Configure Dell servers with vsphere 5.5/6.0 for Compellent SC2020 SAS connectivity

Last week I managed a new vmware infrastructure composed by 2 Dell FC630 servers, inside a FX2 chassis , and a Compellenet SC2020 with 12 GB SAS connectivity as storage .

While verifing the status of the just set up infrastructure, and still not fully configured, I noticed right away that something was not working properly about the access to the storage; first of all going to check the condition of the paths toward the only configured volume on the Compellent the algorithm used for storage access wasn't shown:

ManagePaths

Second thing, After a reboot, the servers completely lost access to the volume and, to fix this, I had to play a little’ with the masking of the lun removing the server from the cluster that was created in the management of the compellent and reinserting it.

Most likely the problem is due to a driver or by the fact that the 12 GB SAS adapter does not correctly handle the paths…. The two vsphere servers were installed with the customized Dell iso so I would expect that the drivers are all correct and already on board but after much research I find an official document that says to use drivers mpt3sas to manage connectivity to SAS compellent SC20X0 series.

  1. OK now I enabled ssh on servers and I logged into the console and, first, I checked drivers I was using at that time with the command:

esxcfg-scsidevs -a

ESX_SAS_esxcfg-scsidevs-a

in my case lsi_msgpt3…. NOT CORRECT!!!!

2) Second step: I disable the drivers:

esxcli system module set –-enabled=false –-module=lsi_msgpt3

3) Third step, I go to the vmware website (http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=ithe) and I search and download the correct drivers: “mpt3sas Version 04.00.00.00.1vmw” that you can find in this page: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=io&productid=34856&deviceCategory=io&details=1&partner=23&releases=273&deviceTypes=4&page=1&display_interval=10&sortColumn=Partner&sortOrder=Asc (attention that there might be a new version if you read this post in a few months so check for it)

4) Fourth step: I copy the downloaded drivers on the vsphere node and install them (see How to install a .vib package). Here I put a note as big as a House… the likeable person who created the package must have done something wrong and the package will not install unless you put it in the path “/var/log/vmware” so watch out!!!!!!

After drivers installation , about 30 seconds, I restarted the server and when it returns to be active I can finally see the right paths with “most recently used” as path selection!

Official Dell reference doc: http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/HOW11081

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