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MSA1000 upgrade questions

 
ToddWCarter
Occasional Contributor

MSA1000 upgrade questions

I currently am running an MSA1000 with a single controller and one external Brocade switch. I have 2 - Netware servers and the Management server attached with a single HBA in each. Over Fibre.

My client is moving to a consolidated server system and we want to be able to use the SAN more efficiently. My plans are to add a second controller, add HBAs to each of the existing servers and replace the existing 8 - port Brocade switch with 2 24 port switches. I plan on bringing several site servers data into a cluster arangement, but want to establish redundancy and upgrade the system so it is not overwhelmed by all the new hardware and band usage.

So, what I need to know, what will be the best way to accomplish all this and not lose the data & RAID configurations that are currently being used.

Thanks in advance for any help received.

Todd W Carter
4 REPLIES 4
James Muell
Valued Contributor

Re: MSA1000 upgrade questions

You can add the second MSA controller without much trouble. One thing to watch is the firmware version on the controllers. If the existing contrlr has older fw than the newer one, you will be prompted to upgrade it. See the migration, or maintenance docs on the MSA website.
To add the 24 pt switches check that they are compatible with the MSA.
With redundant switches, you will need to install multipath software. The version matters, based on the host's OS AND the MSA firmware version. This info is in the Readme file of the firmware on the HP MSA site too.
You will need to use SSP to 'assign' Luns or logical drives to specific hosts. An alternative to SSP would be using Switch zoning.
Clusters are also dependent on the MSA firmware version.
NOTE. You will need to map out what host will be using what array and logical drives.

With this many logicals in use, and multiple hosts are using LDs from 1 array, you may in the future be prevented from deleting and changing LDs. The MSA's ACU has limitations.
Bandwith may also be a problem.
One option would be to move to a current MSA firware version in order to take advantage of both controllers (active-active).
Managmt of this SAN environment will be problematic. Document it well. GL jmm
ToddWCarter
Occasional Contributor

Re: MSA1000 upgrade questions

Thanks for your response. And the heads up on issues.

One or two quick questions. First, when you say the "host OS", do you mean the Management server that does all the LD configuration, or the cluster node servers. All of the clusters will be Novell, either Netware 6.5 or SUSE 10, while the Management box is W2K3. I am using HP Array Configuration Utility v. 7.70.12.0 to present LUNS to the nodes and so far have not had any problems. What I am concerned with though is whether I can replace the current switch with a new one and not lose configuration. Or should I bring one new switch on line, make sure it sees the current environment, and then rerplace the original 8 - port with a second new switch?

Also, I am not familiar with multi-path software. Would it be possible you could explain a little more about it. Does it come with the controllers, or is it a seperate purchase?

Thanks again for your help.

Todd W Carter
James Muell
Valued Contributor

Re: MSA1000 upgrade questions

--Clusters are generally qualified on certain MSA firmware versions. The ReadMe file for the fw you are using or plan to use should mention if a Netware cluster is supported.

--Same for SUSE version you are using.

--From the HP-ACU interface you should be using SSP to assign the LDs to the intended host's HBA WWN (world wide name). This prevents other hosts from see that LD. Clustered LDs need to be assigned to both cluster nodes.

It would be best to use a downtime window to:
-- Add the controller first and comfirm they are up and running the same FW.
--Add HBAs - Hosts will need to use 2 HBAs, so install and configure the drivers per HP approved.
--Add multipathing software to the Dual HBA hosts. (Check with HP on what to use.) This usually a separate purchase, though some versions are free from HP. I am not familiar with what is used with Netware. Multipath software manages the fibre channel connection btwn host and storage. If the active path fails, the I/O will failover to the other path without much interruption. Some versions push I/O down both paths simultaneously.

--Are you using MSA HUB modules to connect to the 8 pt switches? Or, are you using 1 MSA 8 pt switch module in the back of the MSA?
I think there are rules about connecting external switches to the MSA. (Check with HP on what configuration and hardware to use.)

You Said '...should I bring one new switch on line, make sure it sees the current environment, and then replace the original 8 - port with a second new switch? BASICALLY YES>
ToddWCarter
Occasional Contributor

Re: MSA1000 upgrade questions

Thanks again, your info is very helpful. I was going to submit points, but got a server error message when I tried. Sorry.

Yes I am using SSP to present LDs to servers and have no issues there. I do present to bothe nodes in existing cluster and do not foresee any problems on adding another node.

I am going to presume that I have an MSA hub since the existing 8 - port switch is external, not a plug-in on the SAN. The existing switch is plugged in directly to the controller module on the SAN. (PS, this is a system I inherited, so still a little cloudy).

I will have to check on the multi-path software, especially I am strongly considerng using SUSE 10 from Novell.

Again, thanks very much for your help.

TWC