ESXi and EMC CLARiiON registration issue

A collegue of mine, John Grinwis, pointed out a bug within a combination of ESXi, host profiles and an EMC CLARiiON: At some point the ESXi nodes swap their VMkernel ports and the CLARiiON then proceeds to register the wrong network as the management network

UPDATE: There now is a workaround available. Please visit Workaround: ESXi and EMC CLARiiON registration issue

There appears to be a bug somewhere in vSphere 4.1 host profiles (I’ve been told by Duco Jaspars vSphere 4.0 is ok): The hosts in this situation have two VMkernel ports: management and VMotion. A pretty ordinary setup I’d say. But at some point the host profiles managed to mix up the VMKernel port numbers:

correct one:

C:Program FilesVMwareVMware vSphere CLIbin> --server x.y.z.45 -list

Interface Port Group/DVPort IP Family IP Address
vmk0 Management Network IPv4 x.y.z.45
vmk1 VMotion IPv4 m.n.p.24

incorrect one:

C:Program FilesVMwareVMware vSphere CLIbin> --server x.y.z.44 -list

Interface Port Group/DVPort IP Family IP Address
vmk0 VMotion IPv4 m.n.p.23
vmk1 Management Network IPv4 x.y.z.44

You can clearly see, that the incorrect node has its Management and VMotion VMKx numbers reversed. This causes a connected CLARiiON to negotiate the wrong management IP address:
CLARiiON registers the wrong IP addresses after applying host profiles on ESXi

This raises another issue though. Because one can discuss about where this error comes from exactly.

  • You could blame the host profiles, but then again, why should VMK0 always be the management interface?
  • You could blame the CLARiiON, because it just uses VMK0 instead of the real management interface. But then again, what to do if you configure two VMkernels for management?
  • You could blame the VMware-CLARiiON interfacing logic. I guess that would be the right one, somewhere you simply NEED to configure which VMkernel interface should be used by the Clariion…

I hope VMware/EMC fixes this issue soon; host profiles are simply toooo easy πŸ™‚

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