iSCSI on a Dell MD3000i

My company recently got a Dell MD3000i “SAN” for a pretty good deal.  We’re starting to dabble in such things as virtualization, and the offer was too good to refuse.  The MD3000i is pretty basic.  Really it seems like just a JBOD with an iSCSI head, but it is a good way to start to play in that space.   We got it with dual controllers and about 6TB of space.

Of course it comes with an installer and for RedHat (Dell’s supported flavor), but not one for Gentoo.  So here are my tried and tested installation instructions.

On the server, you have to ensure that iSCSI support is included in the kernel.

Run make menuconfig and make certain the following options are configured:
Device Drivers --->
SCSI device support --->
[*] SCSI device support
<*> SCSI disk support
SCSI Transports --->
{M} iSCSI Transports Attributes
[*] SCSI low-level drivers --->
<M> iSCSI Initiator over TCP/IP
Cryptographic options --->
[*] Cryptographic API
<*> CRC32c CRC algorithm

Note that the Transport and Initiator MUST be built as modules.  Open-iscsi requires them to be modules and checks for the in the init script.

Emerge the packages:

emerge -av sys-block/open-iscsi sys-fs/multipath

Configure the ethernet ports.  You probably want to use multi-pathing if you can for redundancy.  In this case, the server has 4 NICs and I am using 2 and 3 (eth1 and eth2) going to two separate switches, each with connections to the two controllers on the MD3000i.  Also you want to use jumbo frames (MTU > 1500) if your switch supports it.  Make sure to also turn it on in the switch if necessary.  You also want to segregate the ip addresses of the SAN traffic to its own subnet, and VLAN if the switch carries an regular traffic.  I have not yet tackled the QOS issue on the switches, but we are not yet close to capacity so I think it should be okay.

In /etc/conf.d/net:

config_eth1=( "10.8.251.<base>/24 brd")
config_eth2=( "10.8.252.<base>/24 brd")

Edit /etc/iscsi/initiatorname.iscsi.  Note that the naming convention is iqn.<domain registration yyyy-mm>.<fqdn in reverse>:<whatever you want to make it unique inside your org>.  I use the hostname so I can easily recognize what server it is and the MAC address of the primary NIC for uniqueness.<hostname>:<hostname>.onejohn.<MAC address>

Set up /etc/multipath.conf.  Since I have two NICs outgoing, and there are two connections to each controller, and each controller is connected to each switch, so there are 4 paths to each LUN.  Multipath collapses them into another single device name that automatically switches between paths the possible paths as needed.

defaults {
        udev_dir        /dev
        polling_interval 10
        selector        "round-robin 0"
        path_grouping_policy group_by_prio
        getuid_callout  "/lib/udev/scsi_id -g -u -d /dev/%n"
        prio_callout    "/sbin/mpath_prio_rdac /dev/%n"
        path_checker    rdac
        hardware_handler "1 rdac"
        rr_min_io       1000
        rr_weight       priorities
        failback        10
        #no_path_retry  queue
        user_friendly_names no

blacklist {
        devnode "^(ram|raw|loop|fd|md|dm-|sr|scd|st)[0-9]*"
        devnode "^hd[a-z][[0-9]*]"
        devnode "^sda[0-9]*$"     # make sure all local scsi disks are here
        devnode "^cciss!c[0-9]d[0-9]*[p[0-9]*]"
        wwid 360026b90004b6c4a0000036c4b1aadf0
        device {
                vendor "DELL    "
                product "Universal Xport*"

multipaths {

devices {
        device {
                vendor                  "DELL    "   # get from `cat /sys/block/sdab/device/vendor > /tmp/sanvend`.  Spaces are important
                product                 "MD3000i         "   # get from `cat /sys/block/sdab/device/model > /tmp/sanmodel`.  Spaces are important
                path_grouping_policy    multibus
                getuid_callout          "/lib/udev/scsi_id -g -u -d /dev/%n"
                prio_callout            "/sbin/mpath_prio_rdac %d"
                path_checker            rdac
                path_selector           "round-robin 0"
                failback                10
                rr_min_io       1000

Update the /etc/udev/rules.d/66-kpartx.rules and change the name to 66-rkgkpartx.rules so it isn’t overwritten:

--- multipath-tools-0.4.8/kpartx/kpartx.rules   2007-08-02 17:05:37.000000000 -0400
+++ /etc/udev/rules.d/66-rkgkpartx.rules        2010-01-06 16:10:32.000000000 -0500
@@ -7,7 +7,7 @@
 KERNEL!="dm-*", GOTO="kpartx_end"
 ACTION=="remove", GOTO="kpartx_end"

-ENV{DM_TABLE_STATE}!="LIVE", GOTO="kpartx_end"
+ENV{DM_TABLE_LIVE}!="1", GOTO="kpartx_end"

 ENV{DM_UUID}=="?*", IMPORT{program}=="/lib/udev/kpartx_id %M %m $env{DM_UUID}"

@@ -18,7 +18,7 @@

 # Create persistent links for dmraid tables
-ENV{DM_UUID}=="mpath-*", \
+ENV{DM_UUID}=="dmraid-*", \

 # Create persistent links for partitions
@@ -26,10 +26,10 @@

 # Create dm tables for partitions
-ENV{DM_STATE}=="ACTIVE", ENV{DM_UUID}=="mpath-*", \
-        RUN+="/sbin/kpartx -a -p -part /dev/$kernel"
-ENV{DM_STATE}=="ACTIVE", ENV{DM_UUID}=="dmraid-*", \
-        RUN+="/sbin/kpartx -a -p -part /dev/$kernel"
+ENV{DM_STATUS}=="ACTIVE", ENV{DM_UUID}=="mpath-*", \
+        RUN+="/sbin/kpartx -a -p '' /dev/$kernel"
+ENV{DM_STATUS}=="ACTIVE", ENV{DM_UUID}=="dmraid-*", \
+        RUN+="/sbin/kpartx -a -p '' /dev/$kernel"


Start iscsid and multipathd:

/etc/init.d/iscsid start
/etc/init.d/multipathd start

If iscsid complains about “No Records Found!”, try starting it again until “rc-status -a | grep iscsid” shows it running.

Create the interfaces:

iscsiadm -m iface -I iface0 --op=new
iscsiadm -m iface -I iface0 --op=update -n iface.hwaddress -v <MAC address of eth1>
iscsiadm -m iface -I iface1 --op=new
iscsiadm -m iface -I iface1 --op=update -n iface.hwaddress -v <MAC address of eth2>

In the Modular Disk Storage Manager, go to Configure/Configure Host Access (Manual) and enter the host name and Linux as the OS. On the next screen it should show up under Known iSCSI initiators. Add it, and hit Next. Choose “No: This host will NOT share access…”, hit next and Finish.

On the server, discover the targets:

iscsi_discovery -m

Log into the discovered targets:

iscsiadm -m node -T -l

Set the nodes that can be logged into to automatic:

iscsiadm -m node -T -p,3260 -I iface0 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic
iscsiadm -m node -T -p,3260 -I iface0 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic
iscsiadm -m node -T -p,3260 -I iface1 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic
iscsiadm -m node -T -p,3260 -I iface1 -o update -n node.startup -v automatic

Create partitions on the SAN. Tell iscsid to rescan:

iscsiadm -m node -R

Get the target wwids from multpath

multipath -d

In the multipaths section of /etc/multipath.conf add them:

        multipath {
                wwid    360024b90004b6caa000003834b88c49d # from the multpath -d output
                alias   foo     # fix to a nice name

Fdisk and format the new partition

fdisk /dev/mapper/foo
mkfs.xfs /dev/mapper/foo1

Add them to fstab:

/dev/mapper/foo1       /mnt/foo     xfs     _netdev,noatime  0 2

Create /etc/init.d/iscsi-mount


depend() {
        need iscsid multipathd
        before mysql  # fix to whatever dependencies there are.

start() {
        ebegin "Mounting _netdev devices"
        sleep 3
        # make sure multipaths are loaded and settled
        /bin/mount -a -O _netdev -v
        eend $?

stop() {
        ebegin "Unmounting _netdev devices"
        /bin/umount -a -O _netdev -v
        eend $?

restart() {

and make it executable:

chmod a+x /etc/init.d/iscsi-mount

Add them to default startup:

rc-update add iscsid default
rc-update add multipath default
rc-update add iscsi-mount default

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5 Responses to “iSCSI on a Dell MD3000i”

  1. mv Says:

    Very helpfull. Thank You 🙂

  2. chris Says:

    Hi, thanks for this article it really helped me to get things started.
    I still have some problems with my multipath configuration. Could you send me the output of your multipath -ll ? Mine looks like:
    md3000i_file_service_1 (36001c23000b970ea000003654cb403ec) dm-0 ,
    \_ round-robin 0 [prio=0][active]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdf 8:80 [active][undef]
    \_ #:#:#:# sde 8:64 [active][undef]
    \_ round-robin 0 [prio=0][enabled]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdc 8:32 [active][undef]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdd 8:48 [active][undef]

    I was wondering if it is normal that there is no device name in the end of the first line, like I saw in different other posts. Also I am not sure if all the udev rules work as expected, because I have lvm2 installed as well.

  3. john Says:

    Here is one of mine:
    databasepv (360026b90004b6c4a0000088e4cc82414) dm-3 ,
    \_ round-robin 0 [prio=6][active]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdd 68:48 [active][ready]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdf 68:80 [active][ready]
    \_ round-robin 0 [prio=0][enabled]
    \_ #:#:#:# sdc 68:32 [active][ghost]
    \_ #:#:#:# sde 68:64 [active][ghost]

    So I do not have a device name either. I suspect that better SANs might push those name, but have not tried one yet so I don’t know for sure.

    With LVM installed, I have sometimes run into issues with iSCSI trying to shut down before LVM does, but LVM keeping a lock on the volume so iSCSI is not able to shut down properly. Then LVM can’t flush its buffers, and the system hangs on shutdown or reboot. The only solution I’ve found is to issue a “dmsetup remove vg” on all volume groups on the iSCSI lun before shutting down. In Gentoo, that can go in /etc/init.d/local.stop.

  4. john Says:

    Since you made your comment I have done some more investigation. It seems that
    multipath-tools 0.4.8 was built for an old version of sysfs and was
    looking in the wrong location for the vendor and model (and some other
    stuff). Upgrading to 0.4.9-r1 fixes it. In portage 0.4.9-r1 is still
    masked so if you are using Gentoo you will need to ~ keyword it for your
    arch in /etc/portage/package.keywords.

    Here is the new output showing the vendor and model. Also note the
    pretty new ASCII art lines:
    test1 (360026b90004b6c4a00000d334ce13319) dm-4 DELL,MD3000i
    size=700G features=’3 queue_if_no_path pg_init_retries 50′ hwhandler=’1
    rdac’ wp=rw
    |-+- policy=’round-robin 0′ prio=6 status=active
    | |- 16:0:0:0 sdb 8:16 active ready running
    | `- 15:0:0:0 sdd 8:48 active ready running
    `-+- policy=’round-robin 0′ prio=1 status=enabled
    |- 17:0:0:0 sdc 8:32 active ghost running
    `- 18:0:0:0 sde 8:64 active ghost running

  5. Drew Sprandel Says:

    Some truly interesting details you have written.Assisted me a lot, just what I was looking for :D.

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