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Emc SAN IscsI and seperate Cisco switch

Posted on 2010-09-17
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I have a emc cx-5i with two SPE and a seperate cisco gigabit switch that I want to use for the Iscsi network in a vmrare implementation.

I want to know what ports on the emc and the vmware host willl use the iscsi switch.
Do I need an up link to LAN switch?
Do I need vlans?

What ports need to communicate with each other to make this work?

How do I configure the Iscsi ports on the cisco switch.

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Question by:johnemyers
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by:bgoering
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They are just regular access ports on the cisco switch - you will need "switchport access vlan n" if not using the native vlan.

on vmware keep the storage networking seperate from other networking. Create a new vSwitch and associate with the vmnic you will be using for storage. Then create a vmkernel port on the vswitch and give it an IP address. Note that this must be in the same IP subnet you assign for your storage.

So yes, you should create a vlan for your storage - two vlans if you want to use multipathing. If using multipathing create yet another vswitch and vmkernel port on yet another IP subnet for your 2nd path.

Hope this helps
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BloodRed earned 500 total points
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As said above, your iSCSI ports on your Cisco switch are simply access ports as long as you aren't doing any form of trunking.  The overall configuration really depends on whether or not you are using vLANs, multipathing, jumbo frames, trunking, number of uplinks on your ESX hosts, etc.  

For a very simple config to get yourself up and running with the built-in Software iSCSI Adapter in ESX using a single Cisco swtich (can be any GbE switch, really), do the following.  

1. Connect  one or two (for redundancy) uplinks on your ESX host to the Cisco switch using a CAT6 cable.
2. Connect the SAN iSCSI ports to the same switch and assign the iSCSI initiators on the SAN IP addresses.  
3. Create a new vSwitch on your ESX host and configure it to use the uplink(s) you connected to the Cisco switch.
4. Create a new vmkernel network connection on that vSwitch and assign it an IP on the same subnet as the iSCSI SAN.
5. Connect to that ESX host using the vSphere client (or go through vCenter if you have it).
6. Click on the Configuration tab, select Network Adapters.
7. Highlight the Software iSCSI Adapter and click Properties.
8. Click Advanced (I think, this is from memory) and check the box for Enabled and click Ok.
9. Go back into the properties of the Software iSCSI Adapter, on the Static Targets tab enter the IP addresses of the iSCSI targets on your SAN and enter any CHAP into necessary (if you configured it on the SAN, otherwise leave it blank).  Click OK.
10. Back at the main Properties page, click CHAP and select the box to use the initiator name as the CHAP name.  This sets the name of the incoming initiator so that you can use it to set up the initiator settings on the SAN.
11. Ensure that your SAN is set up to accept connections from the initiator names of your ESX hosts and that any CHAP settings match.  Also make sure that the iSCSI LUNs on your EMC are configured to be presented to those incoming iSCSI initiators.
12. On the ESX host, Configuration tab, select Storage Adapters once again and click Rescan.
13. If all of that is set up correctly, you should see your iSCSI LUNs detected by the the software initiator.
14. Now, on the Configuration tab click Storage and Add Storage.  You will now see the iSCSI LUNs available to create VMFS datastores.

Good luck!
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by:bgoering
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Good post BloodRed - very detailed.

For complete info look at the iSCSI SAN Config document: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf

Good Luck
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by:BloodRed
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Thanks.  

On step #6 I meant to say Storage Adapters, not Network Adapters.  

VMware's documentation is very good, I would definitely suggest reading that, though if you're just looking to get up and running quickly it can be an information overload sometimes.  

johnemyers:  Let us know how it goes and if you have any questions!
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