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Best way to configure server with ESXi 5.5 update 2 to use iSCSI to connect to a Synology NAS

Posted on 2014-11-06
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I'm setting up a remote site that is 8 hours away.  The server will have ESXi 5.5 update 2 on it.  I am also sending a Synology DS415+ NAS to the site as well.  I will be using it to migrate the VMs onto when I do upgrades to ESXi, to make sure that they don't accidentally get overwritten during an upgrade.

My server has 8 LAN ports.  4 of them look like they're capable of hardware iSCSI and 4 of them look like I can attach them to the iSCSI Software Adapter.  The NAS has 2 LAN ports.

On the server we use 2 ports for the management network, 2 ports for the VM network and we'd use 1 or 2 of the remaining ports for iSCSI.

What is the best way to configure iSCSI on the host to connect to the NAS with multiple paths?
Should I bond the ports on the NAS or leave them separate?
Do I need to configure multiple iSCSI targets on the NAS?  Do I need a target for each LUN?

Sorry for all the questions, but I'm a bit of a noob at iSCSI.  We use fiber channel and flex fabric in our datacenter, so any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

I've attached a file that kind of shows our NICs and my attempted setup.  Ignore the bad IP addresses, those are left over from the previous person.  I have vmnic 4 & 5 attached to the vmhba37i SCSI Software Adapter.  Any of the adapters can be rearranged.  I'm looking for a best practice type of setup.

Thanks in advance for any help!
EE.pdf
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Question by:Steve Weinheimer
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LVL 124
ID: 40426064
I would use NFS, it's quicker and faster than iSCSI, and much easier to setup. You just need to create a share and export it.

No need to create a LUN.

and you can use Jumbo Frames.
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Author Comment

by:Steve Weinheimer
ID: 40426092
NFS is something I also don't have experience with.  I'll have to look into that more.  The last few nights I've been reading up on iSCSI and never got any "clear" answers, so hopefully NFS is more clear-cut.

I would still like to understand the proper way to set up iSCSI in this config as well.  Especially, since I will want to share that LUN between 2 hosts at a few other locations in the future.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40426137
The proper way is as per my EE Article, and also enable Jumbo Frames.

HOW TO: Enable Jumbo Frames on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 5.0) host server using the VMware vSphere Client

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

(applicable to 5.5!)

You create two paths, to the iSCSI SAN (Synology), so should one path fail the other continues, using two nics, on your ESXi 5.5 host.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Steve Weinheimer
ID: 40426190
Thanks for answering my question and giving me an additional option!
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LVL 124
ID: 40426247
No problems.
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