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When good scripts go bad: Installation of EqualLogic MEM 1.3 on ESXi 6.0

When I first encountered Dell/EqualLogic’s Multipath Extension Module (MEM), I was immediately impressed by the bundled script. Invoking it with a long list of options would create virtual kernel adapters (in multiple port groups!), establish a software iSCSI initiator, bind those vmk’s to the new initiator, and even apply some best-practice tweaks to settings on the new software-based HBA. It even worked without a hitch on dvSwitches. Alas, things have changed since then.

Dell has just released MEM version 1.3 to full production support, and the script now falls short of what it used to accomplish. Namely, it creates the vmk adapters and the vmhba software iSCSI initiator, but fails to proceed any further. If you find yourself in this situation, to continue, you must take the following manual steps:

1) Bind your vmk adapters to the vmhba
2) Add your EqualLogic discovery portal address to dynamic discovery
3) Change the LoginTimeout setting from the default of 5 seconds to 60 seconds
4) Disable DelayedAck

Then, you can continue with the steps you would previously perform:

1) Map some storage to the host
2) Copy the MEM VIB file
3) Finally, install the file

Again, fails us. It fails silently, too, providing a “success” message, but upon reboot, the DELL_PSP_EQL_ROUTED path selection policy is not available. Only a manual installation of the VIB will allow you to select the new policy:

1) SSH to the ESXi host
2) Run esxcli software vib install -d "/vmfs/volumes/{datastore_identifier}/" (with double quotes)
3) Even though the output says a reboot is not required, it is highly recommended

After the system is back up, confirm that DELL_PSP_EQL_ROUTED is automatically set as your path selection policy.

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  1. Hello Jeff,

    The problem with is caused by a new requirement in ESXi v6.0.
    Please see this VMware KB which discusses how to make this work

    There is also information about this in MEM install guide:

    Configuring SSL Certificates

    If the SSL certificate for each host is not added with the commands specified
    by VMware, some commands might not function correctly when executed from the command script. Refer to the VMware documentation for information about adding certificates. See also the following VMware KB article:

    A change in a future version of MEM will make this process much easier.

    Additionally you can also install MEM via the VMware Update Manager.


    Don Williams

  2. Note: With ESXi v6.0 if you plan on using Virtual Volumes (vvols) then in addition to the login_timeout value and disabling DelayedACK, you need to also increase the NOOP_timeout value from 10 to 30 seconds. It’s located in the same area as login_timeout.

    Re: MEM. MEM will dynamically set the login_timeout to 60 seconds. It’s still good to set it.

    Also if you only have EQL storage then you can also set these values at the VHMBA level. In which case as you add in EQL groups they will automatically inherit the correct default values.