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kcarlile
Contributor
Contributor

vSphere 4 and HP MSA2012i

Anyone tried this yet? It's not on the HCL yet, but I reeeeeeaally hope it will be. We just got this SAN last year, and getting a different one would be a hard sell right now.

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kcarlile
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Contributor

Probably because I'm partially wrong. However, with no route between them, you're going to have to use 4 (physical) iSCSI ports per ESX host in order to maintain redundancy. I fail to see why one would want to have a separate subnet for the secondary ports--unless you've got a DOS attack going on on one subnet, a broadcast storm, or the like, which seems unlikely with the limited number of devices on the subnet and the isolation. Perhaps in a larger configuration than one that would be using an MSA2000.

Also, VMware does not support routing for iSCSI (although you've specified no routing between the two iSCSI subnets)

In my opinion (especially using HW iSCSI ports), the advantage of using only 2 ports per host outweighs the potential benefits of separated subnets. I suppose you could use SW iSCSI and VLAN tagging, but at some point it just seems to get really complicated...

For some reason (I guess HP doesn't like Firefox or Safari), I can't access the PDF you referenced. I'll try to remember to have a look at it tomorrow.

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JRink
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Why would you need 4 physical iSCSI ports per host? Youstill only need two. A single vSwitch that contains a vmkernal port bound to pNIC-A, and another vmkernel port bound to pNIC-B (as per the iSCSI config guide published by VMware for vSphere). Each vmkerel port would be on its own subnet. (again, no routing)

Take a look at that .pdf file and let me know what you think. thanks!!!

JR

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Ocaco_Finland
Contributor
Contributor

Hi everybody,

Rohan, if you have set up multipathing correctly then you should be able to vmkping all of the iscsi targets (4 in your case).

I also don't see why you need 4 host ports, 2 is enough even for redundancy.

In my setup I have 2 host pNics (one subnet each). Each pNic is connected to a separate physical switch from which there is connection to one port on each controller.

For example

pNic0 (10.0.0.1) -> switch -> Target A0 (10.0.0.100) + Target B0 (10.0.0.101)

pNic1 (10.0.1.1) -> switch -> Target A1 (10.0.1.100) + Target B1 (10.0.1.101)

If any of the pNics fail there's still a path to both controllers. If a switch fails there's still path to both controllers. And if a controller fails, the all targets are still visible since they are moved to the secondary controller.

VmWare will see all the 4 paths but only 2 of them will be usable bacause of the MSA's "active-passive" architecture. This is not a big problem if you create to LUNs to MSA and load balance manually between them.

Personally I think I'm going to move to shared SAS architecture as soon as the 6gbit/s technology is available from HP.

Andy






Freedom of Business

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tlyczko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Any new information available on this topic??

New firmware has been released, any info beyond what's on HP's site??

kcarlile, I pm'd you a question...

Thank you, Tom

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JohnYork
Contributor
Contributor

We just had cases open with HP and VMware about this

issue--vSphere 4 and MSA2012i support. One HP tech told us that MSA2012i was listed as supported for

vSphere in their database. A second HP tech told us that the footnote

on the VMware HCL mentioning LSILogic driver actually referred to the

software driver. This sounded sketchy, so we opened a case with VMware

to confirm it. VMware did confirm that:

"The LsiLogic part refers

to the VM's. They must be set to Lsilogic not Buslogic. So the software

initiator part works fine with that array just make sure to use the

Lsilogic not the buslogic for the VM's. "

So, it looks like we're

good to go for MSA2012i's and vSphere as long as we use the Lsilogic (default) software driver and not the older Buslogic. It doesn't look like it will do

the ALUA stuff, but at least it will run and be supported. That will save a bunch of dollars in iSCSI hardware adapters.

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tlyczko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If you're buying NEW MSAs, why aren't you buying the G2 or G3 MSAs??

Furthermore if you have enough $$$ you can convert a 2012i G1 into a G2,

HP will happily tell you how to do it, the replacement controller is

about $3000 per 2012i.

Another alternative in the same thread is the QLogic card, which is

about $1000/server.

HTH Tom

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JohnYork
Contributor
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No, we have several MSA2012i's on hand already. We've just been slow in going to 4. I was just making the point that the software iSCSI adapter is supported, as long as you use the default and not the buslogic.

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tlyczko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

OIC. Many thanks for chasing after VMware and HP etc. though. Smiley Happy Tom

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elkhornps
Contributor
Contributor

JohnYork,

I think you also posted on the HP forums here:

http://forums13.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?admit=109447627126965918392828353475&threadId=1397975

I have a case open with vmware right now referencing that post. They are just sending me to the HCL list like I can't read. lol

Would you be able to post your two case numbers so that I could reference them in my ticket. I may also try to start another one with HP and reference both as well.

Also, Per the HP forum, Ryan is here in Omaha at another location and he did move ahead with vSphere and hasn't had any problems yet.

Thanks

Jason

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kcarlile
Contributor
Contributor

At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that this thread is doing more harm than good.

As I understand it, the MSA2012i is currently supported under vSphere 4 using both the QLogic HW iSCSI adapters and SW iSCSI. What is not supported is using (ON THE VM SIDE) the PVSCSI or Buslogic virtual SCSI adapters.

What I am using is HW iSCSI adapters, but before I got those, I was using SW iSCSI, back before it was officially on the HCL. It worked just fine. Heck, I've even used the pvscsi virtual adapter in one or two of my VMs without anything blowing up.

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darren_wardle50
Contributor
Contributor

kcarlile, can you point me to any documentation that says that vSphere SW iSCSI is supported, I spoke to HP and VMware in late Janurary, the VMware engineer said

it was still in testing and HP support told me VMware were currently testing a

new firmware and that it would be available in a few months, I assume the

firmware in question is J210P22–01 which was released on

the 16th Feb, however I may be wrong about this, has anyone tried this firmware with vSphere and SW ISCSI.

I also looked at HP SPOCK which says under server note:

<span class="NotesContent">2) Hardware iSCSI support only.

The VMware HCL shows the following that only the HW ISCSI is supported:

Release
Mode
Path Policy
Firmware
Device Driver(s)
Configuration
ESX 4.0 U1^[1\

http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide/detail_window.php?device_cat=san&device_id=4109#notes]^

VMW_SATP_ALUA
VMW_PSP_MRU
J210P19
qla4xxx version 5.01.00.vm1
HW iSCSI
ESX 4.0^[1\

http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide/detail_window.php?device_cat=san&device_id=4109#notes]^

VMW_SATP_ALUA
VMW_PSP_MRU
J210P19
qla4xxx version 5.01.00.vm1
HW iSCSI
ESX 3.5 U5
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCSI
ESX 3.5 U4
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCSI
ESX 3.5 U3
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCSI
ESX 3.5 U2
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCSI
ESX 3.5 U1
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCSI
ESX 3.5
Active/Active
Fixed
J210R10
N/A
SW iSCS

.

Darren

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kcarlile
Contributor
Contributor

I'll be damned. You're right. I thought it had changed after I bought my QLogics cards.

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tlyczko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

How do we explain JohnYork's results in http://communities.vmware.com/message/1490278#1490278?

There's apparently enough evidence in this thread that software iSCSI does work...regardless of the HCL etc.

Maybe those of you who have connections at VMware and HP etc. could help by prodding for a sooner resolution of these issues???

Thank you, Tom

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JohnYork
Contributor
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Again, we had tickets open with both HP and VMware on this subject. Both told us software iSCSI is supported on vSphere4 as long as you use the default driver, which is the one listed in the note. Based on that, we deployed it and so far it works.

thanks

John

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kcarlile
Contributor
Contributor

Last time I buy HP storage, let me tell you that. This has been so aggravating.

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darren_wardle50
Contributor
Contributor

An update from someone at HP or VMware would be extremely welcomed at this point; we have two conflicting answers that really need to be resolved one way or the other.

This is issue is becoming a large concern to us and our customers using the 2012i, one of these customers bought this SAN as part of a new virtualisation project just after vSphere was announced as the G2 had not been released, other customers have purchased it less than 18 months ago, from their perspective they have just wasted a large chunk of cash on a SAN which is not going to be 100% supported in vSphere 4 and probably not even compatible in version 4.5 or 5, or will take another year to become certified. When it comes time to replace the SAN I expect that they will look to other SAN providers. This is due to the fact that vSphere was released almost a year ago now, yet we are still in the same position with no indication of a time frame or what the issues actually are, this information would at least help us to make a decision. I don’t imagine the G2 and G3s will fair much better with new versions of vSphere to be honest.

The issue that bothers me is if HP and VMware are still working to support the SW iSCSI in vSphere, which is what they have indicated to me on multiple occasions, then is there some major issue that nobody has posted about yet? Has anyone tested how well controller failover works and has anyone tried it with the latest firmware release? This uncertainty is not a position our clients want to be in.

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vbroucek
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Contributor

My supplier has ticket open with both VMware and HP and so far, they say no certified support for SW iSCSI. There are about five sites my supplier has waiting for the certification and has been pusshing it very hard... People who say that it work with SW iSCSI might be right and I know personally that it works (tested it). However, should one have any problems, both HP and VMware will not support you on non HCL setup. Meaning that you won't get any support for anything (even not related to the storage) if running SW iSCSI on MSA2012i.

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KWBS
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Contributor

sorry

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darren_wardle50
Contributor
Contributor

I have recieved the following update from HP Support today:

The reply that we got from the engineering team is that – “we have completed the SW iSCSI testing for the MSA 2000i with ESX 4.0, and we have submitted the results to VMware. We are waiting for their approval. Once approved, we will update SPOCK accordingly”

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tlyczko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

AWESOME!! Thank you for keeping after HP!!

Hopefully new drivers become available soon.

This article, though about printers, helped me understand how complicated things can be in hardware/software support etc. Even though HP's support has taken way way longer than we would like.

http://www.infoworld.com/d/adventures-in-it/where-are-my-windows-7-print-drivers-883

Thank you, Tom

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