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Jumbo frames on VSA?

LefthandFan
Occasional Visitor

Jumbo frames on VSA?

I've been using NSMs for awhile with good results. I recently started using VSAs for file servers, but want to extend their use to VMWare ESX iSCSI targets. I can't seem to figure out whether or not jumbo frames will work on the VSA. I plan to do the usual configuration on the ESX vmkernel interface for this, but don't know if the setting will be passed to the VSA and whether or not it will actually work.

Does anybody know the answer to this?

11 REPLIES
Gauche
Trusted Contributor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

You can't use Jumbo frames on a VSA for two reasons. 1, The VMXnet driver that the VSA uses for network does not support them and 2, VMware has not supported using jumbo frames with any iSCSI when using their software initiator.

Those two things are both changing right now in vSphere 4 though. In 4 Jumbo frames are supported by VMware for iSCSI (I better check the new docs but this is what I heard) and the new VMXnet driver does allow jumbo frames.

So watch for a patch on the VSA that will start allowing jumbo frames. Hopefully that can happen soon.
Adam C, LeftHand Product Manger
mplep
Occasional Visitor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

Hi,

I was wondering if anything had changed on the VSA front for Jumbo Frame support?
SimonQ
Occasional Visitor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

I noticed that upgrading the Virtual Hardware to v7 on a VSA in ESX 4 does then allow activation Jumbo Frames (MTU 9000) from the CMC. It seems to work too (although I haven't tested this extensively), but the question is whether this is supported?

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

SimonQ,
Where in the CMC do you enable jumbo frames?

Thanks
DC
Bryan McMullan
Trusted Contributor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

I actually tried getting jumbo frames to work on a physical installation (NSM's rather than VSA) and had nothing but problems. This was about a year ago, but it seemed like at that time there was limited information HP/LHN could provide me on the issue. They had not fully tested the solution out with jumbo frames.

Flow control has worked well though. But my experience with LH and jumbo frames would keep me away from it for the time being.
LefthandFan
Occasional Visitor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

It's been awhile since I set up NSMs, but if your switch does not support, or is not configured for jumbo frames then you will definitely have problems. IIRC setting it up on the NSM side needs to be done in proper sequence too, which is 1.) enable flow control + jumbo frames at the switch, 2.) enable flow control at the NSM, 3.) enable 9000 MTU on the NSM. There may also have been something with the load balancing policy used, but I don't recall exactly what it was. We use ALB and it has worked well for a couple years now.

As for the VSAs with jumbo frames - I have not yet tried this on vSphere 4.0, but the last I heard there was not yet a new NIC driver that supported this. It would also be nice to see support for the 10Gb VMXNET3 driver included.

In order to test whether or not jumbo frames are working in VMware -
vmkping -s 9000 IP.of.your.VSA

dalar001
Occasional Visitor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

Need answers to the folowing

1. jumbo support in vSphere 4
2. Vmxnet3 driver in vSphere 4
3. 64-bit support
4. Paravirtualized scsi adapter

if i uppgrade virtual hardware to ver7 vill i recive support?

//Daniel
VCP since 2003 worked with vmware since 2000
BenWSOD
Occasional Visitor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

Still waiting for confirmation on whether or not the latest versions of the VSA support jumbo frames. At this point, a 10GbE NIC should also be supported.
cheazell
Advisor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

Hi there,

18 months have passed since the last post. Is there any info on whether Jumbo Frames are supported? Can you safely upgrade the hardware version to 7 and still be supported?

Thanks, Chris
RonsDavis
Frequent Advisor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

I'm going to reply just to keep this at the top of the stack.

I don't know if HP actually reads the forums. Adam Carter replied some time ago,but he won't be a help.

HP really has to update the documentation, and best practices on the VSA.

We need to know if we can use hw version 7/8, what nics are supported.

I would like to know too if their recommendations for number of VMs and size of LUNs have changed. At one point I was told by support 8 VMs/300GB max a LUN. Those numbers may have made sense back in ESX 3.5, but not in a 4.1/5 world. The VSA supports the first gen VAAI locking techniques, this should increase these numbers substantially. If they add in the ESXi 5 VAAI additions it should go up again.

The 9.0 VSA Install guide fails to even mention that you need a 64bit virtualization enabled CPU. The doc may have been released for 9.0, but it is still the 8.5 doc.

I can't seem to find a P4000 on vmware doc that was updated for 9.0 or vSphere 4.1. What hurts is from what I got from HP support when I upgraded to 9.0 was that they didn't have any new docs either. They had only been briefed on the product a day or two before release.

5y53ng
Regular Advisor

Re: Jumbo frames on VSA?

Hi Ron,

 

I have been testing with ESX 4.1 and ESXi 5 and talking to HP.  I'll post what I have found in regards to your questions.

 

"We need to know if we can use hw version 7/8, what nics are supported."

 

I have upgraded the hw versions to 7 in ESX 4.1 and to version 8 in ESXi 5. No adverse effects, but whether or not this is supported by HP is unknown. (waiting for an answer on that) For some reason I have been stuck with the flexible NIC. (ugh) I tried to upgrade the NIC to the E1000 or VMXnet via the VS Client and via the CLI, but no luck. The VSA does not recognize them. When I return to testing I am going to attempt to upgrade the VMware tools to try and get the VMXnet or VMXnet3 installed.

 

"I would like to know too if their recommendations for number of VMs and size of LUNs have changed. At one point I was told by support 8 VMs/300GB max a LUN. Those numbers may have made sense back in ESX 3.5, but not in a 4.1/5 world."

 

I received a recommendation of 3 to 4 virtual machines per LUN from HP, but no size recommendations.

 

"The VSA supports the first gen VAAI locking techniques, this should increase these numbers substantially. If they add in the ESXi 5 VAAI additions it should go up again."

 

Per conversations with HP, the P4000 will support VAAI 4.1 in SANiQ 9.5. (available September 2011) We won't see P4000 support for vSphere5 VAAI 5.0 until SANiQ 10. Release date unknown.

 

"The 9.0 VSA Install guide fails to even mention that you need a 64bit virtualization enabled CPU. The doc may have been released for 9.0, but it is still the 8.5 doc."

 

Agree, but no info on the documentation error.

 

"I can't seem to find a P4000 on vmware doc that was updated for 9.0 or vSphere 4.1. What hurts is from what I got from HP support when I upgraded to 9.0 was that they didn't have any new docs either. They had only been briefed on the product a day or two before release."

 

Agree. I had to send a lot of emails and call a lot of people to get the information I have now.

 

Hope that helps.