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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....