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VMWare Redundant Cluster without Interim Switch

Posted on 2014-12-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi, quick question on a config I am looking at for a small VMware vSphere 5.5 cluster.

Looking at 2x Dell high powered servers with additional Dual Port 10GBs Copper on each for iSCSI connectivity.

For SAN looking at Powervault with dual controllers, each controller with 2x 10Gbps Rj45 copper.

My question is, since I only have 2 servers, shouldn't I be able to just connect each server directly to the SAN without needing to spend the extra bucks on redundant 10Gbps switches?

Each server would have 2x 10Gbps ports, one port each could go to each controller, so no matter if a controller went down, it would all stay up.

I can't remember from all of the VMware documentation if the ISCSI ports on the hosts need to be able to ping the ISCSI ports on the other hosts or not as part of the cluster heartbeats or something for full HA to work - which of course wouldn't be possible if they were directly plugged into the SAN?

I need to be able to do HA, vMotion, etc.

Thanks.
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Question by:RFVDB
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40478121
1. Both ESXi servers need to detect the same storage LUNs. So if you can configure you storage in such a way this is possible.

2. Cross-over cable between the two ESXi servers for vMotion Network.

But it's not very resilient, unless you cable up to network cables form each host to the storage controller.
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Author Comment

by:RFVDB
ID: 40479332
1) Right, since each server will have 2x 10Gbps ports, 1 each plugged into each controller I think you can tell the SAN to represent the LUNs on all ports. The 10Gbps ports would just be used for ISCSI.

2) We have separate NICs for vMotion that will be plugged into Gigabit switches so connectivity won't be an issue there.

So is it just for VMotion and HA that the hosts need to be able to ping each other?

ISCSI doesn't matter right, as long as both hosts can see the same LUN?
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LVL 119

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40479396
Correct, vMotion and HA need connectivity between hosts.

iSCSI is Host to SAN, and all hosts need to see the same LUNs.
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Author Comment

by:RFVDB
ID: 40479401
Cool, thanks, I thought so, just needed a VMware Pro to verify.
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LVL 119
ID: 40479546
no problems!

ping and vmkping is your friend to test!
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Author Comment

by:RFVDB
ID: 40479935
Cool!

Just opened the same thread but for Xenserver 6.2. Not sure if you are familiar with that too? I have the same question.

The subject line is: "Xenserver Redundant Cluster without Interim Switch"
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/System_Utilities/Remote_Access/Citrix/Q_28574089.html

Not sure if you can look at that too?
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