Saturday, 31 July 2010

LeftHand/Storageworks SAN/iQ NSM Fails to Boot with Non-System disk error

Scenario: A brand new HP Storageworks P4500 G2 network storage module (NSM) fails to boot out of the box.

The module cycles on

Attempting Boot From CD-ROM
Attempting Boot From Hard Drive (C:)
Attempting Boot From NIC

Non-System disk or disk error
Replace and strike any key when ready

Press “F9” key for ROM-Based Setup Utility
Press “F10” key for System Maintenance Menu

System will automatically reboot in 4_seconds

So you check all the usual suspects:

No disks in drives
Boot controller order is correct
RAID controller is seeing 3 logical drives as per usual
And no disks are showing amber or red indicator lights

The only answer is to re-image the NSM, and this is very easy:

1) Dig out the SAN/iQ Quick Recovery CD which came with the NSM and place in the CD-drive

2) Obtain the Feature Key (this can be obtained via the iLO as it will be the NIC MAC address with the lowest numerical value)

3) Obtain the License Key (if the module is brand new, this is obtained by logging into and generating a license with the entitlement number from the entitlement certificate that came with the NSM, and the Feature Key obtained above; otherwise hopefully a record of it will have been kept, if not - and there is no record of the HP Passport account the License Key was generated with - only option is to speak to HP Licensing)

4) On a USB key create a blank file with the name featurekey_MACADDRESSWITHNOCOLONSIN and inside this file (edit with notepad or whaterver) paste the License Key


File name = featurekey_1CC1DE02CAEC
File contents = 0426-1219-FC96-8958-DF52-145C-8E7C-EF42-2B74-B2CD-AAD0-D231-5D4D-65C2-227B-F177-BB56-6161-CDCB-F17A-689F-2A19-1EC9-8EE4-3EAE-53EE-814A-FCF0-A779-F4C4-2F3E-D99D-AC

5) Then boot the NSM with the Recovery CD and USB key in and it will go away and re-image itself

If there is data on the module that needs to be recovered, then the above would not be an option, as it wipes the module and places on a new image.

Note 1: Can put the USB key in later after booting off the CD when prompted; also – if do not have a USB key to hand – can manually input the License Key.

Note 2: The above scenario is very unlikely, and has happened to me only once in many LeftHand/Storageworks SAN/iQ installs.

Note 3: This procedure was done for an NSM with SAN/iQ 8.5 Recovery CD.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

How to Configure iSCSI Multipathing on ESX4i

Note: This is pretty much from but with a few pictures and small edits/additions.
1.Open VMware vCenter or point the vSphere Client to the ESX host to be configured

2.Select Host > Configuration > Networking.

3.Click Add Networking.

4.Select “Virtual Machine” to create new vSwitch for iSCSI connectivity > Next.

5.Select “Create a virtual switch” and check the box next to the VMNICs for iSCSI connectivity > Next.

6.Type a name for the new virtual switch. (e.g. iSCSI) > Next.

7.Click Finish.

(Skip 9 to 13 if you don't want to add a Service Console port to your iSCSI vSwitch)
8.Scroll down and click Properties on the newly created vSwitch.

9.Click Add button to add Service Console port.

10.Select “Service Console” > Next.

11.Type a name for the new service console port. (e.g. iSCSI Service Console) > Next.

12.Select “Use the following IP settings” and type an IP Address on the iSCSI network > Next.

13.Click Finish.

14.Click Add button to add first iSCSI VMkernel port.

15.Select “VMkernel” > Next.

16.Type a name for the first new VMkernel port (e.g. iSCSI VMkernel 1) > Next.

17.Select “Use the following IP settings” and type an IP Address on the iSCSI network > Next.

18.Click Finish.

19.Repeat Steps 14 to 18 to create additional VMkernel ports for each physical network adapter (VMNIC) to be used for iSCSI

20.Select the first VMkernel port created and click Edit.

21.Click the NIC Teaming tab and select “Override vSwitch failover order”.

22.Designate only one active adapter and move the remaining adapters to the Unused Adapters category.

23.Click OK

24.Repeat Steps 20 to 23 to map each VMkernel port to only one active adapter. Only one active adapter can exist per VMkernel port for multipathing to function properly.

25.Make sure the iSCSI Initiator is enabled in

Host > Configuration > Storage Adapters > iSCSI Software Adapter

(otherwise you’ll get an “Invalid adapter provided” error when try to bind the ports to the iSCSI hba)

26.Identify the port names for each VMkernel port created. (e.g. vmk0, vmk1)

27.Using the vSphere CLI (NOT vSphere PowerCLI), connect each VMkernel port created to the software iSCSI initiator using the esxcli command:

esxcli --server=x.x.x.x swiscsi nic add -n -d (where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the ESXi host you are configuring)

example: esxcli --server= swiscsi nic add -n vmk0 -d vmhba33

28.Repeat the esxcli command until all VMkernel ports have been connected to the software iscsi initiator.

29.Verify the VMkernel ports connections by running the esxcli command.

esxcli --server=x.x.x.x swiscsi nic list -d vmhba33

example: esxcli --server=x.x.x.x swiscsi nic list -d vmhba33

30.In Host > Configuration > iSCSI Software Adapter > Details > Devices > Manage Paths, choose Path Selection = Round Robin (VMware) and click change

(Need to do for every LUN that is connected, also when adding in new LUNs.)

Multipathing configuration is now complete!

Note 1: vmhba33 is not always the iSCSI software initiator; the vmhba number can be found from the storage adapters tab in the vSphere client.

ESX is dead, long live ESXi!

VMware vSphere 4.1 is going to be the last release of ESX; there will be no ESX 4.2. From now on it will be ESXi all the way.


1) VMware ESX. VMware vSphere 4.1 and its subsequent update and patch releases are the last releases to include both ESX and ESXi hypervisor architectures. Future major releases of VMware vSphere will include only the VMware ESXi architecture.

2) VMware recommends that customers start transitioning to the ESXi architecture when deploying VMware vSphere 4.1.


“What I don't get is how they link you to the VMware ESX to ESXi Upgrade Center and there is nothing there. Also, don' take this as a real "upgrade" per se, it's more of a side-grade. Digging a bit further and we get to the Upgrade from ESX to ESXi page which shows no real process of "upgrading". So from what I see, the only upgrade is to wipe and fresh install.”

vSphere 4.1 introduces an impressive number of new features


• Scripted Install for ESXi
• vSphere Client Removal from ESX/ESXi Builds
• Boot from SAN
• Hardware Acceleration with vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI
• Storage Performance Statistics
• Storage I/O Control
• iSCSI Hardware Offloads
• Network I/O Control.
• IPv6 Enhancements
• Load-Based Teaming
• E1000 vNIC Enhancements
• Windows Failover Clustering with VMware HA
• VMware HA Scalability Improvements
• VMware HA Healthcheck and Operational Status
• VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) Enhancements
• DRS Interoperability for VMware HA and Fault Tolerance (FT)
• Enhanced Network Logging Performance
• Concurrent VMware Data Recovery Sessions
• vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) Enhancements
• vCLI Enhancements
• Lockdown Mode Enhancements
• Access Virtual Machine Serial Ports Over the Network
• vCenter Converter Hyper-V Import
• Enhancements to Host Profiles
• Unattended Authentication in vSphere Management Assistant (vMA)
• Updated Deployment Environment in vSphere Management Assistant (vMA)
• vCenter Orchestrator 64-bit Support
• Improved Support for Handling Recalled Patches in vCenter Update Manager
• License Reporting Manager
• Power Management Improvements
• Reduced Overhead Memory
• DRS Virtual Machine Host Affinity Rules
• Memory Compression
• vMotion Enhancements
• ESX/ESXi Active Directory Integration
• Configuring USB Device Passthrough from an ESX/ESXi Host to a Virtual Machine
• Improvements in Enhanced vMotion Compatibility
• vCenter Update Manager Support for Provisioning, Patching, and Upgrading EMC’s ESX PowerPath Module
• User-configurable Number of Virtual CPUs per Virtual Socket
• Expanded List of Supported Processors
With vSphere 4.1 VMware is enriching its offering for the SMB market, adding VMotion to the Essential Plus license: