iSCSI Network Design Help

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Let me start off by saying my expertise level in network setup is very low.  I have tried to do some reading but have been unable to find a good source of information.  

My end goal is to virtualize all of our servers, we have purchased the following pieces of hardware to do so:

1 - VNXe 3100 Series Storage Device
2 - Dell PowerEdge R710 Servers loaded with VMWare ESXi
2 - Dell PowerConnect 6224 Stackable Switches for iSCSI Network

We have the same hardware above for our DR location.

Where I need help is configuring and physically connecting the Storage Device with the ESXi servers.  I have no idea where to begin.  Our current production LAN sits on a 192.168.2.x subnet.  Can anyone provide me a good place for documentation on such a setup (I am a very visual learner so pictures or diagrams is best) or can someone quickly put together a diagram on how things should be configured and physically connected together.  I would like to think that what I am doing is a pretty common setup.

If you need more information please let me know as I have probably left out a lot of important info.

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.
Question by:GBTIS
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Well i SCSI just using regular network cables.
    You will want a separate switch for the iSCSI network and it should be gigabit enterprise class, so something like a Cisco or EMC.
    Maybe this is what the 6224 is for?

    Well If your network is already in place and I am guessing the R710 has at least 2 NICs? You should run 1 NIC into your current network so your VM's can access your current network then another NIC into your new switch and your Storage device should also connect to the 6224 switch.

    The rest is configuration in ESXi

    You will need to install ESXi and configure it with an IP address or let it get one if you have DHCP, this should be hard set Static.

    From there you need to use the VMWare Vsphere client to connect to the ESXi server to configure it.

    Now install your Virtual Machines or use the converter to convert your physical to virtual machines, You should have the option in ESXi to use the 3100 as a LUN.

    You may need to configure the 3100 first, if you received software with the 3100 you should install it on a laptop and plug the 3100 into the 6224 along with a laptop and configure the 3100 for your specific use which sounds like 1 big LUN.

    Please read that PDF and let me know if you have any more questions.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    The 6224 switches are for the iSCSI network.  We have other Cisco switches for our production LAN.  The production LAN is already in place but the 6224 switches for the iSCSI network are yet to be configured.  I am unsire how I shoudl go about setting up their IP addresses.

    The R710's have a total of 8 NIC's on them, 4 on an on-board card and 4 on a PCIe Card.

    I will read through the PDF and let you know if I have questions.

    I understand the use of VMware and the 3100 software where I need the help is in establishing the communication between the 3100 and the ESXi hosts.

    Thanks for your help burners.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Just make up a network
    You said you have 192.168.2.x subnet so lets do this - 6224 Switch - 3100 SAN
    192.168.3.X ESXi

    so 192.168.3.X is your iSCSI network and 192.168.2.X is your main LAN
    Just leave all the settings in the 6224 default except setting a management IP

    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    Also since the server has 8 ports do this

    1 From Onboard
    1 From Add On Card
    2 ports on local LAN switch and setup to BIND

    1 From Onboard
    1 From Add On Card
    2 ports on iSCSI network and setup to BIND

    First only use 1 of each ports and then later setup the BIND on the interfaces, dont BIND 2 interfaces on the same controller, this doesnt make sense because ports usually dont go bad, entire cards do.

    Another option depending on how many VM's you will have is this

    4 from Onboard to LAN network
    4 from PCI card to SAN network

    Now you have 4 sets of connections and you can pass 1 Set to Each VM if you have 4 or less VM's, or if you have say 8 VM's you can create 4 groups in ESXi and add 2 VM's to each group.

    I need more details to help you with that one.

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