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hutchingsp
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Change in VMKernel best practise with ESXi 5?

We have a P4000 SAN which is configured to use 2 VMkernel ports on a single vSwitch which has 2 pNICs.

As per HP's best practise each VMkernel is bound to a single pNIC with the other pNIC being disabled.

I'm looking at how to upgrade vSphere to 5.0 and it appears that HPs best practise is now to use a single VMKernel with a single vSwitch with both pNICs active - I say this because their white paper makes no mention of binding multiple VMKernels any more:

http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmw-vsphere-p4000-lefthand-san-solutions.pdf

My question is, if I upgrade to vSphere 5.0 am I likely to encounter any problems with the current configuration?

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Josh26
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I believe what you are seeing is a terribly written document.

It does present a screenshot showing a "best practice" in line with what you describe, however further down you see this obscure statement:

Since P4000 SANs scale leveraging multiple storage nodes’ compute, disk and network resources, iSCSI multi-pathing’s advantage is seen in multithreading data approach, up to the maximum throughput sizing capability of a P4000 SAN. Configuring iSCSI multi-pathing requires at least two network ports on the virtual switch

The steps to achieve this involve:

Select the Ports tab and Edit or Add the VMkernel. On the Properties, NIC Teaming tab select Load Balancing and other appropriate policy exceptions

I believe here they are telling you to add a second VMkernel if you want multipathing.

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rickardnobel
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it appears that HPs best practise is now to use a single VMKernel with a single vSwitch with both pNICs active

That seems strange, since that would only provide network failover, but no ESXi mulitpathing.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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Josh26
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I believe what you are seeing is a terribly written document.

It does present a screenshot showing a "best practice" in line with what you describe, however further down you see this obscure statement:

Since P4000 SANs scale leveraging multiple storage nodes’ compute, disk and network resources, iSCSI multi-pathing’s advantage is seen in multithreading data approach, up to the maximum throughput sizing capability of a P4000 SAN. Configuring iSCSI multi-pathing requires at least two network ports on the virtual switch

The steps to achieve this involve:

Select the Ports tab and Edit or Add the VMkernel. On the Properties, NIC Teaming tab select Load Balancing and other appropriate policy exceptions

I believe here they are telling you to add a second VMkernel if you want multipathing.

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hutchingsp
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Yes I think "terribly written" is being polite.  I since found another HP document (4AA3-6918ENW.pdf if it helps anyone) which explains it in a lot more detail, and it is pretty much as vSphere 4 was, multple VMKernels each bound to a single pNIC.

Incidentally does anyone know if:

a) an upgrade from 4.1 to 5.0 U1 via an Update Manager ISO keeps your iSCSI config?

b) there are any issues upgrading 4.1 which was installed from a regular ISO to 5.0 U1 using the HP ISO from the VMware website?

Thanks.

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rickardnobel
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hutchingsp wrote:

a) an upgrade from 4.1 to 5.0 U1 via an Update Manager ISO keeps your iSCSI config?

An upgrade with Update Manager keeps all settings, including the iSCSI config.

You will notice later that the iSCSI multipathing setup is more easy in 5.0 than in 4.1, now with a GUI instead of only through esxcli.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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