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ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Patrick Neuner
Regular Advisor

ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hi,

 

we are using a BL460c (G1) and want to connect to a VSA via ISCSI. 
Once the connection is established, VMWare Crashes. 

Exception 14 in world 2702:vmkiscsid IP 0x0 addr 0x0

 

We used the June ESXI 5 Image from HP, same issue if we use the latest VMWARE patch. 

Same issue. Also - it really only happens, once successfully a connection to VSA was made. 
So - as long as we don't present a Storage, all works fine. 

 

Using it on a BL460C G6, it works without problems. ESXi 5 is compatible to BL460C G1, but as reading through forum posts, this error seems to be an driver error. 

 

Anything we can do about it? Exchange the driver or something like that to get it to work?

 

Attached a screenshot of the crash. 

 

 

Thanks

Patrick 

 

 

 

6 REPLIES
Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hello Patrick,

I assume you have all latest firmwares onboard.

Check your bnx2 and bnx2i drivers ; latest available are at https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=DT-ESXi50-Broadcom-bnx2x-17254v502&productId=229 .

 

This driver CD release includes drivers bnx2-2.2.1l.v50.1,bnx2x-1.72.54.v50.2, bnx2i-2.72.10.v50.2

 

With older versions of ESX was everything fine?

 

Jan

Patrick Neuner
Regular Advisor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hi Jan, 

 

thanks for you answer. Yes I tried the latest one of 2011, the one the HP website links to (may 2012), and also the newest one from June 2012, Always the same issue. Only with newer server (G6) I didn't see the issue. 
G6 Server is connected through Virtual Connect though, G1 Server is in a Blade Center with Procurve Switches. 

 

Haven't tried it yet with Esxi4, will give this a shot. Also will try to connect to a Lefthand ISCSI node, but doubt it makes and difference to VSA. 

 

First I thought the error is, due VSA was on the same VMWare machine as I wanted to do the ISCSI Connection, but a separted machine didn't do any good either. 

 

I also tried different VMWare Patch Builds. (but no older than the HP June U1 Update). 

 

So next shot will be trying Version 4, to see if it happens there and give you this answer. At the moment I can only say ESX 5U1 does work with G6, and not with G1.

 

Any Bios NIC Settings couldn't cause this? 

 

Thanks

Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hello Patrick,

interesting issue. I doubt I is related to NIC settings.

Lets try ESXi4.x - I was surprised BL460 g1 is on compatibility list for ESXi5 - it is quite old server.

Could you connect your server to VSA the same way as G6 is?

 

Maybe try vmware support - from logs they can investigate real reason: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1020181

 

Jan

Patrick Neuner
Regular Advisor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hi,

 

well, ESXi4 U2, same issue. 

About Bl460c G1, I believe the first version is comparable to G4 with other server models. They are about 4 years old, and then skipped right to G5, probably to catch up. so I believe that's the reason it's on the compatibility list. 

 

Unfortunatly can't connect G6 the same way, G6 and Lefthand Nodes are on the production site, G1 and VSA are mainly used for backup purpose, Remote REP and both sites are connected via VPN. 

 

So I also couldn't test local G1 connecting to Lefthand Nodes, as VMWare doesn't support ISCSI via routet connections. 

 

But I read at the VMware ISCSI documention, it's suggested to use Software ISCSI instead of Hardware when using VSA. No reason why, but might dig into this, otherwise I will try support. 

 

Thanks
Patrick 

Patrick Neuner
Regular Advisor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Ok, Software ISCSI Adapter does work as of my first tests. 

 

If or if not the Hardware ISCSI should work, I can't tell. 

Just some research on documentation gives the info to use Software for VSA. 

 

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf (Page 59): 

iSCSI Targets in vApps
If you use an iSCSI target in a virtual appliance, for example HP LeftHand P4000 VSA, the host should connect
to the target through the software iSCSI adapter rather than a hardware iSCSI adapter.

 

This applies also for ESXi 5, found the same sentence there (without explanation). 

 

And at this post I found some interesting information, especially troubles with Broadcom, if that applies here, I don't know, but most probably if VMWare gets a purple screen. 

 

http://community.spiceworks.com/topic/167831-hardware-iscsi-vs-software-iscsi-in-esxi5

 

So well, I will go with Software ISCSI, as performance isn't a real issue at our local environment anyway , and believing some posts, the performance isn't really this much of a difference. 

 

Thanks

Patrick 

Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: ESXi 5 and ISCSI to VSA - kernel panic

Hello Patrick,

interesting news. I am glad you've solved you problem (in little bit unexpected way), lesson learned...

 

Jan