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Dell MD3200i duplex mode

Posted on 2016-09-19
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
I want to utilize the duplex mode.. I want the ability for a controller for fail and the other one become owner automatically.. And..  I want the ability to load balance across both controller for better I/O and throughput.  Isn't this the function of duplex mode?  I found the guide here http://static3.menstream.pl/dell/Upgrade_Duplex.pdf .  The guide seems straight forward, however, when connecting each iSCSI host/controller module to ESXi will I have to use multipathing?
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Question by:gopher_49
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LVL 120

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41805159
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by:gopher_49
ID: 41805367
What about redundant controllers?  I would like all of the above...
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LVL 120
ID: 41805396
yes, connect them up, wire them up correctly, and configure as above.

The recommended mode of operation for a MD3200 is duplex mode.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41805453
So.. Follow your guides and in addition to that enable duplex via the CLI?
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41809674
Andrew,

The guide here: https://i.dell.com/sites/content/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/PowerVault_MD_iSCSI_Deployment_Guide_for_VMware_ESX50_Server_Software.pdf is slightly different than yours.. You have a dedicated VMKernel for each iSCSI host controller port.  Each in a different subnet and VLAN.  I also have each on dedicated switches..  I enabled multi path via round robin, however, the md3200i storage manager only has one target connected to it.. But VMWare shows two available.  One being used.. And..  I only have one controller showing to be active in VMWare.  I already enabled duplex via the CLI on the md3200i.  What am I missing?  I assume I should have two sessions on the md3200i and VMWare showing two active sessions versus right now one is in standby.
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41809677
okay.. I changed it to VMWare Fixed and now I have two targets Active..  I think I have it correct..  What do I need to review to assure?
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LVL 120
ID: 41809685
pull out cables from network interfaces!

turn off switches

you should still have datastores if all is working and multipathed with no failures!
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41809691
There is a step on page 4 in the guide located below.  I changed the ownership from controller 0 to controller 1.  Is it supposed to toggle the owner or make them both the owner?  I'll test right now via unplugging for I don't have any live VMs on it.. Brb.

http://downloads.dell.com/manuals/common/powervault-md3200_user%27s%20guide3_en-us.pdf
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Author Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41809696
It worked...  The preferred controller was 1 and it went to 0.  When I plugged the cable in it went back to 1 .  The folders on the datastore where present the entire time.  How do I know if it's load balancing?
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LVL 120
ID: 41809697
It's best if you've got live VMs, because if it's not correct it will fail.

paths should be Active (I/O) and multiple paths, you can also look at performance and networking.

but with nothing, you'll not see much traffic.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gopher_49
ID: 41814251
My used the configs found in the links below.. They are almost the same except you for each iSCSI host controller port you have a dedicated VMkernel/switch port group.. And..  A single NIC in each..  Since you have one from controller 0 and another from controller 1 there is no need to have 2 x NICs in the same VMKernel / vswitch port group unless you need dual redundancy..  It's already redundant.. I also used VMware fixed iSCSI paths..  That made both controller active.. I also enabled duplex mode.

The guide here: https://i.dell.com/sites/content/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/PowerVault_MD_iSCSI_Deployment_Guide_for_VMware_ESX50_Server_Software.pdf is slightly different than yours.. You have a dedicated VMKernel for each iSCSI host controller port.  Each in a different subnet and VLAN.  I also have each on dedicated switches..  I enabled multi path via round robin, however, the md3200i storage manager only has one target connected to it.. But VMWare shows two available.  One being used.. And..  I only have one controller showing to be active in VMWare.  I already enabled duplex via the CLI on the md3200i.  What am I missing?  I assume I should have two sessions on the md3200i and VMWare showing two active sessions versus right now one is in standby.
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LVL 120
ID: 41814605
Yes, those links and articles are OLD, and how we used to setup iSCSI multipath. My EE Article shows best practice.

But what ever works for you.
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