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Dell MD3000i and 2 PowerConnect 5448 deployment

Posted on 2011-04-26
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hello Experts;

I have 2 PowerConnect 5448 switches,1 Dell MD3000i SAN and 3 ESX Servers.

I would like to know the best way to connect the SAN with these 2 switches to achieve high availability.  Since the switches does not support stacking, I would like to know the best way to design this network.

I'm thinking of creating 2 vlans on each switch, one for the LAN and one for iSCSI traffic. But the issue with this scenario is I have to create 2 iSCSI subnets, which is not a good thing since I have to attach my servers to 2 different iSCSI subnets.

so we have no choice but to vlan and trunk the switches to share vlan information. except I don't know how or what to trunk.

your device is highly appreciated.
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Question by:atigris
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 35471467
This is the recommended and best practice guide here

http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/VMware+ESX+4.0+and+PowerVault+MD3000i

You'll need to include the third ESX server in the design.
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by:atigris
ID: 35471852
Thanks very much,

I found a Design flow with this

The MD3000i is an active/active array meaning that both RAID controllers can service I/O. However from the host's perspective to a single virtual disk (LUN) it us active/passive, meaning the one RIAD controller owns a particular virtual disk and will service all of it's I/O. The other RAID controller can take ownership if there is a failure in the SAN preventing the host from accessing the virtual disk on the other RAID controller. When configuring the MD3000i, it will load balance the virtual disk's ownership between the two RAID controllers.
 
So if the Switch goes down, the RAID will not know what happened and it will continue to serve via that switch. In this scenario we have to fail to the other controller manually.  


What you guys think about this?
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by:ocelot00
ocelot00 earned 1000 total points
ID: 35710799

You are correct that the MD3000i is an active/active configuration.  The RAID will only know that the ports are down if a switch were to fail. The controllers will fail over any virtual disks that are being accessed on to the still communicating controller.  You will not lose access to the data and get a not on preferred path error .  There is a preferred owner/controller but the virtual disks can be owned by either controller.  A way to test this is to only connect your initiator to one controller that does not own the virtual disk.  You will see that the virtual disk will move to the other controller to allow access to the data.
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by:atigris
ID: 35765819
Thanks for the info
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