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ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

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mujzeptu
Super Advisor

ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

I have a c7000 enclosure with FC VC.

I am booting from SAN for esx servers and running vms just fine.

I now started on a large file server. I have the OS up and running but even with NPIV enabled in vmware for this image, once windows 2k8 boots up it doesnt see any hbas. I installed sansurfer and it also says it sees no adapters?

Additionally, the VC modules connect to 2 FC switches. If I enable TR on one of the ports that runs to the interconnect bay VC modules, it logs off and wont ever connect?
8 REPLIES
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

It is a misunderstanding that using NPIV on VMware ESX creates a virtual Fibre Channel adapter in a Virtual Machine - that is not the case !!

The RDM is still bound to a parallel SCSI/SAS adapter. All ESX/NPIV does is give this RDM 'reachout' an additonal identity (using virtual WWPNs) on the SAN side.

And it takes a lot of work to make ESX/NPIV 'really work'. Maybe you have created WWPNs for the VM, but that does not mean much. When I tested it some time ago, the NPIV identify was taken back when no LUNs were presented to the VM's WWPNs.
But: access to the data was still possible, because the VMkernel was falling back to the default RDM connection. I really had to check several logfiles to make sure ESX/NPIV worked.
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mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

Thanks Uwe!

So, what about the switch and VC not establishing a connection?

Is there any secret to this?

If I connect 2 ports from FC switch to the VC, give it its own fabric and uplink its fine. If I make the switch ports TR they wont log in and wont light up the switch.

How do I get the VC and the switch to communicate on a TR ports?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

Doesn't ring a bell - what do you mean by "TR" ?
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mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

On the hp 8/20q fc switches in order to enable NPIV support you have to do it on a port by port basis.

If you want to enable this you are to turn the port into a TR port as I understand it.


So - if I am presenting the RDM to the VM and it sees it without NPIV then its just using the physical connection? Is there any reason NOT to do this? Why NOT just use this?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

From what I have seen/heard, the TR_Port is used for routing to another FC switch, but the FC-VC module is not a FC switch.

The FC-VC module is a "N_Port aggregator" and uses NPIV to look like an end-node to the FC switch.

--

I am afraid I don't understand the RDM-question.

You can use a physical or virtual mode for the RDM, but access always goes through the VMkernel storage stack. Even in "physical model", there is a little filtering of the SCSI I/O (e.g. for the "REPORT LUNS" command).
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mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

Ok, well I presented the LUN to the ESX box itself. I turned on NPIV on the VM. I added a disk as RDM and physical to the VM. Now the VM sees it.

I am assuming this will work but its not using NPIV because my switch isnt enabling it? Also I am using HP SVSP 3.0 and I read that you sometimes have to manually add the zoning and presentation for the WWN so the VM can see it. Well in svsp 3.0 you can only add hosts for the disks if it sees the WWN on the switch first.

I am just wondering since I dont seem to have NPIV setup and working, but i CAN see the LUN with the above setup, is that ok? Will I have issues or lose connection? Or should I be trying to force NPIV to work?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

I have not tried NPIV in the latest releases, but it went like this:

- add an RDM to the VM
- enable NPIV on the VM and check the WWPNs
- set up WWN-based zoning for these WWPNs and
-- allow access to the storage array
- on the storage array, grant LUN access for these WWPNs. Use same LUN address like for the RDM.
- power on the VM
- check the logfiles if NPIV gets activated properly
-- or look on the switch. Sorry, I am not familiar with the 8/20q


Now, that is a lot of work and if NPIV fails, the VM still works ---- with a normal RM connection. So for plain RDM use it is just a waste of time.

The idea is to give individual VMs an "identity" on the SAN, so that you can use, e.g. performance management for single VMs.
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mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: ESX boots from san in c7000 blade with VC, but vmware image wont see HBAs

Ok thank you for the clarification.

I see the same core issue as SVSP cant add WWNs unless they see them on the switch, and the WWN wont come up unless it sees a LUN. Chicken/egg thing...


Thanks for the help. Since I just have some LUNs I need to put file share data on, I will just use it this way for now.