aleceiffel
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Contributor

configuring multiple iSCSI hardware initiators

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I have 2 qlogic iSCSI intiators in my ESX 3.5.4 servers that I need to connect to a iSCSI target in a redundant setup. With the vSwitch network connections it's simple enough, create a vSwitch and bundle any NIC interfaces you want to use to that vswitch. The network layer takes care of redundancy and load balancing. With software iSCSI initiators it looks similar using the vmkernel from what I've seen in the SAN config guide.

Each hardware iSCSI adaptor seems to need it's own IP address etc... how do I setup redundancy and load balancing on 2 seperate hardware initiators?

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kjb007
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Hardware initiators are a bit different, as they have a BIOS configuration aspect as well. If you want to setup boot-from-san, then you have to configure your initiators with their hw bios, and set the IPs and target and LUNs to boot from in the hw bios. WIth LUNs other than the boot LUN, they are configured similarly as the sw initiator. Each adapter will be visible in the storage adapters section. You'll go to that configuration, and configure targets and LUNs on each. Once you do that, you'll see the same LUNs over multiple paths,and ESX will recognize the LUNs as separate paths to the same LUN, and redundancy is achieved. If your SAN is active/active, you can manually split which LUNs will be accessed through which HBA, and load balance that way. You'll still need the vmkernel port in your vSwitch as the software initiator, but instead of configuring just the 1 sw initiator, you'll configure both your HW HBA's.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB

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kjb007
Immortal
Immortal

Hardware initiators are a bit different, as they have a BIOS configuration aspect as well. If you want to setup boot-from-san, then you have to configure your initiators with their hw bios, and set the IPs and target and LUNs to boot from in the hw bios. WIth LUNs other than the boot LUN, they are configured similarly as the sw initiator. Each adapter will be visible in the storage adapters section. You'll go to that configuration, and configure targets and LUNs on each. Once you do that, you'll see the same LUNs over multiple paths,and ESX will recognize the LUNs as separate paths to the same LUN, and redundancy is achieved. If your SAN is active/active, you can manually split which LUNs will be accessed through which HBA, and load balance that way. You'll still need the vmkernel port in your vSwitch as the software initiator, but instead of configuring just the 1 sw initiator, you'll configure both your HW HBA's.

-KjB

VMware vExpert

vExpert/VCP/VCAP vmwise.com / @vmwise -KjB

View solution in original post

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