The PowerVault MD3000i is a popular option for many starting out with their first virtualization project because it is a low-cost shared-storage option. In this chat we discuss the needed setup and configuration to use a PowerVault MD3000i with both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX.

Technical Community - Background Reading

The Dell PowerVault MD3000i

MD3000i Performance Monitoring

Storage Consolidation with the Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI Storage

Blog: Combining MD3000i with Virtualization

Blog: A Tale of Two Subnets for MD3000i

Chat Transcript

Dell-ToddM joined.
Dell-ToddM Hey Matt
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Dell-ToddM Wait, come back, Tonya :)
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Dell-ToddM Welcome Karimicus
karimicus Thanks, Todd
Dell-ToddM Just hanging out for another 20 minutes or so
karimicus Yeah, no worries; it's about 20:40 here anyway so watching some clips on YouTube. I was watching some of the details from the DMC beta, and it looks interesting the way it's turning out compared to the original ITA
matthiasv Hi everybody; in Germany it's dark outside already :)
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DELL-ScottH Hey guys!
karimicus Yeah, it's been dark in Scotland since about 4 pm ;)
karimicus Hi Scott
Dell-ToddM It's still bright and sunny here in Texas this afternoon; will get dark about 6
DELL-ScottH Getting excited about that! Going to look at M42 and M43 in the scope tonight
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matthiasv It’s already 21.54 in Germany; cold outside and so on :)
DELL-ScottH Frothy beer and some Wienerschnitzel should cure that :--)
matthiasv As I’m joining for the first time, how does this chat go on? Are there fixed things to talk about in this chat?
DELL-ScottH This week’s chat is about MD3000i and ESX. Todd will kick it off officially
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karimicus Yeah, though I think a friend of mine had a picture of someone surfing in winter in German canals before
DELL-ScottH But until then we just chill and chat
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DELL-ScottH Hey, Jason
Dell-ToddM What's up, Jason?
DELL-ScottH I'm thinking about joining your biggest loser challenge; what's the site?
matthiasv As I am supporting these things every day maybe I can learn something new here
Dell-ToddM Matt, The chats are meant to be informative, but also as fun as possible
DELL-ScottH I tend to learn something from every one of these chats
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Dell-ToddM We will be "officially” starting in about five minutes
Dell-ToddM Welcome, psilerivo!
DELL-ScottH Jason, do I fit eligibility as part of the "Web" group?
JasonPowell Biggest loser information is at
DELL-ScottH Found it
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JasonPowell You've been helpful to us Citrt guys, so you're golden ;-)
DELL-ScottH Whew :-)
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Dell-ToddM Scott should easily win any loser contest :)
DELL-ScottH Lol
JasonPowell Lol
DELL-ScottH Easily hands down!
Dell-ToddM Hey, lhundt and greyopz
JasonPowell I was just talking about MD3000i and Osx iSCSI just a few minutes ago
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matthiasv Are the logged in guys Dell employees?
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Dell-ToddM What's an Osx :)
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DELL-ScottH I think there are only four Dell guys here
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Dell-ToddM Welcome Tonya, cbixler, and tkdwolf. We're just about to get started
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DELL-ScottH Ten times better than any OS...and way better than half an OS OS/2
DELL-ScottH Todd, I am quickly approaching the over!
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JasonPowell Warp Ftw
Dell-ToddM Easy on OS/2; It can't even fight back anymore
JasonPowell Wonder what the install base is these days for OS Warp?
DELL-ScottH A few banks...wait, those are gone too :-)
JasonPowell You know it's still running out there somewhere
DELL-ScottH Insurance is still a good customer base for OS/2
Dell-ToddM I put Warp in a VM about six months ago for fun
DELL-ScottH When I left IBM, I know of a few of those
JasonPowell I just upped an NT3 box to 2003 R2 last year. Well, rather replace than upgrade ;-)
Dell-ToddM Welcome everybody to today's TechTuesday Chat (this is the official start)
JasonPowell /me waves to mwrock
Dell-ToddM Today's topic is a discussion of the MD3000i with ESX and Hyper-V
DELL-ScottH Quick, tell five of your friends to join, and I get lunch! Set the line at 22 people, and I have the over
mwrock Jason, I should know tomorrow about our iSCSI upgrade
Dell-ToddM We've gotten lots of interest about this combination on Dell TechCenter and wanted to give everybody a chance to discuss and learn
Dell-ToddM For those who are new to these chats, it is very open. Jump in with a comment or question when you are ready
DELL-ScottH Todd, who do we have as experts on the chat?
tkdwolf What is the preferred architecture for two Dell R805s with ESX, with MD3000i, and with two Ethernet switches? One subnet or two?
Dell-ToddM The one subnet-or-two question has been kicked around a bit
jamesc Or three?
Dell-ToddM I prefer a single subnet as it is easier to manage
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tkdwolf Why do you need ISL for one subnet? Seems like this should not be required
Dell-ToddM Still using two switches, with an inter-switch link between them
lhundt I just received a letter from Dell today about the Resource CD update; does that affect the client running on my XP desktop? Thanks for the letter, too :)
matthiasv Choosing two subnets is difficult to manage as you also need to have multiple v-switches, but it's much more stable
lhundt Sorry, the Resource CD for the MD3000i
matthiasv The MDSM version did not change
matthiasv It's 02.G, or something like that
tkdwolf Why is the ISL needed for one subnet option? Sorry, I am not a network guy. I do not understand why ISL is needed or recommended
Dell-ToddM I have not seen the letter about the Resource CD update
jamesc What is LSL?
Dell-ToddM If the Modular Disk Storage Manager (MDSM) did not change, then you won' t need to update your client
Dell-ToddM ISL = Inter-Switch Link
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Dell-ToddM It is a direct connection between two switches
matthiasv There has just been a firmware released to address some issues—it's
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Dell-ToddM Welcome, drez and koen!
jamesc Is ISL referring to a v-switch?
Dell-ToddM ISL is a physical link between two physical switches
matthiasv Next month a new firmware should release to address the 2 TB border; is there a way to assign more than 2 TB to a data store?
tkdwolf I know that with the two p-switch ISL, one subnet is preferred by VMware, but what does the ISL provide?
Dell-ToddM I'm not sure why it is needed; but I can confirm that you will have problems if you don't use ISL with a single subnet and two-switch setup
koen.vdvelde Yep, I agree with Todd; I've been there :-(
tkdwolf Thanks, Todd; Is it correct that VMware only supports one subnet option?
lhundt Okay, like matthiasv said, there was a firmware update about a month ago
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matthiasv Yes, and it was just to get Windows 2008 supported and to address a battery issue
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Dell-ToddM When I looked into finding an official support statement from VMware around single subnet for iSCSI, I couldn't find it
koen.vdvelde VM seems to “push” to one subnet setup. But with my tests (I agree, using poor-man’s switches) only the two-subnet setup was working 100% regarding redundancy. In a one-subnet setup I could remove one of the four available network connections without problems. In the two-subnet setup, I can remove three of the four available iSCSI paths...and it's still working
lhundt So far with my MD3000i, it's been running like a champ. I'm not a storage guru, but it's pretty easy to manage
karimicus I think it's only ESXi that’s with one subnet limited to it, but could be wrong
Dell-ToddM That was a couple of months ago. I can pursue the answer to that one through my VMware contacts and get an answer posted
koen.vdvelde I was in contact with VM support about three weeks ago, and they also advised me to go for the one-subnet setup. Problem was that they couldn't get it to work either.
dnietrzeba So the firmware for the 2 TB limit is out now?
matthiasv The subnet thing, I think (it's from my experience in support) it's the most likely way to have two v-switches...each with service console and VMkernel and each with a separate subnet. This works well
matthiasv No
JasonPowell Any idea if the next firmware will address MPIO with Microsoft initiator?
matthiasv It's in the schedule
matthiasv @ jason, it's already addressed
Dell-ToddM Jason, how is your MD3000i doing? Last we talked you guys were just getting it set up
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Dell-ToddM Welcome wiz813. Action, Recent Room History will get you caught up
JasonPowell Our MD3000i doesn’t have 4 TB of data on it of 15 TB raw. Not now
lhundt Has anyone ever seen any max performance out of the MD3000i? I know you can connect up to 15 servers, but as far as performance compared to an EqualLogic or EMC iSCSI SAN?
thewizard813 Any work on the newer firmware for the MD3000i's
matthiasv Jason, what do you mean with MPIO and Microsoft Initator? It's already working...are you experiencing problems with that?
JasonPowell The Dell rep that did our over-the-phone setup said we could not use the same server to point at both EqualLogic and MD3000i targets
JasonPowell I'm trying to recall what the issue was
drez @jasonpowell: Is that because of the Dell "initiator" that you have to load to get MPIO working?
thewizard813 I am looking for information on connecting the MD3000i to the blades
JasonPowell Something about the Dell software
JasonPowell drez!
drez sup!
matthiasv Mmmm, you normally install host option, and this gets the MPIO fine
thewizard813 Probably cannot separate the paths to the targets
lhundt I'm connecting the MD3000i with Dell M600 blades. Works very well!
drez I kinda have the same question because we have the need to connect to a Netapp on the same device that connects to the MD3000i
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JasonPowell Something about the Dell software breaks MPIO in the MS initiator, if I recall correctly
drez Right, I install the host option, and it works fine to the MD3000i, but what if I also have to connect to a Netapp? Does the custom initiator have conflicts with the Netapp?
matthiasv Never had this issue....sounds interesting :)
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matthiasv Is Netapp using the Microsoft Initiator too?
JasonPowell But I'm also not sure how "qualified" our Dell support dude was. He said more than once to not run EqualLogic and MD from the same server
drez @matthiasv - Yes it is
drez @matthiasv: Not saying there Is an issue, but I've got my server in production to the MD, so I want to "measure twice, cut once" regarding the Netapp connection
matthiasv I never tried it as EqualLogic support is currently not in Germany, and we do not have these units; also, we do not have Netapp available. But why should this be a problem? It's just another target to the initiator. Should work in theory
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drez Yeah, but so was the Microsoft Initiator to the MD. But it no workie without the "special sauce software" from Dell :-)
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drez Did I offend Todd? :-)
matthiasv I don't have good knowledge about EqualLogic at the moment; hope this changes when we get those units
thewizard813 When you say one subnet or two subnets, what do you mean? We have a production network and a storage network using blades with MD3000i
DELL-ScottH Nope he's having issues. Will be back in a sec
drez @thewizard813: I think they are referring to running two separate iSCSI IP subnets
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tkdwolf One subnet or two subnets for the iSCSI traffic
drez I came in late
lhundt Any word when 1.5 TB drives will be available?
DELL-ScottH Todd, use Action, Recent Room History to catch up...and don't click on links :-)
JasonPowell Hearing lots of bad things about 1.5 TB Seagate drives
matthiasv Doesn't matter at the moment
koen.vdvelde Two subnets means two iSCSI subnets. In a redundant setup each switch has its own IP range, which results in two v-switches (in VMware) and with each their own service console and VMkernel. Each of them with their own IP in their own subnet
DELL-ToddM Performance of MD3000i is not as high as EqualLogic or Cx, but is still pretty good
matthiasv The 2 TB border is still there :)
DELL-ToddM Finally back; had issue with my session :)
cbixler It will only be there until Jan 19th
Matthiasv Anybody know when VMware will support round robin?
DELL-ScottH Ah ha! A date!
lhundt Really, what sort of issues? I was looking to use the larger drives for backups, and file storage, nothing fast
thewizard813 Will they remove the 2 TB limit with firmware in Q1 2009?
matthiasv Yes, it’s scheduled with ISL and should be in place in December
drez @koen.vdvelde: Will this limitation go away with ESX 4 and its ability to span subnets across ESX boxes? Not a limitation really, just the need for that configuration
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drez Also, to confirm, there is no need for a special initiator on VMware to get MPIO running on ESX?
matthiasv You need to enable VMkernel, and this gets VMHBA32 available (iSCSI software HBA). No external MPIO needed
DELL-ToddM No special initiator is needed for MD3000i with ESX
koen.vdvelde @ drez: I'm afraid I don't really understand your question. If you use two separate IP ranges (that is, the four IPs you assign to your MD3000i's storage processor are assigned: 2 to subnet 1 and 2 to subnet 2). So I don't think this will change as long as you use two subnets
drez I guess I was wondering why you would need two separate subnets at all if you could span networks across boxes?
matthiasv Is anybody using ESX with MD3000i and "round robin"? I'd like to know if VMware is going to support it
karimicus With Hyper-V is there any specific configuration that needs to be done with the MD3000i?
DELL-ToddM Spanning virtual switch across ESX servers is coming in ESX 4
koen.vdvelde Maybe the question is more, why use two subnets, if it should work with one subnet and all IPs in the same range? I've got the feeling that the issues I see now in using one subnet has to do with the fact that VM only uses one of its two NICs assigned to the iSCSI network. Only if NIC1 loses connection (AND if that's really seen by the VM) the connection is taken over by NIC2
drez I gotcha
JasonPowell What all is required to expand the MD3000i with another chassis of disks, configuration wise? I can see our current MD3000i being full shortly
drez @JP: Yeah, we're going to do the same thing
DELL-ToddM Hyper-V doesn't require anything beyond what is done for Windows 2008
karimicus kk, still trying to get to grips with Windows 2008 with the various combos for the PE systems
JasonPowell With EqualLogic it's cake to expand, but assuming not so simple with MD
DELL-ToddM Adding an MD1000 behind an MD3000i is basically just a matter of cabling it up
koen.vdvelde If using two subnets, you're able to spread the load over both NICs, and if one fails the other takes over. Problem is that you have to do more management for the two IP ranges. And two v-switches and two VMkernels and two Service consoles consume more resources :-(
matthiasv @ jason, you just need another MD1000 running EMM A03 as a minimum and two SAS cables...that's it. Just remember, MD3000i is unable to read DDF, so if the MD1000 was previously attached to PERC you will lose your data
DELL-ToddM But unlike EqualLogic, the additional spindles are not automatically used to increase performance
JasonPowell It would be a new MD1000
DELL-ToddM They are simply added as more capacity
matthiasv Then it should be no problem
JasonPowell Kewl
tkdwolf @koen.vdvelde, thanks for your input; good info
matthiasv But SAS is not hot pluggable; attaching the unit hot should work but be careful with this
JasonPowell 45 TB max. per MD3000i right?
matthiasv Yes
koen.vdvelde You're welcome :-)
DELL-ToddM You create new virtual disks with the new storage through MDSM
DELL-Doug There is nothing stopping the MD3000i from functioning with all iSCSI interfaces on the same subnet; single subnet just reduces redundancy, should the router or switch fabric fail
drez Yes, koen, thanks for that
drez Does the MD3000i adjust data across the disks for performance maintenance?
DELL-ToddM The MD3000i does not adjust data across disks like the EqualLogic arrays
drez Thanks, Todd
koen.vdvelde Yup, but please take notice that these are my own conclusions, based on the troubles I had/have in setting this box up. I'm still waiting for an official statement from Dell (or VMware) about what should be the correct setup of the iSCSI network in a redundant configuration...anyone?
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matthiasv Take two subnets
drez I believe you get a virtual "Y" cable
drez :-)
matthiasv It's best practice
DELL-ToddM I have seen both recommended
DELL-ToddM Anybody using MD3000i with Hyper-v?
koen.vdvelde What is Hyper-V ? :-)
thewizard813 Yes, Windows 2008 Hyper-V support?
DELL-ToddM It's this new hypervisor product from a small software company in Seattle :)
koen.vdvelde Oh, that one! Never used it; I think I'll stay with VMware for a while, now that I'm getting used to it :-)
DELL-ToddM Yes, it is supported with Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V. I think that most people are using VMware, but some are interested in Hyper-V
thewizard813 I want to use Hyper-V
DELL-ToddM I've done some testing with Hyper-V and SCVMM 2008; just curious what others are doing
DELL-Doug Windows 2008 Server Core w/ Hyper-V is not currently supported by the MD3000 or MD3000i
DELL-ToddM I'm actually setting up a database test on a few Hyper-V VMs with MD3000i storage
JasonPowell How many MD1000s can attach to MD3000i, four?
DELL-Doug Two
DELL-ToddM I'm using the DVD Store of course
cbixler Two
DELL-ToddM Total of 45 disks
JasonPowell Ah, so each 1000 uses the two ports off each controller
DELL-ScottH I think the answer is 10b
thewizard813 Good info
DELL-ToddM The additional MD1000s are daisy chained
DELL-Doug Jasonpowell: The out connectors from the base tray RAID Controller Modules are cabled to the in connectors on the MD1000's Expansion Modules
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DELL-ToddM I can try to get a picture out through Twitter of what it looks like.
Anything else? We are getting close to the end of the hour
JasonPowell /me loves pictures
DELL-ScottH Where are you taking me to lunch?
drez Just so I understand...
koen.vdvelde Has someone experimented with configuration of the switches used for the iSCSI setup? What settings should be paid attention to? Or are there any best practices?
drez The MD and jumbo frames. Either it's on or off, and you can't do both?
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koen.vdvelde MD?
drez Short for MD3000i :-)
DELL-Doug koen: Jumbo frames, QoS, VLANs if shared switches are the big items
koen.vdvelde Regarding jumbo frames: I've been told that, if put on, it should be on in all places: iSCSI initiator, switches, MD (being short for MD3000i :-)
drez Heh...I thought so, just wanted to double-check
koen.vdvelde Regarding QoS and VLAN: does it make sense to change these if using dedicated switches for an iSCSI network?
DELL-Doug Yes, everything in your TCP/IP path from host to target must have the increase MTU size
drez Okay
DELL-Doug koen: For dedicated, no, only if you're sharing the switches
koen.vdvelde Knowing that, why should I change my PC2716 switches with more expensive PC5424 or PC6xxx ones?
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DELL-Doug If the switches are isolated, and just from the attached host to the MD3000i, you shouldn't be exceeding any of the bandwidth limitations
DELL-ToddM As everybody is leaving, I just want to say thanks for coming; next week is MD3000i and Management/Configuration, and the week after that is MD3000i Performance
drez Which group in Dell would I talk to about connecting to the MD3000i of Metro VLANs?
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drez The storage team or the network folk?
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DELL-ToddM All chats are on Tuesday at the same time (3 Central)
drez Of/over
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koen.vdvelde @ dough: Thanks for the update. I asked this, based on the discussion we had at:
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koen.vdvelde @ todd: Nice subjects! I'll try to make them!
DELL-ToddM I think Doug accidentally left - he'll likely be back
koen.vdvelde @scott: Don't click on links! :-)
DELL-ScottH Lol
drez Lol
DELL-ScottH I turned off my pop-up blocker
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DELL-ToddM Koen: I think that the issue with your switches came down to not being able to trunk the ISL ports for redundancy?
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DELL-Doug That will teach me to click a link in this chat application
koen.vdvelde To be honest, I still understand the difference between ISL and just connecting both switches with a cross-network cable
DELL-ToddM Doug, I should have mentioned, right-click links to avoid untimely exit :)
karimicus Seems fine in FF3
DELL-ScottH Cool, Todd tweeted a picture Delltechcenter The picture of a back of the MD3000i as discussed during today's chat
koen.vdvelde Oops, that should have been I still don't understand
DELL-ToddM It is the same thing as far as I know
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DELL-ToddM I thought that your 2716 didn't allow you to create a trunked or multiport ISL. I don't have a 2716, so maybe I'm making this up :)
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DELL-ToddM Which could lead to both bottleneck in performance and a possible single point of failure in single subnet setup
koen.vdvelde That's what I experience in my tests, I 'm afraid :-(
DELL-ToddM If you are going to do the two-subnet setup, with dedicated switches, then you are probably fine with the 2716s
koen.vdvelde And if I preferred the one-subnet setup?
DELL-ToddM I'm going to go over the transcript and see if we got everybody's questions answered
DELL-Doug koen: How many hosts are you talking about?
koen.vdvelde Only three; ESC 3.5
DELL-Doug Ah, shouldn't be a problem to just use one switch between those hosts and the MD for the iSCSI traffic. If you're going to just use a single subnet. If you need the redundancy, though, then you pay a price on the 2716s since they can't really route. The linkage between them will add some latency
koen.vdvelde Okay, thanks! Is there any more documentation on this? I'd love to understand more on this
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koen.vdvelde Oops, even right-click is not working :-)
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DELL-Doug koen: I'm not sure to what extent that is documented on the Dell site; it's more of a generic networking pothole and not specific to the MD3000i
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karimicus Right, I'm off folks, later
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koen.vdvelde Oops, didn't want to leave without saying thanks to everyone for the useful advice! (It was just that java-chat-client that hangs up my sessions.) Thanks, guys. See you next time