DELL-ToddM We are waiting a few minutes for others to join before starting
DELL-ScottH Hello jingle2, what part of the world are you in ?
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DELL-ScottH no worries, we encourage lurking, please stay and hang out in the conversation
DELL-ScottH Hey Kent, are you Camtasia King yet ?
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DELL-KentS Trying...
DELL-ToddM Hello Dr. Ick
Dr_Ick Howdy!
Dr_Ick Is this the iscsi + Vmware Chat?
DELL-ScottH yes it is
DELL-ScottH starting in a few minutes
Dr_Ick okay, brb
jingle2 jingle2=john Ingle - Training Coordinator for the Ose/tiger Team Group under Scott Black and David Gantt.
DELL-ToddM Glad you could make it John
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DELL-ScottH Hey Travis
DELL-ToddM Now that Travis is here we can get started!
DELL-ToddM Welcome Travis
DELL-TravisV Hello All!
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DELL-ToddM The format for Tech Tues chats is informal
DELL-ScottH welcome Jeff and thaner !
DELL-ToddM We have a set topic - which today is Vmware and iscsi - but we can entertain other topics if they come up
Jeff_Glenn Should I log in as Dell-jeff_glenn?
DELL-TravisV Is anyone using Vmware with iscsi today?
DELL-ToddM The format that we are using for Dell is Dell-name , but you don't have to
thaner forgive me as I eat my lunch and participate. Are questions just thrown out there..
DELL-TravisV I'll take that as a no. :)
jingle2 My interest is in the blade deploment of Esx and how best to run iscsi traffic if the Vms are Windows.
DELL-ToddM The way that we usually start is by giving people a chance to put out any questions that they have up front
thaner are you able to speak to whether Toe and jumbo frames can be used with the Pe2950 when using Esx 3.5 and the Md3000i
DELL-TravisV Great that's a good start
DELL-TravisV General questions on iscsi connectivity for Esx
DELL-TravisV There are three ways that you can connect to an iscsi array using Esx.
jingle2 For example, if Esx is limited to 2 initiators, and they are failover only, then it looks like the best thing is to use the M/s init s/w and have a bunch of Esx Nics. Do we have numbers?
DELL-TravisV 1) Esx has a Sw iscsi initiator that you can use. We don't have hard numbers but have heard complaints about the performance of this initiator.
DELL-TravisV Dell recommmends using that initiator for connectivity to your boot Lun
DELL-TravisV 2) For Data traffic you can run iscsi connectivity in the guest Os using the Microsoft (or Linux) Sw initiators.
DELL-TravisV The difference here is that instead of Esx being responsible for arbitrating access to the the Scsi Hba, it is only responsible for arbitrating access to the Nic.
DELL-TravisV We've done some performance comparisons of this method versus a Fc Hba and those results are available on
DELL-TravisV The performance we've seen from this method is quite good. Pros are that you can use the array-vendor's Mpio or the Windows Mpio.
DELL-TravisV Another Pro is that if your application uses Vds or Vss, this functionality is avialble seamlessly.
DELL-TravisV Con is that you don't have access to the Vmware storage functionality like Vmware Consolidated Backup. (vcb)
DELL-TravisV that should be V.c.b.
DELL-TravisV The last method is using an iscsi Hba like the Qlogic iscsi Hba.
DELL-ToddM The advantage of using Esx sw Iscsi initiator is that all of the details of the storage are hidden from the Vm - it is simiplier from the Vms point of view
DELL-TravisV Some customers use this to get better performance and still have Vmware arbitrate access to the storage (allowin you to use Vmware storage functionality).
DELL-TravisV Good point, Todd.
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DELL-TravisV I should note that in general, the iscsi Hba from Qlogic is supported on the Equallogic and Dell/emc products and not on the Md3000i products.
DELL-ToddM Is the support for Md3000i a testing issue - in that it hasn't been tested so it isn't supported?
DELL-TravisV To Thaner's question: Esx does not support Toe, but the performance we've seen from running the initiators in the guest Os is quite good. Jumbo frame support depends on what your Nics, switches and array supports.
DELL-TravisV That's right.
DELL-TravisV Being primarily an entry-array with limited scalability, most of the market uses Sw initiators. (most of the market uses Sw initiators for all iscsi connectivity overall).
DELL-ToddM Is the Qlogic iscsi Hba planned to be tested?
DELL-ToddM for Md300i
DELL-ToddM Md3000i
Dell-Marc_Farley Thats been our experience at Eqlc too. (SE initiators work very well)
DELL-TravisV We haven't seen much demand for it.
DELL-ToddM We have seen the Md3000i as a popular option for customers that are just starting out with Esx
thaner So what then is the best practice on a 4 nic system using the Md3000i and esx3.5 to enable the san with failover on the Iscsi traffic
DELL-ToddM Usually a couple of 2950s and an Md3000i is the configuration for these environments
thaner i was under the impression that Vm only supported one initiator
DELL-TravisV Vmware has support for fail-over, not load-balancing
DELL-TravisV Runnign the initiator in the guest Os, you get access to both.
DELL-ToddM Esx 3.5 has experiemental support for Round Robin load-balancing
DELL-ToddM This is Vmware's way of saying beta
Dell-Marc_Farley Travis, do you see many people using Sw initiators in the guest Os - as opposed to using Vmfs?
DELL-TravisV Vmfs is by far the most common deployment. For test and dev, the Vmware initiator is perfect.
DELL-ScottH @thaner - more details for jumbo frames -- they are supported on the Md3000i, the 2950 Nics, and 3.5 with the latest updates, so as long as the switches connecting all those items support jumbo frames, you should be able to enable it through the whole path.
DELL-TravisV For higher I/o applications (and applications that need more advanced storage functionaltiy - Vds/vss, loadbalancing), we would recommend running in the guest Os.
thaner Back to the 2nd last comment, you do not recommend the vm initiator for production?
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DELL-TravisV There is nothing wrong with it. It's perfectly fundtional. We've just had some complaints of performance.
DELL-ToddM The performance of the initiator has improved some with Esx 3.5
thaner Hmmm, for me it is a major concern as I am about to let my existing platform live
DELL-TravisV Which backend storage are you attaching to?
thaner Md3000i
DELL-TravisV I don't think you should have too much of an issue.
thaner i read nothing cautioning me on this practice
DELL-ToddM Most customers that I have talked to are using the Esx initiator
DELL-TravisV You really see it as you get into higher spindle counts.
DELL-TravisV I agree
DELL-ToddM What is the app that you are going to running against it
thaner Sql and some middleware
DELL-TravisV How many spindles?
DELL-ToddM What the I/o requirements for the Sql Server?
thaner Sql has 4 spindles and would be a small installation, Erp for a 50 user company
DELL-TravisV I think you'll be fine with the Esx initiator.
DELL-ToddM No problems with that size
thaner sspecifically what counters am I going to look out for?
DELL-ToddM When I measure disk performance I look at reads and writes per second and seconds per reads and writes
DELL-ToddM And queue length
thaner And you are getting that from the guest or host os?
DELL-ToddM From the guest
DELL-ToddM Each guest should have dedicated spindles for anything that is very disk intensive
DELL-ToddM This allows you to zero in on performance for that app
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thaner saw to that
DELL-ToddM It is fine to share disks for things that are not performance sensitve
DELL-ScottH still the standard rule of thumb of < 2 per physical spindle in the array ?
DELL-ScottH for disk queue length
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DELL-ToddM That's the guide that I use - I assume that this is valid for iscsi
DELL-ScottH welcome Darre, use "action" .. "recent Room History" to catch up
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thaner What are the options for a successful reconfiguration to guest based initiators after the fact? none probably right?
DELL-ToddM The big difference between the two is Vmfs vs Ntfs
DELL-ToddM You can't just remap - you have to copy or convert somehow
thaner i follow
DELL-ToddM Not sure what tools are available that would convert for you
DELL-ToddM Maybe platespin?
DELL-ToddM I don't think that you are going to need to do this however.
thaner i hope not at this point
thaner where would i have read about this practice?
thaner i had no idea this might be a concern and there were other ways
DELL-ToddM I thought that Travis was involved in a whitepaper that discussed it
DELL-TravisV I'm sorry. I'm not quite understanding why you would want to reconfigure after the fact. Please help me understand.
thaner well merely concerned about running up against Io problems
thaner just wondering
DELL-ToddM If you are using Esx sw Initiator to connect to iscsi - Then you are most likely using Vmfs as the filesystem
DELL-TravisV Oh. I see. if you wanted to move from Esx to guest based or vice versa.
DELL-ToddM If you are using iscsi initiator in guest, then the filesystem is Ntfs
thaner i might have chose a different implementation had i been knowledgeable about the Vm initiator preformance issues
DELL-TravisV To Todd's point they are different file systems. I don't know of a tool that helps you transition.
thaner right i got that
DELL-TravisV But. Based on what you've told me I don't think you'll run into Io issues.
DELL-TravisV The performance issue we've heard about come from much larger spindle counts.
thaner i will go looking and watch for any indications
thaner thats good news
DELL-ToddM This is a question for Marc and Travis -
DELL-ToddM When is it a good idea to think about moving up from Md3000i to Equallogic Ds5000 Series?
Dell-Marc_Farley Ok or Darrenm, who joined
DELL-TravisV Ps5000?
Dell-Marc_Farley Good question. One answer is when you get tired of thinking about spindle counts for I/o.
DELL-ToddM Opps - Ps5000
Dell-Marc_Farley Its not an issue with the Eqlc arrays because they stripe accross all active disks
DELL-TravisV Md3000i supports 16 hosts and 45 drives. It's a great value, but some larger It shops require better host and capacity scalability.
Dell-Marc_Farley There will be some customers that may want to upgrade. Others will prefer to start with Eqlc technology for its simplicity.
DELL-TravisV Ps50000 also has very robust snapshot capability, cloning, mirroring and asynchronous replication built into the pruchase price of the system.
DELL-TravisV In general, it's a innovative product, with extremely good scalability and excellent features and functionality - you can tell who is the product manager for Ps :)
Dell-Marc_Farley Actually, I'm just a shucker and jiver.
DELL-TravisV But it is a premium product, so the cost will be considerably more than a Md. You get a lot more, but lots of environments can't justify the expense.
DELL-ToddM I think that the storage upgrade story is really becoming great with new Storage Vmotion feature in Esx 3.5
DELL-ToddM You will be able to move your Vms over to new storage without interruption to the Vm
DELL-ToddM Check out my Storage Vmotion demo video - - to see it in action
DELL-ToddM I configured an Esx 3i (embedded) system today to connect to Md3000i
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Dell-Marc_Farley That is a cool demo, I agree
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DELL-ToddM and noticed that there isn't a firewall for 3i like there is for 3.5
DELL-ToddM With Esx 3.5 you have to enable the iscsi port through the firewall
DELL-ToddM But with Esx 3i, there is no need for a firewall becuse the only thing running is the hypervisor
DELL-ToddM (At least I couldn't find a place to configure a firewall anywhere)
DELL-ToddM So this is an advantage for Esx 3i - easier configuration
DELL-ToddM We are working on putting together an Equallogic chat session for next week
thaner Thank you for the insights guys
DELL-ToddM So we can go into more detail on the coolness of Equallogic next week
DELL-ScottH we can talk about the ds500 the ps5000000, and maybe the ps5000 ?
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DELL-ToddM Any suggestions for specific topics?
Dell-DarrenM Hi folks, I think we should talk about some of the host data protection capabilities available with ps series.
Dell-Marc_Farley Darren R U around next week -same time same station?
Dell-DarrenM I should be.
DELL-ScottH Darren, Marc, can you update the wiki page with your chat topic ? I've just got a placeholder for "equallogic"
Dell-Marc_Farley Then maybe we should plan to start with a discussion of host data protection with Ps5000 products.
DELL-ScottH you guys (darren, marc) set to host the chat next week ?
Dell-Marc_Farley Scott, this is happening in real time. Darren is being surprised, I would guess.
DELL-ScottH ohhh, nothing better than realtime, and getting it all done instead of meetings
DELL-ToddM Ok - well I think that about does it for this week's Tech Tues Chat - Vmware and iscsi - and next week we will cover host data protection of Ps5000 series (And maybe an intro to Equallogic as well?)