VMware Solutions Discussions

VMWare clustered storage with FC and iSCSI


Hello friends,

We're  looking at buying a couple of FAS2040s to replace some aging FAS250s we have. At the same time we're going to move start virtualising our environment.

Currently we're planning on connecting two vSphere 5 hosts to the primary FAS2040 directly via fibre channel so as to provide a HA environment for the guests. If I want to add a third host to the cluster, am I able to do so via iSCSI (rather than installing a fibre channel fabric) so that all three hosts can share the same datastore?  I've read through the various vmware/netapp documentation, but the answer isn't clear.



Re: VMWare clustered storage with FC and iSCSI



You can map the LUN to multiple iGropus. Have one iGroup with iSCSI and other with FC. Try this out.



Re: VMWare clustered storage with FC and iSCSI


Yes you could do that, but i wouldn't. Is there a requirement for FC?  With vSphere 5.0 I would use NFS as the primary protocol for all VM's, and iSCSI for in guest block storage.


Re: VMWare clustered storage with FC and iSCSI


This is definitely a bit odd. From a NetApp standpoint we can share the LUN out both over FC and ISCSI with no problems however I don't believe VMware supports this. In fact I don't think VMware is a fan of FC direct connect either. If you don't have a FC Fabric I would strongly suggest you leverage a pure IP solution and use NFS or ISCSI, The performance at scale of all 3 protocols is nearly the same and certainly on a deployment with a 2040 the protocol is not going to be a limiting factor in performance. You simply would not have enough spindles or VMs to saturate the links. I think you would be better off with a more common and easily supportable configuration of NFS or ISCSI.


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