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New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2015

Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

Hi,

 

I'm trying to set up a hyper-v cluster (2012R2), and the server hardware happens to come with 4 HBAs.

 

What I'm looking to do is trunk two of these together per host to go to fabric A, and the other two to trunk to fabric B

I have two Brocade 5100s that form the ISL edge SAN switches for the server hosts to connect to.

 

Is it possible to trunk N-port pairs like this and have them understood by the switch F-ports?

If so, how?

 

Valued Contributor
Posts: 528
Registered: ‎03-20-2011

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

What do you mean by "trunk"?

F-port trunking is possible, can be setup between the AG ports and the connected switch ports.

It also can be setup between HBA ports and the connected switch ports. But there are limitations. First of all, HBA has to support that feature. Brocade HBAs used to support that. Then, trunking is ASIC based feature, therefore it has to run between a pair of ASICs. What it means w.r.t. HBA - that should be a multi-ported HBA, e.g. dual-ported HBA. I haven't heard about any possibility to set it up between two independent HBAs on the host side and two respective switch ports.

Why don't you want to just setup four independent links between your host and the SAN and let multipathing software balance the I/O traffic between them?
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎10-12-2015

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

Hi,

 

Just to clarify, we have two dual-port Emulex lpe16000 HBAs in each server. At the moment we're only skillful enough to utilize one of the HBAs (connect one port to fabric-A edge switch, connect the other port to fabric-B edge switch.)

 

What we want to do is utilize both HBAs, so that two ports of one HBA go to fabric-A switch and two ports of the other HBA go to fabric-B switch.

If we did manage to set things up like this, would it increase our host bandwidth to the switch, or only provide some kind of active-passive HA setup?

Ideally we'd like to see it be able to increase bandwidth with built in redundancy (A bit like LACP, but with fibre)

 

The next question is, if it is possible, what steps could I be pointed to on the Brocade switch side to set this up?

Is it F-port trunking?

 

Thanks

External Moderator
Posts: 4,810
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

Naynayphee,

 

to clarify:

 

the definition of "Trunk/Trunking" is a Feature to bundle more than TWO Ports on Switch Port Side!

 

if you want to bundle TWO HBA Port's - like Port Teaming by Ethernet - , this is called "Port Bundling"

 

Now, if I understand correct you request, you want to Bundle i.e Port_0 from HBA_1 with Port_0 from HBA_2 ???

 

I believe this Features is not supported, however you should open a case with Emulex to get correct info.

TechHelp24
Regular Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎10-13-2015

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

[ Edited ]

I'm quite comfortable bundling dual-ports per HBA together if it gets me bandwidth increases.

Otherwise it's starting to sound like having two HBAs with all four ports plugged into and shared between the edge SAN switches is not going to get me very much, except maybe more redundancy as MPIO does it's thing.

 

In any case, is there any special Brocade commands needed to be run on the ports to support this? Or port bundling?

External Moderator
Posts: 4,810
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

ersasysteam,

 

well, either I don't understand your question, or we are talking about two different things.

 

--->>>I'm quite comfortable bundling dual-ports per HBA

 

the Topic Owner, ask for Bundle TWO Port from TWO different HBA, and not "per HBA"

 

--->>>In any case, is there any special Brocade commands needed to be run on the ports to support this? Or port bundling?

 

no one on Switch Port's Side

TechHelp24
Valued Contributor
Posts: 528
Registered: ‎03-20-2011

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

When Ethernet guys start doing SAN, that's a disaster Smiley Happy [ I must admit that the opposite might also be true Smiley Wink ]

> having two HBAs with all four ports plugged into and shared between the edge SAN switches is not going to get me very much, except maybe more redundancy as MPIO does it's thing.

No, MPIO, if it is well configured (on the host side!) will distribute the I/O between all the available SAN paths equally, or almost equally. So this will give your host an adequate performance increase, if it is required. And NO, this doesn't need any special Brocade commands, as well as any form of "trunking" and/or "bundling".

As said earlier, F-port trunking used to be supported between Brocade branded multiport HBAs running in NPIV mode, if all ports of this HBA are plugged into the same trunk group on a connected switch. In theory, this would give a subtle availability increase in addition to performance increase, but I've never seen this configured in my life and I consider this setup exotic.
Valued Contributor
Posts: 528
Registered: ‎03-20-2011

Re: Can I trunk multiple HBAs on one host to two fabrics on a pair of edge switches?

Naynayphee, right now you already use two independent paths from your host to your storage devices, right? Do you see that both paths are in a real use with traffic?

If yes, MPIO is already doing the job. If not, then you need to take care of the MPIO configuration. (Presumed that zoning on the switches and LUN mapping/masking on the storage side is correct - as this is also important for the basic visibility between the devices)

So, if yes, I mean - if MPIO is already doing well, nothing stops you from adding two more paths between your host and your storage. As soon as the devices will be recognized in the OS, MPIO will start balancing the I/O requests between four paths instead of two paths. Again, this doesn't need any special configuration on HBAs, switches and storage (apart from the basic connectivity/access/visibility, as already said) - in most cases, this doesn't even require host reboot, as most major OSes are able to recognize newly added devices on the flight.

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