Number of NICs for iSCSI

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Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jakesterpdx » Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:12 pm

I’m creating a new Hyper-V based infrastructure with some new servers that have 8 gigabit NIC ports each, and I’m trying to decide how to allocate them. The setup will be a simple 2-node Hyper-V 2012 cluster hosting about 30-50 VMs. I’ve got 2 switches with a 10gb backplane. I’m thinking of either allocating 2 or 3 NICs for iSCSI traffic and the rest for the LAN/Live Migration (with QoS, of course). I'm planning on doing onhost backups from a VM.

Any thoughts on the benefits of 2 vs 3 NICs?
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby Gostev » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:11 am

Keep in mind that on-host backup is performed through the management interface. Two 10Gb NICs should be plenty for the management interface though.
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jakesterpdx » Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:05 pm

That would be great if I had 10Gb, but I don't. I have a 10Gb backplane between the switches, but that's the only 10Gb connection I have. Everything else is 1Gb.
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jorgene » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:18 pm

Hi,

I would set up:
2xGB Nic for management & Backup Network
2xGB Nic for Live Migration Network (or use one 10GB nic here)
2xGB for ISCSI (If you use ISCSI and ex. HP Lefthand DSM for MPIO, remember you CANNOT team ISCSI interface, DSM for MPIO will resolve path for you)
2xGB Nic dedicated Hyper-V interface (VLANS or Dedicated Nic's for VM's)

Separate Management/ISCSI and Livemigration traffic on different switches. If you run all on the same switch it's a total disaster if the switch fail.

(on iscsi network you could also have two separate switches for redundance)
Set priority to Live migration Network First, disable livemigration traffic on iscsi network(keep this network clean from other traffic)
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jakesterpdx » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:05 pm

Unfortunately I only have 2 switches, but I'm using VLANs to separate the iSCSI traffic from the rest. I'm teaming all non-iSCSI NICs together and applying QoS. The advantage to this is that Live Migrations can use most of the entire team for migrations, rather than be limited to 2Gb/s.

My primary question remains: how much benefit,specifically for backups, will I get in using 3 NICs for iSCSI vs 2 NICs?
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jorgene » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:04 am

There are alot of parameters here:

1. What type of SAN ISCSI Solutions do you have? (and can that SAN ISCSI solutions benefit for multiple ISCSI Nics on the hosts as well as how many NIc's does the SAN boxes have in total)
2. What type of Teaming are you planning to use on the Management and Live Migration Network (LCAP or W2012 Switch independent?)
Note: if you use W2012 Nic teaming switch independent it can Send data out on multiple IF but only recieve data on one IF.
If you have only 2Nics on your SAN Box you won't benefit using 3 iscsi nic's on the Hyper-V Hosts. And if you have 3iscsi nics and 2 for management, your bottle will be the management during backups.
3. Total IOPS/data transfer of the SAN BOX? (if it cannot deliver data fast enough you won't benefit with more nic's either way)
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Re: Number of NICs for iSCSI

Veeam Logoby jakesterpdx » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:21 pm

1. I have an EqualLogic PS6100XS - on each of its 2 controllers, it has 4 1gb NIC ports dedicated for iSCSI, and another port for management, and it's configured for MPIO.
2. What's an IF? I've been experimenting with different teaming options. I seem to get the best performance with Static Teaming, but I haven't finished testing yet.
3. It's a beast - it's easily capable of 50k+ IOPS since it has 7 SSD drives and 17 10k drives.
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