Sorry for the delayed response. I discussed your issue with NTAP NGS (support team) and from what you described more info is required, and suggest you start with IBM support team (they will escalate to NTAP as necessary).
Great name btw!
Re: ESXi losing connectivity to volume - VSC issue?
Pretty sure now that this issue is caused by the network card, HP NC523 SFP. I am in the process of replacing them. Looks like other people on vmware forum had same issue. Talking about looking for a needle in a haystack!!