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Adding iSCSI LUNs to VMware ESX 3.5

Posted on 2009-04-21
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi,

I have a couple of VMware ESX server's and a Dell iSCSI Equallogic. I can add a LUN to several server's. The problem is that each time I add a LUN to a server ESX formats it. and all data is lost. Also, when a serevr looses connection to a LUN all other servers will also loose connection. E.g. if I remove a LUN from serverX it will also dissapear from serverY. NFS storege does not have this problem. Is there a way to add LUNs to ESX without formatting the LUN each time?
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Question by:reza81
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Expert Comment

by:kumarnirmal
ID: 24193408
The reason why NFS does not have this problem because it cannot be mounted as VMFS Volumes when adding to an ESX Host.

A LUN can be shared among a maximum of 32 ESX Hosts.

I have not come across this specific problem which you have mentioned.

I was under the impression that an ESX Host will check whether the LUN you add is a VMFS Volume and will then if its not a VMFS Volume, then it will request you to format it to VMFS if required.
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Expert Comment

by:kumarnirmal
ID: 24193410
NFS v3 over TCP is officially supported by VMware ESX
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by:reza81
ID: 24193516
"NFS v3 over TCP is officially supported by VMware ESX" Yes, but iSCSI is supported to!

--------

"I was under the impression that an ESX Host will check whether the LUN you add is a VMFS Volume and will then if its not a VMFS Volume, then it will request you to format it to VMFS if required" Can I check if this realy happens or not?
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:kumarnirmal
ID: 24193669
ESX supports FC SAN, iSCSI SAN, NFSv3, Local SATA, SAS and SCSI Drives but all except NFS support mounting as VMFS3 Volumes. NFS cannot be used as VMFS3 Volumes since it allows only file level access while other allow block level access to files.

Please backup your data which is available on the LUN before testing.
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Author Comment

by:reza81
ID: 24193841
kumarnirmal I have backed up everything. The issue is to connect iSCSI LUNs to ESX. It woks & connects fine. However, after connecting the same LUN to two or more ESX servers each time the LUN gets formated. Can a LUN be added without ESX wanting to format it???
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by:kumarnirmal
ID: 24194466
"I was under the impression that an ESX Host will check whether the LUN you add is a VMFS Volume and will then if its not a VMFS Volume, then it will request you to format it to VMFS if required" -

Have you checked doing this ?
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Author Comment

by:reza81
ID: 24194600
its a VMFS, the problem seems to be that the esx servers doesnt see that another server is already connected to the LUN and than tries to re-partition it. (what results in the volume being formatted)
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kumarnirmal earned 1500 total points
ID: 24200772
Please check your Settings as I can double confirm that if an ESX Host can see a LUN which another Host is connected to, then a rescan of the LUN would share the LUN and should not make the ESX Host request for format of the same.
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Author Comment

by:reza81
ID: 24203721
I can confirm that the esx hosts can see the LUN & after a rescan everything is still recognized.

tested it as follow:

* Added two LUNs on ESX server X & server Y
* rescaned the devices
* removed LUN1 from server X (by klicking remove)
* after refreshing server Y (storege) LUN1 has left the building!!!

So, is there another way to remove this kind of storege? without effecting the other servers added storege?
Adding the storege still gives the same problem to.
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Author Comment

by:reza81
ID: 24203889
Ok,

Rescanning solved the formatting problem. ESX seems to remember the volume name.

Removing a storege LUN is still a challange :-)
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Author Comment

by:reza81
ID: 24204073
DRS & Vmotion are not yet in use. This will be implemented two months from now. By than it will not be problem that esx removes LUN1 on all servers after removing it on serverX. Vmotion and drs require equal configurations on all esx servers.

thnaks for your help
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