MSA Storage


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New to SAM, MSA2040, and VMWare....and struggling. 
I just added a second storage unit to our MSA2040. It is assembled with 24 900GB drives (as was the first). I have a few questions, and might not be finding the proper terminology so please be patient.

Current: MSA2040 w/ 24 900GB drives, using RAID10 (w/ 2 spares), 2 Volumes on A, 1 Volume on B. 
I've added a shelf with another 24 900GB Drives, and would like create 2 very large volumes (for speed; (6) Windows2016Server Operating systems reside on one of the volumes, and CAD files are stored/manipulated on the others).

Can I format the new shelf/drives while my users are up and running on the existing MSA2040 (this is ALL production), and if so can the user impact and length of time to format 10TB  be estimated? This is a production system and it could affect 50+ users' productivity. 

Plan (nutshelled): 
[]Set up a new Volume 004 for Pool A (on dgA02) that is +/- 5TB… called Vol0004.
[]'Migrate’ the data on Vol003 (currently Pool B dgB01) to the (new and empty) Vol0004 (Pool A, dgA02).
[]This leaves an assigned (empty) Vol0003 and unnamed space that has not been committed to a Volume (only RAIDed) on Pool B.
[]remove the empty volume from VMware
[]Delete Vol0003 (or expand it into the ‘un -named’ space on B) and Pool B is now 10TB.
[]Create Vol0005 with 10TB on Pool B (or expand Vol003 @ 10TB) using BOTH dgB01 and dgB02.
[]Migrate all the data on Vol0001, Vol0002, Vol0004 (Pool A) onto the new (now 10TB) Vol0005/Pool B.
[]Remove these from VMware: Vol0001, Vol0002, Vol0003
[]Delete Vol0001, Vol0002, Vol0003, and create a new Vol0005 (using dgA01 and dgA02).
[]Vol0005 (dgAo1, dgA02) is now also 10TB.
[]Migrate some data for load balancing (best guess).




You can format the new drives while in production with no impact to current users. Just to clarify a little further. Whether you chose to use virtual or linear you will will create a disk-group on the array. You can chose an online option or an offline option. Chosing online lets you use the disk-group immediately from the host side. If you decide to chose the offline init all the parity and stripes need to be laid out before you can present to the host and allow host access. Either option is fine and neither will impact your current users. Online init offers immediate host access while offline means you have to wait. I personally use online init because it is faster.

Your plan for adding disk-groups and volumes looks good. A couple words of caution.

First recommendation is to take a full backup of all your data.

Be sure you have enough space on Vol0004 to fit all the current data in Vol003.

I would not expand volumes but delete and recreate. As long as your data is backed up this is quicker and provides you a more robust layout of your Pools.

Besure before you begin moving data and creating new disk-groups, that all your drives and the array are at the latest firmware versions.

A couple of guides you may be interested in.


MSA2040 Best Practices:

MSA and VMware vSphere Best Practices:

MSA Firmware & Release Notes:

Good luck!


I work for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The comments in this post are my own and do not represent an official reply from HPE. No warranty or guarantees of any kind are expressed in my reply.

I work for HPE

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