SRENMAN
Contributor
Contributor

Planning a new rollout looking for some solid Technical advice..

Hopefully there some IBM'ers in this community!

Getting ready to build a new piece onto our network and retire the older physical gear. I'll keep this limited to only the VMstuff. Currently have one Production Server (VM1) IBM x3650 (has 2 single port HBA's ) running ESX3.5 VM foundation with 5 VM's on local Raid 5 (SAS 15K) and VI Client to manage. It works wonderfully.

I have just purchased the VMware Midsized Ent Accel kit (6proc, some credits and 1 Vcenter Foundation License) a new IBM DS4700 SAN (181470H) with 16x300Gb FC drives, Two IBM 2005-SAN16B switches(8 ports) and one IBM x3650 (VM2) with 2 single port HBA's.

My initial plan is to setup the new x3650(VM2), san and switches having a local copy of ESX 3.5U3 on the x3650 VM2 (2 local mirrored 300Gb 15K SAS) and then move my 5 VMs from VM1 over to a VMFS LUN/Partition on the SAN and be hosted by VM2. Then I would take VM1 reinstall ESX3.5 on a local mirrored array and connect it via HBA's to this FC network and setup Vmotion, HA and DRS between the two servers and SAN. That would then give me a final configuration of 2 redundant built servers, 2 redundant switches and one pretty redundant DS4700SAN with dual controllers, plus the option to add another 2 Socket server to the design in the event I have capacity issues.

Questions

1. My 5 VMs on Local storage now each have a folder structure that looks like this / - VM1:storage1 \SERVERNAME\ My .vmdk, .vmx, .nvram, .vswp etc. Is this the format they need to be in to use VMOTION?

2. Is it true that the DS4700 in a vmware enviornment will only run in Active/Passive -MRU mode? No Active/Active options? &

3. My Ideal design would be to have a reduandant FC configuration where each x3650 has 1 hba into each FC switch and all my VM's were on a single VMFS LUN, Does anybody know for sure the best performance Raid array for this? Since all my VMs will be on this LUN, I am considering using 6 physical 300GB 15K FC drives out of the SAN to either make a RAID 10, Raid 6 or RAID 5 array. (Right now this is my order of preference) Any one disagree? I am aware of the HDD space loss and the Read/Write performance. One interesting thing about Raid 6 with this DS4700 is that its Raid 6 p+q which is supposed to be very effective and efficent.? Any comments?

4. Typically in the configuration I mention above, does everyone usually put this all in one FC Zone? Do people usually put there FC backup devices in a separte zone? I need all LAN clients to see all these VM machines so I think the answer is yes

Thanks to all that respond!

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Texiwill
Leadership
Leadership

Hello,

1. My 5 VMs on Local storage now each have a folder structure that looks like this / - VM1:storage1 \SERVERNAME\ My .vmdk, .vmx, .nvram, .vswp etc. Is this the format they need to be in to use VMOTION?

I would setup your SAN first. COnfigure the 2 FC-HBAs for access to it, then create a temporary LUN on your SAN, present to ESX host 1, then using then shutdown each VM and using the migrate command move the VM from storage1 to the SAN based VMFS. This way everything gets copied properly and VMotion will work. You could always use SVMotion as well whcih will do the move without powering off the VM.

2. Is it true that the DS4700 in a vmware enviornment will only run in Active/Passive -MRU mode? No Active/Active options? &

If the HCL says so, then that is generally the case.

3. My Ideal design would be to have a reduandant FC configuration where each x3650 has 1 hba into each FC switch and all my VM's were on a single VMFS LUN, Does anybody know for sure the best performance Raid array for this? Since all my VMs will be on this LUN, I am considering using 6 physical 300GB 15K FC drives out of the SAN to either make a RAID 10, Raid 6 or RAID 5 array. (Right now this is my order of preference) Any one disagree? I am aware of the HDD space loss and the Read/Write performance. One interesting thing about Raid 6 with this DS4700 is that its Raid 6 p+q which is supposed to be very effective and efficent.? Any comments?

RAID 5 + hot spares is what I use for primary LUN storage. I use other RAID levels for temporary storage. WIth just 5 VMs, one LUN is sufficient but make sure your LUN is no greater than 2 TB. Also more spindles = better performance. But you should also not fill a LUN past 80%.

4. Typically in the configuration I mention above, does everyone usually put this all in one FC Zone? Do people usually put there FC backup devices in a separte zone? I need all LAN clients to see all these VM machines so I think the answer is yes

Your FC-HBA are presented the same LUN and the zoning is identical. You can not failover between zones. So for my hosts I have:

FC-HBA WWPN Port 1 presented LUN A and zoned for LUN A through SP1.

FC-HBA WWPN Port 2 Presented LUN A and zoned for LUN A through SP1.

Then when failover does occur everything works. If it was Active/Active I would present one from Storage processor 2.

You need to present and zone such that failover still works. In the end you will either have 2 paths from ESX to the SAN or 4 paths. I think in your case you will have 4 paths for each LUN.


Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator

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GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill