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Serial connect from EQL controllers back to VM ESXI hosts?

Posted on 2013-06-01
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Okay, wondering if someone can help me with this.  inhertited environment with eql 4100xv with two controllers(0 and 1), both are configured eth connections to dell powerconnect stiches, while each have their serial db9 cabling back to my two vm hosts(vmshphere cluster).  No GUI on those hosts, so how would I use this serial connection to make a serial connection to my PS EQl in the event I couldn't access the SAN any way.  What I wound up doing when I needed last, during a stalled FM ware upgrade to EQl 6.0.45 was unplug it from one of my Vm hosts and plug it into a PE2950 physical server 03 and putty to the PS EQl.

what ma i missing... not an expert on SQl and VM config but learning more each time.  Thx
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Question by:dee30
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by:IanNoble
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Either plug the serial cable into a server or laptop, or better a serial terminal / console server that you can access via the network (or even out of band depending on the model) along with the serial port of your other appliances.

Equallogic firmware upgrades are best (from a reliability point of view) done from the command line rather than the Equallogic GUI, e.g. as described at

http://www.interweb.org.uk/2012/01/06/equallogic-ps-series-firmware-update-using-the-cli/

and whilst disk activity on the array is light.
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by:dee30
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not asking about fw upgrade. done. asking for an explanation of connection of vm hosts to controller in back on EQL SAN via the serial cables i see and why they are that way and if there is a way to actually make a SSH/Telnet/COM connection with e.g. putty with that 'as i found it' wiring and how to do so? Again the vm hosts have no GUI(os installed obviously) access is just from my vcenter client login to them.  I'm confused why it was left/plugged that way - the serial db9 male connectors go from the EQL (each controller) back to each of my vm hosts.  So, if doable, how to use(establish a connection) over that wire and access the EQL somehow when/if needed.  Thx
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by:IanNoble
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If cabled / set up that way chances are one of your vms is set up with serial port passthrough so can access it via that vm (ref http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.vm_admin.doc_50%2FGUID-A779C84D-4324-4D32-AF43-BBD962ABC9E3.html)
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by:dee30
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so i have to figure out which vm and or setup one with help of instructrion above to try this.  But in the event of a fw upgrade gliche, where generally i'd think all IO traffic should  be stopped( although hearing various recommendations on this topic) and yo ustop all VMs etc you wouldn't be able to use this method to connect serially to the EQl.  Correct?  or am I not understanding.  Thx
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IanNoble earned 500 total points
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You don't have to stop all vm's to upgrade the fw, just nothing is thrashing the disks eg when user count is low, and your esxi hosts have their iscsci timeout settings set correctly.

Perhaps you are running esxi off USB or SD card and there is a vm running off local disk that has the serial passthrough ?

Depending how you are set up, all your vms would go off if your array stopped working and needed serial cable to fix.

Check your VM's to see which one has the redirected serial port and see what storage it is running on.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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by:dee30
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ianbole no usb sd card with esxi running of it. I set that up on a host at another loc with no SAN just Raid 50 of a large set of drives in the host provissioned for DS and use in vm.    I'll check the VMs to see which has it and test/confirm if can connect over serial connetions as are via vm, just so i know/expierence it.  

"Depending how you are set up, all your vms would go off if your array stopped working and needed serial cable to fix." Not clear our that statement.

Regarding the iscsi timeout(only the one?) settings apparently are greyed out on the 4.0 version of vmware(i looked bf i did upgrade) we're running on essential bundle plus and that setting will be accessible and allow/work best in not requring IO be shutdown only after upgrading/updating my vmware.  It can be changed from 15(now) to 60(seconds).    You know what, f* it i'm hiring a consultant to do that upgrade when ready and taking a break...at least until I have to fix what they skrew up...rofl.  Thanks for reviewing and touching on the various points on these topics with me; lot of good reiterations for me from a different person on what i've been reading and trying to undertsand and figure out what's best/common practice by people out there.  Thank you very much, again. will appoint points to you shortly.  thx
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Set to 60 seconds and Disable ACK!

Also install the Mem Kit from EqualLogic for Multiple Path!
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