Allowing ESX to access a SAN through a Cisco fiber switch

Hi guys,

I have a diskless server (IBM x3550) that is tied via fiber to a Cisco fiber switch (MDS 9124) which in turn is tied into an IBM DS3400 for storage. I've gone into the DS3400 (out-of-band (via ethernet) and created 2 RAID 5 arrays f 557 gig each.

I've gone into the Cisco device and set up a VSAN 2 with a zoneset and a zone.  The 2 fiber links from the DS 3400 are plugged into fc1/1 and fc1/2.  The 2 fiber cables from the IBM x3550 are plugged into fc1/3 and fc1/4.  All of these ports have been assigned to the VSAN / zone on the Cisco device. (note: another person mentioned that configuring a VSAN may not be needed for such a basic setup.  Any thoughts on this would be appreciated)

I'm attempting to install ESX on the x3550 (using the SAN as storage) but it is unable to see any available space on the DS3400.  I went into the 'configure host access' area of the DS3400 but there is no option to for adding ESX access.  (Would adding it as Linux help?)

Any thoughts on how I can get the x3550 to recognize the DS3400 when I try to install ESX?

Thanks guys.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
You set the host type to Linux for HP so I think that is right for IBM as well. You've got to add the hosts on the DS3400 or it won't present the LUNs to them.

I didn't realise you only had one switch when I said don't need to use VSANs, with only one switch I would divide the switch into two VSANs and treat it as if it was two switches.

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During ESX setup, when it prompts to load custom drivers, select yes and insert a driver CD/Floppy.
(You can verify whether you Storage is supported from the website: If it is supported you can download the drivers from IBM.
Syngin9Author Commented:
Ok, that worked.  ESX installed no problem after that but I had to do some tweaking of the fiber card BIOS settings to get it to actually boot off the install.

I'm good to go now.  Thanks.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Indeed, BIOS is generally disabled on f/c HBAs.
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