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  • San and Virtualization newbee

    Hi Friends,

    I am new to SAN and Virtualization, please bare with me if my q's sound stupid,

    I believe there is three different pieces that I need to learn,

    1, settting up and configuring your SAN hardware,
    2, setup and configuration of Virtualizatin software in my case it is Vmware,
    3, then, setup the iscsi ready switch and configure it,

    Currently I am learning Vmware Vsphere 4.1 and ESX servers in my test labs and upto now it seem to going ok,

    The piece that is puzzling me is that how am I going to configure the switch? for example the q's I have are,

    each physical servers where you have ESX server installed will come with usually more then one network slots or NICs how am I going to connect it to the iscsi ready switch?

    Same with Connectivity from SAN to the Switch, SAN that I have looked at has 4 network slots, how are they connected to the switch,

    I read I have to use NIC teaming or network load balancing, where do I do these?

    What kind of configuration is needed on the switch it self and on the SAN and ESX server?

    Is there a guide to do this or article on these? or possibly some sort of virtual appliance?

    Please help as I am very much confused here,

    As always thanks for all you help,

  • #2
    Re: San and Virtualization newbee

    Yantra,

    The first place I would start is the iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide provided by VMware. That document is located HERE. Also, since you don't call out the particular make and model of your SAN I would check there website or contact there support for any best practice guides they may have for using there product with VMware. I know that EMC, Dell, and NetApp provide such guides.

    -Jason
    MCSA/MCSE 2K3,MCITP:ESA,MCTS x 4,VCP x 2

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: San and Virtualization newbee

      Thanks Jason,

      I checked the PDF from VMware, so does that mean I don't have to do much on actual physical switch? most of the configuration will be done on the ESX server? I mean the way I connect multiple HBA, and also how I setup redundant connections etc? Did I understood it right?

      Also one more important question about the backup, suppose if I were to use Symantec Backup exec,

      I will have to install remote agent on each Virtual machine?

      Where will I be setting up the Backup drive? is that going to be on ESX server? if yes I need to install my SCSI card for the backup drive on ESX server?

      Can somebody confirm these items for me Please?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: San and Virtualization newbee

        Originally posted by Yantra View Post
        I checked the PDF from VMware, so does that mean I don't have to do much on actual physical switch? most of the configuration will be done on the ESX server? I mean the way I connect multiple HBA, and also how I setup redundant connections etc? Did I understood it right?
        For the most part, yes that is correct. On the physical switch side I would suggest making sure you have an islotated VLAN (as mentioned in the vmware documentation) to route your iSCSI SAN traffic. From there the majority of the configuration will be on both the ESX and SAN side. Since you didn't specifically call out the make/model of your SAN, to generically answer your second question you will need at least two NICs in each ESX host connectected to two phsically seperated switches, this will allow to setup redundant links from the hosts to the switches. For the SAN you should follow the same config, each of the storage processors should have two connections, one to each of the switches you cabled your ESX hosts too. I have attached a quick and dirty MSPaint drawing to reflect this.

        Originally posted by Yantra View Post
        Also one more important question about the backup, suppose if I were to use Symantec Backup exec,

        I will have to install remote agent on each Virtual machine?
        Yes, you can treat the VM's just the same as a physical host. Installing the backup software agent within the VM will allow you to do the typical file based restores. However, if you want to get more advanced and archive the actual VMDK files that create each VM you will need to take it a step further. As I am not familiar with Backup Exec you will need to read there documentation to see if and how it can tie into vCenter to achieve those types of backups. There are also scripts (search google for them) that folks have written that can also accomplish this as well as using the VMware vDR.

        -Jason
        Attached Files
        MCSA/MCSE 2K3,MCITP:ESA,MCTS x 4,VCP x 2

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: San and Virtualization newbee

          Thank you very much VWA4,

          you cleared lot of confusion from my mind.

          Code:
          On the physical switch side I would suggest making sure you have an  islotated VLAN (as mentioned in the vmware documentation) to route your  iSCSI SAN traffic.
          So right now I have my LAN on 10.11.0.0/16 network, can I configure 192.168.1.0/24 VLANs on the physical switch? and do I required to do any routing between these two network? by the can you point to the VMware Documents about these process?

          Thanks again, these site is wonderful,

          Regards,

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: San and Virtualization newbee

            Since you didn't specifically call out the make/model of your SAN
            We are thinking of getting Dell's equologic ps4000

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            • #7
              Re: San and Virtualization newbee

              Originally posted by Yantra View Post
              So right now I have my LAN on 10.11.0.0/16 network, can I configure 192.168.1.0/24 VLANs on the physical switch? and do I required to do any routing between these two network? by the can you point to the VMware Documents about these process?
              Yes, it is a best practice to keep your iSCSI SAN traffic on an isolated non-routed network. I would also suggest since iSCSI traffic is not encrypted that you may want to look into using CHAP as well.

              Also you may find THIS article a good read as it is somewhat of a deep dive into using iSCSI with vSphere 4. Also, since you mentioned using an Equalogic SAN I would take a look at THIS documentation provided by Dell.

              -Jason
              MCSA/MCSE 2K3,MCITP:ESA,MCTS x 4,VCP x 2

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: San and Virtualization newbee

                Thank Jason,

                I have checked the documents, what I understood from these is that you will have to setup vlan on both esx server and physical switch, but I am still confused about few things here, if I setup vlans on both esx and physical switch do they have to be related, do i have to setup jumbo frame on both esx and physical switch?

                I would really appreciate if someone can clear this confusion for me, this would be my first project with vmware so all your help is welcome, I would really appreciate help on setting up vlans and switch configuration part,

                Regards,

                Yantra

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                • #9
                  Re: San and Virtualization newbee

                  ye, the esx server and the switch will need to have the same vlan configured.

                  so if you put the switchport in to vlan20 for instance, the esx server must also be configured for vlan20.

                  otherwise the switch ignores the traffic (simple explanation)
                  Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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                  • #10
                    Re: San and Virtualization newbee

                    Many Thanks tehcamel,

                    Sorry for the late reply,

                    Yantra

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