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QLOGIC SANBOX 3810 and VMware

Posted on 2014-03-07
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Last Modified: 2014-07-12
Hi,

Quite a while back I made the mistake of purchasing two QLOGIC SANBOX 3810 for a basic VMware setup with 3 hosts and one fibre channel SAN. Its running ESXi 4.1, and has been running fine with like 20 VMs.

We're in the process of specing out more SANs and am looking at potentially going Fibre again instead of ISCSI. However, I found out that the SANBOX 3810 is the only fibre channel switch not on the VMware Compatibility list!!! agghhh.

Anyhow, just wanted to know from some Fibre Channel Expert out there that might know why it wouldn't be on the compatibility list and if they think its really an issue for me to use it with VMware. The new SAN will be connecting to new hosts with VMware ESXi 5.5.

Thanks, Jonathan
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Question by:RFVDB
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by:Abhilash
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When VMware certifies a SAN Vendor telling they are compatible that means all the features that has to do with ESXi and SAN will be tested and made sure its working on the SAN.
Even if one of the tests fail the SAN wont be certified. This applies to all of the devices.
Our EMC CX4-120 was not certified from 5.1 because it failed the VAAI tests.
This information was provided by EMC somewhere in a corner of a document i got hold of.
And this information will be given by vendor only if the product was previously certified and it changed with the later release.
Same thing will not happen with a vendor who was never certified.
Anyway, sometimes the devices do work. We are still using the EMC san and we have made sure we don't use VAAI.
So its a risky business. If its not supported, i would suggest, look for an alternative than buying it on blind faith.
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by:RFVDB
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I contacted QLogic directly and I found out that their website which lists "compatibility" with VMware doesn't actually mean that. They said that the Sanbox 3810 should work just fine with VMware.

None of the switches are actually listed on VMware's compatibility list - I don't think VMware lists fibre switches.
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Just another note on my response above. The VMware "compatibility" list on their website mainly pointed to switches being able to trunk to each other in a VMware environment which they assumed would be needed in a VMware environment (obviously large ones would need that but small ones wouldn't), so they ruled out small VMware environments. Basically a typo and not properly explaining what they mean with "compatibility". Their L3 tech confirmed this.
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by:RFVDB
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See above comments, they explain why my solution resolved it.
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