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Using multiple NIC ports with the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
Hi,

This isn't an issue we've come across before because most of our Servers are running under vmWare.  In this case we have a new Exchange 2010 Server which needs to be physical but still requires access to our 6-node HP P4500 SAN cluster.

I'm familiar with the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator but the configuration in this case needs to be quite specific.

I want to effectively bind two of the onboard NIC's on the Server i'm configuring so both of them are used by the initiator.  I realise this configuration isn't perfect as we should ideally install a second NIC/HBA card in the Server and then run at least 1 port off each (1 on-board and 1 on-card) but first I want to find out if it's possible to spread the iSCSI traffic over the two ports.


So, is it possible to 'bind' the NIC's to the initiator in this way?  At the moment multipath connections are being made but they're all originating from the same interface.

Grateful for any pointers on how to configure this - if indeed it's possible.

Pete
 
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Question by:peterjwest
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:MBerni
ID: 36547637
Hey Pete,

did you configure your multipathing for round-robin so the traffic is shared?

Have a look here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc725907.aspx

Regards
Michael
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Assisted Solution

by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 25 total points
ID: 36547641
You should load the MP MPIO DSM. It might come with the HP StorageWorks P4500 Windows Solution Pack. Page 11 of this document references the software you need. I am not an HP customer so I can't get a lot more specific.

http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01886197/c01886197.pdf
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Accepted Solution

by:
andyalder earned 225 total points
ID: 36554831
You're right Kevin, with LeftHand / HP P4000 you really should use the specific DSM rather than relying on the generic one since it knows about Network RAID so will query the correct node if the data is striped across several rather than query the wrong one and rely on that node getting the data from the right node and passing it on.

How to force the DSM to load balance across the server's NICs though I think the only way is to have more than one target in use. HP don't say anything about forcing it to use a specific server NIC port in http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01727956/c01727956.pdf
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Author Closing Comment

by:peterjwest
ID: 36901952
Thanks to both Andy and Kevin, and also apologies for taking so long to come back to you all.  I've been on vacation and only just returned.

The PDF link in Andys reply gives precise instructions on how to achieve the aim we're after - and you effectively just do a normal connection but use the 'Advanced Option' to specify the NIC that you want to logon to the SAN volume.

Again, many thanks for your help.

Pete
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