NetApp: Setting up separate IP for each datastore

It has been recommended to create a separate IP for each datastore. Since our ifgrp is setup for link aggregation this will allow us to create multiple sessions per ESXi host and improve throughput.

How do create separate IPs for each datastore? For more details our /etc/rc file is below. Our NetApp is a FAS2240, and we use NFS volumes.

#Auto-generated by setup Tue Aug  7 17:53:15 PDT 2012
hostname i1whlnetapp01
ifgrp create lacp ifgrp1 -b ip e0a e0b
ifgrp create lacp ifgrp2 -b ip e0c e0d
ifgrp create single ifgrp3 ifgrp1 ifgrp2
ifconfig ifgrp3 `hostname`-ifgrp3 mediatype auto netmask partner ifgrp6 mtusize 1500
ifconfig e0M `hostname`-e0M netmask mtusize 1500
route add default 1
routed on
options dns.domainname domain.local
options dns.enable on
options nis.enable off

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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Easiest way to do this is to add an alias to the interface on the same subnet.  Since you're already running lacp you have link aggregation on the Netapp  If you create an etherchannel port (cisco) or trunk port (HP) or similar LAG port the ESXi hosts you'll be able to have multiple sessions on the port group.

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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
When you say alias do you mean in the /etc/hosts file for the NetApp, adding an alias for the main vif?

As for the ESXi we have NIC team policy based on port ID. One of the NICs goes to switch A and the other NIC goes to switch B. So not able to do LAG like Etherchannel or HP trunks.
>...allow us to create multiple sessions per ESXi host and improve throughput.

I know it's not your question, but are you sure you actually need this? Have you actually measured current link usage?

The reason I put this on the table, is that in 90% of cases I've seen, ESX environments rarely use more that 5%-10% of the capacity of a Gbit link. That is so because most environments have mostly random IO which generates low throughput but high IOPS.  

If you don't need it, don't do it. It complicates your environment and complicated things are less easy to manage or troubleshoot.

Remember that different ESX hosts will be able to use separate sessions towards the Netapp because the hosts use different IPs.
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pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
The graphic below shows the traffic (for the past 2 days) on the switch port directly connected to vmnic2 on our ESXi host. This is the NIC handling the NFS traffic. Even though we have 2 NICs in this team, esxtop shows vmnic2 to be handling almost all of the traffic for storage.

Having said that, it doesn't seem like we're using the pipe too much so is there not going to be much improvement, if any, if we setup multiple IPs for different datastores?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
That sounds about right.  Your previous concern was regarding performance and this will improve performance since it will use both nics in the ifgroup versus one but in a smaller environment it may not give you a noticeable improvement but does give you a way to do link aggregation in the future
pzozulkaAuthor Commented:
The graphic didn't upload on my previous post.ESXi to NetApp
This is exactly what we see in most environments.

It seems that your highest traffic is during early morning hours (backups?). During normal working hours you use less than 10% of capacity.

Using more links will add nothing but complexity.
I noticed that your rc listing has only signle subnet for vif.
Are you using ifgrp3 for all storage protocols? like cifs, iscsi and NFS or just for NFS
Can you please post the listing if you have a filer config for multi-protocol storage support?
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
this is not my filer, if you have a specific question open a question, the configuration depends on the environment, personally I setup an intereface with a trunk and configure vlans depending on the environment.
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