RP4VM – iSCSI Configuration to Support ESXi Splitter to vRPA Communication

Each ESXi Host in a vSphere cluster hosting the RP4VM vRPA’s (virtual appliances running on ESXi hosts) require the iSCSI channel to allow communication between the ESXi hosts kernel embedded I/O splitter and the vRPA’s, utilizing an iSCSI software adapter running on the ESXi hosts. Thus a software iSCSI adapter and associated VMkernel ports need to be configured on every ESXi node hosting the RP4VM vRPA’s.

This post provides an example of the iSCSI configuration required when using a VMware vSphere distributed switch (VDS). This example displays how to configure the iSCSI settings required for RP4VM via the vSphere web client.

The below steps provide an example on how to create additional port groups on a VDS, create the VMkernel adapters, add the software iSCSI adapter and bind the VMkernel Port Groups to the ESXi iSCSI Adapter along with associated config such as MTU and uplink order.

Note: An upcoming release of RP4VM 5.X introduces a new TCP/IP based communication path for the splitter, which will eliminate the need to configure the iSCSI based software initiator (More on this later).

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EMC VNXe Configuration Using Unisphere CLI (Part 2)

This is the second part in the series on configuring the VNXe via command line. Here I will detail the Steps involved in creating both NFS and iSCSI datastores. The configuration steps outlined in Part2 will be the following:

  • LACP Configuration
  • Create the Network Interface for NFS
  • NFS Shared Folder Server Configuration
  • Create NFS datastores
  • Creating iSCSI Interfaces/Nodes/Datastores

LACP Configuration

Link aggregation lets you link physical ports on a SP to a single logical port. It is possible to use up to 4 ports on an SP. If your system has two SPs, and you link two physical ports, the same ports on both SPs are linked for redundancy. In this example, we will link port 2 and port 3, the system creates a link aggregation for these ports on SP A and a link aggregation on SP B. Each link aggregation is identified by an ID. Link aggregation has the following advantages:

  • Increased throughput since two physical ports are linked into one logical port.
  • Load balancing across linked ports
  • Redundant ports

The following command shows the existing port settings:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/port show

Configure LACP for Ethernet Ports 2 and 3:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/la create -ports eth2_SPA,eth3_SPA” -mtuSize 9000

The following command shows the link aggregations on the system:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/la show

Create the Network Interface for NFS.

This will create the Network interface for controlling access to the NFS file storage. You assign the interface to a Shared Folder Server (Next Step Below). iSCSI interfaces are used for controlling access to iSCSI storage and get assigned to the iSCSI nodes (Shown Below).

The system configures each interface on an SP port. You have the option of indicating which SP the interface will use, either a physical port or a link aggregation port. You also have the option of specifying a virtual LAN (VLAN) ID, for communicating with VLAN networks. Each interface is identified by an ID.

Create a network interface on the LACP we have created above that uses VLAN ID 100. The interface receives the ID if_0:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/if create -port eth2_SPA -ipv4 static -addr -netmask -gateway

The following command displays all interfaces on the system:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/if show

NFS Shared Folder Server Configuration

Now we will create an NFS shared folder. Once we create the shared folder, we can create the NFS network shares and use the ID of the shared folder to associate it with a share.

The following command creates a Shared Folder Server with these settings:

  • Name is NFS-SF
  • Associated to interface if_0
  • The server receives the ID file_server_0

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/nas/server create -name ” NFS-SF ” -enableNFS yes -if if_0

Show details:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/nas/server show

Create NFS datastores

Create an NFS Datastore and Assign to NFS Shared Server with these settings:

  • Named NFS-01
  • Use  Shared Folder Server file_server_0
  • Uses the VMWARE-NFS storage pool
  • NFS datastore size is 200 GB
  • Host Access is root (Read/write root access to primary storage)
  • 40G is the amount of protection storage to allocate for the NFS datastore
  • The protection size, entered for the -protSize qualifier, is automatically adjusted in proportion with changes to the size of the primary storage

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /stor/prov/vmware/nfs create -name ” NFS-01″ -server file_server_0 -pool VMWARE-NFS -cached no -size 200G -defAccess root -protSize 40G -autoProtAdjust yes

View details:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /stor/prov/vmware/nfs show

Creating iSCSI Interfaces/Nodes/Datastores

The following commands create the network interfaces used by the iSCSI nodes and uses VLAN ID 200. The interfaces receive the IDs if_2 and if_3 on both SPA and SPB respectfully:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/if create -port eth10_SPA -vlanId 200 -ipv4 static -addr -netmask -gateway

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/if create -port eth10_SPB -vlanId 200 -ipv4 static -addr -netmask -gateway

The following commands creates the first iSCSI node with these settings:

  • Alias is ISCSIA-21
  • Network interface if_2 assigned

The iSCSI node receives ID iSCSI_node_0:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/iscsi/node create -alias ISCSIA-21 -if if_2

Create the second iSCSI node with these settings:

  • Alias is ISCSIB-22
  • Network interface if_3 assigned

The iSCSI node receives ID iSCSI_node_1:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/iscsi/node create -alias ISCSIB-22 -if if_3

Lists all iSCSI nodes on the system:
uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /net/iscsi/node show

 Creating iSCSI Datastores

Check ESXi Host vdiskhost ID’s to use in assigning the datastores:

uemcli -d -u Local/admin -p Password#123 /remote/host show -detail

We can now create the iSCSI datastores:

Create iSCSI Datastores from the Performance Pool and assign to ESXi Hosts with ID’s 1001,1002:

uemcli -d -u local/admin -p Password#123 /stor/prov/vmware/vmfs create -name “iSCSI-LUN01” -node iscsi_node_0 -pool performance -size 200G -thin yes -vdiskHosts “1001,1002”

Create iSCSI Datastores from the Capacity Pool and assign to ESXi Hosts with ID’s 1003,1004:

uemcli -d -u local/admin -p Password#123 /stor/prov/vmware/vmfs create -name “iSCSI-LUN02” -node iscsi_node_1 -pool capacity -size 200G -thin yes -vdiskHosts “1003,1004 “