Test Lab – Day 3 ESXi 4.1 Setup with Xsigo, NFS, and the ix12

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During Day 1 and 2 we installed the Xsigo hardware, IOMega ix12, ESXi 4.1, interconnected hardware, and ensure it all communicated well.

Today’s Goals…

  • Copy vCenter Server & other VM’s from Production to this test environment
  • Configure ESXi with the Xsigo vNIC’s
  • Setup the ix12 to communicate via NFS to the ESX Hosts

Day 3 Overview…

On Day 2 we configured the Xsigos to present vNIC’s to the ESXi hosts. This will allow for network and storage (NFS) traffic in our test lab.

Keep in mind the ESXi test network is an isolated network. However I plan to transfer clones of a pre-made vm’s by placing a Test ESXi Host out and in of the test environment..

Today I’ll setup the ESXi hosts to talk to the new vCenter Server and get it communicating with our IOMega Shared storage


Copy vCenter Server & other VM’s from Production to this test environment…

Currently the ESXi Management NIC’s are using the Xsigo vNICs (xna, xnb) for host communication.

However I need to swap ESXi Management Network to a different network so I can transfer a VM clone to its local storage.

The vm clone I’m transferring is a pre-made vCenter Server 4.1 and when transferred it will assist us with configuration.

Basically I am swapping which vCenter Server controls the Test ESXi host by changing the Management NIC from Test to Production and back.


The Swap…

In this step I am selecting the local onboard pNIC (vmnic0) as the Management NIC and deselecting the Xsigo vNIC’s (Xsigo_xna & xnb) from the ESXi host.

This will place the host in a network that will allow for the clone transfer.

  • From the ESXi host press F2 to ‘Customize System’
  • Logon as root
  • Choose Configure Management Network
  • Choose Network Adapters
  • Select vmnic0 as the Management NIC and disconnect all others
  • Save up and it should restart the Management Network

Once I have selected the appropricate pNIC as my management adapter, I attached this ESXi host to the other vCenter Server, and then transfer the VM clone to the local VMFS storage.

Once the VM is transferred I configured its networking adapters to adapt to the new test network and powered up the VM.

I logged in to the VM and ensure it is operational.

With the VM still powered up I transferred the Management Network back to the Xsigo vNIC’s and then RDP into the cloned vCenter Server.

Tip: Make sure you know your local Administrator password. After the transfer AD won’t be around for authentication.


Configure ESXi with the Xsigo vNIC’s…

Once the test vCenter Server is booted, I completed the IP setup of the other ESXi test hosts ensuring their management networks were using their assigned Xsigo_xna and xnb adapters.

I then attached all the ESXi Test Hosts to the test vCenter server and configured their networking.

Here is what ESXi looks like when all the adapters are recognized..

NOTE: the Xsigo adapters are showing 10gig Full. You might be asking yourself “I thought Infiniband was faster than 10gig” It is, we’ll address this note later in my posts..


The next step is to create your vSwitches…

I created vSwitch0 for VM’s, vMotion, and Host Management and vSwitch1 for NFS traffic to my storage.

XNA and XNB will be connected to vSwitch0

XSA and XSB will be connected to vSwitch1

NOTE: As of this writing Xsigo supports vSwitches only, sorry no Distributed Switches at this time.


Setup the IOmega ix12 to communicate via NFS to the ESX Hosts…

First step is to ensure your ix12 is online and the network is functioning properly.

After confirming the network logon to its web admin tool, choose settings, network services, and then network settings.

We choose link aggregation, ensure the IP was correct, and bonded NIC 3 and 4 on this ix12.

Tip: One cool thing about the ix12 is we can allocate NICs for different functions, in this case NIC3 & 4 is for our esxi test environment and nic1 is for another purpose.

Note: By changing the network information usually means a reboot of the device L


I logged into my ESXi host, placed it in Techsupport mode and used ping to test ix12 interface.

Once the network was sound, I enabled NFS on the ix12 and setup a NFS folder


Yes folks, it’s that easy to enable NFS on the ix12…

The only step not show here was setting up a storage pool for NFS and associating the shared folder to it.


Back to ESXi… Let’s setup the NFS Connection…

In vCenter server simply click on the host > Configuration > Storage > Add Storage

A new window appears, choose Network File System then next

Fill in the IP of the ix12, the folder name, and datastore name > click next

Confirm and you’re done!


Next steps are to use Storage vMotion (aka Migrate Virtual Machines datastore) the Test vCenter Server from local storage to our new NFS Share..

When I completed this step we transferred about 40GB from the local ESXi storage to the IOMega ix12 in about 20Mins.



Today was mainly about configuring ESXi and shared storage.

We were able setup all our ESXi hosts to the Xsigo, configured the shared storage, enable NFS and get a vCenter Server VM up and running.

Tomorrow the fun begins… Testing and more Testing!






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