Configuring and Installing the EqualLogic

Configuring and Installing the EqualLogic
TECHNICAL REPORT
Configuring and Installing the EqualLogic
Multipathing Extension Module for VMware
vSphere 4.1 and PS Series SANs
ABSTRACT
This Technical Report will explain the benefits of
the EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module
(MEM) for VMware® vSphere™ which provides
multipath I/O for highly available access to the
Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS Series SAN
This document has been archived and will no longer be maintained or
updated.
For more information contact support or email: EQL_TME@Dell.com
TR1048
V1.0
Copyright © 2010 Dell Inc. All
Rights Reserved.
Dell EqualLogic is a trademark of Dell Inc.
All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective
owners.
Possession, use, or copying of the documentation or the software described in this publication
is authorized only under the license agreement specified herein.
Dell, Inc. will not be held liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.
The information in this document is subject to change.
[September 2010]
WWW.DELL.COM/PSseries
Preface
PS Series arrays optimize resources by automating performance and network load
balancing. Additionally, PS Series arrays offer all-inclusive array management software,
host software, and free firmware updates.
Audience
The information in this guide is intended for EqualLogic SAN and VMware
administrators.
Related Documentation
For detailed information about PS Series arrays, groups, volumes, array software, and
host software, log in to the Documentation page at the customer support site.
Dell Online Services
You can learn about Dell products and services using this procedure:
1. Visit http://www.dell.com or the URL specified in any Dell product information.
2. Use the locale menu or click on the link that specifies your country or region.
Dell EqualLogic Storage Solutions
To learn more about Dell EqualLogic products and new releases being planned, visit
the Dell EqualLogicTechCenter site: http://delltechcenter.com/page/EqualLogic. Here
you can also find articles, demos, online discussions, technical documentation, and
more details about the benefits of our product family.
For an updated Dell EqualLogic compatibility list please visit the following URL:
https://support.equallogic.com/compatibility
Table of Contents
Revision Information ............................................................................................................................. 4
Conventions .............................................................................................................................................. 4
Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................... 5
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................... 5
Deploying the EqualLogic MEM ...................................................................................................... 6
Deployment Requirements ....................................................................................................... 6
Configuring an iSCSI vSwitch for Multipathing .............................................................. 6
Installing the EqualLogic MEM for vSphere ...................................................................... 7
Post-install steps ............................................................................................................................. 7
Verification of MEM iSCSI Session Creation ..................................................................... 8
Summary ..................................................................................................................................................... 9
Technical Support and Customer Service ................................................................................. 9
Appendix A: Example iSCSI vSwitch Configurations .......................................................... 10
Overriding hardware iSCSI offload default utilization ............................................... 10
Utilizing a vNetwork Distributed Switch .......................................................................... 10
Enabling Jumbo Frames ........................................................................................................... 10
Setting the iSCSI discover address....................................................................................... 10
Appendix B: Configuring the iSCSI vSwitch using Interactive Mode ......................... 11
Appendix C: Installing the MEM with VMware Update Manager ................................. 12
REVISION INFORMATION
The following table describes the release history of this Technical Report.
Report
Date
Document Revision
1.0
September 2010 Initial Release
The following table shows the software and firmware used for the preparation of this Technical
Report.
Vendor
Model
Software Revision
VMware®
vSphere 4.1 with Enterprise licensing
4.1
Dell
Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS Series SAN
4.3 or above
Dell
EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module 1.0
for VMware® vSphere
The following table lists the documents referred to in this Technical Report. All PS Series
Technical Reports are available on the Customer Support site at: support.dell.com
Vendor
Document Title
Dell
Dell EqualLogic PS Series Array Administration Guide
Dell
EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module: Installation and User Guide
VMware
iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide
VMware
ESX/ESXi and vCenter Server Installation Guide
VMware
vCenter Update Manager Installation and Administration Guide
VMware
vSphere Command-Line Interface manual
VMware
vSphere Management Assistant Guide
CONVENTIONS
Throughout this document the term ESX is used to refer to both ESX and ESXi hypervisors. The
EqualLogic MEM is fully supported on both VMware ESX and ESXi hypervisor platforms with
Enterprise licensing.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
High availability is a critical requirement of any system in the datacenter; this availability is all
the more critical if that system is a component in the virtual infrastructure upon which a
datacenter is built. Redundant hardware and RAID technologies form a critical foundation.
When using shared storage, the paths from the servers to the storage need to also be
redundant and highly available.
This Technical Report details the benefits of Dell’s EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module,
MEM, for VMware® vSphere™, as well the installation and configuration process to provide
multipath I/O for highly available access to the Dell EqualLogic PS Series SAN. Also covered are
a number of overall virtual environment iSCSI design considerations and best practices.
INTRODUCTION
VMware vSphere offers many new and advanced enhancements to the software iSCSI initiator
beyond basic iSCSI SAN connectivity. The most significant of these enhancements is the API
support for third party mutipathing plugins. This provides a framework that enables the
EqualLogic MEM to utilize VMware’s Round Robin multipathing and to more intelligently route
and efficiently load balance iSCSI traffic across multiple NICs.
The EqualLogic MEM offers:







Ease of install
Increased bandwidth
Reduced network latency
Automatic load balancing across multiple active paths
Automatic connection management
Automatic failure detection and failover
Multiple connections to a single iSCSI target
As previously mentioned the EqualLogic MEM utilizes the same multipathing iSCSI vSwitch as
VMware’s Round Robin multipathing. Creating this iSCSI vSwitch requires in-depth knowledge
of a number of ESX CLI commands and correct usage of several parameters. This difficult task
must be correctly executed on each of the ESX hosts in the environment. As part of Dell’s
continuous ‘Simplify IT’ program the deployment process for the EqualLogic MEM can reduce
this complexity to either a single command with three parameters or a question and answer
guided configuration. The MEM installation process is equally straightforward, requiring that
only a single command be executed.
Once installed, the EqualLogic MEM will automatically create iSCSI sessions to all members that
a volume spans. As the storage environment changes, the MEM will respond by automatically
adding or removing iSCSI sessions as needed.
As storage IO requests are generated on the ESX hosts the MEM will intelligently route these
request to the array member best suited to handle the request, resulting in efficient nonstatistical load balancing of the iSCSI storage traffic.
DEPLOYING THE EQUALLOGIC MEM
Deploying the EqualLogic MEM consists of two steps:


Configuring an iSCSI vSwitch for Multipathing
Installing the EqualLogic MEM
The entire process requires just two executions of the setup.pl script. Once completed, all that
remains to be done is to present a volume or volumes from the array, a rescan of the iSCSI
storage adaptor, and format the volumes as VMFS.
Deployment Requirements
The EqualLogic MEM has the following requirements:



VMware vSphere ESX or ESXi version 4.1 with Enterprise licensing
VMware vMA 4.1 or VMware CLI 4.1
EqualLogic array firmware 4.3 or above
Prior to deploying the MEM the following steps should be completed:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Download and install VMware vSphere Management Assistant. Refer to VMware’s
vSphere Management Assistant Guide for details.
Download Dell’s EqualLogic MEM from the EqualLogic Support website.
Unpack the ZIP archive, and upload to the vMA the setup.pl and dell-esx-mpio<version>.zip files. Do not unpack the embedded zip file, this is a VIB offline bundle and
is expected to be in this format. Retain the included readme.txt and User_Guide.pdf for
reference.
The ESX host must be placed in maintenance mode when using setup.pl to create the
iSCSI vSwitch and when installing the MEM. This is done through the VMware Virtual
Infrastructure Client.
Configuring an iSCSI vSwitch for Multipathing
As previously mentioned the EqualLogic MEM utilizes the same multipathing vSwitch as
VMware’s Round Robin multipathing. Therefore if the ESX hosts are currently configured for
Round Robin this step can be omitted. If the ESX hosts are currently configured for Fixed Path,
the iSCSI the initiator and associated vSwitch should be un-configured and removed before
continuing. Those who have previously configured Round Robin multipathing will appreciate
the powerful functionality and the ease of use of the MEM’s setup.pl script configuration options
when compared with the numerous steps required when configuring the iSCSI vSwitch for
multipathing.
1.
2.
Connect to the vMA and change directory to where the setup.pl was uploaded to.
Then for each host the iSCSI vSwitch is to be created on, execute the following:
setup.pl --configure --server=”hostname” [--username=”username”] [-password=”password”] --nics=NIC1,NIC2 --ips=IP1,IP2
The username and password parameters are optional. If vi-fastpast is configured on the
vMA the setup.pl script will utilize those credentials, otherwise you will be prompted to
provide them as the script executes.
3.
As the script executes, it will provide status notifications as it proceeds through several
steps to creates the vSwitch.
Note: By default the MEM will utilize a network card’s iSCSI offload functionality if available. To
override this default usage the --nohwiscsi parameter should be used.
Depending on the virtual environment configuration and administrative preferences, additional
parameters may be needed. A detailed list of all the parameters and there usage can be found in
the EqualLogic MEM Installation and User Guide. Additional configuration examples can be
found in Appendix A.
Installing the EqualLogic MEM for vSphere
A reboot is required before the MEM can be utilized, this can be initiated by setup.pl by
specifying the --reboot parameter, or manually initiated by the user after the install is
complete.
1.
2.
Connect to the vMA and change directory to where the setup.pl and dell-esx-mpio<version>.zip files were uploaded to.
Then for each host the MEM is to be installed to execute the following:
setup.pl --install --server=”hostname” [--username=”username”] [-password=”password”]
The username and password parameters are optional. If vi-fastpast is configured on the
vMA the setup.pl script will utilize those credentials, otherwise you will be prompted to
provide them as the script executes.
3.
Repeat step 2 for each host in the environment.
Post-install steps
The following steps should be completed before the ESX host is utilized to run VMs.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
A reboot of the ESX host is required after installing the MEM. The can be done as part of
the install process by passing the --reboot parameter.
Present storage to the ESX host, for details on performing this step refer to the PS Series
Administrators Guide.
Set the ESX host’s iSCSI initiator’s Dynamic Discovery IP address to point at the SAN’s
group IP address. Refer to VMware’s iSCSI SAN Configuration Guide for details on
performing this step.
Format the presented volume(s) with the VMFS file system using the vSphere
Infrastructure Client.
At this stage the ESX host is fully configured, from a storage perspective, and
maintenance mode can be exited.
Verification of MEM iSCSI Session Creation
The EqualLogic MEM will, by default, claim any new EQLOGIC iSCSI Disk once the ESX iSCSI
initiator logs into the volume. The MEM will automatically create additional sessions to all the
members that volume spans. Verification of the additional sessions is done as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.
In the vSphere client click on the Configuration tab, in the Hardware pane select
Storage.
Right click on the datastore, and select Properties, from properties click on the
Managed Paths button.
In the example above it can be seen that the Path Selection Policy has been set to use
the EqualLogic MEM DELL_PSP_EQL_ROUTED, and that four sessions have been created
to the volume, as the volume resides in a two member storage pool.
This can also be verified from the array web GUI by clicking on the volume’s
Connections tab, as shown in the example below, we can see two iSCSI sessions to the
volume from the two VMkernel Ports on the ESX host.
SUMMARY
The EqualLogic MEM, through its intelligent routing and load balancing, can provide for a
reduction in network latency and an increase in bandwidth to PS Series Storage arrays. While, at
the same time reducing the steps for deployment and ongoing management of an advanced
vSphere iSCSI configuration through automated setup and host connection management.
TECHNICAL SUPPORT AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Dell's support service is available to answer your questions about PS Series SAN arrays.
If you have an Express Service Code, have it ready when you call. The code helps Dell's
automated-support telephone system direct your call more efficiently.
Contacting Dell
Dell provides several online and telephone-based support and service options.
Availability varies by country and product, and some services might not be available in
your area.
For customers in the United States, call 800-945-3355.
Note:
If you do not have access to an Internet connection, contact information is
printed on your invoice, packing slip, bill, or Dell product catalog.
Use the following procedure to contact Dell for sales, technical support, or customer
service issues:
1. Visit support.dell.com or the Dell support URL specified in information provided with
the Dell product.
2. Select your locale. Use the locale menu or click on the link that specifies your
country or region.
3. Select the required service. Click the "Contact Us" link, or select the Dell support
service from the list of services provided.
4. Choose your preferred method of contacting Dell support, such as e-mail or
telephone.
Online Services
You can learn about Dell products and services using the following procedure:
1. Visit www.dell.com (or the URL specified in any Dell product information).
2. Use the locale menu or click on the link that specifies your country or region
APPENDIX A: EXAMPLE ISCSI VSWITCH CONFIGURATIONS
This appendix provides some examples of the additional parameters used with the setup.pl
configuration script. A detailed list of all the parameters and their usage can be found in the
EqualLogic MEM Installation and User Guide
Overriding hardware iSCSI offload default utilization
With vSphere 4.1, ESX can utilize the iSCSI offload capabilities of the Broadcom NetXtreme II
5709 and 57711 network adaptors, resulting in significantly lower software iSCSI CPU utilization.
The setup.pl configuration script will, by default, utilize this iSCSI offload capability if it is
present. If there is a preference not to use the iSCSI offload capability this must be specified
when configuring the iSCSI vSwitch. This is shown below:
setup.pl --configure --server=172.17.5.121 --nics=vmnic2,vmnic3 -ips=192.168.0.215, 192.168.0.216 --nohwiscsi
Utilizing a vNetwork Distributed Switch
With Enterprise Plus licensing VMware provides a virtual switch which spans many ESX hosts.
This abstracts the configuration of individual vSwitches on the host level and enables
centralized management through vSphere vCenter Server. If utilizing a vNetwork Distributed
Switch for iSCSI traffic the --vds parameter must be specified. Should the name of the
vNetwork Distributed Switch differ from the default utilized by the configuration script, it can be
specified using the –-vswitch parameter. This is shown below:
setup.pl --configure --server=172.17.5.121 --nics=vmnic2,vmnic3 -ips=192.168.0.215, 192.168.0.216 [–-vswitch vdsISCSI] --vds
Enabling Jumbo Frames
With the vSphere release of ESX support for Jumbo Frames has been extended to VMkernel
traffic, which includes the iSCSI stack. To utilize Jumbo Frames they must be enabled on all
networking components used. By default the setup.pl script uses an MTU of 1500 when
creating the iSCSI vSwitch and VMkernel interfaces. To use a larger value specify it as
demonstrated in the example below.
setup.pl --configure --server=172.17.5.121 --nics=vmnic2,vmnic3 -ips=192.168.0.215,192.168.0.216 –-mtu=9000
Setting the iSCSI discover address
It is possible to specify the group IP of an array to be set as the Send Targets discovery address
for the iSCSI initiator.
setup.pl --configure --server=172.17.5.121 --nics=vmnic2,vmnic3 -ips=192.168.0.215,192.168.0.216 –-groupip=192.168.0.200
APPENDIX B: CONFIGURING THE ISCSI VSWITCH USING INTERACTIVE MODE
The configuration process can be run in an interactive mode by specifying only the server
hostname or IP. The configuration script will first query the ESX host and then interactively asks
the user a series of questions to gather the necessary information for network configuration.
Interactive mode configuration can be run from either vMA or vCLI. An example of this is
shown below:
./setup.pl --configure --server 172.17.5.121
Do you wish to use a standard vSwitch or a vNetwork Distributed
Switch (vSwitch/vDS) [vSwitch]:
Found existing switches vSwitch0. vSwitch Name [vSwitchISCSI]:
Which nics do you wish to use for iSCSI traffic? [vmnic2 vmnic3]:
IP address for vmknic using nic vmnic2: 192.168.0.215
IP address for vmknic using nic vmnic3: 192.168.0.216
Netmask for all vmknics [255.255.255.0]:
What MTU do you wish to use for iSCSI vSwitches and vmknics?
Before increasing the MTU, verify the setting is supported by your
NICs and network switches. [1500]:
What prefix should be used when creating VMKernel Portgroups?
[iSCSI]:
Do you wish to use SW iSCSI or HW iSCSI? (sw/hw) [HW]: sw
The SW iSCSI initiator is not enabled, do you wish to enable it?
[yes]:
What PS Group IP address would you like to add as a Send Target
discovery address (optional)?:
Configuring iSCSI networking with following settings:
Using a standard vSwitch 'vSwitchISCSI'
Using NICs 'vmnic2,vmnic3'
Using IP addresses '10.10.5.202,10.10.5.203'
Using netmask '255.255.255.0'
Using MTU '1500'
Using prefix 'iSCSI' for VMKernel Portgroups
Using SW iSCSI initiator
Enabling SW iSCSI initiator
The following command line can be used to perform this
configuration:
setup.pl --configure --server=172.17.5.121 --vswitch=vSwitchISCSI -mtu=1500 --nics=vmnic2,vmnic3 --ips=10.10.5.202,10.10.5.203 -netmask=255.255.255.0 --vmkernel=iSCSI --nohwiscsi --enableswiscsi
Do you wish to proceed with configuration? [yes]:
At this stage entering Yes will proceed with configuring the vSwitch on the selected server with
the chosen options, entering No will exit the setup.pl configuration script with no changes
made to the selected sever.. To configure additional servers with the same options copy the
provided command line changing the IP address as appropriate.
APPENDIX C: INSTALLING THE MEM WITH VMWARE UPDATE MANAGER
VMware Update Manager has the ability to install and upgrade third party packages to the ESX
hosts. This enables administrators to not only manage the patching and updating of ESX hosts
but also to update third party packages installed on the ESX hosts.
Installing the MEM consists of four major steps:


Steps 1-3 need to be done once per version release of the MEM
o Importing the MEM to the Patch Repository
o Creating an extension baseline that includes the MEM
o Attaching the baseline to the environment
Step 4 needs to be done for each host in the cluster, or datacenter
o Installing the MEM to each host
Step 1: Importing the MEM to the Patch Repository
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Download Dell’s EqualLogic MEM from the EqualLogic Support website.
Unpack the ZIP archive. Do not unpack the embedded zip file, this is a VIB offline bundle
and is expected to be in this format.
From the vSphere client, select Update Manager -> Admin View and select the Patch
Repository tab and then click on Import Patches to start the Import Patches wizard.
Click on Browse and browse to where the Zip archive was unpacked and select the
embedded Zip file named dell-eql-mem-<versionnumber>.zip, click Open and then
click Next.
The Import Patches wizard will upload and analyze the file; this may take a few
minutes, and will then present a Confirm Import page. Verify the details are as expected
and click Finish.
Step 2: Creating an Extension Baseline
6.
7.
8.
From the vSphere client select Update Manager -> Admin View and select the Baselines
and Groups tab.
On the Baselines and Group tab click Create to start the New Baseline wizard.
Provide the baseline with a suitable name and optional description, select the baseline
type Host Extension and then click Next, as shown in the example below.
9.
From the list of extensions, highlight the Dell EqualLogic iSCSI MEM 1.0.0, click the
selection button and then click Next. If there are a large number of extensions in the
repository, use EqualLogic as a keyword for filtering.
10. On the Ready to Complete page of the wizard verify that the information is correct, and
click Finish.
Step 3: Attaching the Extension Baseline
11. From the vSphere client, select the Datacenter, Cluster or Host object that the Extension
Baseline is to be attached to, and then select Update Manager -> Compliance View.
When deploying there will be the option to deploy to a subset of what the baseline is
attached to.
12. Click on Attach to start the Attach Baseline wizard.
13. Select the extension baseline created above and click on Attach to attach the Extension
Baseline to the vSphere Datacenter, Cluster or Host.
Step 4: Installing the MEM
14. From the vSphere client, select the Datacenter, Cluster or Host object that the
EqualLogic MEM is to be installed to, and then select Update Manager -> Compliance
View.
15. In the Attached Baselines pane highlight the extension baseline created earlier and click
the Remediate button to start the Remediation wizard.
16. On the Remediation Selection page of the wizard verify that the correct baseline is
listed, and unselect any host to which the EqualLogic MEM is not to be installed to at
this time. Click Next to continue.
17. The Patches and Extensions page lists the patches and extensions to be applied. Click
Next to continue.
18. On the Host Remediation Options page change the Task Name, if desired, and
optionally provide a Task Description. Click Next to continue.
19. On the Cluster Remediation Options page there are options for altering the behaviors of
the cluster during the install. Refer to the vCenter Update Manager Installation and
Administration Guide for details. Click Next to continue.
20. On the Ready to Complete page, verify that the information is correct, and click Finish.
Unless the task was schedule to run at a later time it will be immediately executed.
21. As the task is been executed it will display status updates in the Recent Tasks pane of
the vSphere client. If several host were selected the task will execute against one host at
a time, until the MEM has been installed on all the selected hosts.
22. Once the task has been completed the MEM will have been installed or updated on all
the hosts selected.
23. As shown in the screenshot below, the vCenter Update Manager can provide a clear
graphical view of which ESX hosts the MEM is installed or updated on, and which hosts
it has yet to be installed or updated on.
Note: vCenter Update Manager is only capable of install the MEM. vMA or vCLI will need to be
utilized to configure the iSCSI vSwitch for the MEM.
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