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constructing a SAN for SMBs, half 7: build a SAN in lower than an hour

Hewlett-Packard and QLogic combine forces to enhance HP’s SMB SAN equipment.

by means of Jack Fegreus

for a lot of small to medium-sized business (SMB) sites, the construct of a SAN is as faraway as executing a lunar touchdown. Fibre Channel-based SANs have except these days been very costly and complicated to put in force. due to this fact, demystifying SANs and simplifying initial setting up had been key desires for many storage carriers.

on the vanguard of this SAN simplification circulate has been QLogic with its wizard-based mostly SANsurfer, a host-based mostly utility kit designed to simplify both the configuration and ongoing management of its Fibre Channel switches and host bus adapters (HBAs).

QLogic pioneered the idea of a SAN kit, which programs a change with HBAs, cables, connectors, and software to simplify installing of a Fibre Channel community infrastructure. Now in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard, the two have extended the reach of wizard-based mostly application down to the storage array. the brand new product, which is marketed by means of HP as the StorageWorks Modular wise Array one thousand (MSA1000) Small business SAN kit, is designed to allow a website to deliver up a complete first SAN from a single wizard-based mostly GUI.

To remember the have an impact on of the HP SAN equipment on an SMB web site, they installed two SANs, every with an MSA1000 as its relevant storage array. They geared up the MSA1000 with an not obligatory 2nd RAID controller to test the capacity to address automatic fail-over by the use of multi-pathing of SAN I/O connections. In each and every SAN they configured two HP ML370 servers operating Microsoft windows Server 2003. while the SAN package is operating gadget-agnostic, the greatest features come when working home windows Server 2003.

Microsoft handiest presents a command-line interface for the VDS storage management framework. QLogic leverages the VDS carrier with its wizard-primarily based SANsurfer VDS manager, which detects, configures, and manages logical unit numbers (LUNs), QLogic HBAs and switches, in addition to different VDS-supported storage contraptions. SANsurfer VDS manager utilizes the HP MultiPath I/O Hardware company application module so as to add provisioning storage on the MSA1000 to it capabilities, which additionally consist of the mapping and screen of the SAN’s topology.

We configured their first SAN the usage of the HP StorageWorks SAN switch 2/16-an o.e.m edition of Brocade’s SilkWorm 3800 change. On each of both servers they installed a QLogic SANBlade QLA2342 Fibre Channel HBA together with QLogic’s SANsurfer FC HBA supervisor software. To configure and manipulate the MSA1000, they installed HP’s perception manager and Array Configuration Utility (ACU). furthermore, they crucial 4 Fibre Channel cables and four small-form-ingredient pluggable (SFP) connectors for the swap-one cable and connector for each and every server and two cables and connectors for the MSA1000.

within the 2nd SAN, they used the HP StorageWorks MSA1000 Small business SAN equipment. This bundled configuration comprises the MSA1000, an HP StorageWorks SAN switch 2/8q (QLogic’s SANbox 3050); two HP StorageWorks Q200 Fibre Channel HBAs (QLogic’s SANBlade QLA200s); four fiber-optic cables; four SPF connectors; a CD with Simplicity setting up and administration software for the HBAs, change, and array; and documentation for the SAN package.

within the first SAN, they spent about two hours installing a “trivial first SAN.” The assignment concerned separate installations of every equipment, which within the case of the change, required us to use a desktop operating windows XP to begin configuration by means of a Telnet session over a serial line. as soon as those tasks had been achieved and the MSA1000 had initialized the logical pressure, they could access it as a local pressure on the acceptable server.

however, there continues to be a potential difficulty for the unsuspecting device administrator: devoid of added software, home windows Server 2003 doesn't address fail-over very neatly. That problem only arises if the SAN cloth topology has been configured for fault tolerance. If the array has been configured with two controllers-as in their setup-or numerous connections between HBAs and the swap exist for a server, then each logical power will seem numerous times: once for each path. This creates two different issues for a equipment administrator working windows Server.

click on right here to magnify picture

SANsurfer specific gives an entire conclusion-to-end SAN administration ambiance. With the HP Hardware issuer for the MSA1000, all of the functionality of ACU to provision storage may also be harnessed by way of SANsurfer specific. SANsurfer categorical, however, can take the process through to the formatting of the force on the server. What’s extra, the utility provides a complete map of the SAN’s instruments, which will also be configured and managed by way of clicking on the graphical representation on the map. in addition, the QLogic HBA driver may also be upgraded to provide clear fault tolerance.

the first difficulty arises when windows first discovers the varied drives. The working system assumes every power is independent and attainable. due to this fact, it is feasible to allocate and format over the force for each existing route. This difficulty lasts most effective except the first reboot of the server. once the server is rebooted, the multi-route pictures of the power will nonetheless be visible, however will not be accessible.

The second problem relates to fail-over and people seen, but no longer purchasable, drives. should an array controller, fiber-optic cable, or server HBA fail, this event may still be clear to the user: It isn't. once once more, windows Server 2003 will need to be rebooted to enable one of the crucial remaining energetic paths to exchange the failed course-except, of path, windows Server has been augmented with utility that can tackle a multi-pathed device.

We now grew to become to the HP Small business SAN package, the primary complete end-to-conclusion packaged SAN. A single field consists of the HBAs, connectors, change, storage array, and application to construct a totally functional SAN fabric.

HP touts the SAN equipment as being “designed to in the reduction of the complexity, cost, and possibility of SAN deployment.” With a single CD, the concept of the SAN kit is to unify and streamline the installation procedure with a collection of rapid-fireplace wizards that go from out-of-the-container hardware to formatting local server drives. All of here is designed to assuage the large obstacle to SAN adoption: concern of complexity.

To display the automated fail-over in a totally redundant SAN textile, they installed each of the HP StorageWorks Q200 HBAs in one of their servers, which become dubbed Simplicity-1. They then plugged the StorageWorks SAN switch 2/8q into their Ethernet swap. next, they related the Fibre Channel cables into the HBAs, MSA1000 Storage Array, and the SAN swap 2/8q. Then they powered on all the equipment.

When the server booted up and launched the “discovered New Hardware Wizard” for the Q200 HBA, they canceled the wizard and inserted the HP StorageWorks Small business SAN CD. The CD automatically launched the HBA driver setting up wizard.

as soon as the HBA drivers were put in, the next setting up wizard launches the HP StorageWorks VDS Hardware issuer for MSA. This method installs the HP MultiPath I/O Hardware company for the MSA1000 and the QLogic SAN-surfer VDS supervisor. once this software has been put in, the server need to be rebooted to ensure that the new VDS element-which detects, configures, and manages storage LUNs-to develop into fully purposeful in the windows VDS framework.

With the entire drivers efficiently loaded, it is now possible to view the total SAN from the server. here's precisely what's tested when the server comes up after the reboot. When the gadget is again up, the “attach Server” window looks and displays a “show SAN” button. Clicking on that button will reveal a hierarchical view of the SAN from the point of view of the existing server. For their server, Simplicity-1, the two HBAs had been listed and every HBA turned into shown to be linked to each of the MSA’s controller ports. each of those connections changed into instantly assigned to the MSA1000 array as LUN0. here is vital for home windows considering the fact that each chain of LUNs need to begin with 0 for windows to respect the drives.

The setting up script now begins the installation of SANsurfer express. the first module to be put in is the HP StorageWorks switch manager, to be able to find any QLogic Fibre Channel switch and should immediately assign it a temporary address. The administrator can then assign the swap any permanent address.

The next resolution to be made is whether to use ACU or SANsurfer express to manage storage LUNs. That choice have to be SANSurfer express to absolutely advantage from the integration of windows VDS Framework with SANsurfer VDS supervisor and the HP MultiPath I/O Hardware company. through making this alternative, all SAN add-ons, including HBAs, switches, and VDS-compatible storage arrays, should be manageable via one interface.

Upon option because the SAN configuration device of alternative, SANsurfer express begins taking an inventory of all the gadgets that it may well locate in the SAN material.

As soon as SANSurfer express completes its inventory, the consumer is offered with a connection map of the SAN textile. This view is the coronary heart of the QLogic SANsurfer VDS manager and underpins all interplay with SANsurfer express. An administrator can invoke the wizards by means of clicking on their icons on the proper of the reveal or call up the administrative features for a tool by clicking on any machine within the map.

On the first presentation of the map, SANsurfer specific launches its “Configure a SAN” wizard, which shows a conceptual overview for the primary-time SAN administrator, who's caused to launch the “Create New Logical Disk” wizard. If a storage pool is not obtainable, this wizard first calls the storage pool wizard it truly is functionally corresponding to that of the array allocation wizard in ACU.

once a storage pool is described, the logical disk wizard continues with questions concerning the logical disk’s geometry and to which servers (HBAs) the disk might be made available.

At this factor, they had entered the entire identical information that they had entered with ACU. The change became they did it quicker and in a more automated vogue. in spite of this, SANsurfer categorical became not entire. The tight integration of HBA utility and home windows Server VDS permits SANsurfer specific to supply a real end-to-end installing journey.

SANsurfer express enables the administrator to partition and format the logical disk on the home windows stage. What’s extra, the SANsurfer express interface knows about multi-course I/O. consequently, they were introduced with one, rather than four, logical disks to configure. extra importantly, in under forty five minutes they had a functioning SAN featuring transparent fail-over that changed into developed around servers running home windows Server 2003. 

Jack Fegreus is know-how director at Strategic Communications ( He will also be reached at

InfoStor Labs situation


SAN equipment for small groups

WHAT THEY demonstrated

HP StorageWorks Modular sensible Array 1000 Small enterprise SAN kit

  • Two HP StorageWorks Q200 Fibre Channel HBAs (QLogic QLA200s)
  • 2Gbps Fibre Channel
  • 133MHz 32-bit PCI-X aid
  • improved ease of use
  • windows and Linux support
  • HP 2/8q Fibre Channel switch (QLogic 3050)
  • 8-port, 2Gbps
  • Self-assessments on power up
  • 4 sizzling-pluggable SFP connectors
  • HP Small business SAN installing Wizard (QLogic SANsurfer specific)
  • aspect-and-click wizards
  • essential machine management
  • CD and directions blanketed
  • HOW THEY verified
  • Two HP ML370 G2 Servers
  • Two QLogic QLA2340 HBAs
  • HP StorageWorks SAN switch 2/sixteen (Brocade SilkWorm 3800)
  • windows Server 2003
  • Wizards supply conclusion-to-conclusion configuration and administration.
  • Full setting up and configuration of a SAN including disk virtualization in under forty five minutes.
  • QLogic VDS supervisor integrates with home windows Server 2003 to give Multi-course I/O and makes it possible for clear SAN fail-over.
  • SANsurfer express offers full device management from a graphical map of the SAN material.

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