Mixed EqualLogic and MD3200i design for vSphere storage

Over the years, I have come across several SMB customers running vSphere on iSCSI.  While a majority of them opt for EqualLogic storage, some have existing MD3000i/MD3200i SANs that have been the workhorse Dell storage solution for years.  One question I that comes up often is ‘Can I run both EqualLogic and MD3200i SANs for vSphere?’

There is a simple way to configure both MS3200i and EqualLogic storage in the same iSCSI network while utilizing only 2 physical NICs for SAN traffic on each vSphere host.

 

iSCSI SAN Switch Configuration

  • Create 5 Vlans on your redundant SAN switches.
    • vlan10- EqualLogic
    • vlan20- MD (A)
    • vlan30- MD (B)
    • vlan40- MD (C)
    • vlan50- MD (D)
    • All ports designated for vSphere host connectivity should be trunk ports with all iSCSI Vlans.
    • Ports designated for EqualLogic should be access ports on VLAN10- EqualLogic.
    • Ports designated for MD3200i should be access ports on the appropriate VLAN.

vSphere vSwitch Configuration

  • Create 6 x vKernel ports for iSCSI connectivity
    • vmk01-vlan10
    • vmk02-vlan20
    • vmk03-vlan30
    • vmk04-vlan10
    • vmk05-vlan40
    • vmk06-vlan50
    • Bind vmk01, vmk02, and vmk03 to pNIC1
    • Bind vmk04, vmk05, and vmk06 to pNIC2

Configure storage as per Dell MD3200i Deployment Guide for ESXi 5 http://dell.to/SYILt6

Configure storage as per EqualLogic Configuration Guide http://bit.ly/16NNR4N

Mixed iSCSI Networking

 

Results:

This will offer the best redundancy available while utilizing only 2 pNICs for iSCSI storage.  If your hosts have additional pNICs available, you can break out the EqualLogic ports (vmk01 and vmk04) onto two pNICs.  On the other 2 pNICs, bind vmk02 and vmk03 to pNIC3 and vmk05 and vmk06 to pNIC4.  Of course, you could always put them on separate pNICs if you have the spare capacity.

Advertisements

About timantz

I am a Solutions Architect at SimpliVity, helping people around the country with their virtualization, storage, backup and recovery projects.
Image | This entry was posted in equallogic, iscsi, MD3000i, MD3200i, storage, virtualization, vmware, vSphere and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s