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Setup VMWARE 5.5 for iSCSI HBA (Qlogic CNA) to Equallogic PS6XXX

Posted on 2016-09-05
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Looking for best performance on M1000e to EQL ISCSI PS6010E SAN. Switches used: M8024-k (10Gb) direct to EQL controllers

We have (8) M620 blades each with Qlogic 10Gb QME8262-k DP CNA. These adapters are (NPAR/SIP) partitioned with 8 ports total (4 virtual cards per port) as:
4 NIC ports
2 FCoE ports
2 ISCSI Ports

In VMWARE 5.5 (U3) we see the 4 NIC's under Networking Adapters and the two FCoE (as vmhba3 and vmhba4) and two iSCSI adapters (as vmhba1 and vmhba2) under the Storage Adapters selection.

Dell Equallogic has it's MEM 1.3 kit for VMWARE that we run and it only allows us to select NIc's, not HBA's. I am assuming this is due to the nature of the VMWARE Software iSCSI adapter created uses vmnic only, not HBA.

So the question is, shouldn't we be using the  ISCSI partitioned HBA directly in our MPIO setup in VMWARE for use of the SCOE and better performance? How is this done specifically. I cannot figure out how to use the MPIO setup

Note: if we go into properties of each ISCSI HBA, we can set an IP address, CHAP, and a Dyn Discovery Target and see all LUN's. Maybe this is all we need but I feel like there is a lot more in order to offload the processing and setup MPIO on this Host.

Thanks in advance to anyone with advice!
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Question by:banquo321
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LVL 118
ID: 41785654
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Author Comment

by:banquo321
ID: 41786493
Thanks for the quick Reply Andrew!

So Are you recommending that I use the VMWARE ISCSI software adapter rather than the HW dependent HBA for performance? That is my first stepping stone.
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LVL 118
ID: 41786548
It's not a recommendation, it's how you setup hardware HBAs...but....

hardware iSCSI HBA versus Software iSCSI very much depends, on if you can enable Jumbo Frames on the HW HBAs!

because, tests have confirmed jumbo frames and software iSCSI outperforms, Hardware HBA, because most do not support jumbo frames.

so something for you to check or compare performance!

see here

https://www.vmadmin.co.uk/resources/35-esxserver/252-esxihwswiscsijumbo
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Author Comment

by:banquo321
ID: 41787247
Yes sir, so this HW does support Jumbo Frames. We enable it in HW at the BIOS level on the QME8286-k (once NPAR is set and ISCSI enabled). So then to use the HBA's instead of the software iSCSI apater is the next question? Is that possible and still recommended?
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 41787320
TEST and compare performance!

see which works best.
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Author Closing Comment

by:banquo321
ID: 41788123
Makes sense. Thanks Andrew
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