mrvmsnail
Contributor
Contributor

NFS Multipathing within ESXi? Possible?

Hi community

I set up a redundant storage system (active-active) and did not find any information about NFS multipathing within ESXi. Is that possible? I only read about Multipathing with iSCSI, which is apparently possible.

Is there anywhere information about that?

Thanks,

Daniel

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11 Replies
ezzeldin72
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

NFS is IP storage so achieving multipathing with be configured on the vmnics

Ezzeldin Hussein | MBA| VCAP-DCA/DCD | VCI Level II | VCP-DCV/DT/CMA/NX | VCA/VSP/VTSP | vExpert Team Lead, Systems Engineering, NALE | Member of CTO Ambassador Program.  Business Central Tower A, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, POB 500569 Mobile(EG): +20106 5533 950 Mobile(UAE): +971 56 9095 106 Mobile(OM): +968 9066 0533
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mrvmsnail
Contributor
Contributor

No idea what you are talking about. Could you explain this? I know that NFS is IP-based.

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ezzeldin72
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If you have two or more physical NICs, you can create multiple paths for by using the port-binding technique. With port binding, you create a separate VMkernel port for each physical NIC with a one-to-one mapping. You can configure it with a single virtual switch or a pair of virtual switches.

Best Regards,

Ezz

Ezzeldin Hussein | MBA| VCAP-DCA/DCD | VCI Level II | VCP-DCV/DT/CMA/NX | VCA/VSP/VTSP | vExpert Team Lead, Systems Engineering, NALE | Member of CTO Ambassador Program.  Business Central Tower A, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, POB 500569 Mobile(EG): +20106 5533 950 Mobile(UAE): +971 56 9095 106 Mobile(OM): +968 9066 0533
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mrvmsnail
Contributor
Contributor

Is there some guide around anywhere? I was searching for hours, but maybe used wrong/uncommon search phrases.

So what I have is two servers, 10.1.0.1 and 10.1.0.2 which act as NFS servers, and providing access to a clustered file system. Now, in my understanding, I'd have to tell VMware that the both NFS servers actually provide the same datastore and it could use both links.

Am I wrong?

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ezzeldin72
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

You are right. To do so, in normal setup (without multipathing) you will define vmkernel port to access your NFS server and use one vmnic1 as uplink. To have multpathing, you need to create another vmkernel port and use another vmnic (e.g. vmnic2) as uplink (for example on one vSwitch) then in the vSwitch setup in teaming property, choose vmnic1 to be active adapter for one of the vmkernal ports and vmnic2 as "not used" and the reverse setup for the other vmkernal port.

Best Regards,

Ezz

Ezzeldin Hussein | MBA| VCAP-DCA/DCD | VCI Level II | VCP-DCV/DT/CMA/NX | VCA/VSP/VTSP | vExpert Team Lead, Systems Engineering, NALE | Member of CTO Ambassador Program.  Business Central Tower A, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, POB 500569 Mobile(EG): +20106 5533 950 Mobile(UAE): +971 56 9095 106 Mobile(OM): +968 9066 0533
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mrvmsnail
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your response. I am not sure you understood me right. Is there a guide somewhere that shows what you mean? I tried it, but I'm somehow stuck.

Will this active/passive configuration automatically fail-over to the secondary NFS?

Maybe I'm wrong with the term "multipathing". Since both NFS servers are in the same network, there would be no need for two NICs. I just want failover for NFS, and I thought this is called IO Multipathing.

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mphodge
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I've been researching to do this myself, but I don't think it's possible to have multi-path access from a single VM to a single datastore using NFS.

It's possible with iSCSI using roundrobin (as described above) but with NFS, you would have to define multiple mount points on your ESX servers to alias IP addresses on your NFS server, and then spread out your VM storage across these mounts. So you would have 'multi-path' for multiple VMs, but not for a single VM as with the iSCSI method.

I could be wrong here, if anyone knows a better way with NFS?

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atessiot
Contributor
Contributor

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Josh26
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

mrvmsnail wrote:

Thanks for your response. I am not sure you understood me right. Is there a guide somewhere that shows what you mean? I tried it, but I'm somehow stuck.

Will this active/passive configuration automatically fail-over to the secondary NFS?

Maybe I'm wrong with the term "multipathing". Since both NFS servers are in the same network, there would be no need for two NICs. I just want failover for NFS, and I thought this is called IO Multipathing.

That's a much simplier question.

Put two NICs in the vmkernel port group, and configure one as standby using the "explicit failover" routing protocol, VMware will do this out of the box.

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rickardnobel
Champion
Champion

Josh26 wrote:

mrvmsnail wrote:

Since both NFS servers are in the same network, there would be no need for two NICs. I just want failover for NFS, and I thought this is called IO Multipathing.

That's a much simplier question.

Put two NICs in the vmkernel port group, and configure one as standby using the "explicit failover" routing protocol, VMware will do this out of the box.

You might not even have to select active/standby if there is only one vmkernel port on the vSwitch, and there is two VMnics attached, and the default Port ID load balancing option is unchanged.

If there is other traffic (vMotion, Management or similar) going on through the same vSwitch and VMnics it could be good to use active/standby.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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Attrezzo
Contributor
Contributor

I understand what you mean and no.

Multipathing is possible from a host's perspective, but when you're trying to get a single host to connect to two different nfs shares and multipath between nfs shares this is not possible to my knowledge.

You would need to set up multiple iscsi targets to get what you're talking about.

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