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Physical Switch Config/VLANS


I'm somewhat new to VI3 and very new to SAN/ISCSI. More specifically, I need to understand how to physically configure 2 HP Procurve 2900 (24 port) switches for ISCSI traffic (Equallogic PS100E), VMotion, Service Console, Etc. I'm using (2) HP DL380 G5 servers with 3 dual gig ports (6).

\** Also, the (2) 2900 Procurves will need to connect to (2) additional Procurve switches (used for LAN/PC connectivity).

My Questions are:

1.) For reduncancy do I need to trunk the (2) HP 2900's together? Currently I have 1 port from each dual port nic (on the DL380's) connected to separate switches.

2.) For the 6 ISCSI connections coming from the Equallogic SAN, do I just create 1 VLAN for the 6 ISCSI SAN links (3 ports on each HP 2900) and assign the ports to that VLAN?

3.) For the VM traffic, Service Console, and VMotion do I just create a 2nd VLAN and assign those ports to the 2nd VLAN?

4.) Lastly, what would be the best way to connect the HP 2900 switches to the other 2 HP switches (LAN/PC's)?

Please let me know if this makes sense!


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2 Replies
Hot Shot
Hot Shot


Yikes you are going to run the whole lot through 1 pair of switches, and that isnt a lot of ports on your servers there,

1and2. I think on equalogic kit you have 3 active and 3 redundant links,

so I think you would have ports 1 + 3 on the 1st controller going to the first switch with port 2 on the 1st controller going to the 2nd switch, and vice versa, ports 1 + 3 on 2nd controller going to the 2nd switch with port 2 going to the 1st switch, that should give you max redundancy, - you should vLan that off,

yes you should trunk the 2 switches together,

3. I would totaly separate vmotion traffic, (mine goes through its own switch) from everything else, - you should vLAn that off,

You can create vconsole and vmnetwork vSwitches, and connect one card to each pSwitch for failover,

I dont think you have enough ports on your servers, for failover + load balancing on the vconsole/vm network

you probably only have 2 ports left at this point,

Adding some more nics would be cool if you could,

I would be interested in the answers to this thread,

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ESX vSwitch has the following support:

Virtual Switch Tagging -> trunk end is inside the vSwitch

External Switch Tagging -> trunk end is inside the pSwitch (physical switch)

Networking of iSCSI is the same as networking of any network. There is nothing really different about it. What is different is what you can do inside the vSwitch where the iSCSI network terminates.

vSwitch support Load Balancing of various flavors, and failover. It does not support aggregation however. Since iSCSI ends at the portgroup within the vSwitch that has a single IP address, most of the load balancing modes really do not apply so you are faced with just failover modes.

How your iSCSI server deals with that is the interesting case. YOu state you have 6 network links from the SAN. Either you have 1 active path and 5 failover paths, or you setup more than one active path. Whether to do this with a VLAN or straight networking is a descision to make. If you use either just remember that the vSwitch you will be using really supports failover only and not much in the way of load balancing for this application.

Given this, you may want multiple iSCSI portgroups to handle the load. Also, your SC must be able to see/communicate with the subnet for the iSCSI device.

Best regards,


Edward L. Haletky
vExpert XIV: 2009-2023,
VMTN Community Moderator
vSphere Upgrade Saga: https://www.astroarch.com/blogs
GitHub Repo: https://github.com/Texiwill
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