This post will cover the integration of a Nimble Storage Fibre Channel array in a VMware ESXi environment. The steps are fairly similar to integrating a Nimble iSCSI array but there are some more FC specific settings which need to be set.
First, go ahead and create a new volume on your array. Go to Manage -> Volumes and click on New Volume. Specify the Volume Name, Description and select the proper Performance Policy for proper block alignment. Next, select the initiator group which has the information of your ESXi host. If you don’t have an initiator group yet, click on New Initiator Group.
Name your new initiator group and specify the WWNs of your ESXi hosts. This will allow your hosts to connect to the newly created volume.
Also, specify a unique LUN ID. In this case, I have assigned LUN ID 87.
Next, specify the size and reservation settings for the volume.
Specify any protection schedule if required and click on Finish to create the volume.
Now, the volume is created on the array and your initiators are set-up to allow connection from your FC HBA on the host to connect.
After a rescan of the FC HBA, I can see my LUN with the ID 87.
Looking at the path details for LUN 87, you can 8 paths (2HBA’s x 4 Target Ports). The PSP should be set to NIMBLE_PSP_DIRECTED.
I have 4 Active(I/O) paths and 4 Standby paths. The Active(I/O) paths are going to the active controller and the Standby paths are for the standby controller.
On the array I can now see all 8 paths under Manage -> Connections.
The volume can now be used as a Raw Device Map or a Datastore. Those were all steps required to get your FC array connected to the an ESXi host, once your zones on your FC switches are configured.
Some of the images have been provided by Rich Fenton, one of Nimble’s Sales Engineer from UK.