Today, I’ll show you how to enable MPIO when using the Windows Server 2016 Nano install option on the Dell PowerEdge VRTX platform. VRTX has a unique shared storage for the 4 nodes in the chassis.  This makes the MPIO configuration a little different from the traditional SAN.

  • Install Nano Server on VRTX blades. Here is the Nano Server Quick start guide which explains about installing and configuring Nano Server on physical computer

  • Before enabling MPIO make sure that you have configured and assigned the shared vDisks to VRTX nodes from CMC. To do that follow Configuring PowerEdge VRTX Shared Storage whitepaper

  • The following registry entry is required on each Nano node in order for them to see the shared drives on the VRTX

HKey_Local_Machine\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ClusDisk\Parameters

Select New > DWORD (32bit) Value

Type AllowBusTypeRAID in the Name field and press Enter

In the Value Data field, type 1

  • Initialize the disk for each node:

Get-Disk # (This should list all the disks associated to the VRTX Node)

Initialize-Disk –Number 1 -PartitionStyle GPT # (Change the disk number)

  • Create Partitions :

New-Partition –DiskNumber 1 -UseMaximumSize |Format-Volume -NewFileSystemLabel "mgmt" -FileSystem NTFS   # (You can change the File system label name and disk number)

  • Enable MPIO:

Dism /online /enable-feature:MultipathIo

Shutdown /r /t 5   

  • We need to edit the hardware ID as the TechNet script does not modify this for PERC8 controller and the format to modify that is “VVVVVVVVPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP”

    • Where “VVVVVVVV” is the 8-character vendor ID, right-padded by spaces, and “PPPPPPPPPPPPPPP” is the 16-character product ID, also right-padded by spaces

    • For PERC8 on VRTX the hardware ID should be: "DELL   Shared PERC8   "

  • Below are the 2 registry keys we need to edit on each NANO Server to reflect Hardware ID of the PERC8 controller for MPIO to function

  1. "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\MPDEV\MpioSupportedDeviceList" to reflect Hardware ID of the PERC8 controller as shown below

       2. "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\msdsm\Parameters\DsmSupportedDeviceList" to reflect the Hardware ID of the PERC8 controller as shown below

Reboot the system after doing the changes. Your disks should be claimed and MPIO should start functioning and you should only see a single path to the drive instead of seeing multiple paths