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Trunks on Dell 5424 iSCSi switches and VMware 4.1

Posted on 2012-03-17
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi all,

We're trying to eliminate a storage iSCSI problem on the Dell MD3200i, 2x Dell 5424 switches, and 2x DELL R610 ESXi 4.1 hosts.

Dell's recommendation is to set different segment on each controller's port, but for that we'll have to use trunk since there are only 2 iSCSI ports which allocates on the R610 ports.

The question is, what is the best practice to set the trunk on the 5424 switches, and on the VMware, and if there are any other considerations when using LUN's over trunks in ESXi 4.1 environment.

Thank you very much in advance
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Question by:IT_Group1
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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by:IT_Group1
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Thanks for the swift reply.
Before start reading, what about the trunk and the physical NIC's limitation?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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why should there be a physical nic limitation, and trunks?
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by:IT_Group1
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Since there are 2 controllers, each with 4 iscsi ports, and dell requested 4 segments.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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and whats the issue?
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by:IT_Group1
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Dear Andrew

the issue is that we have 4 port on each host but only two are available for the "trunk" purpose we need to configure to two port to connect with four network segments.
please see the Dell storage best practice config to do so.
Dell-Storage-Config.jpg
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by:IT_Group1
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hanccocka?
We will really appreciate your help here, since it's a production env, and backup's are keep failing due to a mis-configuration.

Thanks
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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what backups software, and how are they failing?
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by:IT_Group1
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Man, trust me when I say - we're way over this (numerous tickets in Symantec and Dell).
We're at the point that both vendors demands to use the suggested best practice on the storage, in order that they'll keep supporting us.

Just to feed your curiosity - it's BackupExec 2010 R2, and they fail with many different reasons (at least 5 different errors).

Please assist with the configuration of the storage / switches (trunks) and the ESXi 4.1 u1 part.

Thanks
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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I need to understand the failure of the Backup Software OR

If virtual machines are correctly working in your environment with SAN, I do not understand why the Vendors are stating it's a storage issue why Backup Software is failing.

Do you have any issues with your storage and vritual machines? (exclude the Backup Software at present)

Please post screenshots of networking, vSwitches for examination, but I at a loss here, because if Storage or Networking is not defined as Symantec or Dell recommend, and they not going to state it's incorrect??
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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also what do Dell and Symantec suggest is Best Practice?
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by:IT_Group1
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Tomorrow i'll post the exact details, not at work now.
Thx
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by:IT_Group1
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Andrew Hi,

the Dell best practice is the picture that i Posted on 2012-03-19 at 10:29:15
the Symantec best practice is to backup directly to the virtual array, and not to "backup to disk folder"
as today.
we have a long history about it that include files and folder "lock"
at the filesystem level because of malfunction communication between the vmware hosts and the storage.
that's way we know for sure that the problem is with the storage config (we also double check that with Dell).

the storage is a SAN based storage with iScsi connection to the vmware hosts.
is it possible for us to make a phone call to better explain to you the history and the current state of the storage issue ?

thanks in advance.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Im afraid all communication must be through the EE forum.

Im still at a real loss here, if you have setup as per Dell Best Practice, does Symantec agree this is Best Practice, Im surprised they would have the experience to know this.
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by:IT_Group1
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i'm posting her the screenshot of the storage event log and the network config of the vmware hosts ,and the V-center iscsi config.

the v-center is the pc that holds the mapping of the LUN's from the storage,
and functions as the Backup system PC.
first-host-config.JPG
Second-host-config.JPG
storage-event-log.JPG
v-center.JPG
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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have you considered setting up as per my best practice document, rather than a vSwitch per VMKernel Portgroup?

what you have implemented functions, but not considered best practice.

and why do Dell state you get those errors?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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In situations like this where Vendors Dell and Symantec disagree over design and implementation, we often use VMware Professional services to check the implementation and sign off on it.

Once VMware have approved the configuration, we bounce back to Vendors to resolve.
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by:IT_Group1
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so you suggesting to see if the config is OK with vmware ?
and only then turn to the other vendors ?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Your configuration looks okay, although opinions have changed as too whether Best Practice.

Get the VMware Seal of Approval and then recheck with vendors. But Vendors still may decide their way is the only way.
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Hi hanccocka,

i am wating for the vmware approval on the config.
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