Connecting ESX Host to SAN switches.

Connecting ESX Host to SAN switches.

I would like to know how you set up SAN Switch for ESX Hosts. I believe the VLAN where the ESX hosts are on, for instance VLAN 10, should also exist on SAN switch.
How do you configure SAN switch (Cisco) for each VLAN matching the VLANs on ESX Hosts. I have heard about Zoning, then heard about the recommendation  to have ESX Hosts in each VLAN map to the same VLAN on SAN switch. Now it  is like I am confused which one should be done? Zoning or VLAN to VLAN mapping, or they are 2 different tasks?

Thank you
jskfanAsked:
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dfkeCommented:
Hi,

read up on the VMware ESX Server SAN Configuration Guide.

Cheers
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would like to know how you set up SAN Switch for ESX Hosts. I believe the VLAN where the ESX hosts are on, for instance VLAN 10, should also exist on SAN switch.

no.

How do you configure SAN switch (Cisco) for each VLAN matching the VLANs on ESX Hosts. I have heard about Zoning, then heard about the recommendation  to have ESX Hosts in each VLAN map to the same VLAN on SAN switch. Now it  is like I am confused which one should be done? Zoning or VLAN to VLAN mapping, or they are 2 different tasks?

Zoning is a Fibre Channel term.

When setting up storage you want the storage network to be completely isolated, and ONLY carry iSCSI traffic.

This could be done with VLANs, if you are short of physical network ports.

So you would then create a unique VLAN, e.g. 580

The only ports which need to be on this VLAN, are the iSCSI VMKernel Portgroups on the Host.

No other VLANS need to be configured on the host.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
Andrew,

The part you described is the Vmware side. what about the Storage Switch Side.

If I am not wrong The Vmkernel port Group for Storage should be on the same subnet or  as the Storage. When I say Storage I mean the Port on Storage Switch.

for instance if ESX Host 1 is on subnet 10.10.10.0/24 directly connected to Storage Switch , then Storage Switch port should be configured on the same physical subnet ,for instance 10.10.10.98/24

***You stated that Zoning is  Fiber channel term. So if ESX host is connected using Fiber channel cable to Storage Switch, then are we going to do the Zoning as well as IP configuration ?


*** I thought whenever you use HBA cards, then you do the Zoning, regardless if you are using iSCSI or Fiber CHannel


Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
iSCSI SAN side is vendor dependant, you could just team two or four ports across 1, 2 or 4 switches, trunk, etherchannel.

***You stated that Zoning is  Fiber channel term. So if ESX host is connected using Fiber channel cable to Storage Switch, then are we going to do the Zoning as well as IP configuration ?

Fibre Channel does not use IP Addresses, it's not an ethernet technology!

If I am not wrong The Vmkernel port Group for Storage should be on the same subnet or  as the Storage. When I say Storage I mean the Port on Storage Switch.

Correct, otherwise traffic would not be able to reach the SAN.

Depends what you mean by HBA, FC HBA you may consider and use Zoning.

Zoning is like creating paths, multiple paths to SANs, for resilience.

e.g. iSCSI you would use two different IP Addresses, at least two different network interfaces, and VMKernel Portgroups, and two different connections to switches, and may go through two switches.



r instance if ESX Host 1 is on subnet 10.10.10.0/24 directly connected to Storage Switch , then Storage Switch port should be configured on the same physical subnet ,for instance 10.10.10.98/24

Correct.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
You stated that Fiber Channel does not use IP address, so how do you configure your Vmkernel Port Group IP address ? or you just plug on side of the fiber to ESX Host and the other to Fiber Channel Switch then from fiber Channel Switch to the storage hardware?

Taking the analogy of iSCI VMkernel port group should have an IP address and the Storage it connects to should be on the same subnet as the Vmkernel port.


**just underlying question: is the SAN switch non manageable? I mean it does not understand VLANs ?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
You stated that Fiber Channel does not use IP address, so how do you configure your Vmkernel Port Group IP address ?

simple you dont! You've got to remember that iSCSI and NFS need ethernet..... so therefore need to have a VMKernel Portgroup to talk IP!

or you just plug on side of the fiber to ESX Host and the other to Fiber Channel Switch then from fiber Channel Switch to the storage hardware?

correct

Taking the analogy of iSCI VMkernel port group should have an IP address and the Storage it connects to should be on the same subnet as the Vmkernel port.

Also correct.

**just underlying question: is the SAN switch non manageable? I mean it does not understand VLANs ?

if could be any switch you like, but switches which are sold as SAN Storage Switches, often have lots of storage management things, which also include VLANS, and other iSCSI functions!
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
I take it that this is an iSCSI problem since they won't spell fibre channel correctly? iSCSI over fiber connected Ethernet probably.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Training question I believe.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
Thank you Guys!
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