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Virtual Connect / VC-FC / Xenserver

lowray1975
Occasional Contributor

Virtual Connect / VC-FC / Xenserver

Hello everyone – I’ve been dealing with this problem for the last week now and for the life of me cannot figure it out. Hopefully someone can help!

Our current configuration is a c7000 enclosure with redundant VC-Enet and VC-FC (4GB FC-FC) with multiple full and half height servers. To complete the fiber channel “network” we have two QLogic 3810 Fiber channel switches and an MSA3212fc with redundant controllers.

[MSA to FC Switch Connections]
The first FC port on the MSA’s primary controller is connected to fiberswitch1’s port 0 while the second FC port on the MSA’s primary controller is connected to the fiberswitch2’s port 1. The first port on the MSA’s secondary controller is connected to fiberswitch2’s port 0 while the second FC port is connected to fiberswitch1’s port 1.

[FC Switch to VC-FC Connections]
Both ports 2 and 3 on fiberswitch1 connect to ports 1 and 2 on the primary VC-FC card and ports 2 and 3 on fiberswitch2 connect to ports 1 and 2 on the secondary VC-FC card.

With my limited understanding of FC I believe this will get me some redundancy. I originally wanted to also connect fiberswtich1 to the secondary VC-FC and fiberswitch2 to the primary VC-FC, although this isn’t allowed with the VC-FC configuration.

Okay, now for the problem with Xenserver. I have successfully configured two servers to boot from the SAN. Although since Xenserver does not support multi-path on the boot partition, I’m trying to devise some sort of redundancy for fiber failure. I decided to configure the boot options for the two servers as follows:

Xenserver1:
Primary Boot – WWN of the MSA’s primary controller, port 1
Secondary Boot – WWN of the MSA’s secondary controller, port 2

Xenserver2:
Primary Boot – WWN of the MSA’s secondary controller, port 1
Secondary Boot – WWN of the MSA’s primary controller, port 2

My thought was that Xenserver1 would boot to the MSA’s primary controller (which connects “through” fiberswitch1’s port 0) and Xenserver2 would boot to the MSA’s secondary controller (which connects “through” fiberswitch1’s port 1).

Now for the funky part…

The servers both boot perfectly, although if I disconnect fiberswitch1’s port 0 both servers fail. I decided to do some troubleshooting and remove all boot options from Xenserver2 except the WWN of the MSA’s secondary controller. After performing the same test and disconnecting port 0 on fiberswtich1 there is no change – the server fails again. I’ve also tried installing Xenserver on the four different partitions that are displayed (sda, sdb, sdc, sdd) although after testing have the same result.

After performing the above tests I realized that regardless of what boot selection I made all four “paths” (if you will) are displayed in the Xenserver installer as partitions. It seems that regardless which partition I install Xenserver to the path taken from the server through the fiberswitch to the MSA is always the same.

Help! :)
1 REPLY
Johan Guldmyr
Honored Contributor

Re: Virtual Connect / VC-FC / Xenserver

Hi!

Have you tried to limit what the server sees via zoning? I don't know if the problem you see are caused by XEN maybe, I have never used XEN.

It is too much or would you be able to get another OS running with boot from SAN and see if the problem exists there too?

Also, can you clarify this:
"The servers both boot perfectly, although if I disconnect fiberswitch1â s port 0 both servers fail."

What do you mean they fail? Do you disconnect it while they are running and they stop? Or disconnect while not running and then they don't boot?

Can you draw a diagram/topology over how all is connected?

What kind of blades and HBAs are you using?

Standard question:

http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/blades/components/c-class.html#tab3_content

Is the whole c-class in a supported set?

MSA2k are a little sensitive, so did you upgrade firmware on this too? MSA2312fc right?