We predominantly use our NetApp filer for VMware via NFS, so my actual SAN experiences have been rather limited in our setup.
I've recently discovered our consultant who helped me setup a physical Windows host to our NetApp box for SnapDrive and SMSQL functions made a few mistakes.
First, he never had me install the Windows Host Utilities Kit. My understanding is that this needs to be installed in active/active setups to configure the correct timeout settings.
Second, he had me create a nic team with the Intel Proset tools for the dedicated iSCSI nics. Microsoft states link aggregation is not a supported setup with the iscsi software initiator in their initiator user guide. NetApp confirms this in TR-3441.
Our setup is very similar to the multi-network active/active configuration listed in the Fibre Channel and iSCSI Configuration Guide:
Since this is purely iSCSI via software initiator, my understanding is that I can use either MCS or MPIO. I'm leaning towards MPIO due to its maturity, popularity, and full support with SnapDrive but am curious for any feedback from others.
What do others consider better for iSCSI with a software initiator -- MPIO or MCS?
Which load balancing policy is the best -- round robin, least queue depth, etc?
TR-3441 mentions least queue depth being the best with the Data Ontap DSM, but I would be using the free Microsoft DSM.
Interestingly, Microsoft's iscsi software initiator guide recommends using MCS if the target supports it and the software initiator is being used. Anyone, care to disagree?