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Creating an ESX VI3 cluster

I need to get an ESX VI3 cluster up and running quickly for testing next week and around here, test boxes become production. I want to configure the SAN and disks correctly the first time before we get stuck. We already have purchased two MSA 1500CS SAN kits. The dual fabric SAN is up and running with dual paths and default fixed zoning. The MSA's have the new firmware and are running in Active/Active mode connected to two disk cages each. Preferred Path Mode in the ACU is manual with arrays in each disk cage on separate controllers. The LUNS on the ESX hosts are configured as fixed paths with the preferred paths matching up to the MSA's. I've gotten this far thanks to VMware Technology Network and the VMware links page.

So is this a valid setup? Any potential problems with this configuration? We will start off with 2 ESX hosts and expand that to 4 as we virualize the 40 servers in our data center.

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The setup looks good, but there is one note I should make. The MSA QuickSpecs at the HP website does not mention NPIV support. This means that you will be not be able to zone a LUN directly to a VM; instead you are forced to zone a LUN only so far as the ESX server, a potential security risk.

This was first published in March 2008

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