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How to Configure an Additional HBA on a Cisco MDS FC Switch (vMware v5.0)

Posted on 2013-01-08
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How to Configure an Additional HBA on a Cisco MDS FC Switch (vMware v5.0)

Asked by: lipotech


 In my current environment I have 3 sites, two host per datacenter in a single cluster. My objective is to install an additional host on site A and Site B to allocate more resources to each datacenter.  Each host will be configured with 2 HBAs per host. Once the objective is reached, I will have three host per site with two HBAs per host.  

Environment: EMC VNX5300, MDS FC, NAS Block Storage, RecoverPoint, Replication from site A to Site B.

1. How should I configure the 2 existing Cisco MDS FC switches to support the new host?
2. How do I load the HBA driver on an ESXi v5.0 server?
3. What risks exist on the array when this type of upgrade is performed?

Thank you for your support.
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Question by:lipotech
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Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 38761120
1. How should I configure the 2 existing Cisco MDS FC switches to support the new host?
First install the HBAs in the new servers, connect your Ethernet cables for management etc, run the FC  cables to the MDS switches (one HBA to each switch), install ESXi and boot the server. Check the lights on the HBA - you should see a solid green light that indicates that the HBA has the driver loaded and is connected and logged into a FC switch. Now, on the MDS switches, create a new alias for the new Fibre Channel WWN. Typically, it will be in the format <servername>_HBA<0 or 1> - so for example: server3_HBA0 and server3_HBA1 - check how it's been set up and use the same conventions so that everything is consistent. The storage aliases will already exist, so you don't need to create them again.
Create a zone. The zone will contain the server HBA and the storage port. Create a zone for each storage port, so you'll have a zone that looks like this:
server3_HBA0
VNX5300_SPA00
and another zone that looks like this:
server3_HBA0
VNX5300_SPB01

On the other switch, you'll have:
server3_HBA1
VNX5300_SPA01
and another zone that looks like this:
server3_HBA1
VNX5300_SPB00

Once you've created the zones, add them to the existing configuration files, save to running and activate. Done.

Now go to Unisphere and check Connectivity Status. You should see the FC WWNs of the two new HBAs, and if everything has behaved itself, it should resolve to the new host name - that is; server3



This assumes that the array has been set up according to best practices.
2. How do I load the HBA driver on an ESXi v5.0 server?
If you are using a supported HBA, the driver is included in the ESXi kernel, so it will load automatically. Check here for the support status of your HBA: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php
3. What risks exist on the array when this type of upgrade is performed?
None if you follow the instructions carefully. This is a business-as-usual operation for your array and switching infrastructure. Go here: https://support.emc.com/products/15469_VNX5300 and create a procedure guide with step-by-step instructions for adding a host to your array. If you don't follow the instructions then:
 - the new host won't be able to access the storage
 - if you do something **really** silly, you could disconnect the existing hosts from the storage. Which would be bad. But the GUI warns you that you're about to do something stupid, so read the pop-up messages carefully.
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by:lipotech
ID: 38763386
Excellent response to my inquiry. I really appreciate the time you took to go into such detail.  Do you mind if I keep this session open for a couple of days as I walk through the process?
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 38764518
No problem. I'm happy to help. :-)
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Author Comment

by:lipotech
ID: 38764581
Thanks
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by:lipotech
ID: 38810339
meyersd,

Your advice was invaluable.  Thank you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:lipotech
ID: 38810343
Excellent detail.
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Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 38812151
Thanks! Glad I could help.
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