Thursday, November 15, 2012

ESXi host count of 17.

This is an interesting question:

We run an ESXi virtualization cluster with Dell Equallogic PS series iSCSI SANs, and recent purchases will put our host count to 17.
The access limit (Via iSCSI initiator, CHAP name or IP address) to a volume is 16, so I predict an issue here!

Has anyone else hit this limit, or know of how to get around it?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

HP P4000 LeftHand SAN New Feature Summary SAN/iQ 9.5

SAN/iQ 9.5 will expand Application Integration functionality of the P4000 to include VMware integrated snapshots.
The existing HP P4000 Windows Solution Pack is replaced by the new Application Integration Solution Pack which
includes the Application Aware Snapshot Manager.  This tool allows users to take Application Aware snapshots for
both VMware and Windows volumes and create application consistent, point in time copies for speedy and reliable
recovery of VMs.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

seeding EQL replication

Yes, this is one way you can do the initial transfer to the DR group.
You also may want to read up on the Manual Transfer Utility (MTU), the download is located on the same page as the Firmware Version you have installed on your arrays (on the FW download page, look for the section titled "EqualLogic Tools Compatibiltiy).
In a nut shell, after MTU is installed, then using the same system, login to the Group Admin GUI, and in the Tools Menu (lower left), select "Manual Transfer utility"

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Using EqualLogic as an example we were able to grow their 3,000 customers to over 50,000. This established a process where we start with a successful company and rather than the more typical process that other firms use of blowing the acquisition up in order to integrate it in existing legacy lines we attach the company to Dell resources which act like a huge business booster. The end result is our acquisitions increase in value dramatically while other approaches generally have the opposite effect.

Monday, April 16, 2012

HP P4000: Management Group Maintenance Mode, Volumes Not Available, and Cache Status Corrupt

How to resolve the problem is in the link below:

Due to electrical maintenance work, a 2 node P4000 SAN cluster with failover manager, needed to be completely powered down, and this was done in the correct order – hosts accessing the SAN powered down first, then the SAN was shut down via the “Shut Down Management Group...” option in the HP StorageWorks P4000 Centralized Management Console (CMC).

Something went wrong when the SAN was powered back up, and the result was:
i: The Management Group was operating in Maintenance Mode.
ii: All the volumes (including the Network RAID tolerant volumes) had a status of 'Not Available'.
iii: One of the Storage Systems had a status of Failed

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The questions continue, EqualLogic versus Lefthand HP P4500

I can't comment on the Lefthand or cross-site functionality of either.  What I can say is that I managed a 100TB EMC Unified shop and the 30TB Equalogic we used for iSCSI was 100x more reliable and easier to work with.  Ultimately, we used the Equalogic whenever we had the opportunity, and the EMC's sat there doing nothing.

Equalogic is a solid SMB platform.

With the lefthand there are 2 types of protection going on. The first is the Raid level inside a single node (this is standard raid accross the disks in that node, usually Raid1 or Raid5)

When you add a second node on the same site, you can setup network raid. this mirrors a lun to both nodes, so if a Node fails, the lun can continue to be presented to the servers.

when you add the remote site nodes into the network raid, that lun is also mirrored to the remote site nodes, so you effectively end up with 4 copies of the data.


For the EQL box, whilst there is only 1 node each site, those node are more resilient at the hardware level. the disks in the node will be raided, and their are 2 physical controllers in each node. If a controller fails the node will switch to the other one.

If you add a second node on the local site with EqualLogic, and add it to the Group all luns are stripped between the 2 nodes, increasing performance.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SSD in HP P4000 solution

A nice addition to the P4000

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interesting post about LH HP4000 features

Peer Motion is HP’s data migration technology which offers HP LeftHand users two simple and flexible methods of moving data volumes within a LeftHand SAN. Those methods are volume migration and cluster swap.  Volume Migration and Cluster Swap employ storage federated software, to transparently move application workloads between tiers of data storage and/or storage clusters in a LeftHand environment. Peer Motion on HP LeftHand supports all P4000 storage models - spanning from the P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) to the midrange and high performance P4000 storage systems.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Equallogic, replace drives with 3rd party drives?

While it is technically possible to do so, it would violate both the warranty and service partnership agreements rendering them null and void.  We perform extensive quality checks and very aggressive screening of all of our parts. Acquiring your own parts would make it impossible for EqualLogic to effectively support the system. It would create a situation where we would have to request you restore the system to all EqualLogic parts before we began to troubleshoot any problem were to arise. To maintain a reliable high quality, high availability you need to have all genuine EqualLogic parts.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interesting post about HP versus Dell in the worldwide storage market

4Q11 Market Share (%)4Q10
4Q10 Market Share (%)4Q10-4Q11
Change (%)

Dell up 1.4 % with HP down -4.4, with Dell and HP pretty close in revenue.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Head of HP-LeftHand Engineering Moves on to Nirvanix Cloud Storage

 Barr joins Nirvanix from HP where he was responsible for managing the entire HP-LeftHand Engineering Organization--over 130 employees worldwide

Friday, February 17, 2012

Equallogic storage causing slow response on vm's

As we had a large number of rather small volumes (15 Gb), these volumes are shuffled around a lot, everytime one of the members is having some more space available. This process could hamper the responsiveness of the array, causing write delays to the VM's and not able to send information to the SAN Headquarters. A solution for this was to bound these small volumes to a single Eql member (on the command line).

NEW: EqualLogic MEModule vSphere V1.1.0

The EqualLogic Multipathing Extension Module (EqualLogic MEM) now provides support for VMware ESXi 5.0 including the following enhancements for those ESXi 5.0 environments: 
- Automatic connection management 
- Automatic load balancing across multiple active paths 
- Increased bandwidth 
- Reduced network latency


Thursday, February 16, 2012

P4000 Move Failover Manager from Cluster

When the HyperV server that hosts the F.O.M. reboots, we lose quorum on the P4000 San Cluster and everything slams shut.

My question is how do I go about moving the Fail Over Manager to another server?


either way works.  remove the old and recreate a new FOM on a local disk or export the old and import it back to a local disk... doesn't matter... either way getting that FOM to a local independent disk is correct.

edit #2>   You weren't clear if your VSA system is hardware dedicated or the software VSA... if its software, make sure you don't put one of the VSA nodes on the same system as the FOM since if you lose that hardware you still lose quorum.  IE:  you must have three physical host computers to have a two node SAN and two node hyper-v cluster.  You can make a two-node hyper-v cluster and put one VSA instance on the local storage of each of the hyper-v nodes and you will maintain N+1 redundancy as long as you have a FOM installed on a third hyper-v server (that is using local storage for the FOM as well)

HP P4000 VSA Failover

If we  power off one VSA or the ESX host (where the VSA is running on) it takes  40 Seconds until the Read/Write Request are redirect to the VSA that is  still alive.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

a little post about the P400 VSA

The HP Storage Virtual SAN Appliance (VSA) P4000 is Lefthand running in a virtual machine that is completely oblivious to what is running underneath it

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why they like EqualLogic

If you are looking at Netapp, EMC, or HP or IBM and want to consider Dell EqualLogic – even if you’re not a fan of Dell, try to ignore the badge (or just remove it from the bezel like we can do)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Enable VASA on HP P4000 Lefthand SAN with vSphere 5

 This allows vSphere to read the capabilities of your underlying SAN storage.  With this information, you can do all kinds of fancy stuff afterwards (Profile-Driven Storage, …)
For HP, it is supported on P4000 (Lefthand), P6000 (EVA) and P9000 (XP).  For VASA to function, you will need to install an additional component from HP called HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter.  The current version at moment of writing is 6.3.1.  And yeah, it’s free :-)

Monday, February 6, 2012

In case you need to gather equallogic logs using the CLI

Abysmal Performance on New CSV

Below might be solution


After some more testing with directly attached LUNs, I consulted this document again and I think I may have resolved my problems.
As recommended:
  • I have disabled autotune on the interfaces in my R710 with:
netsh int tcp set blobal autotuninglevel=disabled
  • On the switches I've re-enabled iSCSI optomizations, flow control, and Port Fast on all interfaces.
  • I've also renabled Jumbo Frame support on the Broadcom NICs, Switches, and SAN after disabling it for testing.
Before making the switch changes all three LUN types were performing horribly.

Friday, February 3, 2012

discussing hp400 remote copy

P4000 Remote Copy

Thanks John. We're on 9.0 still so can't do the VMware quiescing. We do "proper" backups using Commvault which does quiesce VM's - this is just a last resort "get up and running with something as we have nothing" box we're putting in an off-site location.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

another HP gotcha maybe

Thinking a bit about it, we realized that we had installed the HP Lefthand MPIO DSM on the backup server. Normally we do not install any MPIO DSM on the backupserver because most of the VMware backup products do not work well with MPIO drivers. But this time, we do not plan to use such kind of products and therefore installed the DSM to get proper failover and loadbalancing.
Searching on the internet I found the blog from Rhys Goodwin and he suffered the same problem. He figured out that installing the DSM can cause severe problems on VMware datastores because of locking mechanism used by the DSM. 

1.Uninstall HP Lefthand DSM for MPIO from Windows hosts (We still want to try to present the VMFS LUNs back to the backup server at some stage)
2.Shutdown all VMs
3.Shutdown all the ESX hosts
4.Shutdown Lefthand (Shut down the management group, not the nodes individually)
5.Power up the Lefthand and make sure all the nodes are up and volumes are all online
6.Power up the ESX hosts and VMs

HP Lefthand DSMs for MPIO can cause locking and LUN accessibility issues on LeftHand arrays

Something to be aware of with HP Lefthand and VMWare

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Showing how the EqualLogic Block size is 15MB

Showing how the EqualLogic Block size is 15MB

how-to using the HP P4000 LeftHand VSA

Interesting post on the ease of use of setting up the HP P4000 LeftHand VSA

Monday, January 9, 2012

Upgrading Firmware of EqualLogic

Something to watch out for

During the upgrade I recieved a Kernel Panic and subsequent Panic Recovery, looks like the controller crashed during the update this resulted in the iSCSI targets being unavailable for a couple of minutes, the controllers did not fail over and I now have a Firmware mismatch.

He recommends using the CLI

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Equallogic, disappointing yet still awesome

Comment to Dell:

Get your act together! This array is not cheap by any means. I expect that proper testing and documentation is done for all supported solutions! I don't blame the support personnels in this case. They had as much information as I did so how can they help me properly?

Texas school chooses Lefthand

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HP P4000 SAN Solutions - Issue While an Upgrade Is Interrupted

Something to look out for with the P4000

Sometimes when an upgrade is interrupted or a node is restarted during the upgrade, the upgrade process may still run. When trying to run the upgrade again, the following message may appear:
Use the backend to check the process running on that node. Rebooting the node is not a solution. Some process can start running again after the restart. Kill any upgrade process found using the command kill .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This guy loves his P4500 and p4300 Lefthand SAN

Horrible iSCSI performance with Lefthand

He thinks this is probably just a misconfiguration....

I'm only testing with 1 nic as it also should be able to give 900mbit performance on the vmware enviroment.

Though I tried making 2 vmkernel NICs with different IP's on the same vswitch and bound them to iSCSI... then enabled Round-robin.

Has made no difference.

I don't think that the issue is related to load balancing tasks, but rather a communication issue between the vmware and the lefthand. The storage works perfectly when testet on a Windows 2008 server using MS iSCSI Initiator.

So it should be software related like a driver problem, misconfiguration or missing iSCSI tweaks. I just don't have a clue where the problem is.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

HP P4000 SAN SANiQ 9.0 Kernel Panic Issue

At some point after 208.5 days of continuous runtime, a counter in the SAN/iQ Linux kernel may incur a divide–by–zero error that leads to a kernel panic, which causes HP P4000 storage systems running SAN/iQ software version 9.0 or 9.0.01 to go offline immediately. 

After ten minutes, the HP P4300 G2, HP P4500 G2, HP P4800 G2 and HP LeftHand DL320s storage systems will perform an Automatic Server Recovery (ASR) followed by resumed operations. Other storage systems running SAN/iQ version 9.0 or 9.0.01 will hang indefinitely until manually rebooted.

I would definitively be upgrading if it were me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Post about the Equallogic MEM plugin for vsphere 5.0

I spoke with Andrew McDaniel, one of DELL's Lead Architects for VMware based in Ireland, and he was able to supply me with some additional information about this MEM. Firstly, since the MEM is essentially a PSP, devices from the EqualLogic array continue to use the Native Multipath Plugin (NMP) from VMware. This handles basic tasks like loading and unloading of MEMs, path discovery and removal, device bandwidth sharing between VMs, etc.

Friday, November 18, 2011

whip up a Cloud in a 17-inch box with 8 pinches of HP P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance

Favorite quote

With licenses installed on all servers, what should you do with the server’s available drives? Take that pool of virtual machine-ready resources, which is currently DAS, and whip it into shared storage, with 8 pinches of HP P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance. These licenses will be installed in a VM on each server and the entire pool of disks can be turned into a clustered, highly available SAN.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Quick little post on EqualLogic and upgrading for upgrading for vsphere5

Lefthand, HP StorageWorks P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance

Interesting security bulletin on the P4000


Document ID: c03082086
Version: 1

HPSBST02722 SSRT100279 rev.1 - HP StorageWorks P4000 Virtual SAN Appliance, Execution of Arbitrary Code

NOTICE: The information in this Security Bulletin should be acted upon as soon as possible.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Interesting post about Equallogic

Some of my favorite quotes are

 I really came to find their products dead simple to use, with a uniform interface across models that made it simple to work with.


 I love it. It is easy to setup and manage. I only had to make a couple of calls to support during the setup process and those calls went very smooth.


With some of the Cons being:

My experience with Equallogics is that generally the hardware is ok but the software and firmware of late have left a lot to be desired.
The current firmware seems to be stable but all the version 5 stuff up to now has had bugs that caused some big issues. I am not a fan of the HIT kit, it slow and flaky and may stop working if you upgrade it, which is blow if you rely on it to drive your replication. Also you have to ensure you are on the right hard drive firmware as some of them are buggy as well.
Replication works quite well, best if you send multiple streams up a your pipe, with Jumbo frames we get almost a full 1Gb to our replication site.