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I am working on a new setup where physical servers are going to be converted to virtual servers using VMware ESX 4.

What we have: 2 Dell R710 servers, 1 Dell PS4000 iSCSI SAN, 1 Dell PowerConnect 5424 switch.
Existing LAN:

Question: Is this the best network design / IP scheme for this? Should the Dell 5424 switch IP be used as the gateway?

Attached is a diagram for you to view.

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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
There should be at least two networks.  The SAN network to connect the ESX hosts and the SAN and your prodiction network.  The two VLANs or subnets should not route to each other.  Easiest way to do this is to setup the cisco 5424 switch with mulitple VLANs
I have just finished installing 16 XenServer Hosts on a dedicated iSCSI LAN using Equalogic & Powerconnect Switches in a Dell M1000 chassis.

The one important thing for me was to have a dedicated Non Routable network for your iSCSI traffic, so dont use a gateway.  If the Budget allows, consider using an additional 5424 switch to provide redundancy on the iSCSI network.  Use one of the Interfaces on each controller on the Equalogic for management (192 Network), and the other 3 for your iSCSI network.

Best practice for VMWare & Xen is not to use a gateway on your 5424!



We already have plans on adding another 5424 in the next couple of months, they are not that expensive. I understand why not to use a gateway with 5424 but what about the SAN and ESX host, don't they need gateways?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

The ESX hosts interfaces that are on the SAN subnet/vlan do not need interfaces.  

The management interface needs a default gateway for heartbeat and communication

Looking at your diagram the red lines are your standard LAN, all of the addressing looks absolutely fine.

On the Equalogic you will have four interfaces (on each controller), and you have as your group IP.  I would drop, and use that interface on your 192.168.1 Network for management.

When you configure your ESX boxes, you will need to configure a VMKernel port group.  Assign two NIC's to that port group which are patched into your 5424.  As long as you give the VMKernel port group the IP of, it will not need a gateway as its all on the same network as the SAN.

You only need a gateway if you are connecting to anything on a different Network.

In addition to my previous post, any client on the 192.168.1 Network would not be able to ping any of the 10.20.30.* IP's - which is exactly what you want - a dedicated non routable network.

You will still be able to manage your Equalogic from your LAN