Extra NIC usage

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Deleted member 83452


Just after a bit of networking advise.

I have FreeNAS running on a computer with one NIC, connected to a switch which is connected to an ESXi host (has four NICs but only using one), switch then connects to rest of house.

I'm going to get two more NICs for the FreeNAS.

The current setup uses the one NIC for iSCSI traffic for the datastore, SMB traffic for the VMs (like plex), SMB traffic from other endpoints on network and also management.

Am I best using the two new NICs to go direct to ESXi for MPIO iSCSI, then CIFS/management over the other NIC?

Or am I best just having one NIC direct to ESXi for iSCSI, one direct to ESXi for SMB for the VMs, and the other to the switch for external SMB/management.

It's only a handful of VMs and 7 RAIDZ2 disks so not a massive amount of throughput required.

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Apr 21, 2014
Before going down this road, I would first ask "am I having any speed performance issues that I need to address?" If the answer to that is "no", then I would say leave it alone.

If you are seeing any issues, or if you want to do this for the experience of doing it (no better way to learn than by doing :D), then I would probably do:
  • Direct connect one cable between FreeNAS and ESXi. Set both interfaces to a static IP (make sure it doesn't conflict with your existing network).
  • Change your VM datastore to use the new static IP.
  • You can also change your VM's SMB mounts to the new static IP if you want that traffic to go across the dedicated interface.

Deleted member 83452

It was a new setup so wasn't seeing performance issues, just was weary of mixing iscsi and smb traffic over the same NIC
Ended up keeping it simple, using one NIC with a direct connection FreeNas to ESXi host for just iSCSI, no MPIO or anything

Then had a NIC free so going to use that for smb access unless I start seeing performance issues over iSCSI in which case I might revisit the whole MPIO dual nic
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