One method that folks use to present storage within a Cisco UCS environment is by creating an Appliance Port on the Fabric Interconnects. I wrote about this a long time ago for those looking to consume NFS storage with a directly attached NAS box, and I would imagine that with the release of UCS Mini, more folks are going to want to dip a toe into the world of Appliance Ports. After all, it’s a very easy way to consume storage for the UCS domain at 10 GbE speeds without having to worry about 10 GbE upstream.
I was recently working with a client that wanted to attach a Tintri VMstore to a pair of 6248 Fabric Interconnects. Tintri is an NFS-only array that offers some snazzy VM-centric storage and is one heck of a great way to provide a home for virtual machines. Upon cabling the Tintri and setting up an Appliance Port for each interface, an error popped up stating that “ENM source pinning failed” as a Major Fault (the orange bang triangle). I can’t show their environment, so I’ve re-created the error in my work lab as shown below:
Jeff Allen over at Jeff Said So has a post entitled ENM Source Pinning Failed – A Lesson in Disjoint Layer 2 that does a great job talking about this error in the context of disjointed layer 2 uplinks, but it’s a slightly different scenario with Appliance Ports. Here’s that same error with some more details:
In my case, the issue has to do with discrepancies around the VLANs created in the LAN Cloud versus the Appliances area. Take a look at the following VLAN configuration and see if you can spot the issue:
Take a look at the VLAN called Example_IP_Storage (1234). Notice how it does not exist in the upper list of VLANs for the LAN Cloud? This is a problem. You must make sure that the VLAN being used by the Appliance Port exists in both areas: the LAN Cloud and the Appliances.
First, I’ll fix the VLANs in the LAN Cloud so that VLAN 1234, which is the Example_IP_Storage VLAN, exists in both locations. I like to use the same name for both sections to create consistency.
Next, I’ll check on the port to see if it is now operational.
It’s that easy! Too bad the error message is a bit cryptic. It would be nice if UCS Manager would prompt you to create the VLAN in both areas, or just do it for you.