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XP12k and External storage via fabric

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Amar_Joshi
Honored Contributor

XP12k and External storage via fabric

Hi there,

Can anyone answer this question that whether XP12000 can be attached to an external Storage through fabric (brocade/mcdata/cisco) or not?

Looking for someone who is already using either HP-XP12000 or Hitach-USP1100 for such fabric attached connectivity. All I need to know is the supportability and performance constrains.

Thanks in advance.
10 REPLIES
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

You can do both, direct or fabric attach!
Both is supported.

You can think of it as if the XP12000 was a host with multiple HBAs (FC ports in ext storage mode); so performancewise the fabric must just deliver what the XP to array requires.

If you connect an array with in-band management like MSA or EVA, fabric attach allows sharing all array ports for IO and management.

You can either build a dedicated External Storage backend SAN or you can use dedicated zones or VSANs from your existing SAN.

Most of the installations I know are fabric attached some with dedicated and some with shared switches.

Also see this white paper:
http://h71028.www7.hp.com/ERC/downloads/4AA0-6162ENW.pdf

Cheers
XP-Pete
I love storage
Vincent Fleming
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

You should also speak with your local HP storage solutions architect (SA) or account support consultant (ASC) and have them check the STREAMS docs (compatability matrix) to make sure you're in a supported configuration.

If you're unsure who your SA or ASC would be, email me at vincent.fleming@hp.com - I should be able to find out for you.

Your SA or ASC should be able to answer all your questions.

Regards,

Vince
No matter where you go, there you are.
Alzhy
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

You probably mean External Storage/XP option of these Hitachi-based XP12000 - right?

Yes, it is possible and this is what makes these Storage Frames truly the best value and featured/power packed Tier-1 array out there right now.

I am actually in my final planning stages to consolidate our storage on our XP12000. In the pipeline already is to hook up our older EVA5000s, a Hitachi 9960 (XP512?) to the XP12000 so we can utilize BusinessCopy/XP to replace our interim solution of using VxVM Flashsnap (host-based) of using the EVAs as our snapshot array to the XP12000 primary storage. We figure our current host-based snapshot/mirrring implementation may not scale anymore in the long term or will impose severe infrastrucure and operational challenges in case something happens and we need to rebuild the mirror/flashsnap sets.

Hope this helps and answers your post.


Hakuna Matata.
Amar_Joshi
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Hi Guys,

You are really helpful, I was just expecting an answer "yes or no" but it's more than that.

thanks to you all.
Nigel Poulton
Respected Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Amardeep,

I *personally* prefer the option of using a switch. With this approach, in *my opinion* troubleshooting is far simpler because you have your familliar, and usually better, switch utilities. For example its usually easier to look at throughput and other performance issues as well as tourbleshoot physical media problems using your switch.

Of course the downside to this is that you are introducing more components and therefore more chance of one of them breaking.

Hope this helps,

Nigel
Talk about the XP and EVA @ http://blog.nigelpoulton.com
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Like Nigel I also prefer using switches in the backend.
Beside what Nigel said it is also much easier to scale:
You can add arrays and XP External Storage ports transparently and in case of EVA and MSA where you have an FC inband management you can share the management server.

Cheers
XP-Pete
I love storage
Amar_Joshi
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Yes I am aware of these features of expandability but totally disagree that it's easier to troubleshoot. In other words, interim switch can also bring in problems and only can be found out after troubleshooting.

What I am looking is not the concept of fabric/dir-attach but real life examples of such connectivity.

Thanks for your responses,

All will be awarded with respective points :)
Peter Mattei
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

I can describe you some installations we do have here in Switzerland:

Customer A
XP12000 with 2x dedicated 8-port Brocade switches and MSA1500

Customer B
2x XP12000 with a shared server/backend SAN (various types of Brocades). Some LUNs of two XP512 mapped as external storage

Customer C
XP12000 with 2x dedicated 32-port Brocade switches and a fully blown EVA8000 exclusively used for Business Copy XP

Customer D
2x XP12000 each with 2x dedicated 20-port Cisco switches, EVA8000 and MSA1500

Customer E
XP12000 with directly attached EMC CX3-20 (The CX3 is currently not certified by HP, customer uses it at own risk)

Hope that helps
XP-Pete
I love storage
Nigel Poulton
Respected Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Amardeep,

As for examples -

I know of a company who runs internal level 1 business copies directly to disk internal to the XP12K but then pushes a 4th copy (level 2) off to an MSA1500 as a so called lifeboat copy. This MSA is attached to the XP12K via a shared Brocade SAN.

I know of a couple of companies who hang HDS 9500 series storage off the back of a USP (XP12K). They also have a shared backen SAN running on Brocade hardware. They are again using the external storage for business copy purposes.

From my experience both HP and HDS seem to recommend attachment via a SAN rather than direct attach for the reasons cited above.

Of course you are correct that often this introduces more "moving parts" but from my experience it is easier to troubleshoot (although I wont get over-zealous about stressing my point).

Nigel
Talk about the XP and EVA @ http://blog.nigelpoulton.com
Amar_Joshi
Honored Contributor

Re: XP12k and External storage via fabric

Peter,

Thanks for enlightening me with the list.

Nigel,

I understand your point which is inline with Peter's suggestion. I agree that fabrics are stable and a good way of connecting devices but for the sake of comparision I needed the opinion. Thanks to both of you for being so responsive and exploring the topic.