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iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

Tom Lyczko
Super Advisor

iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

I am researching VMware ESX 4.0 usage with this SAN and both HP and VMware are only providing hardware iSCSI support with QLogic QLE405x cards in the ESX hosts.

I am also told by VMware that the SAN array must be configured to use ALUA.

What is ALUA?? How do I configure ALUA on this SAN??

I have looked for it in the web UI but cannot find it.

The exact plugin names from VMware are VMW_SATP_ALUA and VMW_PSP_MRU, apparently these are VMware plugins which will be chosen automatically if the array is set up properly to use ALUA.

Thank you, Tom


6 REPLIES
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

The MSA2012i does not provide ALUA - only one controller is presenting two paths to a volume at a time.
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Tom Lyczko
Super Advisor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

Then how does one make this SAN compatible with ESX 4.0???

I have also asked HP support this question.

We have a dual-controller 2012i...perhaps the ALUA is in the hardware iSCSI card?? I will check.

Thank you, Tom
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

No, ALUA means that the second controller presentes the volumes from the first controller as well, but just forwards the I/O requests. The MSA2000 G1 cannot do that.
.
Tom Lyczko
Super Advisor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

If I were to upgrade the our MSA2000 G1 2012i SAN to an MSA2000 G2 2312i SAN by replacing its 2 controllers, would I then get ALUA??

I would still have to install 1 additional NIC board per host server, plus new hardware cables...

Thank you, Tom
Diego Salim de Oliveira
Valued Contributor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

Yes, Tom.
MSA2300i (MSA2000i G2) has ALUA (Asymmetric Logical Unit Access).
It enables access to all LUNs independent of which controller the I/O comes from.
ALUA is an automatic feature of the MSA G2, you don't need to configure nothing.
What HBAs are you using in your servers? Are they homologated by VMware?

Best regards,

Diego
Frank Lesniak
Occasional Advisor

Re: iSCSI - MSA2012i Dual Controllers -- ALUA???

Do you guys know if an MSA2012i can be upgraded to the "G2" controllers by simply purchasing two of the AJ803A controllers, popping the old ones out and the new ones in? Would we have to do any data migration, or would it simply recognize the existing data? In other words, would the controller upgrade be a data-in-place transition?

What about the LUN configuration and whatnot?