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Best VC FlexFiber configuration


Best VC FlexFiber configuration

Hi all, I'm really getting sick configuring two VC flexfiber 10/24 in a customer c7000.

That is the situation:
I have HP c7000 Blade Enclosure
10 bl460c G7
2 VC FlexFiber 10/24 (each one has 4 gbic 1Gb rj45 for the LAN and 2 gbic 8Gb for the SAN)
2 External Cisco ethernet switch
2 External brocade san switch
I have to install vSphere 4.1 on all the servers.

I configured ethernet network like this:
Network 1 named TUNNEL1 (vc1 port x5,x6 ; vc2 port x5,x6)
VCs are in active/stanby mode, so I didn't use gbic in x7 and x8 ports to use them for stacking link (I have more gbic if I need)
I assigned in server profile lan 1 and lan 2 both to TUNNEL1
I created the trunk on cisco switches and all seems to be ok.

SAN-side I have problems, because VCs are active/standby and each server can map luns only with one HBA (the one connected in the active vc). This configuration is not supported in esx environment.

Can I use VC in active/active mode (plugging other 2 lan cables for each vc and using a 4-port trunk on cisco switch? In which way I have to change profiles? can I use "TUNNEL1" lan with all 8 ports (vc1 + vc2) or I have to configure TUNNEL2 for vc2?
I can imagine I have to put the nic "teaming" in esx vswitch in avtive/standby mode, is it true?

I attach an image to better explain my actual configuration

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration

You probably need to create 2 SAN Profiles.

The first 1 with ports from VC Module 1.
The second 1 with ports from VC Module 2.

Did you already do this? or do you have 1 SAN profile?

2 Profiles will effectively give you 2 active fibre connections. 1 for HBA1 (FCoE1) and 1 for HBA2 (FCoE2) to better simulate the "separate" fabric environment.

You do have 2 separate fabrics yes?

Did you create a standard Network Profile? or did you create a Shared Uplink Set for your networking?


Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration

I created 4 san profiles:
san1 -> bay1x1
san2 -> bay1x2
san3 -> bay2x1
san4 -> bay2x2

I associated san1,san2 profiles to blades 1-5 and san3,san4 to blades 6-10. I don't have port aggregation for san.

I didn't use shared uplinks because I need more vlan on each nic on the blades. I created just 1 ethernet profile:
tunnel1 -> bay1x5,bay1x6,bay2x5,bay2x6
I created 2 trunk groups on the switches to aggregate x5 and x6 ports on each vc.

In this way I have active / standby vcs for both ethernet and san configuration.
I'm thinking about have active/active config, might it be ok in your opinion?

So i could put two more gbic rj45 in x7 and x8 port and configure ethernet profile like this:
tunnel1 -> bay1x5,bay1x6,bay1x7,bay1x8
tunnel2 -> bay2x5,bay2x6,bay2x7,bay2x8
and then associate nic1 to tunnel1 and nic2 to tunnel2 on all blades.
And then (in the esx console) create vswitch1 with nic1 and nic2 in active/standby teaming

What do u think about it?
thank you so much
Honored Contributor

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration


For getting SAN Connectivy how did u connectged.. Did u use the ports x1 - x4 as this ports are intended for SAN connectivity.

X5-x8 are for network connectivity.

I am not exactly got the point about active/passive about SAN connectivity.

You will have a 2 ports per servers and u can map one port to VC1 module and 2nd Port to VC2 module to get the redundancy and u can connect VC1 uplink to one Brocade switch and VC2 uplink to Second Brocade switch.

Your both ports should see SAN and shouldn't be any issue for confuration

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration

Yes I'm using ports x1 and x2 from vc1 to brocade1 and x1 and x2 from brocade2 to vc2,
but since I didn't connect port x7 and x8, vc1 and vc2 are in active/standby mode, so that configuration is not supported by esx.

I want to use it in active/active mode, plugging other 4 ethernet cables (x7 and x8 port of each vc), and create 2 ethernet profiles, one for each vc. I can name this profiles tunnel1 and tunnel2.
Then I want to associate to the blades the first nic to tunnel1 and the second one to tunnel2.
Could my idea work in any way?
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration

You network configuration is independant of your fibre configuration.

They are 2 different profiles. 1 SAN, 1 Network.

Just because your Network is effectively active/standby... your SAN is still active/active.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Honored Contributor

Re: Best VC FlexFiber configuration


There are quite a few issues in Your config. I would suggest You to start from

Virtual Connect FlexFabric Cookbook link.â anual/c02616817/c02616817.pdf
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