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VMWare ESX Server 3i on Dell PowerEdge 2950 connected to PowerVault MD3000i double controller disk array

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
Hi,

I wonder if someone can help me a bit to correctly set up two physical Dell PowerEdge 2950 boxes running VMWare ESX Server 3i against a Dell PowerVault MD3000i double controller storage box.

Eveything is physically connected and I'm using VMWare Infrastructure Client logged in to one of the PE boxes and the Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager is logged in to the MD3000i box.

I cannot figure out how to have the MD3000i disk resources show up in VMWare's resource list, and I also need some advice in best practices as of which RAID type to select in my scenario.

regards Geir
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Question by:geir056
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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 24866908
i checked dell Dell PowerVault MD3000i is actully an iscsi device
to be able to present iscsi LUN to your host, you need to enable the iscsi software adapter in esx, you can do this in VIC
after that add isci target(ip add of MD3000i)
create your lun in MD3000i and present to your esx host directly, this can be the host ip address
after creating your LUNS, rescan your isci adapter esx using VIC
you should be able to view the newly presented LUN and add it as datastore
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Author Comment

by:geir056
ID: 24867077
Thanks for the quick comment!
A bit more details here:  
I have assigned static IPs to my MD300i iSCSI ports as follows:

Controller0 Port0 192.168.100.10
Controller0 Port1 192.168.101.10
Controller1 Port0 192.168.100.11
Controller1 Port1 192.168.101.11

Does this make sense? All these ports are connected to a iSCSI switch where also the ESX server boxes are connected.

From VIC / Inventory / Configuration / Storage Adapters / iSCSI Software Adapter  / Properties / Dynamic Duscovery - I have:

iSCSI Server:
192.168.100.10:3260
192.168.101.10:3260

However the VIC Add Storage manager finds no drives when I select Disk / LUN...

regards Geir
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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 24867190
yes, it should work fine, the reason to have the extra controllers/ports are for redundancy purposes
you can even have multiple NICs to the same iscsi host
select the isci adapter then click rescan adapter, you need to rescan before can add the datastore
just ensure you can ping all ip address from the host
normally you need to define at the iscsi host which server/ip address can access the LUNs you created
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Author Comment

by:geir056
ID: 24867337
OK, I have rescanned in VIC but to no avail.  

Attached are screenshots of VIC / Network (virtual switches) are these correctly set up?
Also a screenshot of Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager's controller status page.  It displays 'Connected' but I wonder if that's just the network cable plugged in..

Here are some more info:  
When doing a scan for 'Configured Hosts' in Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager (for MD3000i) it finds none.  I have enabled 'No Authentication' in this phase to rule out auth problems.  However the MD3000i does not seem to find any hosts.

I have not found any place in VIC or the Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager from where I can ping to test 'real' connectivity.  Neither does the PE console not have any provision for this.  What do you suggest as next step to find out what's (not) going on here...?

Geir


VIC-Netw.jpg
PV-Ctrls.jpg
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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 24868127
as long as the gateway is correct, you dont need to have multiple vmkernel ports
it will be easier to have only 2 vswitches as a start, you can remove vSwitch2
so vswitch0 with vmkernel port assigned and vswitch1 with vmnetwork port assigned(for vm network)
you can assign 2 NICs (active/passive) to the vmkernel port for redundancy or you can team them for the vm network
you can do a ping test in "unsupported" mode
check here http://www.virtualizationadmin.com/articles-tutorials/vmware-esx-articles/general/how-to-access-the-vmware-esxi-hidden-console.html
by the way, have you created the iscsi LUN and presented it to the esx host?
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Author Comment

by:geir056
ID: 24868337
Ok I will remove switch #2 to reduce as much as possible now.

When mentioning 'gateway' you probably touched a soft spot here.  

When having our MD3000i configured like this:
Controller0 Port0 192.168.100.10
Controller1 Port0 192.168.100.11

and ESX 3i Virtual Switch iSCSI Controller 0 IP 192.168.100.20

What would be the correct *gateway* IP for both boxes in this scenario?  There is no connection to the internet or to any other network from the iSCSI switch, it just connects the two PE boxes to the MD3000i.

Somebody told me that I should use different subnets for better throughput, hence the reason for using two subnets and two iSCSI virtual switches in ESX.

I will set up gateway IPs on both devices according to your advice and proceed from there.

regards Geir

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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 24874927
well when i look at your controller ip add below, i'm assuming Port0 & Port1 is on different subnet
Controller0 Port0 192.168.100.10
Controller0 Port1 192.168.101.10
Controller1 Port0 192.168.100.11
Controller1 Port1 192.168.101.11

this is what i had in mind, am i right? so you must have a router/L3 device right?
port0 : subnet 192.168.100.0/24
port1 : subnet 192.168.101.0/24

i cant tell you what is the gateway as you show know your network better than anyone else :)
so as long the gateway is properly defined, both controller ports will be reachable
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Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 24875579
you may need to enter the esx host iscsi initiators and zone them in the SAN.  This tells the SAN that the ESX host is allowed to connect
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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 24878413
any luck bro?
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Author Comment

by:geir056
ID: 24883335
Had some other issues today, will need to take this up again on Monday.  Sorry for the delay.  Will post an update.

Geir
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Author Comment

by:geir056
ID: 24893095
The iSCSI network is strictly local between the two ESXI boxes and the MD3000i, so there is no need for CHAP or any other security.

Each ESX box has two NICs (A and B), dedicated to iSCSI.  I thought that it was ok to assign both ESX 'A' NICs to MD3000i Controller 0 using the ..100.. subnet and likewise both 'B' NICs to controller 1 using the ..101.. subnet.  Hence same subnet on both ESX and MD3000i side and no need for routing (or gateway).

iSCSI net 'A' wired together using switch:
ESX Box 1 NIC A 192.168.100.20
ESX Box 2 NIC A 192.168.100.30
MD3000i Controller0 Port0 192.168.100.10
MD3000i Controller1 Port0 192.168.100.11

iSCSI net 'B' wired together using switch:
ESX Box 1 NIC B 192.168.101.20
ESX Box 2 NIC B 192.168.101.30
MD3000i Controller0 Port1 192.168.101.10
MD3000i Controller1 Port1 192.168.101.11

Do I need any routing / gateway in this case?  I don't know how VMWare trunk/bundle NIC A and B together iSCSI wise internally but maybe somebody can shed some light on that...

Anyway, this is my current scenario, please comment on how I SHOULD put this and what to enter as gateway etc on both sides...

regards

Geir
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Accepted Solution

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ryder0707 earned 500 total points
ID: 24896329
i get what you mean, you dont need gateway after all
i think i might found solution to your confusion, i'm confused myself :)
check out http://communities.vmware.com/message/1112074;jsessionid=628FB0A85779853D16169B1F48EEA8C8
credit to the author for his detail diagram
but i still think you can just have a single vswitch but this time create 2 port groups, each for your different subnet and each port group assigned a dedicated NIC
good luck!
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Author Closing Comment

by:geir056
ID: 31604125
Thanks for the tips, together your posts pointed me in the right direction :-)  Now it works!
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Expert Comment

by:ryder0707
ID: 25002300
glad to help :)
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