VMware(r) Partner Validated and Supported Solution: EqualLogic, Data Center Bridging, and VMware…the Perfect Combination!

Today, Dell and the EqualLogic team are proud to announce the completion of a VMware Partner Verified and Supported Product (PVSP) solution aimed at enabling Dell and its customers to purchase and deploy EqualLogic SAN solutions with VMware that utilize the exciting new Data Center Bridging (DCB) based converged network infrastructure! 

Under this program, Dell has done extensive testing and has defined the requirements for supporting iSCSI over DCB with VMware. The PVSP program was designed by VMware to provide their partners with a forum for releasing solutions that go beyond current VMware certification programs. iSCSI over DCB is one of these advanced technology areas where VMware has not yet provided capabilities, but the PVSP program allows Dell to provide a vendor supported solution.

For more details head on over to the VMware’s PVSP web portal to read about the Dell solution, but in short, a supportable iSCSI over DCB with VMware  solution consists of the following components:

  • Dell PowerEdge Servers
    • One or more DCB capable converged network adapters that provide iSCSI connectivity in a hardware iscsi initiator mode. (This part in bold is very important)
  • EqualLogic PS Series 10GbE arrays
    • Array Firmware 6.0.2 or later
  • VMware ESXi 5.1 or later
  • Any 10GbE switch listed in the EqualLogic Compatibility Matrix with “yes” in the DCB Support column and running the firmware indicated for use with Array FW 6.0.x or later (See Figure 1 Below).

Figure 1:  Example of EqualLogic Compatibility Matrix Switches that Support DCB

Selecting components as described above, will allow anyone to build a custom designed solution to meet their VMware needs.  But, Dell has also created a ready-made virtualized solution using EqualLogic PS Series rack-based storage, PowerEdge M1000e based servers with Broadcom 57810 based CNAs with Force10 MXL and s4810 switching infrastructure to converge iSCSI storage with multiple non-storage traffic streams in support of a clustered VMware solution…fully tested and certified and ready to purchase…the Active System 800!  Over time, the Dell converged infrastructure team will continue to expand this suite of turn-key offerings as part of our expansion of the Active System family.

So, you now have a choice of offerings that will allow you to take advantage of lower cost hardware, and management while reducing the datacenter footprint through the use of Data Center Bridging.

For more information, please visit the VMware Partner Verified and Supported Product portal

About the Author: Tony Ansley