Service Profile Updating Templates with Boot from iSCSI

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Service Profile Updating Templates with Boot from iSCSI

Last updated: May 7, 2014

Diagram

Task

  • Clone the previously created service profile template, change the name of the new template to ESXi-VMFEX-iSCSI, and move it to the CUST2 org.
  • Modify the new template and delete all FC configurations.
  • Add a new vNIC that will be used to boot from iSCSI with the following parameters:
    • Obtains MAC address from the CUST2 MAC Pool
    • Uses Fabric A but fails to Fabric B
    • Transmits on VLAN 117 but does not expect the BIOS or OS to need to send Dot1Q header or VLAN ID
    • Has an MTU of 9000 bytes and the system supports it
    • Is tagged with CoS 4 and guaranteed 20% of bandwidth in times of fabric congestion
  • The iSCSI vNIC should boot from a target that is at IP address 10.0.117.25:3260, is at the target name iqn.2013-01.com.ine:storage:esxi-vmfex:1, and uses LUN 1.
  • Apply the dynamic vNIC connection policy that was created earlier that dynamically instantiates up to 20 vNICs and explicitly ensures that BIOS supports VMWare DirectPathIO on these dynamic vNICs.

Configuration

On the Servers tab in the left navigation pane, filter or navigate to Servers >> Service Profile Templates >> root org >> Sub-Organizations >> CUST1, right-click the service profile template ESXi-Initial-Temp, and click Create a Clone.

Enter the clone name ESXi-VMFEX-iSCSI and change the org to CUST2. Click OK.

Many things that may seem like limitations in UCS are actually designed with intention. For example, you cannot move service profiles or their templates from one org to another. However, you can create a clone, and that can be reassigned to a new org.

Click OK.

Select the new template in the left navigation pane. In the right pane, click the Storage tab. Select the first vHBA and click the Delete icon at the bottom.

Click Yes.

Select the second vHBA and click the Delete icon at the bottom.

Click Yes.

Click Save Changes.

Click OK.

In the right pane, click the Network tab and click Add.

Give the new vNIC a name such as iSCSI, and be sure not to use a template to create this (there have been known issues with booting from iSCSI in UCSM v2.0 when they were instantiated from a template). Choose the CUST2-MAC-Pool1. Choose Fabric A and Enable Failover. Choose VLAN 117, and be sure to mark it as a Native VLAN so that it doesn't require dot1q tagging. Change the MTU to 9000 and the QoS Policy to CoS-4_20per-BW. We will need to ensure that the system supports the 9000-byte MTU for this CoS 4 value, and we'll do that as soon as we finish doing a few more required things with this new vNIC. Change the Adapter Policy to VMWare. Click OK.

Stay on the Network tab in the right pane, and click Modify vNIC/vHBA Placement.

Select Specify Placement Manually. Select all vNICs and click assign to move them to vCon1.

Ensure that the vNIC iSCSI is the absolute last in order. This is important when booting from iSCSI to deal with an issue in some versions of VMWare ESXi. Click OK.

Click OK.

Note the changes.

Change tabs in the left navigation pane to LAN and navigate to LAN >> LAN Cloud >> QoS System Class. In the right pane, note that the CoS4 is currently set to the MTU of Normal or 1500 byte.

Change this MTU to 9000 and click Save Changes. Now the vNIC will actually support jumbo frames for iSCSI transmission.

Click OK.

Now, although it may seem like we just did this, we need to create the iSCSI vNIC. The last thing we created was just the overlay vNIC, and we'll reference it here.

On the Servers tab in the left navigation pane, filter or navigate to Servers >> Service Profile Templates >> root org >> Sub-Organizations >> CUST2, and click the new Service Profile Template ESXi-VMFEX-iSCSI. Then in the right pane, click the iSCSI vNICs tab and click Add.

Give it a name (you may call it the same thing if you like), and select the Overlay vNIC, which is the vNIC we just finished creating. Choose the default iSCSI Adapter Policy, and the same VLAN, 117. It is very important that you do not select any MAC address (the overlay vNIC already contains the mapped MAC address). Click OK.

In the right pane, click the Boot Order tab, select FC SAN Storage, and click the Delete icon at the bottom.

Click Save Changes.

Click OK.

Expand the iSCSI vNICs, select the iSCSI vNIC iSCSI, and drag it under CD-ROM.

Click Set Boot Parameters.

Leave the Authentication Profile as not set. (It is possible and often likely to encounter CHAP authentication when accessing an iSCSI target, because there is no protection like FC zoning in most iSCSI implementations and anyone with an IP stack can access the target.) For the Initiator Name Assignment, choose the ESXi-VMFEX pool that we created earlier, and for the Initiator IP Address Policy, choose the Pool pool that we also created earlier (note that the IP address will not populate until we click OK and go back into the Boot Parameters). Click +.

Enter the iSCSI target name, IP address, port, and LUN numbers as shown. Do not choose an authentication profile. Click OK.

Click OK.

Click OK.

If we go back into the Boot Parameters, we see the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway populated from the pool.

Now that we've finished with the iSCSI specifics for vNICs, we will go back to the Network tab in the right pane and create new vNICs that can be used either for VMWare Pass Through Switching (PTS) or VMWare DirectPathIO. Click Change Dynamic vNIC Connection Policy.

Choose to Use a Dynamic vNIC Connection Policy and choose the policy previously created, VMFEX-DirectPath. Click OK.

Click OK.

Notice the 20 Dynamic vNICs that are ready to be consumed using VM-FEX later.

We were told to ensure that BIOS supports VMWare DirectPathIO on these dynamic vNICs, and although most of the blade platforms support the Virtualization Technology (VT) bit that we need for DirectPathIO, we were told to explicitly ensure that they had it enabled, so we need a new BIOS Policy.

Click the Policies tab in the right pane and click Create BIOS Policy.

Give it a name. We still want it to show us storage while bootstrapping in BIOS, so we will disable Quiet Boot.

Click Processor on the left. On the right, enable Virtualization Technology (VT). Click Finish.

Click OK.

Select that new policy and click Save Changes.

Click OK.

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