In a past post I went into how to configure iSCSI over a LAG to give you some path redundancy over a single VMK IP. You can read about that here. For multiple reasons this is not the best way to configure Multipathing, so here is a write up on the proper way to setup the Multipathing Plugin on a VMWare ESXi 5 server (I’ve also included steps to undo what may have been setup in the past).
- Download and install winSCP from here.
- Download the EqualLogic Multipathing Agent for VMWare.
- Download, Install, and Configure the VMWare Management Agent (vMA), read about how to do that here.
- Optionally, Install VMware Update Manager, which can be used to install the MEM in the event that the
setup.pl --installscript does not work.
If you’ve already had iSCSI configured on this host, it’s time to make note of a few things and then clean up before we get the EqualLogic MEM installed.
- Make note of all IPs that are being used by a host for iSCSI
- Make note of which NICs are being used by the vSwitch setup for iSCSI
- Delete the VM Kernel ports that are attached to the iSCSI vSwitch
- Delete the iSCSI vSwitch
Disable iSCSI on the Host
- Connect to the vMA using putty, and then attach to your host using the following command:
vifptarget -s <host's FQDN>
- For ESXi 4.x enter the following command:
- for ESXi 5 enter the following command:
esxcli iscsi software set -e false
- Reboot the Host
Enable iSCSI on the Host
- For ESXi 4.x enter the following command:
- for ESXi 5.0 enter the following command:
esxcli iscsi software set -e true</li>
Remove the old VMK bindings from the iSCSI HBA
For each of the VM Kernel ports that you made note of before, run the following command where <vmk_interface> is your vmk port such as vmk1, vmk2, and <vmhba_device> is your vmhba adapter for iSCSI such as vmhba38:
- For ESXi 4.x:
esxcli swiscsi nic remove –n <vmk_interface> –d <vmhba_device>
- for ESXi 5:
esxcli iscsi networkportal remove -n <vmk_interface> -A <vmhba_device>
Installing the EqualLogic Multipathing Agent
Now that our host is fresh and so clean clean, well in terms of iSCSI anyway, it’s time to start configuring the Multipathing Extension Module.
Move the Setup Script and Bundle to the vMA
- Connect to your vMA using winSCP, it should drop you into the home directory for the user ‘vi-admin’
- Find and locate the files that were extracted from the zip file you downloaded from Equal Logic, you are looking for “setup.pl” and “dell-eql-mem-esx5-X-X.X.XXXXXX.zip” the version of the .zip file will depend on whether or not you’re installing it on ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5, just make sure you copy the right file name.
- Once you’ve moved both files to the vMA, right click on the “setup.pl” file from within winSCP, select “properties”. Under the “Permissions” section of the setup.pl change the “Octal” value to “0777”, this will allow you to execute the script.
- Close WinSCP.
Configuring the MEM
- Connect to your vMA using ssh.
- You should automatically be logged into the home directory of the ‘vi-admin’ user, verify this by running a ls, and making sure you see the two files you uploaded.
- enter the following command to get started:
./setup.pl --configure --server=<esxi server's FQDN>
- Follow the bouncing ball once the script gets started, it’s going to ask you for a username and password for the host, it’s also going to ask you to name the new virtual switch, it’s going to ask you what nics to use, list each one with a space in between them, it will also ask you for an IP for each VMK port it creates, and it will ask for the IP of the Group IP you want to connect to, and a few other questions as well such as subnet mask and mtu size, whether or not to use chap, use the information you collected above and the configuration of the Array to answer the questions, and when the script completes you should see the new vSwitch and VMK ports in your configuration.
Installing the Bundle
- While still logged into your vMA run the following command: ./setup.pl –install –server=<esxi server’s FQDN>
- If you receive an error about being unable to install it, try disabling Admission Control on your HA cluster and re-running the command.
If for some reason you are unable to get the setup.pl –install command to work properly you can use the vmware Update Manager to install the Bundle.
- Install and configure vUM, according to VMware instructions.
- Import the MEM offline bundle into the vUM package repository by selecting the “Import Patches” option and browsing to the dell-eql-mem-esxn-version.zip.
- Create a baseline containing the MEM bundle. Be sure to choose a “Host Extension” type for the baseline.
- Optionally add the new baseline to a baseline group.
- Attach the baseline or baseline group to one or more hosts.
- Scan and remediate to install the MEM on the desired hosts. Update Manager will put the hosts in maintenance mode and reboot if necessary as part of the installation process.
- If you get the error:
fault.com.vmware.vcIntegrity.NoEntities.summarydisable Addmission control and then try to remediate again.
Verifying that everything is working properly
- Once both the the –configure and the –install commands have been run you can run the follow command to make sure everything is working properly:
./setup.pl --query --server=<esxi server's FQDN>
It’s a little bit more work than the LAG setup, but this is the proper way to get a full and complete Equal Logic Multipathing setup installed and working.