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Optimum multipath configuration with P4500 Nodes.

Peter J West
Frequent Advisor

Optimum multipath configuration with P4500 Nodes.

Hi there,

We've just recently set up a new VMWare Cluster and a 3-node P4500 SAN.

So far everything is working quite well. I used this document to configure the MPIO: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24586958/Configuring-Left-Hand-ISCSI-and-VSPHERE-MPIO

Our configuration was just a little different. The VMWAre host has 4 on-board NIC's plus another 4 added by using a PCI-X board. We've therefore got 3 NIC's allocated for the data/management network, 3 for the Storage Network and then 2 just for vMotion. It seems though that the configuration is working as for each LUN I can see 3 paths are being established (one for each NIC).

I understand that in Storage Views the multipathing status shows as 'Partial/No Redundancy' and this is because all connections ultimately rely on the software iSCSI initiator.

However, in my case I can also see that the 4-port NIC i've added to the Server reports as being a 'Broadcom iSCSI Adapter'. Below the interface it shows me 4 vmhba entries which I guess must relate to the 4 NIC ports.

Does this mean that I can use the 'esxcfg-vmknic' command to bind the appropraite vmk interface to these vmhba ports? And would doing so provide me better resilience as I wouldn't be relying on the software initiator?

Thanks for any pointers that you might be able to offer. :)

Pete
2 REPLIES
Peter J West
Frequent Advisor

Re: Optimum multipath configuration with P4500 Nodes.

Just to clarify - I got my config the wrong way around. The onboard NIC's are Broadcom and the additional NIC's are provided by a NetXen PCI-X board.

I've managed to get a configuration working which describes things as 'fully redundant' but I need to get my head around how it should actually be constructed in the system. ;)
Bart_Heungens
Honored Contributor

Re: Optimum multipath configuration with P4500 Nodes.

Hi,

What you need to do is create a VMKernel port for each NIC you will use for iscsi trafic. Than all these VMKernel ports must be bound to the vmhba adapter of the iscsi initiator...

All is explained in the following document: http://h41112.www4.hp.com/promo/master_ESS-Trilogy-4/uk/en/pdf/Documentations/Virtualization/Running%20VMware%20vSphere%204%20on%20HP%20P4000%20SAN.pdf

So you enable full mpio and load balancing inside ESX...

Kr,
Bart
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