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Configuring a PowerConnect 5424 or 5448 Switch for use with an iSCSI storage system

This document can be used to help configure a Dell™ PowerConnect™ 5424 or 5448 switch for use with an Internet SCSI (iSCSI) storage system. It was created by Tom from our iSCSI interoperability lab for a customer using a Dell PowerVault™ MD3000i; however, it applies to any other iSCSI storage device on this family of switches.


  • The user has network administration experience.
  • Newest switch firmware is running; at the time this document was created, firmware version was used.
  • If running on an older version, download the package from the Dell support site and follow the upgrade directions.
  • Examples here are from the console serial port on the rear of the switch.

Configuration Instructions

console> show version
SW version ( date 27-Jan-2009 time 18:13:34 )
Boot version ( date 12-Nov-2008 time 12:56:52 )
HW version 00.00.01

Next, to have a known starting point, delete the current startup configuration and reboot the switch to return the switch to the factory default configuration.

console> enable
console# delete startup-config
Delete startup-config [y/n]? y

console# reload
You haven’t saved your changes. Are you sure you want to continue ? (Y/N)[N] y
This command will reset the whole system and disconnect your current session. Do you want to continue ? (Y/N)[N] y
Shutting down …

When the switch prompts you for the setup wizard, say no. You need to choose an appropriate IP address, mask, and gateway for your network. In the future, you can use Telnet to manage the switch instead of the console serial port.

Would you like to enter the setup wizard (you must answer this question within
60 seconds)? (Y/N)[Y] N

console> enable
console# configure
console(config)# port jumbo-frame
console(config)# spanning-tree mode rstp
console(config)# interface range ethernet g1-24
console(config-if)# flowcontrol on
console(config-if)# spanning-tree portfast
console(config-if)# exit
console(config)# interface vlan 1
console(config-if)# sntp client enable
console(config-if)# ip address
console(config-if)# exit
console(config)# ip default-gateway
console(config)# enable password level 15 xxxxxx
console(config)# line telnet
console(config-line)# password xxxxxx
console(config-line)# exit

This configuration gives you a good working switch for your back-end iSCSI network. Since this is a back-end network, there won’t be any VoIP traffic, and you can remove this stuff from the default configuration.

console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 00036b
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 00096e
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 0001e3
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 000fe2
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 0060b9
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 00d01e
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 00e075
console(config)# voice vlan oui-table remove 00e0bb


And again, since this is a back-end iSCSI network, you really have no need to prioritize iSCSI; (there is no other traffic) and you can remove this stuff too.

console(config)# no iscsi enable
console(config)# no iscsi target port 860
console(config)# no iscsi target port 3260

Now that you have finished the configuration, copy the running configuration to Flash. You will need to reboot for the jumbo frame command to take effect.

console# copy running-config startup-config
Overwrite file [startup-config] ?[Yes/press any key for no] y ….01-Jan-2000 00:04:10 %COPY-I-FILECPY: Files Copy – source URL running-config destination URL flash://startup-config
01-Jan-2000 00:04:17 %COPY-N-TRAP: The copy operation was completed successfully
Copy succeeded
console# reload
This command will reset the whole system and disconnect your current session. Do you want to continue ? (Y/N)[N] y
Shutting down …

You may want to add a few more creative things to your configuration to customize it to your environment, but add them one at a time and then test.

Obtained from this link


Configuring Dell PowerConnect 6224 Switches for iSCSI traffic to a Compellent

This is the second time I have set up a Compellent, and this time I figured I would go all the way down the rabbit’s hole and delve into switch optimization for iSCSI traffic. My last project was with Cisco switches, this time, it’s with Dell. A pair of PowerConnect 6224 switches to be precise… main reason being, Dell purchased Compellent not long ago, so like-products, yadda yadda. Alas, I digress.

In previous talks with Compellent, I was give the ’10 commandments’ of switch configuration from at least two different representatives upon having iSCSI issues. These commandments roughly consisted of:

• Gigabit Full Duplex connectivity between Storage Center and all local Servers
• Auto-Negotiate for all switches that will correctly negotiate at Gigabit Full Duplex
• Gigabit Full Duplex hard set for all iSCSI ports, for both Storage Center and Servers for switches that do not correctly negotiate
• Bi-Directional Flow Control enabled for all Switch Ports that servers or controllers are using for iSCSI traffic.
• Bi-Directional Flow Control enabled for all Server Ports used for iSCSI (Storage Center and QLogic HBA’s automatically enable it).
• Bi-Directional Flow Control enabled for all ports that handle iSCSI traffic. This includes all devices in between two sites that are used for replication.
• Separate VLAN for iSCSI.
• Two separate networks or VLANs for multipathed iSCSI.
• Two separate IP subnets for the seperate networks or VLANs in multipathed iSCSI.
• Unicast storm control disabled on every switch that handles iSCSI traffic.
• Multicast disabled at the switch level for any iSCSI VLANs.
o Multicast storm control enabled (if available) when multicast can not disabled.
• Broadcast disabled at the switch level for any iSCSI VLANs.
o Broadcast storm control enabled (if available) when broadcast can not disabled.
• Routing disabled between regular network and iSCSI VLANs.
• Do not use Spanning Tree (STP or RSTP) on ports which connect directly to end nodes (the server or Compellent controllers iSCSI ports.) If you must use it, enable the Cisco PortFast option on these ports so that they are configured as edge ports.
• Ensure that any switches used for iSCSI are of a non-blocking design.
• When deciding which switches to use, remember that you are running SCSI traffic over it. Be sure to use a quality managed enterprise class networking equipment. It is not recommended to use SBHO (small business/home office) class equipment outside of lab/test environments.
• Verify optimal MTU for replications. Default is 1500 but sometimes WAN circuits or VPNs can create additional overhead which can cause packet fragmentation. This fragmentation can suboptimal performance. The MTU is adjustable via the GUI in 5.x Storage Center Firmware.
For Jumbo Frame Support
• Some switches have limited buffer sizes and can only support Flow Control or Jumbo Frames, but not both at the same time. Compellent strongly recommends choosing Flow Control.
• All devices connected through iSCSI need to support 9k jumbo frames.
• All devices used to connect iSCSI devices need to support it.
o This means every switch, router, WAN Accelerator and any other network device that will handle iSCSI traffic needs to support 9k Jumbo Frames.
• If the customer is not 100% positive that every device in their iSCSI network supports 9k Jumbo Frames, then they should NOT turn on Jumbo Frames.
• QLogic 4010 series cards (Early Compellent iSCSI Cards) do not support Jumbo Frames.
o In the Storage Center GUI default screen, expand the tree in the following order Controllers->SN#(for the controller)->IO Cards->iSCSI->Highlight the port and the general tab should list the model number in the description.
• Because devices on both sides (server and SAN) need Jumbo Frames enabled, the change to enable to disable Jumbo Frames is recommended during a maintenance window. If servers have it enabled first, the Storage Center will not understand their packets. If Storage Center enables it first, servers will not understand its packets.

Okay, so it was more than 10. Anyway, all that roughly distills down to the following needs:

1) Set spanning-tree mode rstp and enable portfast on all ports, or disable spanning-tree all together.
2) Enable jumbo frame support on all iSCSI ports
3) Disable unicast storm-control on all iSCSI ports
4) Enable multicast storm-control on all iSCSI ports
5) Enable broadcast storm-control on all iSCSI ports
6) Enable flow control

For each switch, the commands are different… but for Dell PowerConnect 6224 in particular, these needs translated into the following commands (in order, considering I used ports 1-12 for iSCSI)

spanning-tree mode rstp
interface 1/g1-1/g12
spanning-tree portfast
mtu 9216
no storm-control unicast
storm-control multicast
storm-control broadcast

That was it, switch optimized, on we go!

Obtained from this link

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Última actualización 09/06/2024 19:10