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VMware iSCSI Integration With ZFS And Zetavault

13th June 2015

This article will cover the steps required to connect an ESX host to Zetavault using the iSCSI SAN service.

The datastore will be backed by a ZFS volume.

Getting Started

Confirm that the correct networking is in place on the ESX side.

To make use of multipath I/O (MPIO) two VMkernel ports are configured, named "iSCSI-1" & "iSCSI-2".

Make sure each IP address is on a different subnet.

vSphere Networking

You don't have to configure MPIO. If you are using a single link, then this article still applies.

On the Zetavault side, decide on which interfaces will handle the iSCSI traffic.

Go to Management Network Interfaces

Zetavault Network Interfaces

In our example, we are using virtual interfaces eth3:1 and eth4:1. The procedure is exactly the same for physical interfaces.

Make sure the interfaces are on the same subnet as the interfaces on the ESX side.

For each interface, set an alias and assign the "iSCSI SAN" role.

Tip
Basic connectivity on the ESX host can be confirmed using "ping" and "vmkping".

Run the SAN target wizard

Run the "SAN Target" wizard in Zetavault from the Wizards menu.

The wizard will check for ZFS pools.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 1

Select "iSCSI" for the SAN type.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 2

Select the first iSCSI interface. A portal will be created from this interface.

The portal for the second interface will be manually added later.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 3

Enter the target name and alias.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 4

Enter the group name.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 5

We now need to add the ESX host initiator name.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 6 No Initiators

The initiator name is located in the vSphere client at Storage Adapters iSCSI Software Adapter Details

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 6 vSphere Side

In Zetavault, click "Add new user".

Select "iSCSI" for the type. Enter the initiator name and alias. Click "Add".

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 6 Add Initiator

Select the initiator for the group.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 6 Add Initiator To Group

Select an existing ZFS volume or create a new one. In our example an existing volume has been used.

To create a new volume click "Create new volume".

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 7 Add Volume To Group

Confirmation step. If you need to change anything, click the "Previous" button to go back.

Zetavault Wizard SAN Target Step 8 Confirm

Click "Next" to perform the configuration.

Zetavault Wizard Complete

Add The Second Portal

You can skip this bit if you are not doing MPIO.

Go to Services SAN Portals

Zetavault Service SAN Portals

We will create a new portal using the IP address of the second interface which is 192.168.20.30

Zetavault Service SAN Add Portal

There is now two portals listed in the table. These will be the only IP addresses available for discovery by the ESX host.

Zetavault Service SAN Portal MPIO

Connect The ESX Host

The ESX host can now be connected to Zetavault.

Tip
Ensure you have your VMkernel ports bound to the iSCSI initiator.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI Port Bindings

Go to "Storage Adapters" and click the "Properties" button for the iSCSI Adapter.

Now click the "Dynamic Discovery" tab and add the IP address of any of the portals.

It does not matter which portal you choose.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI Dynamic Discovery

Submit the changes and rescan.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI Rescan

You should now see the device with 2 paths.

If you are not doing MPIO the device will have a single path.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI LUN Details

Right click the device and select "Manage Paths..."

Skip this bit if you are not doing MPIO.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI LUN Manage Paths

Choose "Round Robin" as the path selection policy and click "change".

Skip this bit if you are not doing MPIO.

vSphere Storage Adapters iSCSI LUN Manage Paths Round Robin

Now go to "Storage" and click "Add Storage" to provision the device.

vSphere Storage Add Datastores

Select the "ZVAULT iSCSI Disk" and click Next.

vSphere Storage Add Storage

VMware detects the disk is blank and that a new partition will be created. Click Next.

vSphere Storage Add Storage 2

Enter the name for the datastore. In our example we have used "Zetavault". Click Next.

vSphere Storage Add Storage 3

Review the disk layout and click Finish.

vSphere Storage Add Storage 4

The datastore will now be visible. The datastore is ready to use.

vSphere Storage Datastores

Testing The Datastore

We have created a new virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2 on the new datastore.

IOmeter has been installed to test IO.

vSphere IOmeter New VM Storage

On the Zetavault side, the Realtime Monitor can be used to check networking traffic from the ESX host.

Zetavault Realtime Monitor

The Historical Monitor will confirm that MPIO is working across the 2 network paths.

Here is the network traffic for network interface with alias "storage-1".

Zetavault Historical Monitor 1

Here is the network traffic for network interface with alias "storage-2".

Zetavault Historical Monitor 2

The traffic is balanced equally between the 2 network paths.

That concludes the article.