vmware upgrades

I am in a situation of upgrading esx4.1 to 5.1.  I checked the current network configuration and noticed that esx4.1 uses service console and iscsi vmkernel port with nic teaming load balance policy “ route based on ip hash”. I started my vmware from ver 5 and I was told that you have to bind iscsi port and use multi-path, this is the best practice and do not use link aggregation for iscsi, correct me if I am wrong. Here it uses link aggregation, I think  I will not be able to bind the nic to iscsi, if I do then it might give break?
I am wondering if I use inplace upgrade option then the current configurations will be upgraded to ver 5.1 and the esxi will work as before in ver 4.1.
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sara2000Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Best practice is to use bindings and multipath as per my EE Article

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

However, VMware Admins do use link aggregation!

In place upgrade option from ESX to ESXi 5.1 may change the networking and you will have to change networking anyway.

Personally I do not recommend upgrades, but fresh, clean installations, because as you will see here in EE, many fail or do not work correctly!
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sara2000Author Commented:
Thank you for your reply,
However, VMware Admins do use link aggregation!
if I use link aggregation then i can not use port binding then multipath will not available, am I correct?
Otherwise I have to get network admin to reconfigure the switch , this might be an extra delay.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would recommend, you carry out Best Practice and use multipath.

Your upgrade is likely to change and re-layout the vSwitch, if it cannot proceed.
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sara2000Author Commented:
One more question.
Is it better to use link aggregation for NFS with IP hash?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
NFS does not use multipath, therefore your link aggregation e.g. trunking, works with the default teaming policies of route based on the originating port id.
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sara2000Author Commented:
This  stumped me, I see that existing  config is using link aggregation on the physical switches  , “route based ip hash” nic teaming load balancing policy on vswitches and no iscsi binding.
Is it possible to do it for iscsi?, that is, do not bind the vmkernel port, “if you use route based ip hash”
I can only imagine that he uses like this because of NFS and iscsi.

This is what I did do to see whether there is any port binding for iscsi.
esxcli swiscsi nic list -d vmhb35
the result was
no nic found for this adapter.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, it's possible to use it like that for iSCSI, alrthough maybe not best practice!
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sara2000Author Commented:
Then NFS and iscsi are using same vmkernel port?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
They can do, unless you have different IP schemes or VLANs.
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sara2000Author Commented:
My client want to keep same network layout as it is  and use same subnet for nfs and iscsi becuase they have to change IPs on storage etc, this can be too much for them.

If i use link aggregation then I can only have one vmkernel port in the vswitch, AM I Correct?
that is, i am going to team three nic together an duse ip hash.
I will appreciate ig you can bounce with some ideas.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You can create two vmkernel portgroups on two vSwitches, and  link aggregation on both vSwitches.
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sara2000Author Commented:
Still I can not vmkernel port binding to iscsi?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
do you get an error?
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sara2000Author Commented:
hanccoka:
I want to clarify this , look like i can get away.
You can create two vmkernel portgroups on two vSwitches, and  link aggregation on both vSwitches.

so total of four vmkernel I will have ,am i correct?
Do I put two nic as  active adapter? or one used and other unused.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if both nics are active make sure you have the correct physical switch configuration.
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