This step by step guide will show an install of a Single Dell R710 server with a MD3200i as I am currently working on a Disaster Recovery solution for the Main Setup which I did about 1 year ago and is already in a live environment and consists of 2 x Dell R710 and a MD3200i. I will explain this guide as if I was doing a 2 server setup but will only be able to show screenshots for 1 server as that’s all i have available 🙂

All R710 Servers are using 2 x E5645 Intel Xeon Processor 6 Cores with 128GB of in each Server. Each server has 4 on-board Broadcom NICs (ideal for iSCSI) and also an extra 4 port Intel NIC for Management and Normal Traffic Flow.

Anyway there is lots of ways to initially install ESXi and on my Main Setup i setup 2 x Boot 10GB Boot LUNS and booted via iSCSI but in this example I will be using a 4GB USB Stick installed internally to the R710 chassis shown in Red Below:


There is lots of debate about USB vs ISCSI or booting locally from a Hard Disk. Each to their own on this and I have used all solutions and they all work perfectly well. Boot from iSCSI is a bit more complicated to setup. Will create a guide on this when I next do maintenance on the other hosts.

Right burn yourself a copy of VMWARE ESXi .iso and then put it into the server and install to the USB Stick. NOTE: You need to enable Virtualization on the Server before you try the install or it will fail.

Once installed restart the Server and you will then need to login using root and the password you specified during install. Once logged in there isnt really much to do or see but its best to configure 1 of Intel NIC ports to be the Management Port and this will be changed later on when you get vSphere installed (failover etc)

In this Example I will set the First port of the Intel NICS to

In an ideal installation you want to install VSPHERE and Dell Storage Manager on a Management server. I have another Dell R710 server which is the BACKUP server that connects to the Tape Libraries and on top of that I have a virtual Server that has all the software installed needed. In the example I have the Dell Storage Manager and the VSPHERE Client installed onto my laptop which I can use to setup until I move the Server to the Datacentre and can join the host to the VMWARE Cluster.

First a Dell MD3200i default Controller IPs are and 102. If you plug the Management Server/Laptop into the same switch it will discovery automatically. Once logged on first thing is to change the Management IP’s by going Setup –> Configure Ethernet Management Ports.


I have set my Controller ports to and for example.

You can change the iSCSI Host Ports but I would just recommend you leave as is. For Reference they are the following by Default:

Controller0-Port0 =
Controller0-Port1 =
Controller0-Port2 =
Controller0-Port3 =

Controller1-Port0 =
Controller1-Port1 =
Controller1-Port2 =
Controller1-Port3 =

Right now login to VSPHERE and connect to the IP of the R710 Management Port ( and use the username root and the password you set.

Now Click on the Server on the Left Pane and go Configuration Storage Adapters.

Click Add and Select a Software iSCSI Adapter

Wait til its complete and go to Networking. Here you will already see the Management port configured and what we need to do now is create the iSCSI VMKernal Ports and virtual Switches. I have in the past created 1 Virtual Switch and although this does work I wouldn’t recommend as I got all sorts of weird issues so I configure 1 virtual Switch for each Path.

If you are using all 4 ports on the Broadcom NIC you will need to configure an IP for each of the 4 ranges above as shown below:


You need to click “Add Networking” –> VMKernel –> Select NIC –> Label it e.g. “iSCSI0” –> Give IP Address e.g. -> Finish

You will then have something that looks like this:


If you have two or more hosts you would do the same thing except change the last octet to something unique e.g.

Change the MTU to 9000 by going to Properties of each vSwitch, highlight iSCSI0 for example click edit:


Go to Dell Storage Manager and go to Setup –> Configure iSCSI Host Ports and change the MTU to 9000 of EACH port (Click Advanced Port Settings)


You also need to change the MTU on the Virtual Switches. Just right click on the Properties of the Virtual Switch and you will see the below. I also like to reduce the number of ports from 120 to 8.


Press OK once all 8 are changed and it will take a few minutes to go through.

Go back to VSPHERE and go to the Software Storage Adapter under Configuration Storage Adapter. Click Properties and then select Dynamic Discovery. Click ADD and select one of the IP addresses of the SAN:


Under Static Discovery you should see all hosts listed:


In the next Part I will explain how to “chop” the SAN up, configure Hosts and add LUNS to the Server.


Cabling this solution using all 4 ports goes as follows:

Host (Broadcom) Port#1 = Switch 1
Host (Broadcom) Port#2 = Switch 2
Host (Broadcom) Port#3 = Switch 1
Host (Broadcom) Port#4 = Switch 2

SAN (Controller#1) Port#1 = Switch 1
SAN (Controller#1) Port#2 = Switch 2
SAN (Controller#1) Port#3 = Switch 1
SAN (Controller#1) Port#4 = Switch 2

SAN (Controller#1) Port#1 = Switch 1
SAN (Controller#1) Port#2 = Switch 2
SAN (Controller#1) Port#3 = Switch 1
SAN (Controller#1) Port#4 = Switch 2

Part 2

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