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P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing

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A.Parker
Occasional Contributor

P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing

I am implementing a P4000 SAN using SAN/iQ 9.0, which introduces Load Balancing on the Host Server iSCSI NICs

I assume this means that both server iSCSI NICs will be used simultaneously to communicate with the SAN, whereas previously data was only transmitted on one NIC and the other would have been for Failover

Is there anything I need to do to configure Load Balancing to work ? - only one DSM connection is established from a server to each SAN node but I would have expected two DSM connections (one from each iSCSI NIC), and when I copy a large file to a SAN volume I only see traffic on one iSCSI NIC

Thanks
4 REPLIES
tomb_2
Occasional Advisor
Solution

Re: P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing

I've just gone through my initial configuration so I don't have all the answers (in fact I have my own question posted related to load balancing), however...

The Windows Solution Pack user guide does a pretty good job of walking you through the configuration. Once you have gone through the connection for each NIC to the volume the DSM should take care of the rest. You should see one connection for each NIC (I think HP calls it an administrative path) and one DSM connection for each physical node in the cluster. Those all come from one NIC by default (failover).

Again, the Windows Solution Pack user guide tells you how to set the load balancing option. When I have tried to change it to round robin, though, I just get a message telling me the request is not supported. Let me know if you get it to work.
Fred Blum
Regular Advisor

Re: P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing


On the P4000 SAN you need to enable a Virtual IP adress and load balancing.

Best Practise Network configuration for the SAN is NIC jumbo frames, flow control and ALB. Needs corresponding configuration of your switch with enabling jumbo, flow control and RSPT and setting jumbo, flow control on server nics attached to the SAN Subnet. http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01750150.pdf
With ALB you get 2GB Tx and 1Gb Rx. In the HP NCU it is now called TLB, transmit load balancing.

On the server node to see both NIC engaging in SAN traffic you need to set the MPIO setting in iSCSI initiator: TAB Targets, click devices, click MPIO, set load balancing from "Vendor specific" to "Round robin". You will see a passive failover connection changing to active. Click OK, Click OK, check the NICs traffic.

If you get and error like "Not Supported" in MPIO, you've a misconfiguration, for steps see: http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1459582

Test you configuration setup with SQLIO or IOmeter to check if you are achieving the throughput.
A.Parker
Occasional Contributor

Re: P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing

Thank you both for your input

I set the MPIO setting in the iSCSI initiator to Round Robin and my host server started Load Balancing its iSCSI traffic over both of its iSCSI NICs

I have seen this setting before in SAN i/Q 8.1 and 8.5, but it wasn't relevant until HP introduced the Load Balancing option in 9.0

Thanks again
A.Parker
Occasional Contributor

Re: P4000 SAN/iQ 9.0 and Host Server NIC Load Balancing

Solution as indicated by replys to question