VMware iSCSI multipath (Round Robin) for Equallogic Part 2

Must read update for Equallogic multipath
vSphere5 multi-path walkthrough
Update: tag all Round Robin LUNs in one script

Earlier I posted an entry about manually creating what you need for iSCSI multipath on vSphere 4.1 with an Equallogic storage array.

In the comments a Dell guy pointed out that the Equallogic Multipathing Extension Module (MEM) installation utility could be used to setup multipath iSCSI even if you don’t have the vSphere Enterprise or Enterprise+ licensing that allows for 3rd party storage plugins.

Get the script

Log into support.equallogic.com and go to downloads/VMware Integration.
Click on Version 1.0.0 under “EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module for VMware® vSphere” then click “EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module.” Note: don’t bother downloading the user manual as it’s included in the .zip file.

The file you want is the setup.pl that in the folder of the downloaded zip. The MEM manual suggests using vMA, you could also use the VMware CLI (the perl-based remote CLI not he Powershell one).
vMA is a good appliance to have, you can get it from here. If you are not familiar with vMA read the Guide also available at that link.

Put the script where you can run it
To copy setup.pl to the vMA use a scp utility such as WinSCP. Using winscp, connect to the vMA using the ip address assigned to the appliance. The default user name for the vMA appliance is “vi-admin” and the appliance makes you set a password the first time you turn it on.
Drag and drop setup.pl into the vMA (by default you you are connected to the home directory of vi-admin).

While still in winscp, once the script is copied select it, right-click and choose properties. You’ll want to set the permissions to eXecute or you will not be able to run it – one way is change the octal to 0777.

Run the script
Once setup.pl is copied to the vMA appliance and the properties have been changed, connect to the vMA using a SSH client such as putty or just use the vSphere client and open the console of the vMA.

Note: If you’re using the VMware CLI, just copy the setup.pl script to a directory on the machine with the CLI installed and run it there. My examples will be using the vMA but it works the same.

Put your selected host into maintenance mode (if you only have one host, use either the local CLI or run vMA in VMware Workstation which is what I do).
Make a note of the nics you’ll be configuring for iSCSI multipath as well as the IP addressed you’ll be using (you want one per NIC).
execute the setup script using:

[vi-admin@vMA ~]$ ./setup.pl

if you don’t include any parameters you will get a list of available options.

To start the configuration, add the parameter for the server to be configured (hostname or IP) and the script will walk you through the rest:

[vi-admin@vMA ~]$ ./setup.pl –configure –server=
Use of the vMA fastpass is recommended, see the ‘vifp’ command for more information.
You must provide the username and password for the server.
Enter username: root
Enter password:

Do you wish to use a standard vSwitch or a vNetwork Distributed Switch (vSwitch/vDS) [vSwitch]:
I left the default, vSwitch. I love vDS but lets keep this simple, shall we?

Found existing switches vSwitch0.
vSwitch Name [vSwitchISCSI]:
When in doubt, leave the default. Nice useful name too.

Which nics do you wish to use for iSCSI traffic? [vmnic1]: vmnic1,vmnic2
Here is where you enter the nics using commas to separate. Note the script lists the first unused nic by default.

IP address for vmknic using nic vmnic1:
IP address for vmknic using nic vmnic2:
Netmask for all vmknics []:
Remember, you want the iSCSI all on the same broadcast network and separate from other traffic for performance and security. You also do not want iSCSI traffic on the same broadcast domain as any other VMkernel traffic. VMware has 3 types of VMkernel ports (management, FT, vMotion) but 4 types of VMkernel traffic (same plus iSCSI). iSCSI traffic will use whatever VMkernel port it can to access the iSCSI targets, which may not be this fancy mutipath setup we are doing here!.

What MTU do you wish to use for iSCSI vSwitches and vmknics? Before increasing
the MTU, verify the setting is supported by your NICs and network switches. [1500]: 9000
yeah yeah, leave the defaults. Except here. Jumbo is the default on the Equallogics, just not on VMware. Don’t forget to set it on your switches also.

What prefix should be used when creating VMKernel Portgroups? [iSCSI]:

What PS Group IP address would you like to add as a Send Target discovery address (optional)?:
saves you from that 5 second step in the GUI!

Configuring iSCSI networking with following settings:
Using a standard vSwitch ‘vSwitchISCSI’
Using NICs ‘vmnic1,vmnic2’
Using IP addresses ‘,’
Using netmask ‘’
Using MTU ‘9000’
Using prefix ‘iSCSI’ for VMKernel Portgroups
Using SW iSCSI initiator
Adding PS Series Group IP ‘’ to Send Targets discovery list

The following command line can be used to perform this configuration:
/home/vi-admin/setup.pl –configure –server= –vswitch=vSwitchISCSI –mtu=9000 –nics=vmnic1,vmnic2 –ips=, –netmask= –vmkernel=iSCSI –nohwiscsi –groupip=

Nice summary, and you can copy that command for your documentation plus edit it a little then run it on any other server. Nice touch E.

Do you wish to proceed with configuration? [yes]:

Configuring networking for iSCSI multipathing:
vswitch = vSwitchISCSI
mtu = 9000
nics = vmnic1 vmnic2
ips =
netmask =
vmkernel = iSCSI
nohwiscsi = 1
EQL group IP =
Creating vSwitch vSwitchISCSI.
Setting vSwitch MTU to 9000.
Creating portgroup iSCSI0 on vSwitch vSwitchISCSI.
Assigning IP address to iSCSI0.
Creating portgroup iSCSI1 on vSwitch vSwitchISCSI.
Assigning IP address to iSCSI1.
Creating new bridge.
Adding uplink vmnic1 to vSwitchISCSI.
Adding uplink vmnic2 to vSwitchISCSI.
Setting new uplinks for vSwitchISCSI.
Setting uplink for iSCSI0 to vmnic1.
Setting uplink for iSCSI1 to vmnic2.
Bound vmk2 to vmhba33.
Bound vmk3 to vmhba33.
Refreshing host storage system.
Adding discovery address to storage adapter vmhba33.
Rescanning all HBAs.
Network configuration finished successfully.
No Dell EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module found.
Continue your setup by installing the module with the –install option or through vCenter Update Manager.
[vi-admin@vMA ~]$


Pretty nifty.
As promised, it setup my switch, added the NICs and VMkernel ports:

and configured the one-to-one nic/vmkernel port relationship

and added the iSCSI target.

Works as advertised and the price is right!

Remember to reboot your host, take it out of maintenance mode and test before throwing all your production machines on it.

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