VCP 4 Prep Objective 1.4 – Install VMware ESX/ESXi on SAN Storage

Objective 1.4 – Install VMware ESX/ESXi on SAN Storage

-Configure LUN masking

LUN masking is used to hide LUNs from HBAs which do not require access to those said LUNs. LUN masking can be configured at the storage controller (SAN) level or host (ESX/ESXi) level; it is recommended that LUN masking be configured at the storage controller level. LUN masking should not be confused with zoning; zoning is performed at the storage controller, a LUN zoned to a specific world wide port name cannot be seen by any other world wide port name.

LUN masking is primarily used to present VMware ESX boot LUNs to the correct host, present a shared diagnostic partition to multiple hosts, present LUNs to specific hosts to be formatted as VMFS.

To configure LUN masking at the ESX level run the following command:

esxcli corestorage claimrule add –rule [101 > 200] -t [Location|Path|Driver|Device|Plugin|Vendor] -A [hba adapter] -C [channel] -T [target] -L [LUN] -P [MASK_PATH|NMP]*

* Other plugins could available if installed.

e.g. esxcli corestorage claimrule add –rule 101 -t location -A vmhba1 -C 0 -T 0 -L 1 -P MASK_PATH

-Prepare SAN

When preparing the SAN remember you need a boot LUN and a shared LUN for the diagnostic partition; the diagnostic partition should be at least 1.6GB.

Fibre Channel:

  1. Connect network cable, referring to any cabling guide that applies to your setup. Check the switch wiring, if there is any.
  2. Configure the storage array.
    1. From the SAN storage array, make the ESX/ESXi host visible to the SAN. This process is often referred
      to as creating an object.
    2. From the SAN storage array, set up the host to have the WWPNs of the host’s adapters as port names
      or node names.
    3. Create LUNs.
    4. Assign LUNs.
    5. Record the IP addresses of the switches and storage arrays.
    6. Record the WWPN for each SP
  3. Configure the HBA to boot from SAN.
  4. Boot the computer from the ESX/ESXi installation disc.

iSCSI:

  1. Connect network cables, referring to any cabling guide that applies to your setup.
  2. Ensure IP connectivity between your storage system and server. This includes proper configuration of any routers or switches on your storage network. Storage systems must be able to ping the iSCSI adapters in your hosts.
  3. Configure the storage system.
    1. Create a volume (or LUN) on the storage system for your host to boot from.
    2. Configure the storage system so that your host has access to the assigned LUN. This could involve updating ACLs with the IP addresses, iSCSI names, and the CHAP authentication parameter you use on your host. On some storage systems, in addition to providing access information for the ESX/ESXi host, you must also explicitly associate the assigned LUN with the host.
    3. Ensure that the LUN is presented to the host correctly.
    4. Ensure that no other system has access to the configured LUN.
    5. Record the iSCSI name and IP addresses of the targets assigned to the host. You must have this information to configure your iSCSI adapters
  4. Configure the HBA to boot from SAN (This must be an independant iSCSI adapter). – See Enabling BIOS and selecting boot LUN.
  5. Boot the computer from the ESX/ESXi installation disc.

-Configure FC or ISCSI HBA BIOS

–Enable BIOS

Emulex adapters:

  1. Run lputil.
  2. Select 3. Firmware Maintenance.
  3. Select an adapter.
  4. Select 6. Boot BIOS Maintenance.
  5. Select 1. Enable Boot BIOS.
  6. Reboot the ESX/ESXi host.
  7. To configure the adapter parameters, press ALT+E at the Emulex prompt and follow these steps.
    1. Select an adapter (with BIOS support).
    2. Select 2. Configure This Adapter’s Parameters.
    3. Select 1. Enable or Disable BIOS.
    4. Select 1 to enable BIOS.
    5. Select x to exit and Esc to return to the previous menu.

Qlogic adapters:

  1. While booting the server, press Ctrl+Q to enter the Fast!UTIL configuration utility.
  2. Perform the appropriate action depending on the number of HBAs. (If only one HBA is installed then the Fast!UTIL will appear straight away, for multiple adapters you’ll need to select the correct adapter first).
  3. In the Fast!UTIL Options page, select Configuration Settings and press Enter.
  4. In the Configuration Settings page, select Adapter Settings and press Enter.
  5. Set the BIOS to search for SCSI devices.
    1. In the Host Adapter Settings page, select Host Adapter BIOS.
    2. Press Enter to toggle the value to Enabled.
    3. Press Esc to exit.
  6. Enable the selectable boot.
    1. Select Selectable Boot Settings and press Enter.
    2. In the Selectable Boot Settings page, select Selectable Boot.
    3. Press Enter to toggle the value to Enabled.

–Select boot LUN

Emulex adapters:

  1. To configure the adapter parameters, press ALT+E at the Emulex prompt and follow these steps.
  2. Select the same adapter.
  3. Select 1. Configure Boot Devices.
  4. Select the location for the Boot Entry.
  5. Enter the two-digit boot device.
  6. Enter the two-digit (HEX) starting LUN (for example, 08).
  7. Select the boot LUN.
  8. Select 1. WWPN. (Boot this device using WWPN, not DID).
  9. Select x to exit and Y to reboot.
  10. Boot into the system BIOS and move Emulex first in the boot controller sequence.
  11. Reboot and install on a SAN LUN.

Qlogic adapters:

  1. While booting the server, press Ctrl+Q to enter the Fast!UTIL configuration utility.
  2. Perform the appropriate action depending on the number of HBAs. (If only one HBA is installed then the Fast!UTIL will appear straight away, for multiple adapters you’ll need to select the correct adapter first).
  3. In the Fast!UTIL Options page, select Configuration Settings and press Enter.
  4. In the Configuration Settings page, select Adapter Settings and press Enter.
  5.  Use the cursor keys to select the Boot Port Name entry in the list of storage processors (SPs) and press
    Enter to open the Select Fibre Channel Device screen.
  6. Use the cursor keys to select the specific SP and press Enter.
    If you are using an active-passive storage array, the selected SP must be on the preferred (active) path to
    the boot LUN. If you are not sure which SP is on the active path, use your storage array management
    software to find out. The target IDs are created by the BIOS and might change with each reboot.
  7. Perform the appropriate action depending on the number of LUNs attached to the SP (if only one LUN exists that LUN is assigned as the boot LUN, if multiple LUNs exist the select LUN screen opens).
  8. If any remaining storage processors show in the list, press C to clear the data.
  9. Press Esc twice to exit and press Enter to save the setting. 

-Install VMware ESX/ESXi

Install from the installation disc as you would any other installation but when you are prompted for partitioning information remember to configure the vmkcore partition to use a shared SAN partition; a 100MB partition will suffice. If the LUN is being presented from an iSCSI SAN then you’ll need a hardware iSCSI initiator.

-Determine boot LUN size in a given situation

The minimum boot LUN size is 1.25GB; this is to hold the boot partition (1.1GB) and the diagnostic partition (100MB). When booting from the SAN the diagnostic partition can be configured to use a shared LUN. The LUN which will hold the ESX service console should be a minimum of 10GB.

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