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MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Benny44
Occasional Visitor

MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

I have recently installed several of these units (2012fc’s and 2212fc’s) and I wanted to share my initial thoughts on the products. I don’t think HP has a publicly available product feedback process, so I will post here as I know engineers/product managers stop by here now and again…

Firstly, I know these units are re-branded Dot Hill 2730’s & 2730T’s, I just wish HP had put more effort in to making it feel like a HP own designed product.

The physical installation is not easy. The racking brackets are a joke - there are no 'L-shaped' brackets to support the unit as you slide it in and it certainly does not follow the HP 'tool less' installation methodology.

The initial network configuration is done via a serial (CLI) session. The CLI ports on the controllers use a micro-DB9 connector and not a standard sized DB9. This is not a major problem if the special cable gets packed in the box (one unit we received was missing the cable) or if you could purchase additional cables via HP spares (apparently they don't have a part code for it yet).

The remainder of the configuration & management is done via a browser based GUI, called the SMU (Storage Management Utility). This is quite difficult to navigate, it is not that intuitive and does not seem to have been optimised to minimise key/mouse click repetition. The ‘volume to host’ mapping (a.k.a. selective storage presentation) is especially frustrating. It took me nearly an hour to present 16 volumes to 4 (dual HBA) servers in 2 MSCS clusters – as the mappings are done one at a time – in this case that was 64 mappings in total. There is a real need for wizards or to allow multiple selections for these types of actions.

There is no facility (in the latest firmware - J200P19) in the CLI or SMU to force the management network interface speed (10/100) or duplex (Half/Full). I hope this configuration option will be exposed in the near future, as auto negotiation seems a bit hit & miss – especially in Cisco switch environments.

On the plus side, once you get through the configuration and the vdisk initialisation, the performance is actually very good for low-to-mid end storage array.

Comments welcome. I am being positive with mine and I hope that the next revision of the MSA2000 product will be improved.

I am posting under a new ID as these comments are my personal views and not those of my current employer.

Regards,

Benny44
13 REPLIES
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Very interesting! I was looking on the HP web site at the 2012fc as a possible solution for one of my projects. After your comments I will reevaluate my options.

It is nice to see that performance was very good.

How did you figure out that this is a dothill product?
Benny44
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

>> How did you figure out that this is a dothill product?

There are a couple of references to Dot Hill in the documentation and in a MPIO/DSM software license agreement.

Also Brocade SAN switches report the WWPN's/WWNN's on the MSA2000fc as being allocated to Dot Hill.

When you check web site there is absolutely no doubt -http://www.dothill.com/storage/hardware/data/2730/

DH 2730 = HP MSA2012fc
DH 2730T = HP MSA2212fc

Laters...

Benny44
Rob Leadbeater
Honored Contributor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi,

The references to Dot Hill, were mentioned a few months ago here:

http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1204004

http://www.crn.com/it-channel/206800548?cid=ChannelWebBreakingNews

I've not seen an MSA2000 yet, but would be interested to know whether the OS support has changed from the original press releases.

Cheers,

Rob
Thomas Schmidt [aura]
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Here my opinion of the MSA 2012fc.
Good news first... the performance is good in my case.
I think it is not a real hp product!
The configuration and navigation in the smu is terrible. I've got many problems with the controllers like ...

C 05-26 10:32:02 217 B1106 SuperCap Failure. Status(23): Cell 1 Charging Voltage Too High [2671;0] State(12): Failure

The Email Notification is very poor. I become many many mails with a undisclosed recipient with no information in mail. It is a blank email. why?

Also i miss like promised in the dokumention the "reset statistics" button under the Statistics section. By the way i use J200P19 too!

Nice Post @Benny44! I hope really that hp works for a better firmware as the last one.
At this point I'm unfortunately disapointed in this produkt.
ra999
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi all

I am having the following problem:
- Before i upgraded the firmware to J200P19 the user interfaces were unavailable after typing any text in the 'email comment' field.
- After upgrading the firmware it does the same but now randomly after changing fields in the email notification page.

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi together,
i am actually configuring an msa2012fc dual controller arry with 24 x 300GB disks in it. just in case i created 2 vdisks, one with raid5 and one with raid 10. it seems very long to initialize these disks, nothing like it was before, i am now waiting a half hour and the progress bar says 3% for RAID10 and 1% for RAID 5 initialization ....i wonder how long this will take in the future and how long a rebuild of an destroied RAID will go on ...smu is not that intuitive and by the response in the browser you never knwo really wether its ok or not ...
John Kufrovich
Honored Contributor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Thomas,

>Also i miss like promised in the >dokumention the "reset statistics" button >under the Statistics section. By the way i >use J200P19 too!

Change your user profile from "standard" user to "Advance" and you will get all the menus. Including read ahead cache settings for volumes.

jk
Matthew Cunningham
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi,

We have just purchased this for a project I am working on and I have to say that it is a complete joke. Over the years I have come to admire HP's storage offerings but this one misses the mark by a wide margin.

First of all right out of the box the rail kit is a complete failure. If you dont have a server to support the array while you are installing it then it will be almost impossible for one person alone. The whole thing is supported by square nuts and screws instead of the clip on style rails that are way eaier to use. You are supposed to screw the rear ear brackets in to the rack and then guide the side rails into them while at the same time balancing the front of the array. Also, I hope you are not using an older HP/Compaq rack because the rail kit does not work with it. HP does not tell you this up front but is apperantly well known by thier customer support. The rear of the array will hit the rear brackets which will prevent the array from sliding all the way into the rack which prevents you from securing the front of the unit to the rack.

The supported drives can only be used by the MSA 2000 product line and are not interchangable with any other HP storage product.

The SMU is a complete waste of time. It will lock up the controllers frequently when you are creating and deleting luns and the only way to reset it is to power down the entire array. So much for high availability.

Contacting HP for support is a waste of time. I am assuming that since this is a re-badged Dot Hill product is why no one at HP knows anything about how to support and troubleshoot it.

If I wasn't against a deadline I would return this product immediately. I would highly recommend against using this product in any environment. Use at you own risk!


Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi Matthew,
your experience with the rails is just the same as i had ! HP knows now how to build rail kits for server and storage so that one person can easy handle the whole thing, but these rails here are a joke ....i agree with you that its a waste of time to ask tech support @ hp for difficult questions, like is there support for vmware cluster if the 2 hosts are direct connected and so on .....bad baby. i agree that if you can, you better would go for an EVA 4400 ......
Darcy_7
Occasional Advisor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

I have solutions or answers to 2 of the following problems discussed in this post

Issue 1
The Email Notification is very poor. I become many many mails with a undisclosed recipient with no information in mail. It is a blank email. why?

Answer
The email problem is a known problem. The issue is
the buffer is not big enough for certain events. In case of the log one of my customer sent me. The following is the error it is trying was email -

A460 06-02 07:00:03 257 I A Snapshot 44415441332d44000000000000000000 has been
created and committed for master volume 00c0ffd51d2a00482ab2414801000000 [DMS
tag: 4cc9be9b48439a73]. Snapshot is now ready for use.

5182 06/02 07:00:09 (1531601.8) CRIT doEmailNotification: eventId 257 - message
exceeds maximum e-mail contents leng

This is a known issue and will be fixed in a later firmware.


Issue 2
The SMU is a complete waste of time. It will lock up the controllers frequently when you are creating and deleting luns and the only way to reset it is to power down the entire array. So much for high availability.

Answer

I do know that when access to the SMU is lost. It can be regained by connecting up to the serial port one of the msa2000 controllers and getting a terminal session to the controllers

If you then type
Restart mc both

This will just restart the management portion of the controllers without taking existing luns offline


Lindblom
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Have a look at this...

http://bizsupport.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01505852/c01505852.pdf

The rail kit which is in "HP StorageWorks 2000 Modular Smart Array racking instructions" looks completely different. At least compare to the kit I have.

Has anyone received the rail kit which is described in this guide?

Peter
Bengt Sjoberg
Frequent Advisor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Regarding the racking details I found the manual too and thought I had received the wrong parts. So I called in and asked for a set of rack details as the one I had "was the wrong item". HP shipped a new identical kit. So I looked in the user guideinstead and saw I had the correct part from the beginning.
Now I am missing the "ears" to put in front. Did not find them in the package and I do not think HP will accept those missing three months after shipment.
Bobscrew
Occasional Advisor

Re: MSA2000fc... Initial thoughts...

Hi all

I installed an MSA2324fc and it came with the better rails. It was originally configured with 24x146GB drives and I have recently upgraded it to 24x300GB drives. My experience with the Management GUI and HP support concurs with the earlier posters. I can't manage dedicated spares and though I raised a clearly defined ticket, all I received were idiotic responses parroting the manual at me. After two weeks I managed to get someone to look at it remotely. He attempted all the things I had already tried (and had stated) and then went away to escalate it. Sigh!