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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    14

    Default VMware to Open-E multipathing

    I'm a new Open-E user (v6b4550), looking to hook our system up to our primary network as a NAS device (for NFS/CIFS access) and to our existing vSphere cluster for VMware VMFS access. The vSphere access will be over iSCSI. The Open-E appliance has two integrated NIC's currently running in an 802.3ad bond for access from our main network, and an external dual port PCIe NIC for access from vSphere.

    All our vSphere hosts have dual port Qlogic iSCSI HBA's, which are used for multi-path access to our SAN. I want to connect to the Open-E appliance over these HBA's as well, and take advantage of multi-pathing if possible.

    We have a single class C subnet for our SAN, and the vSphere host HBA's have two IP's from this subnet allocated (1 to each port). We map iSCSI volumes from our SAN to the vSphere hosts, and as well as multi-pathing failover, get the benefit of round-robin load balancing.

    My question is, can I implement the same setup on the Open-E? If I try and add IP's on the same subnet to the two interfaces connected to our SAN, Open-E gives me a nice warning that this should not be done, and suggests I use the iSCSI Failover option. While having a virtual IP allocated to two physical NIC sounds like a solution, surely this means I will only have a single Gb link from the vSphere hosts, and not the round-robin connection I want.

    You should note that the storage network is totally self contained, with no external routing.

    Can I have multi-pathing with round-robin in Open-E, or will I have to use the iSCSI Failover option and lose performance?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lincoln, UK
    Posts
    42

    Smile Yerp!

    Hi There,

    The answer to your question, I believe, is YES :-)

    There is a good white-paper on the open-e knowledge base on this topic.

    We have a single ESXi 4 box with numerous NIC's including two onboard with TCPoE etc.

    We also have a DSS v6 server running the lastest open-e.

    We have created two vswitches and conencted a single VM kernel port to each on their own subnet. Each of the onboard NIC's have been connected to one of the vswitches.

    The DSS box also has two onboard NIC's with TCPoE. These have each been allocated an IP on the same subnets as the VM kernel ports and two ethernet cables connect the onboard DSS servers NIC's to the corresponding onboard ESXI servers NIC's.

    The key here is to have two physically and virtually isolated networks.

    Assuming your iSCSI LUN's are already setup, you just add the two IP's of the DSS server (each on different subnet's remember) to the ESXi iSCSI Sofware to Hardware adapters Send Targets and the LUN should show up. Once this is done create your VMFS volume and then select that volume under Storage-Datastores and hit properties followed by Manage paths. We use a Path Selection mode of Round Robin to benefit from the performance and redundancy benefits of multipathing!

    Good luck!

    TFZ
    If it can go wrong, it generally will!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lincoln, UK
    Posts
    42

    Thumbs up URL for guide

    Have a look here:

    http://www.open-e.com/library/how-to-resources/

    You will need to log in to download the paper titled "2010.02 Open-E DSS V6 MPIO with ESX4".

    Best regards

    TFZ
    If it can go wrong, it generally will!

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