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ESX iSCSI design bottlenecks?

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-14
I have a high speed storage setup using 10gb CNA cards on the HOST to Fabric (nexus 5020)

The 5020 then connects to the NetApp 3240 ports e0a/e0b via 1gb cat6 cable.

I'm pretty sure this means that the HOST is accessing storage data at 1gb speeds through it's 10gb host adapter (CNA) card.

Am I missing something here? I'm pretty sure these iSCSI ports on this NetApp is 1gb. There is two on each controller for a total of 4. I think two in an ifgrp would net me 2gb?

If this is correct and I'm not taking advantage of 10gb capability for host to storage access, then would using the FC ports on the NetApp instead of e0a/e0b iSCSI ports and doing FChannel work better?
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Question by:snyderkv
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 167 total points
ID: 36526093
Your thinking is correct.

Ah, yes, we normally etherchannel all our ethernet ports on the filer together. So normally, on one controller we would ethernerchannel four ports. (and then run various VLANs on those etherchannel trunk).

FC - depends on your fabric.
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by:BloodRed
BloodRed earned 167 total points
ID: 36526094
Sounds like you have it correct. In order to take full advantage of the 10Gb NIC on your ESXi host you need 10Gb from end to end.
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526123
Cool thanks guys, what does FC depend on my fabric mean? We have LC/LC 50 120 micron multimode fiber optics and Nexus 10gb /FCoE Nexus 5020. Everything redundant as well.
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by:paulsolov
paulsolov earned 166 total points
ID: 36526137
On netapp keep in mind that a single mode vif will only do failover, so you can do LACP or multimode
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LVL 119
ID: 36526144
What speed is your Fibre Channel Fabric?

NetApp is 4GB FC, but do you have FC licenses?
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LVL 119
ID: 36526161
You can use optional PCIe expansion slots as well, to give you Dual 10GbE.
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526249
Information overload.

And crap, the 32xx does have two 10gb CNA cards in slot 1 going to the Nexus, but can you push iSCSI through LC/LC connection?.

You know, I think the e0a/e0b may have been used for management like filer and system manager access in some crazy HA design. But not sure yet. Anyways continuing on. All I have right now is a diagram from another contracting company who's no longer sending their team to install this. So I'm trying to do detective work.

Paul, yes I think I'm suppose to use LACP if I create an ifgrp.

Hanc, I know the last site I configured using a 2040 was 4GB but I could of swore I read that the 3240 supported 10gb. I'll look into it.

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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526260
Redo,

And crap, the 32xx does have two 10gb CNA cards in slot 1 going to the Nexus, but can you pass iSCSI protocol through fiber optic medium?.

You know, I think the e0a/e0b may have been used for management like filer and system manager access in some crazy HA design. But not sure yet. Anyways continuing on. All I have right now is a diagram from another contracting company who's no longer sending their team to install this. So I'm trying to do detective work.

Paul, yes I think I'm suppose to use LACP if I create an ifgrp.

Hanc, I know the last site I configured using a 2040 was 4GB but I could of swore I read that the 3240 supported 10gb. I'll look into it.
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526315
Regarding 4gb target FC ports
NetApp site.
Each 32xx controller supports 4-Gb and 8-Gb FC target expansion adapters.

So why does my system have 10gb CNA card if it doesn't support 10gb or does it just reduce to 8gb?
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526350
Crap to answer my earlier question regarding running iSCSI through FC, the actual medium is FCoE that I will install in the CNA card on the NetApp so it will definatelly support iSCSI. So I think their is my 10gb iSCSI without going FC. Just don't know why e0a/e0b are used in my diagram with multipathing and all.
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36526355
Redo,

Crap to answer my earlier question regarding running iSCSI through FC, the actual medium is FCoE twinax cable that I will plug into the CNA card on the NetApp so it will definatelly support iSCSI. So I think their is my 10gb iSCSI without going FC. Just don't know why e0a/e0b are used in my diagram with multipathing and all.
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Author Comment

by:snyderkv
ID: 36528011
Ok I found a document attached page 64, that outlines and shows an example of using both iSCSI and FCoE together like in my case where my diagram shows e0a/e0b 1gb iSCSI and the CNA FCoE adapter e2a/e2b. Can someone explain the reason for this setup?

Here is what it says

FCoE: FCoE mixed with IP storage protocols
You can connect hosts to both controllers in an HA pair using FCoE initiators through FCoE
switches to FCoE target ports. You can also run non-FCoE Ethernet traffic through the same
switches.
You can have multiple FCoE and FC switches in the path between the initiator and target, up to the
maximum hop count limit. To connect FCoE switches to each other over Ethernet, the switches must
run a firmware version that supports Ethernet ISLs. You can also connect switches using FC ISLs.
The FCoE ports are connected to DCB ports on the FCoE switches. FCoE ports cannot use traditional
link aggregation to a single switch. Cisco switches support a special type of link aggregation called
Virtual Port Channel that does support FCoE. A Virtual Port Channel aggregates individual links to
two switches. You can also use the Virtual Port Channel for other Ethernet traffic. For more
information about configuring Virtual Port Channels, see Technical Report TR-3800: Fibre Channel
over Ethernet (FCoE) End-to-End Deployment Guide or your Cisco switch documentation.
Ports used for traffic other than FCoE, including NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, and other Ethernet traffic, can
use regular Ethernet ports on the FCoE switches.
Note: The FCoE target expansion adapter port numbers (2a and 2b) and the Ethernet port numbers
(e0a and e0b) in the following figure are examples. The actual port numbers might vary,
depending on the expansion slots in which the FCoE target expansion adapters are installed.
fc-iscsi-config-guide-80.pdf
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