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Simplify: HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR 2.0 Gets New Look and New Features Too



More good news to simplify your SAN configuration with 3PAR all-flash storage: HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR now supports HPE 3PAR StoreServ Management Console (SSMC) to make the visibility aSMART SAN Simplify_blog.jpgnd management of SAN orchestration with all-flash storage that much easier.

First some basic Smart SAN talk

Traditional zoning methods have some limitations. To overcome them, users have to create a larger number of zones than necessary, which makes the configuration of zones even more complex.

What’s more, most SAN administrators use a best practice of 1:1 zoning which also makes the process tedious and error-prone. To address these issues, the Fibre Channel Standards Technical Committee T11 developed a new type of zoning known as peer zoning. This has several advantages compared to traditional zoning. However, significant number of manual steps still exist in the zoning process, necessitating the need to automate, save time and reduce errors.

HPE Smart SAN for HPE 3PAR leverages a software-defined networking model that distributes the software across target, host and switch in a collaborative way to take the intelligence gathered from an HPE StoreFabric SAN (including B-Series 16Gb and 32 Gb FC switches, HPE StoreFabric 16Gb and 32Gb FC adapters and select HPE FlexFabric 5900 Series Switches for target-driven automated SAN provisioning and more.)

As implemented on HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage System as part of HPE Smart SAN for HPE 3PAR 1.0 software, automated zoning utilizes peer zoning as defined in FC standards. This empowers HPE 3PAR Storage System to configure zones automatically whenever hosts are provisioned on the target side. This drastically improves your operational experience – with a significant reduction in overall SAN configuration time, as well as making the whole process less error-prone and more resilient.

When HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR first rolled out to the market, it was CLI based.

Initiator-based zoning is the more common type of zoning because it has the advantage of isolating all unnecessary traffic between devices and only confining traffic between an initiator and its target port, thus make it more secure. This is also known as 1:1 zoning because in any zone there is only one initiator and one target port thus limiting zone members just to two in any given zone. The downside of this is the user has to create a large number of zones, which is very time consuming and error-prone. HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR uses Target Driven Peer Zoning (TDPZ), which is initialed through the 3PAR CLI. Albeit, TDPZ is much simplified via the 3PAR CLI, it’s still a CLI.

Many storage administrators I’ve chatted with prefer to use 3PAR SSMC. Because in a few clicks of a mouse, you can still perform TDPZ but it’s even easier with 3PAR SSMC. Here are some examples.

Creating TDPZ using 3PAR SSMC

HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR version 2.0 further simplifies the creation of TDPZ with a few simple clicks of the mouse using already familiar HPE 3PAR SSMC screens to create hosts, map them with the desired target ports, and automatically creates zones completely transparent to the user or administrator, and is error-free.

The following section describes high-level steps involved along with quick screenshots to give you an idea of the details of events captured.

Hosts and their associated zones can be created from the Hosts screen within Block Persona (Block Persona> Hosts).

  • Step one: Click on Create Host (see Screenshot 1)
  • On the Create Host screen, the drop-down menu lists the host names as well as the host’s operating system.
  • Click on the “host name” which is located in the General section of the screen.SMART SAN screen shot 1J.jpg

    Screenshot 1

Click on the desired hostname, in this case R207-S12 and once the hostname is selected, HPE 3PAR SSMC will automatically fill in the Host OS and Persona details located in the General section of the screen for the selected host as shown in Screenshot 2. Select or remove the paths to associate with the host and then click on Create located at the bottom of Screenshot 2. You’re done!SMART SAN screen shot 2J.jpgScreenshot 2

If you want to see more host details after the host is successfully created, select Host Details from the drop-down menu to see additional information about the HBA, such as firmware and driver versions Screenshot 3 (Block Persona > Hosts > Host Details).SMART SAN screen shot 3J.jpg

Screenshot 3

If you want to see the host to port relationship, Select Overview from the drop-down menu to see the HPE 3PAR ports associated with the host Screenshot 4 (Block Persona> Hosts > Overview):SMART SAN screen shot 4J.jpg

Screenshot 4

If you want to view the TDPZ zones that have been created, go to Storage Systems> Ports. Select the port, for example, 0:0:2 for TAY-8200-10, and select the Hosts option in the drop-down menu. Under the Host Details display for the ports, the created TDPZ zone and its members are shown Screenshots 5 and 6.SMART SAN screen shot 5J.jpg

 Screenshot 5SMART SAN screen shot 6J.jpg

Screenshot 6

What else is new in Smart SAN for 3PAR version 2.0?

3PAR Storage Federation: HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage Systems support 3PAR Storage Federation, which is a scale-out enterprise strategy to turn a collection of HPE 3PAR StoreServ systems into a single entity. Why do that? To maximize resource utilization, balance workloads across arrays and simplify management of multiple systems. 

Keep in mind a 3PAR Federation via 3PAR SSMC is easy to implement, manage and modify anyway, but you still have to zone the SAN. Manual zoning is tedious and more error-prone, as the number of devices increase and zones must include peer ports and all their v-ports in respective zones. Smart SAN for 3PAR greatly simplifies SAN zoning for a 3PAR Federation via 3PAR SSMC or the 3PAR CLI.

Using HPE 3PAR SSMC to configure a Storage Federation, the required zoning configuration is automatically created using the Smart SAN for 3PAR TDPZ feature. You no longer need to access the FC switch to create the zones used by HPE 3PAR Storage Federation, as long as the HPE 3PARs and associated switches are HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR enabled. You can find screenshots examples in the WP located at the end of this blog.  

More 3PAR CLI extensions: (showportdev tzone) and (showport dev uns) commands add new data and provide more meaningful information to administrators about Zone info and unzoned name server info all from the array for better informed decisions. Detailed information includes HBA Manufacturer, HBA Model, HBA Firmware Version, HBA OS Name/Version, the HBA port's supported and current speeds, HBA port's OS device name, hostname and any preconfigured alias names for initiators.

Additional Read Diagnostic Parameters (RDP): FC standards based commands add new data and provides more meaningful descriptors per the latest FC-LS-3 standard 1) Buffer Credit descriptor, 2) Optical product data descriptor and 3) Optical element data descriptor (Thresholds and Alerts) for more informed info about the switch.

Even more good news: HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR included with 3PAR all-inclusive base software

Smart SAN for 3PAR is now included with new 3PAR StoreServe Storage Systems shipped as part of a new all-inclusive licensing arrangement that bundles the most 3PAR software with the exception of a few titles. You basically select which software you want to use and off you go. 

Need to simplify your SAN deployment from the array view? Here’s the smart answer.

Whether you are storage engineer managing a small SAN or a team of seasoned storage administrator(s) involved in larger SAN deployments, the need to simplify SAN FC configuration is probably top of mind. When the need arises to provision news hosts and storage, you: 

  • Do want to do it quickly and automatically?
  • Don’t want to wait a long time
  • Do want it done error-free

HPE Smart SAN for 3PAR is HPE innovation with HPE StoreFabric OEM collaboration (Brocade, Cavium and Broadcom) that leverages a software-defined software model distributed across (target-host-switch) that makes SAN deployment simplified and more resilient. We’ve made it more simple with 3PAR SSMC and 3PAR Federation Target-Driven Peer Zoning!

Back to the Smart SAN basics – video and podcast

Check out the podcast from HPE Storage Guy on either YouTube or on that answers the question: What is HPE Smart SAN?

And watch the HPE Smart San for 3PAR overview


Go deeper on the topic with: HPE Smart SAN for HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage simplifies SAN zoning across the fabric in minutes, not hours technical white paper


Meet Around thGil Chacon.jpge Storage Block blogger Gil Chacon, HPE StoreFabric, Storage Networking team lead, HPE Storage.







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