iSCSI SAN configuration?


We have a new client who has two HP DL360 with an attached MSA2000i SAN running ESX4.0. Unfortunately this is my first time with an iSCSI setup. The system has performance issues and I am trying to find a solution. Both DL360 are connected with two NICs to a Gigabyte switch. The SAN is also connected with two cables to the same switch. From my understanding the SAN connection should not be on the same physical switch as the network for performance reasons. Is this correct?

Isn't it possible to directly connect one of the NICs of each server to the SAN directly? Apparently the DL360 NICs are optimized for iSCSI usage...Or should I use a separate switch just for this connection?



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The best solution is use a different network (different NIC and switches) for iSCSI.

Also enable jumbo frame and follow storage best practice (if exist).

Apparently the DL360 NICs are optimized for iSCSI usage

It doesn't matter... are only for Windows with HP drivers.


Andre | | | @Andrea_Mauro
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How many NICs do you have in the machine?

You should dedicate 2 NICs to iSCSI traffic , 1 NIC connected to physical switch 1 and the other NIC connected to physical switch 2. Do the same with the SAN, 1 NIC to switch 1 and the other NIC to switch 2 and then create a trunk between the 2 switches (need at least basic managed switches for this otherwise it will create a loop)

2 NICs dedicated to LAN traffic for the VMs

2 NICs dedicated to Management traffic

You also need to assign these NICs to seperate virtual switches in vCenter/vSphere client

The DL360s have 2 NICs on board so you can pick up either 1 quad port gigabit NIC or 2 dual port gigabit NICs for each server and that should solve your issues. If you are using vSphere Advanced or above with VMotion then you ideally want 8 NICs so you can have 2 NICs dedicated to VMotion traffic.

You may have read these recommendations during planning, but just wanted to cover all the best practices.

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