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P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

themind
Occasional Advisor

P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

Hello. I have the P4300 7.2TB SAS Starter SAN Kit, and (2) DL380 G6's that are ESX 4.0 Update 2 Hosts. I setup multipathing for the SAN to the vSphere environment, and ensured that both paths show up in ESX (round robin). Initially, this was all setup on a flat network. I installed the LeftHand CMC on my own computer, and managed the SAN Cluster from there.

The problem I've run into is that it's best practice to isolate the iSCSI traffic. With the suggestion of a VMWare support person, I created a VLAN on the physical switch (Cisco 3560) for the iSCSI traffic (including all ports going to the host, as well as the SAN ports).

Now that the Storage traffic is isolated, I cannot access the SAN (either node, nor the VIP) from the CMC on my own computer. I know that the reason is because I VLAN'ed the iSCSI from the rest of the network, but how would I be able to use the CMC to manage the SAN now? VMWare doesn't support routing for the storage traffic, so I believe I cannot create Inter-VLAN routing so that I can access the SAN from my computer. I am not sure how else I can access it, besides physically going to the SAN and using the console.

I don't have any VM's within that iSCSI VLAN and don't plan on putting any there. I'm not a VLAN expert by any means, so I'd appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction to be able to manage the SAN via CMC on my computer still, while having the iSCSI traffic isloated via VLAN.

Thanks in advance!
10 REPLIES
ajamil786
Frequent Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

If CMC does not have access to the storage nodes how do you expect it to manage them? If I remember correctly, P4300 has two NICs and reccommended practice is to bond them. So your your storage network is attached to one network or Vlan. Simply put, CMC needs access to this Vlan. The computer that has the CMC must have at least one NIC that belong to the Vlan. This should be easy to do with Cisco 3560. You just need to add the port that your CMC host is on to the Vlan.

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

Option number 1 is to multihomeyour PC and give it one connection to your production vlan and one connection to the iSCSI vlan.

Option number 2 is to route the traffic from your production vlan to the iSCSI vlan. This is typically only done when there is a management vlan with fewer users such as the it staff only on this vlan. Vmware doesn't have to do the routing for the vlan traffic, they will still have direct access to the vlan and not be accessing it over the route. The only traffic that will be routed will be the management traffic from the CMC to the lefthand nodes. This is supported and frankly vmware will have no idea it is happening.

Option number 3 is to create a vm network port group on the nic's that are connected to the iscsi vlan and just add an xp vm to that port group and run the cmc from there. The cmc is only needed for making changes to the san and is not needed to do anything else so that vm doesn't need to remain running when you are not using it so it can be shut down when not in use.
themind
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

What I ended up doing after posting this was updating the network drivers on another machine (XP), so that the PROset had VLAN ability. I then configured the VLAN of the iSCSI on that XP machine and can now see the SAN and manage it through the CMC on that XP machine.

The problem now is that I can't see/use the normal network now on the XP machine. I've tried adding VLAN 1, as well as an untagged LAN, and neither allow the normal network communication (although at least when adding the Untagged LAN, the Dynamic IP settings pull down correctly). Does anyone have insight to get an Intel NIC with PROset to work on the normal network as well as an iSCSI VLAN at the same time?
Steve McGee
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

most VLAN tagging is done on the nic and not at the software level. You have a couple of options.
1. put in a second NIC in your workstation and don't VLAN Tag it.
or
2. set up a VLAN Tagging Policy on your switch so that it applies the iSCSI VLan tag to the specified subnet as opposed to just honoring VLAN tagged traffic.
themind
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

I went and got a second NIC and multihomed the XP PC. It's all working now. Thanks for the help!
themind
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

Well, I thought it was...I was able to work on the normal network, but then realized afterwards that I could no longer access the VLAN 3 network, and I can't use either or unless I disable one. Stuck again!
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

That sounds like a routing problem. Can you activate both interfaces, do a "route print > routes.txt" and then attach the file (please do not just cut&paste into the reply box) to a response?
.
themind
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

I've been researching this before responding. Attached is the routes text file. Let me preface by saying that the iSCSI traffic is VLANed by Access Ports (no IP Interface assigned, no tagging), but was setup with the same subnet as the normal network...so when you look at this file, you see 192.100.100.194 (XP Machine NIC on VLAN3) and 192.100.100.72 (XP Machine NIC on normal network) and aren't confused as to the routing.

I'm wondering if I can't run a multihomed PC with both NICs on the same subnet, even though one is VLANed.
themind
Occasional Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

to Jason:

I also just implemented your option of:

Option number 3 is to create a vm network port group on the nic's that are connected to the iscsi vlan and just add an xp vm to that port group and run the cmc from there. The cmc is only needed for making changes to the san and is not needed to do anything else so that vm doesn't need to remain running when you are not using it so it can be shut down when not in use.

The XP VM connects to the SAN fine. The problem with this is that I cannot connect to the Internet on this VM since it is within that VLAN, so I can't do Windows Updates, or CMC upgrades, etc.

I understand the idea of isolating the iSCSI traffic, but how do people manage their SANs and do updates that need internet connections? There has to be an easier answer that people are already using, that I'm overlooking.
Paul Hutchings
Super Advisor

Re: P4300 - Using CMC when iSCSI is placed in VLAN?

Probably 4 months late here but I found the thread whilst digging on much the same dilemma.

With your XP VM I believe the only option is to have it multi-homed in both the VM Network (or whichever network has access to the internet) and the iSCSI network.