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VMware and Networking

I'm playing around with a new VM deployment and was wondering if I could get a bit of advice on something. I have a Dell MD3200i with two controllers and a couple of Dell R710's, each with 12 physical NICs and a couple of powerconnect switches. I'm happy with my physical network setup, and the MD3200i setup as per the Dell Deployment guide but what I was wondering about was the IP setup on the R710's vmnics on the iSCSI bindings.

What I have setup is:
Controller 0 Port 0: 192.168.10.1 Switch1
Controller 0 Port 1: 192.168.11.1 Switch2
Controller 0 Port 2: 192.168.12.1 Switch1
Controller 0 Port 3: 192.168.13.1 Switch2
Controller 1 Port 0: 192.168.10.2 Switch1
Controller 1 Port 1: 192.168.11.2 Switch2
Controller 1 Port 2: 192.168.12.2 Switch1
Controller 1 Port 3: 192.168.13.2 Switch2

Now, in ESXi I have:
vmnic4 vSwitch1 vmkPort: iSCSI1 192.168.10.50  switch1
vmnic8 vSwitch1 vmkPort: iSCSI2 192.168.10.51  switch1
vmnic5 vSwitch2 vmkPort: iSCSI3 192.168.11.50  switch2
vmnic11 vSwitch2 vmkPort: iSCSI3 192.168.11.51  switch2

These are bound to the Software iSCSI adapter, round robin(vmware) etc

Is this correct?

I can see the Disk Groups created on the MD3200i and create VM's

I have a nagging feeling it should be something like:

vmnic4 vSwitch1 vmkPort: iSCSI1 192.168.10.50  switch1
vmnic8 vSwitch1 vmkPort: iSCSI2 192.168.11.50  switch2
vmnic5 vSwitch2 vmkPort: iSCSI3 192.168.12.50  switch1
vmnic11 vSwitch2 vmkPort: iSCSI3 192.168.13.50  switch2

With the first setup I am seeing a lot of 'Lost Access to volume' errors in ESXi connecting back to the MD3200i and other connectivity issues - lost links, restored links, uplink redundancy restored etc.

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated
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Dipper29
Asked:
Dipper29
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1 Solution
 
shahravishCommented:
Hi, I am abit concerned with you using 2 switches and 4 subnets? We have deployed a few SAN's (Dell, HP, Storagelfex, EMC etc) and some of them did have dual controllers with 4 ports.
I would suggest your ideal set up to be as below:

C = Controller, P = Port, S = Switch

C1P1 - S1P1
C1P2 - S2P1
C1P3 - S1P2
C1P4 - S2P2
C2P1 - S2P3
C2P2 - S1P3
C2P3 - S2P4
C2P4 - S1P4

H1P1 - S1P5
H1P2 - S2P5
H2P1 - S2P6
H2P2 - S1P6

Within Vmware , yo ucreate 2 vswitches on both hosts.
vSwtich 1  - Connecting to switch 1 (same subnet as switch 1)
vSwitch 2 - Connecting to switch 2 (same subnet as switch 2)

If you have hardware ISCSI enabled ,you need to associate these swithces with the appropriate hba's, and if you are using software iscsi, you need to associate both these switches to the software  iscsi hba.

If you have more nics on the host to dedicate for iscsi, you can configure as below:
H1P1 - S1P5
H1P2 - S2P5
H1P3 - S1P6
H1P4 - S2P6
H2P1 - S2P7
H2P2 - S1P7
H2P3 - S2P8
H2P4 - S1P8

This will give you a true meshed design for your iscsi network.
If you have any qiuestions, let me know

Thanks
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shahravishCommented:
I thought I shall include the IP configs too:

C1P1 (192.168.100.101) - S1P1
C1P2 (192.168.200.102) - S2P1
C1P3 (192.168.100.103) - S1P2
C1P4 (192.168.200.104) - S2P2
C2P1 (192.168.200.101) - S2P3
C2P2 (192.168.100.102) - S1P3
C2P3 (192.168.200.103) - S2P4
C2P4 (192.168.100.104) - S1P4

H1P1 (192.168.100.105) - S1P5
H1P2 (192.168.200.105) - S2P5
H2P1 (192.168.200.106) - S2P6
H2P2 (192.168.100.106) - S1P6

With 4 nics per host

H1P1 (192.168.100.105) - S1P5
H1P2 (192.168.200.105) - S2P5
H1P3 (192.168.100.106) - S1P6
H1P4 (192.168.200.106) - S2P6
H2P1 (192.168.200.107) - S2P7
H2P2 (192.168.100.107) - S1P7
H2P3 (192.168.200.108) - S2P8
H2P4 (192.168.100.108) - S1P8

vSwitch 1 - P1 & P3 connecting to Switch 1
vSwitch 2 - P2 & P4 connecting to switch 2
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Dipper29Author Commented:
Thanks very much for the quick response Shahravish.

In response to your question, I went with 4 subnets as this is the recommended configuration as per the MD3200i setup guide.

if you are using software iscsi, you need to associate both these switches to the software  iscsi hba

Yes, I did this with 4 vmnics as mentioned above.
vmnic4 active vmnic8 unused iSCSI1  192.168.10.50
vmnic8 active vmnic4 unused iSCSI2  192.168.10.51
vmnic5 active vmnic11 unused iSCSI3 192.168.11.50
vmnic11 active vmnic5 unused iSCSI4 192.168.11.51
IPHash failover on all
They are all bound to the software iscsi hba
iSCSI1 and ISCSI2 plug into Switch1
iSCSI3 and iSCSI4 plug into Switch 2

I was going to duplicate this setup on a seconf R710 but have the iSCSI connections on that physical box use the 192.168.12.x and 192.168.13.x subnets abnd split them between the two switches as above.

Or...shoudl I be using one from each of the 4 subnets on each server?

I am try to ensure maximum throughput and maximum failover/redundancy between the MD3200, the switches and the R710 hosts
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shahravishCommented:
I am assuming you have configured VLANs on the 2 switches?

If 4 subnets is suggested, I would use 4 different subnets on each host, rather than 2 per host.
Essentially you are trying to ensure you have 4 different paths to the controller. If you use 2 per host, you are providing 2 nics from host, to a single port per controller.
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Dipper29Author Commented:
That was my thought as well, I was just looking for a bit of advice to see if my thinking was correct, which you have provided ;)


Appreciate the responses ;)
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Dipper29Author Commented:
So, I'll put in my final 'live' configuration, if it helps anyone in the future:

MD3200i
Controller 0 Port 0: 192.168.10.1 Switch1
Controller 0 Port 1: 192.168.11.1 Switch2
Controller 0 Port 2: 192.168.12.1 Switch1
Controller 0 Port 3: 192.168.13.1 Switch2
Controller 1 Port 0: 192.168.10.2 Switch1
Controller 1 Port 1: 192.168.11.2 Switch2
Controller 1 Port 2: 192.168.12.2 Switch1
Controller 1 Port 3: 192.168.13.2 Switch2

R710:
vmnic4 active vmnic8 unused iSCSI1  192.168.10.50
vmnic8 active vmnic4 unused iSCSI2  192.168.11.50
vmnic5 active vmnic11 unused iSCSI3 192.168.12.50
vmnic11 active vmnic5 unused iSCSI4 192.168.13.50
IPHash failover on all
Jumbo Frames ON
They are all bound to the software iscsi hba
iSCSI1 and ISCSI2 plug into Switch1
iSCSI3 and iSCSI4 plug into Switch 2

Other vmnics used for Maintenance and vMotion ports and plugged into another switch
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Dipper29Author Commented:
2nd R710:
vmnic4 active vmnic8 unused iSCSI5  192.168.10.51
vmnic8 active vmnic4 unused iSCSI6  192.168.11.51
vmnic5 active vmnic11 unused iSCSI7 192.168.12.51
vmnic11 active vmnic5 unused iSCSI8 192.168.13.51
IPHash failover on all
Jumbo Frames ON
They are all bound to the software iscsi hba
iSCSI5 and ISCSI6 plug into Switch1
iSCSI7 and iSCSI8 plug into Switch 2
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shahravishCommented:
I would ensure the switch names are same on both hosts. You will need these for vmotion to work. Ensure on the second host too, the switch names are iSCSI1, iSCSI2, iSCSI3, iSCSI4

Other than that, it all looks ok.
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