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recommendation for new Vmware 5.1 setup

Posted on 2013-01-04
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I'm looking for advice / recommendations / best practices for my new server environment.

My current network Servers Infrastructure
4 - DL380 G5 servers running Vmware ESXi 4.1,  each server has four gigabit ethernet ports and two ISCSI ports ( Qlogic HBA cards )
Each server has approx 8 Guest VM's

3 - Dell Equallogic SANS
10 - Dell Poweredge 5448 Switches

Our 192.168.40.X network is setup as follows. ( we consider this our storage network )
The server ISCSI ports plug into two of the Dell Switches and the SANS also plug into these two Dell Switches.  
We use two dell switches for redundancy and have LAG setup between the switches.

Our 192.168.1.X network is setup as follows
The server Gigabit ethernet ports plug into the other two switches along with 6 other 5448 Switches that make up the rest of our netork where 100 PC's and 40 Printers connect.
We use two dell switches for redundancy and have LAG setup between the switches. ( we consider these two switches our central switches )

We have just purchased three HP DL380 G8 servers to replace the four current servers.  The new servers have 8 gigabit ethernet ports and NO Iscsi HBA cards.

Using these 3 servers, 3 SANS , 10 Switches and Vmware ESXi 5.1 what is the most efficient configuration ?
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Question by:Ekuskowski
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 38744679
setup iSCSI Best Practice as per my EE Aricles follows:-

HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client

Also download the HiT Kits from Dell Equallogic for VMware vSphere.

Keep at least two switches with four trunks (LAG) between them for Storage Network, and connect at least one path from each Server HBA to each switch.

I assume you SANs are all in the same PS Group?

Install ESXi on USB or SD cards.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784

iSCSI does not like teaming, so the six remaining ports, would need to be teamed for failover, or trunked and use VLANs for Virtual Machine Networks and vMotion.

So you could use two nics teamed for vMotion network, four nics trunked for Virtual Machine networks (and VLANs)
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by:IanTh
ID: 38746443
you only need 5.1 if your going to virtualise windows 8 and server 2012
vmotion in v5 and v5.1 can use multiple nics I seem to remember its 16 * 1gb Gig or 4* 10Gig you just need them in the port group that does the vmotion
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ekuskowski
ID: 38762722
This was excellent , especially the iSCSI Best Practice Article (HOW TO: Add an iSCSI Software Adaptor and Create an iSCSI Multipath Network in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESXi 5.0)

We worked with a Dell technician and he recommended using 4 NIC's for the ISCSI storage instead of just the two.  We followed his recommendation but he also said two would work just fine.
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