VMware Solutions Discussions

FAS2020 Direct attached Vmware


hi guys

We are thinking to direct attach two Servers to a FAS2020 either using ethernet cable (NFS o iSCSI configuration) of FC but not using Ethernet LAN Switch or FC Switch like I said Direct Attach like the picture I uploaded

Would you mind letting me know if this config could work? Is this configuration supported?

what are the disadvantages of using this?

I know to have completely redundancy I'm going to need a Ethernet or SAN Switch but for this customer $$$ is not an option right now

thanks a lot



I dont see where the ethernet (either NFS or iSCSI) would be a problem except for management of the Controller. NFS would probably be better as iSCSI may not play well and I dont know that it would appreciate the single path for failover. You would probably have to use the CLI for managing everything. FC is another story. I thought that on the FAS2020 the FC ports were setup for initiator mode (meaning to connect to disks) and not target mode (where servers can connect to it). I'm not sure if that is changable on the 2020 or not. Why is it you dont want to use any switches? Is it just a cost issue or space?

You can change the FAS2020 FC ports from initiators to targets, but keep in mind that the best practice is to have both as initiators or targets, don't mix both modes. You do it like this:

fcp config 0a 0b down (bring the FC ports down)

fcadmin config -t target 0a 0b (change ports from initiators to targets)

fcadmin config (check the port configuration, they should appear as PENDING)

Then reboot the filer, that's it.

You can use one port for each VMware host, but keep in mind that you won't have multipath.



yeah I've already changed FC ports status. I just wanted to confirm is the both setups FC or NFS Direct attach would work OK.

yes in order to have full multipath - redundancy I would need Ethernet / SAN Switch but for now it has to be direct attach.


It also depends on what kind of data you are putting on the FAS. If it's either SQL or filesystem data, I'd go NFS because then you dont need to worry about allocating space to Fractional reserve (per every best practice i've been provided says to ensure 225%). If it's exchange then it must be block protocol so iSCSI or FCP. NFS tends to get better dedupe rates in my experience.


it's going to be Vmware, If we choose Ethernet NFS will be used and on the other hand FC


You can mix both connections too, let's say, use NFS for your VMs datastore and FC for Databases and Exchange. If you use NFS for VMware Datastore, is a good idea to split the Datastore and create 2, since you are connecting the ethernet ports straight to the filer you won't be able to create VIFs, you can put half of your VMs in one datastore and the other half on the second datastore, or even better, estimate the throughput needed for each VM and split it based on throughput, you will need 2 different networks, one for each interface, and create static routes to direct the traffic of each network to the proper network interface, it would be a good idea to add a vm based router (Vyatta does a good job) on your VMware servers to be able to access the filer outside the VMware hosts.



thanks a lot guys

if it's OK with I'm going to add some diagram tomorrow since like Ricardo says I won't be able to use VIFs....

If I understand OK

Server IP for NFS

FAS2020 - filer 1 - up

e0a -

e0b -

If the server's NIC attached to e0a is down I won't be able to access any content on NFS in filer1 - up?

I will be adding a diagran for the Vmware - FAS2020 design just to know If I got this net configuration correct

thanks a  lot guys