With the recent experience I had on the deployment with vSphere 4 and PowerVault MD3000i, I found there are plenty of room you may able to further fine tune to improve the performance of the storage and virtual infrastructure. Before this, the initial deployment was done by default configuration without any fine tune yet, and I found that the storage performance looks  little bit slow. Therefore, I had decided to further research and fine tune everything we had to improve the performance.

Equipment List

  1. 2 x R710 with Intel 5530
  2. 2 x PowerConnect 5424
  3. MD3000i with 15 SATA Disks
  4. Software ISCSI initiator from vSphere 4

I was impressed with the functionality of the Dell PowerConnect switch which provide the important features as link aggregation, jumbo frames, ISCSI optimization and etc. Here is what I did. I had enable the jumbo frame on the specify port that connected for the storage and ISCSI connectiones. At the same time, I had also turned on the MTU configuration and jumbo frame setting from the MD3000i management console. You may need to repeat the same action for every data ports that provided by the storage controller on MD3000i. Enable the Jumbo frame and configure the MTU value of 9000 on it. On the PowerConnect switch,I had configured the specify ports on ISCSI optimization and jumbo frames enable. Now it come to the vSphere level, which I had to manually enable the ISCSI vswitch to support the jumbo frame and put in the right value for the MTU.

Command for reference

#esxcfg-vswitch -l    
This will allow you to list all the virtual switch you have on the ESX server

#esxcfg-vswitch -m 9000 vswitch1  
this command is to enable the mtu value of 9000 for every nics that connected to the same virtual switch which provide the storage access to ISCSI

#vmkping -s 9000 192.x.x.x   
test the jumbo frame setting

The outcome of the jumbo frame enable, I had able to achieve higher throughput on the MD3000i I had and I am happy with the performance of the storage.