Sunday, May 22, 2011

ESXi 4.1 + Dell iSCSI Mem Plugin

I just recently installed a new UCS B250-M2 into the environment and since it was a fresh install we decided to jump into ESXi 4.1 instead of the discontinued ESX 4.1. I am very familiar with ESXi as I have been working with it for many years and have a very fluent Linux/Unix background. Anyways, this was extremely easy. The below information should work for any server but best to always take precautions.

Server: Cisco UCS B250-M2 (firmware 1.4.2b)
Network: Jumbo frames (MTU 9000) end to end + (4) 10GB Storage NICS
Storage: EqualLogic (4) nodes

Step 1. Before you begin make sure that you have the following pieces of  information + software:

1) Dell EqualLogic Mem Plugin from, I used version 1.0.1.
2) VMware ESXi 4.1 clean install. This can be done to an existing host but my directions are for an unconfigured ESXi 4.1 machine with (4) unassigned physical nics.
3) (4) ip addresses on the same network as the Dell Storage Array.
4) VMware vMA (vSphere 4.1 Management Assistant) which can be obtained from VMware's site

Step 2. Once you have the files on your desktop from Dell unzip the single file and you will find multiple files. We need to move (2) files from your desktop to the vMA virtual machine. You can use WindowsSCP or Unix/Linux SCP. Here is an example of the transfer script:
scp username@x.x.x.x:/~
scp username@x.x.x.x:/~
This will move the and Dell mem file to the vMA in order to run the script.

Step 3. Run this script from the vMA which will configure everything for you. I kept open the VI Client the entire time while the script was building. It updated everything on the fly.
./ --server= --configure --ips=,,, --nics=vmnic3,vmnic4,vmnic5,vmnic6 --mtu=9000 --enableswiscsi = ESXi 4.1 Server = The iSCSI IPs for storage are network
vmnic3~vmnic6 = These are NICs available for storage area network

Now check everything making sure it is running properly. I am going to post some scripts for checking the information on the Kernel and vSwitch.

UPDATE: 5/25/2011
So now that I am testing all of the settings I noticed that this script above is just to configure the server and not to actually install the MEM Cache here is the command to install it. Path will be the same as above

NOTE: You will need to REBOOT this server so be prepared.
./ --install --server=x.x.x.x
Once you have everything completed you can check the mem Cache by running this command.
./ --listparam --server=x.x.x.x
To Enable the plugin
./ --enable --server=x.x.x.x
To Disable the plugin
./ --disable --server=x.x.x.x

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