EqualLogic iSCSI Volume Connection Count ... VMware ESXi One for each VMkernel port assigned to the...

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  • A Dell EMC Technical White Paper

    PS Series iSCSI Volume Connection Count Maximum Characterization Dell EMC Engineering November 2016

  • 2 PS Series iSCSI Volume Connection Count Maximum Characterization | BP1023

    Revisions

    Date Description

    February 2012 Initial publication

    March 2012 Updates to section 5

    December 2016 Updated to reflect industry changes

    Acknowledgements

    Updated by: David Glynn

    The information in this publication is provided “as is.” Dell Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the information in this

    publication, and specifically disclaims implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

    Use, copying, and distribution of any software described in this publication requires an applicable software license.

    Copyright © 2012 - 2017 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell, EMC, and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its

    subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be the property of their respective owners. Published in the USA. [2/15/2017] [Technical White Paper] [BP1023]

    Dell EMC believes the information in this document is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice.

  • 3 PS Series iSCSI Volume Connection Count Maximum Characterization | BP1023

    Table of contents Revisions............................................................................................................................................................................. 2

    Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................................. 2

    1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................... 4

    1.1 Audience ............................................................................................................................................................. 4

    1.2 Question ............................................................................................................................................................. 4

    1.3 Results ................................................................................................................................................................ 4

    2 Overview ....................................................................................................................................................................... 5

    2.1 PS Series SAN architecture ............................................................................................................................... 5

    2.2 PS Series iSCSI connection maximums ............................................................................................................ 5

    2.3 iSCSI connection behavior ................................................................................................................................. 5

    2.3.1 Native MPIO modules ......................................................................................................................................... 6

    2.3.2 PS Series MPIO modules ................................................................................................................................... 6

    2.3.3 Volume migration and replication ....................................................................................................................... 6

    2.3.4 Storage initiator limitations ................................................................................................................................. 7

    3 Performance testing ..................................................................................................................................................... 8

    3.1 Test environment ................................................................................................................................................ 8

    3.2 Results ................................................................................................................................................................ 8

    4 Availability testing ....................................................................................................................................................... 12

    4.1 Test environment .............................................................................................................................................. 12

    5 Recommended practices ............................................................................................................................................ 13

    5.1 Calculating total iSCSI connections.................................................................................................................. 13

    5.2 Tips for reducing iSCSI connections ................................................................................................................ 14

    A Hardware diagram ...................................................................................................................................................... 15

    B Logical diagram .......................................................................................................................................................... 16

    C Solution infrastructure ................................................................................................................................................ 17

    D Vdbench parameters .................................................................................................................................................. 18

    E Additional resources ................................................................................................................................................... 19

  • 4 PS Series iSCSI Volume Connection Count Maximum Characterization | BP1023

    1 Introduction This section describes the intended audience of the paper, explains the purpose of the paper, and presents a

    summary of findings.

    1.1 Audience The information in this technical paper is intended for anyone designing, quoting, deploying, administering, or

    scaling out a Dell EMC PS Series storage solution.

    1.2 Question Because both PS Series and OS-native MPIO modules facilitate multiple, simultaneous connections to iSCSI

    volumes, the total number of iSCSI connections can be surprisingly large, even with a relatively small number

    of storage hosts, PS Series member arrays, and storage volume targets. As this paper’s topic suggests, there

    is a limit to the number of iSCSI connections for both a storage group and a storage pool at which a PS

    Series SAN configuration can operate. This paper will focus on the iSCSI connection maximum for a single

    pool. It will provide an overview of the factors involved in iSCSI connection creation, define the parameters of

    the iSCSI connection maximum, and examine whether the SAN performance and availability are affected as

    the maximum is approached.

    1.3 Results Performance testing results were very consistent, even as the number of iSCSI connections increased from

    510 to 1020. The supported maximum for this storage pool configuration is 1024. Consistency was seen in

    throughput, IOPS, and response time on different pool sizes and under various common workloads.

    Availability testing consisted of introducing a common network failure event while the PS Series SAN was

    under a moderate I/O load generated by Vdbench. This was done at different numbers of iSCSI connections

    to determine if operating near the supported maximum compromised the fault tolerance of the PS Series

    SAN. No storage volume timeouts or other anomalies were observed.

    From these results, it is clear that the PS Series SAN architecture provides consistent performance and

    availability while operating within the range of iSCSI connection quantities validated and supported by Dell

    EMC.

  • 5 PS Series iSCSI Volume Connection Count Maximum Characterization | BP1023

    2 Overview This section provides an overview of the PS Series SAN architecture and gives specific information on when

    and how iSCSI connections are made by common storage initiators.

    2.1 PS Series SAN architecture The PS Series SAN architecture enables simultaneous access from multiple storage initiators to multiple

    storage targets distributed across multiple peer storage (PS) member arrays using iSCSI, the Internet

    Protocol (IP) based storage networking standard. For high availability, each initiator can make multiple iSCSI

    connections to an individual target volume in a process called multi-pathing. Using MPIO, servers can send

    multiple I/O streams to a SAN volume concurrently. MPIO routes I/O over redundant paths that connect

    servers to storage and also manages these paths so that requests can be re-routed in the event of a failure of

    one of the components. MPIO also provides increased redundancy and improves performance of application

    data hosted on the SAN.

    In addition to the native multi-path functionality in Microsoft Windows Se