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Using BL460's dedicated iSCSI Ports in VMWare ESXi 4.x

Matthias Haenggi
Frequent Advisor

Using BL460's dedicated iSCSI Ports in VMWare ESXi 4.x

Hi all,

The question is related to the HP C3000 enclosure with HP BLc 460 G1 blades. A HP 326 2 port NIC is installed in each of the blades. The blades connect to the network via 2 x HP GbE2c Layer 2/3 switches.

My question: I am wondering how to configure the system for VMWare ESXi 4.x in order to ensure that the iSCSI ports of the internal NIC are used to connect to the iSCSI SAN? As far as I understand the internal NICs have a iSCSI offload engine which would reduce the CPU load. If the ports of the mezzanine card (without iSCSI offload support) are used to connect to the SAN, this would not make sense from my point of view. However, I did not find a setting to establish a clear mapping or so...

Many thanks, Matthias
1 REPLY
VoxMedica
Occasional Advisor

Re: Using BL460's dedicated iSCSI Ports in VMWare ESXi 4.x

Matthias, I'm facing and similar issue and wanted to share some of the info I've come across. Only the two on board ports have a separate iSCSI offload engine. You can further add more NICs via mezzanine cards but they will not include the iSCSI offload engine and will more than likely need to be set as either iSCSI or regular net traffic (still researching this). This is different than the onboard NICS which appear to be able to handle both at the same time. In ESX 3.5 the onboard NICs show up as 2 MAC address/VMNICS, but they they show up as 4 MAC address in the Onboard Admin for the C3000. The 2nd set is labeled iSCSI so I assume that once iSCSI traffic hits the NICs the offload engine takes care of it while regular traffic flows through the NIC.
My original problem was trying to get the interconnect bays to talk to one another so I could dual cord our companies new EMC NX4 SAN. Now Iâ m moving onto updating my 3 Blades from VMware ESX3.5 to VMware ESXi4.1, at this point I wonder if the same NICs will show up or will the two iSCSI offload engines show up as well