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1TB Drives in NSM-160

Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

1TB Drives in NSM-160

I'm wondering if anyone has attempted to put 1TB drives into an NSM-160?

Also, the NSM-160s I have in my lab have really old BIOS and 3Ware firmware on them. Any problems with updating them to the latest BIOS and Firmware?
22 REPLIES
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

I have done this without a problem on 6 of my NSM160s running SANIQ7SP1. Used Seagate, Hitachi and Western Digital drives. All have worked fine.

My largest problem is very long rebuild on my Raid 5 volumes. This became problematic when I was losing Seagate drives left and right (firmware problems with the Seagate model not related to the NSM160). If it wasn't for 2 way replication, I would have lost data. Since switching to a different model of Seagate or the Western Digitals, all is great.

24TB of raw space. Great for backup to disk.

Note that this config isn't support by Lefthand and my NSM160 aren't under a service contract.
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

As I re-read your post, I wanted to clarify. I didn't flash the BIOS/firmware on the 3ware card. The 3ware linux drivers are closely tied to the firmware version of the 3ware card, so I would be cautious with doing that and still having SANIQ work correctly.

I just put 1TB drives in a standard NSM160 running 7.0SP1 and haven't had any issues.

Thanks
Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Good to know. Did you do a fresh install w/ raw drives? Or replace drives one at a time and let them resync after the installation was in place?

I thought I had the NSM-160 network restore ISO around here somewhere, but all of the ISOs that I have (saniq70sp1, saniq8.00.1724) will not re-install onto this NSM-160. Keeps complaining about an invalid hardware ID type 9 and bombing out. Anyone have any pointers?
Phil Haberek
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Damon,

How did you go about putting in the 1TB drives into the NSM 160? Did you just pull all the drives at once, or do them one at a time? Think 2TB drives would work now?

Phil
Gregory J. Boehnlein
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Phil,
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. No, we never got an answer on it because the NSM-160's were so slow that they were not worth keeping around. We migrated to P-4500s.
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

I replaced all 4 drives at once. The NSM160 boots from the 2 DOM flash modules plugged into the 2 IDE ports on the motherboard. The IDE drives plugged into the RAID controller are just for data and not for booting. So we just booted on up with four 1TB drives without doing anything special.

I have also test WD Raptors without any issue if you want 10k RPM drives but we decided to go with 1TB for the space.

As for 2 or 1.5 TB drives, I haven't tried those. I do not know if the 3ware raid controllers would support them or not.

Thanks,

Damon
Tim Smoot
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Hey folks,

I have just installed 2 TB drives in my old NSM160's and things seem to be fine.

However, I do keep getting a message 'O/S config partition not mounted', and 'O/S log partition not mounted'.

Any ideas on how to fix that?

Thanks,

Smooter
Phil Haberek
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

I actually successfully installed (4) 1.5TB drives into my NSM160's. RAID 5, with a useable amount of space of roughly 4.5TB!!!!!

Working great so far!
Tim Smoot
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Gregory,

Congrats!

Hey, which 1.5 TB drives did you use?

More importantly, did you actually create a management group, and LUN and attach to it?

Everything working as expected?

Thanks,

Tim
Nick Laurino
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

We are wanting to take 3 of our NSM160's and use it to store VM's in our DR site and replace the current 500GB drives with 2TB drives.

I see that Damon has successfuly installed 1TB drives all at once without any issues, but would like to know what process he used.

Were these modules i a management group or was this done before they were added? I was told by LeftHand (prior to the HP buyout) that the SanIQ software would have to be reinstalled if all drives were replaced.

I currently have these units in there own management group and there is no data on them. I cannot see any way to format the drives in the management console so how is that done? If I replace all four drives in one module at a time will the full drive size be recognized?

I would appreciate any comments.
Tim Smoot
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Gregory,

I think I can be pretty certain that upgrades on these units is not without its challenges! :-)

That being said, I jumped straight to the 2 TB (1.81 actual) drives on my old NSM160N's, and after fighting with SanIQ 8.5 for a while (see post above about the "O/S Partition"/etc.) I finally just gave up.

There is a firmware update for the RAID controller, and 3Ware/LSI is more than happy to provide it, as well as a flash upgrade for the motherboards for these units (They are SuperMicro Servers).

Honestly, I wanted to configure these as a replication SAN for the new P4000 Series SAN that I put in, so having them on anything other than SanIQ 8.5 would have rendered them useless in this plan.

However, there is good news, depending on what you consider good news! OpenFiler LOVES these systems, and it runs like a dream on them. Now you can't really get the "cluster" SAN like you can with LeftHand, but it does work. Flash the controller, the motherboard, install 2 TB drives, create the array and install OpenFiler (it will fit on the 256 MB Dom's already in the NSM160). If you wanted to get really creative/complex you could setup each OpenFiler module with a single iSCSI LUN, and attach multiple of these LUN's to a clustered Windows 2003/2008 server and make a fault tolerant array out of the iSCSI LUN's (I am sure you could do this with Linux as well, but not as familiar with that) and end up with about the same thing as LeftHand (minus some of the performance of course).

I ended up utilizing my VSA Licenses on top of something from VMWare (ESX/ESXi will NOT recognize the 3Ware controller out of the box, there is some talk about a custom driver, but I wasn't able to prove/disprove that) and it looks like I am going to be home free.

Hope this helps!

smooter
Phil Haberek
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Hello,
I successfully replaced the 250gb drives in my NSM160's with 1.5TB drives, VERY easy with NO issues.

I upgraded the units to the 8.0 firmware, not 8.5. I could be wrong, but I thought the NSM160's weren't compatible with the 8.5 so I didn't even try.

The 8.0 upgrade went easily, as well as the installation of the 1.5TB drives.

I'm using mine for disk based backup storage. So far, working perfectly!

Hope that helps a little.
~Phil
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

You really don't want to upgrade the firmware of the motherboard or the 3ware controllers on the NSM160. If you do the motherboard, you will find that certain monitored values (like fan speed of the CPU and MB) are no longer correct. For the 3ware controller, the firmware is tied closely to the linux driver used.

When I upgraded the firmware on one of my NSM160, it became a little flaky. I believe it was due more to driver issues with the 3ware card then anything.
Nick Laurino
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Damon,

We are wanting to take 3 of our NSM160's and use it to store VM's in our DR site and replace the current 500GB drives with 2TB drives.

I see that you have successfuly installed 1TB drives all at once without any issues, but would like to know how this was done.

Were these modules in a management group or was this done before they were added? I was told by LeftHand (prior to the HP buyout) that the SanIQ software would have to be reinstalled if all drives were replaced.

I currently have these units in there own management group and there is no data on them. I cannot see any way to format the drives in the management console so how is that done? If I replace all four drives in one module at a time will the full drive size be recognized?

Did you shuit down the node and just replace all drives?

One other question, Do you think upgrading from 8.0 to 8.5 is necessary?

I would appreciate any comments.
Tim Smoot
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Upgrading to any version of SanIQ is dependent on what you want to do with it.

In my case, I want to use it as a Remote Copy, and as such my SanIQ version has to be at least , but could be greater than the version of the source SAN.

I have a brand new P4500 SAN, so I had to figure out how to make the NSM160N platform provide me with the ability to get to 8.5 of SanIQ. I jumped through the hoops, and I am doing the best option I came up with.

Thanks,

smooter
Nick Laurino
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Tim,

I appreciate the comment, but my situation is a little different. I have 6 NSM 160's and we have removed all storage from them except for our Exhange and SQL data. I removed 3 of the 160's so we can place them in our DR site for Remote Copies. They are all on version 8.0 with all patches so are running the same version.

I already configured the 3 DR modules into a seperate management group and was getting ready to run remote snapshots to it when our IT director wanted me to look into replacing the current 500 GB drives with 2Tb drives.

I remember quite a while ago asking support about doing this with 1TB drives and was told we could, but it wasn't supported and if we did I would have to reinstall the San/IQ software. This was just after HP took over so when I came accross this post I was hopefull.

The only thing I am not understanding is how Derick or anyone did the replacement. Were the untits powered off and all drives replaced at once? If so did replication take place and did they have use of the full amount of storage?

The on-line documentation (Help in the CMC) indicates you must change the RAID to 0 and shut down 3 of the drives do the replacement then power off the last drive and replace.

I am interested in trying this, but thought I would check to see how it was already done before I experiment.
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Nick,

The best way to upgrade the drives to a larger size is to remove the node from the management cluster and then turn it off. The swap out the 4 drive and turn it back on. When it comes up, you can then build the raid on the box.

Note that with 2 gig drives, rebuild takes quite some time.

Tim Smoot
Occasional Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

I agree with Damon,

Just shut them down and replace the drives. The OS is on the DOM's, it isn't on the Array (although I heard this has changed in the new P4000 series units).

Just to be devils advocate, I would recommend getting a set of 2 TB drives and trying the process. I gotta be honest, I did, it fired up, I saw all of the new storage.....but then the O/S Partition, and Log Partition errors came up. Tried to join it to a management group, and create a LUN. No Go!

Again, that was on 8.5 though....hopefully you won't have that issue on 8.0 or below.

smooter
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Isn't the OS and Log file system error related to upgrading to 8.5? I thought that for the NSM160 I saw a mention of that in the upgrade notes.

As stated the OS and log file systems are on the DOM flash and not on the hard drives. This is how this upgrade is possible without having to re-install from the CD.

Most of the Lefthand/HP nodes stores the OS on the hard drives. I think just the NSM150, 160 and 260 have the DOM flash modules. The rest store the software on the hard drives. They do store it differently though based on if they node does software raid or uses the Raid controller. LH dropped the software raid only devices a while ago though (I still have 6 NSM200s that use it though).

Thanks
Nick Laurino
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

I appreciate the information and will let you know what happens.

Thanks,

Nick
Shawn Pyle
Occasional Visitor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

As I was running out of space, I had a few volumes that were not 2-way replicated on my 3 NSM 160s which required that all nodes be available running a manager.

With my RAID-5 w/4 disks on the nodes, I was able to swap out the 250GB disks with a 2TB disks one by one while maintaining availability without a problem. It took about 2 hours per disk to rebuild, but afterwards, I was able to enable 2-way replication for all volumes.

I'm running SAN/iQ 8.1.
Damon Rapp
Advisor

Re: 1TB Drives in NSM-160

Just wanted to update on this topic for those of us who don't have the money to upgrade off the 160s.

This week I started testing 2TB drives for plans to implement in our production NSM160. I found 2TB drives worked just fine in 7.1SP1 up to 8.5.

I did notice that with SAN/iQ 8.5 that it is too large to fit onto the 256meg DOMs and that the log volume is moved over to the hard drives as well as a saniq volume is added. They appear to be RAID1 across the drives. The boot volume appears to remain on the DOMs.

Where this causes a problem is if you were to shutdown the box and replace all the drives with a larger capacity drive, you would be missing the log and saniq volumes. If you replace the drives one at a time while the box is up, it will automatically rebuild the raid 1 on the larger drive. In the end you will get all the space.

Earlier in the thread it was stated that the best way to upgrade the drives was to poweroff the box and just replace all the drives. This no longer works in 8.5.

Thanks