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Looking to purchase some dedicated 10GB switches for our iSCSI setup. Would the following setup allow us to use two switches for redundancy?

Two VMWare ESXi hosts, each with 2 10GB NIC Storage with 2 10GB NIC

If NIC1 on VMWareHost1 connects to switch1 and NIC2 on VMWareHost1 connects to switch2 (and the same setup for VMWareHost2 and Storage) how would the ESXi hosts communicate with the LAN? Do I need to add more NIC to the hosts? Or can I connect the dedicated switch to the LAN Switch and have it go through there? Would the storage server need to communicate with the LAN for any reason?

Please advise, this is my first time setting up iSCSI.

Thank you

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  • Do you already have a pair of switches for your "regular" LAN traffic? Jul 27 at 15:29
  • This is more a SF question as it's very much "how to build a storage network", which isn't very much about the "network" (IP) part. Multipathing makes things quite different for a SAN, and you don't necessarily want any routing between SAN LAN segments. (this is something much larger than most will want to document for free in a SE answer. I could swear there's a KB article or two showing a basic iSCSI setup. The last one I built took minutes to build, and hours to explain.)
    – Ricky
    Jul 28 at 11:30
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Two VMWare ESXi hosts, each with 2 10GB NIC Storage with 2 10GB NIC

Where's the storage?

how would the ESXi hosts communicate with the LAN?

The host should use dedicated NICs for LAN and SAN. For a fully redundant connection you need at least two NICs (each via a separate switch). Depending on your redundancy requirement, that means a minimum of four NICs for both LAN and SAN dual-path redundancy.

Redundant connections follow the standard "IXI" setup (hosts H1, H2, SAN switches S1, S2, SAN controllers C1, C2):

  H1   H2
   |\ /|
   | X |
   |/ \|
  S1   S2
   |\ /|
   | X |
   |/ \|
  C1   C2

With a tight budget, you could combine one of the SAN links with a LAN link (for failover only), using VLANs. As a minimum, you could use two switches - one primary for LAN and SAN failover, the other primary SAN and LAN failover.

However, the host configuration, iSCSI multipathing and failover setup is off-topic here. You should be able to get some help on Server Fault.

Just make sure that each iSCSI path uses its own IP subnet to avoid criss-cross sessions. Most initiators create a session between any of their ports and each target port in the same subnet - for a reasonable fabric you'll want a 1:1 mapping between same-speed ports.

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