brad1150
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IP over FireWire - ESXi 4.0.0

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Hey guys,

I have VMware ESXi 4.0.0 running on a server with 2 gigabit NICs, but I have an NAS that has a 10/100mbps NIC. The NAS has a firewire card installed, and I'd like to use that, instead of ethernet, for the faster networking speed. I read that IP over Firewire can do 400mbps or 800mbps, which is a lot faster than the 100mbps of the NIC. I installed a Firewire PCI card in the server earlier today, and I'm wondering if it is possible to use IP over Firewire with VMware. I am using a VM on the server as my gateway/firewall if this helps.

Thanks,

Brad

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mcowger
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DSTAVERT
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Firewire is not supported unfortunately. If you have an older computer available it is fairly easy to install somethingt like FreeNAS to turn it into an NFS or iSCSI device.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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brad1150
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So I can't use a firewire card at all? Not even from within a VM (VM-NAS IP over Firewire). No matter how it's set up, NAS with FTP/Samba, iSCSI, or NFS, communication between the NAS server and the rest of the network will be limited to 100mbps because of the ethernet NIC limitation.

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DSTAVERT
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If your ESXi host machine has support for Directed IO or IOMMU you might be able to use VMdirectPath to provide access to a Virtual Machine. Not all devices are supported. http://vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/VMW-vSphere4-directpath-host.pdf

I don't know what your NAS device is and what drive technology, RAID capabilities, CPU it has but it could be limited by those as well even if it had a GB interface.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
mcowger
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If the NAS has a firewire card, why not pull it and replace with a GigE card....

You wont be able to get ESX to talk IP over firewire.  ESXi is an enterprise appliance, and enterprises simply dont use IP over firewire.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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brad1150
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It's Ubuntu with NFS, Samba, and FTP. I'm wanting to use firewire mainly because I have loads of them laying around. I don't have any GigE cards. I originally thought of using IP over firewire because I have a GBIC Firewire card in my Cisco Catalyst 3548XL, but I found out the Cisco firewire is proprietary and can damage my hardware.

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DSTAVERT
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Get yourself a good GbE card.  Intel desktop cards seem to work well.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
brad1150
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I guess I'll have to do that. My hardware doesn't support VMDirectPath. I have another question that is a lot easier. How do I configure a VM to start when I power on the host?

EDIT: While reading through the manual to my server's mainboard, I discovered it does support IOMMU. I'll attempt to use VMDirectPath.

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mcowger
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You are in for a heap of pain just to get 400 MBit when you could spend $19 on a proper GigE card on amazon, get fully supported configs, easy setup and 2.5x the performance and better compability....

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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brad1150
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Thank you for clarifying that. I personally see it as a challenge. I would still like to know how to configure the VM to power up when the host does.

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mcowger
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Reasonably easy: http://www.jume.nl/articles/vmware/112-autostart-vm

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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