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LeftHand P4000 VSA with 10Gbps

Occasional Visitor

LeftHand P4000 VSA with 10Gbps



So, as many of you are aware, "10Gbps network cards are not supported".


Well, I'm here to tell you that they work (though unsupported) on ESX 5.1 with VSA/SAN-IQ 9.5.



What I did:


I installed ESX 5.1 on a BL480c (Gen 1) blade, with 2x 146G 15k SAS drives, 8x2GB ram, and 2x1Gbps network connections (I've ordered the 10Gb mezzanine cards and a vFlex-10 to test actual throughput in the future). 


I then tried using the VSA for VMWare trial installation kit; It failed as VSA 9.5 does not support ESX 5.1. 


Then, I simply did the OVF import method to create the VSA instance on ESX.


After some time, (but no manual configuration), i eventually got the VSA up and running with "10,000 Mbps" network connection between the VSA and vSwitch1.


(Obviously I couldn't test actual throughput with a 1GBPS physical connection on the box, but I'll try that in a week when my new mezzanine cards and vFlex-10 modules arrive). 


The network driver that seems to work is the VMWare VMXNET3 Ethernet Controller.


It is showing as connected at 10000Mbps, Full Duplex, Status Active, Frame Size Default, Nic Flow Control Off/Off.


I'll update when I get more hardware on site;



My intended build is 2xBL480c Gen1 blades, 2xD2200SB PCI-E disk expansion blades, and 24x 900GB 10K SAS drives.


I will then create two 9.9TB raid-5 volumes (one on each blade) and map those to ESX.


Once that is done, I will create 10x 1.95TB VMDK thick-provisioned disks (5 on each blade) and present 5x 1.95TB disks to VSA as SCSI1:0-4, and attempt to create a NRAID10 of 9.9TB using 21.6TB of 10K SAS drives.


If this is successful, I will try to remove 4 of the 900GB drives and recreate a 8.1TB NRAID10+5, and then add in 4x 100GB SSD drives and create a 100GB NRAID10+1.


Once these two volumes are created, I will report back with raw throughput and information from IOMeter.


I'm hoping for some rediculous IO on those SSDs. We'll see.


I would also really like to try using the PCI Expansion Blade (instead of the d2200SB) and put some of those OCZ RevoDrive X2 960GB SSD PCI-E cards in them.


Based on their stats, I should be able to get 4x OCZ Revodrives into 2x PCI Expansion Blades, and make a 960GB NRAID 10 which should yeild somewhere between 180,000 and 200,000 IOPS. 


Yay for 10Gbps support on ESX 5.1 !!!

Established Member

Re: LeftHand P4000 VSA with 10Gbps

Hi Chris,


The  "10Gbps network cards are not supported" statement is from the documentation for the VSA. With SAN/iQ 9.5 10Gbps network cards have been supported on the VSA but the documentation was incorrect. Unfortunately support only work to what it says in the documentation and as such say that it is not supported. The documentation is not due to be updated until SAN/iQ 10 is released at which time it will say that 10Gbps is supported.


Regards, Mike.