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Get transparent automatic storage failover with HP 3PAR Peer Persistence


salil_blogpic.jpgBy Salil Gokhale, HP 3PAR StoreServ Product Manager


We want to make sure you are getting all the information you need on the exciting new features that come with the HP 3PAR Operating System 3.2.1 release. I know we have been covering this topic in past 3PAR Thursday blogs but there’s more to talk about! Today, I’m digging deeper into new updates for HP 3PAR Peer Persistence.


What is HP 3PAR Peer Persistence?

HP 3PAR Peer Persistence software enables 3PAR StoreServ systems located in different data centers at metropolitan distances to act as peers to each other, presenting continuous storage system access to hosts connected to them. This capability allows you to configure a high-availability solution where storage access failover and failback remains completely transparent to the hosts and applications running on those hosts.


3PAR Peer Persistence software allows hosts to remain online serving their business applications even when the host switches storage access from its original site to the storage array in the remote site, resulting in a much improved recovery time. It’s based on 3PAR Remote Copy and makes use of host multipath and Asymmetric Logical Unit Access ( ALUA) capabilities to deliver transparent failover. To make the transparent failover AUTOMATIC, Peer Persistence relies on a Quorum Witness at a third site. Peer Persistence uses the Quorum Witness as a tiebreaker to avoid any split-brain scenario during failover.



A typical Peer Persistence configuration has two HP 3PAR StoreServ arrays in a bi-directional Remote Copy relationship with a host cluster stretched across both sites. All hosts in a cluster are connected to both arrays and LUNS are presented from both the arrays.



An entire storage system failure is one of the scenarios where Peer Persistence performs an automatic transparent failover. Upon an array failure, the volumes that were “primary” on the failed system need to be failed over. The surviving array takes over the “primary” role based on arbitration with the QW. The “standby” paths to these volumes become “active” paths. The previously “active” paths to these volumes from the failed array go into “failed” status. Host-side multi-pathing software detects the change in paths so there is no I/O impact during or after the failover.



What’s new in HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1 for HP 3PAR Peer Persistence?


Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2012 support

HP 3PAR Peer Persistence was first released with 3.1.2 and was certified with VMware’s Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC). Now we have added support for Microsoft Windows Server, enabling non-disruptive and transparent failover with Windows Server Failover Clusters, Hyper-V, and standalone Windows Servers. You can run any application like File Server, SQL Server, Exchange and SharePoint—and get improved availability by using HP 3PAR Peer Persistence.


New iSCSI and FCoE Host Connectivity options

With the addition of iSCSI and FCoE host connectivity support, it’s now possible for you to implement a Peer Persistence configuration without having to stretch the FC SAN across both the sites. You can setup Peer Persistence using only the IP network with RCIP for replication and iSCSI or FCoE for host connectivity. FC, iSCSI and FCoE host connectivity is now supported with both VMware and Windows based Peer Persistence configurations.


Quorum Witness

The Quorum Witness is a virtual appliance that is used as a tiebreaker during automatic failover. In addition to existing VMware Virtual Machine (VM) support, you can now deploy the Quorum Witness appliance as a Hyper-V VM.


HP OneView for VMware vCenter

The new storage provisioning wizard available with HP OneView for VMware vCenter Server v7.4 now supports Peer Persistence for HP 3PAR StoreServ systems. It also has the ability perform a manual switch over for Peer Persistence configuration.


Here’s more info for you

If you want to learn more about HP 3PAR Peer Persistence, check out these additional resources:

About the Author


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