final diagram:

thanks for all of your comments Nappy.

iSCSI-SAN.jpg
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Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 24190649
Nappy,

This is the updated diagram by creating a separate Subnet for the SAN without the use of managed switch.
 
 please let me know your comment or shall i start another thread.
 
 Thanks,
 

iSCSI-SAN.jpg
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