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New Netapp Configuration

Posted on 2016-09-29
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Last Modified: 2016-10-21
We just got a new Netapp E2760 and i had some questions about how to configure the storage on it.  This is the first Netapp array that I have used.  

Basically only two VMWare VMs are going to be accessing this server.  A huge file server (30TB and growing) and our Unitrends backup VM (20 TB and growing).  For the most part they will have traffic at different times of the day.  I am thinking I should just make a big disk pool with all of the disks and then make the biggest possible LUNs I can since I wont get a ton of benefit from load balancing smaller LUNs with only a couple virtual machines accessing this data.

Is there anything Netapp specific that I am not thinking about here that would make this a mistake?  Or any other reason this is a bad idea?
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Question by:mattpayne59
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LVL 119
ID: 41822041
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 41822056
Well I already set it up iscsi and I have jumbo frames enabled.  Are there any huge benefits to NFS over iscsi?  I always thought iscsi was the way to go.
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LVL 119
ID: 41822111
You will want to add ALL your disks into the same disk pool, and for virtual machine disks of that size, you will need to create large LUNs, to accommodate the datastore, but also remember you will need to create +20% on the datastore to fit the virtual machine, and it's overhead.

e.g. if you create a 20TB LUN, your 20TB VM will not fit!

So if you have already setup iSCSi is it similar to my article, which is Best Practice for Multipath and NetApp.

What you have to remember, is the NetApp is DESIGNED around NFS, so iSCSI is an additional layer on-top of NFS, and therefore performance can be better with NFS with VMware, rather than iSCSI!

It might be worth you testing which offers best performance, and also some consider NFS easier to setup and configure, as no LUNs are required to be setup as additional effort.
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 41822125
I went back and forth between the single vSwitch with two NICs and two vSwitches with a single NIC each.  What is the advantage to doing a single vSwitch?  I couldn't find anywhere that actually stated the reasoning behind that.

Although it sounds like maybe I should just set up NFS anyway.
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LVL 119
ID: 41822137
Best Practice now, two vSwitches was old style legacy design!

Compare and Test NFS versus iSCSI
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 41822149
That is what everyone said... "It's a best practice" but I am just curious why.  I couldn't figure out any actual advantage to doing it that way.
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LVL 119
ID: 41822178
Switch Override, and the binding of iSCSI.

We learnt the old method didn't really support MPIO (multipath) correctly for Active/Active I/O on LUNs.
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 41822217
Ok cool... If I end up sticking with iSCSI I will switch it up.  So assuming I set that up correctly... Do you see any issue with my big LUNs given my set up?  I can split up the disks if necessary but I don't think I will get huge performance gains by doing that anyway.  It will also make things more confusing for the people managing the file server with multiple disks to store data.  I was hoping to keep it nice and simple with just two big LUNs.

Did you do an article like the iSCSI one for NFS?  

Thank you for your help!
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LVL 119
ID: 41822234
more spindles = more disks = more IOPS = more performance for your LUNs = datastores = LUNs.

I don't have any setup for NFS, it's the same as iSCSI....but you don't BIND (that's only for iSCSI)
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by:mattpayne59
ID: 41831946
Sorry... One other related question.  With iSCSI set up the way it is in your article, how do I need to configure the physical switch ports?  I assume they need to be trunk ports to allow both vlans to pass over them?  With my current configuration I just use access ports since I am sure only one VLAN will be traveling over each port.  Thank you.
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Accepted Solution

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 41831980
TRUNK ports are NOT supported for iSCSI MPIO.

So standard network single access ports.
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