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unique partition with EVA8100

 
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

unique partition with EVA8100

Hi all,
we have just bought an HP EVA 8000, made by 12 disk enclosures with 14 500Gb FATA disks each, for a total of 168 disks and more or less 80 Tb of storage space.
before the EVA, we have two DL380G5 in a cluster configuration with windows storage server 2003 32 bit intalled.
our issue is the following: we would like to build a unique 80Tb volume to be seen by users.
HP Italy said us that this is not possible, so we will have to have 28 partitions of 2Tb each...and this is unaccettable! do you know if there's a chance to have an unique 80 Tb partition??I can't believe that a so powerfull machine has this big limit,,,
thanks in advance
Davide
16 REPLIES 16
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

David,

What do you mean by a "unique" volume?

The EVA presents disks to a host. Most operating systems can only handle that LUN being presented to 1 host at a time without a special file system or additional tools (such as GFS on linux).

What you would usually do then is "share" a drive or folder on a drive so that users can map the drive over the network (windows example but similar on linux with Samba).

What is it you are trying to achieve?
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Hi Chris,

what I would like to do is to configure the EVA as a single 60Tb volume, then share it and present to the users over the network.
But since I understood from HP technician is that this is not possible, I have to create 28 volumes of 2Tb each in EVA,then from Windows 2003 machines create a stripe over the 28 volumes,,,but honestly I donâ t find this a good and reliable solution,,
Is there a way to do what I want?
Many thanks
Davide
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

What are the users using the space for?

I don't think you understand what the EVA is for. It's a SAN device which you can setup multiple virtual disks (virtual disks) of whatever size you need and present the disk to a server/device. These devices would typically be a server.

I've got an EVA8000 with Fibre drives (not FATA) and this is how we do it.

If you want to use it for ISCSI then that's a bit different. I don't have ISCSI and haven't looked into it as i don't have a need for it.

Can you give me more of an idea of your environment? Does your EVA8100 have ISCSI presentation components/software?

If you have a bill of materials and can attach it that will help.
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100



Hi Chris,
Our infrastructure is : 2 DL380 G5 in Cluster configuration, 1 EVA8000 with 12 disks shelf with 14 FATA disks of 500Gb each.
What we would like to have is a single Virtual Disk of 60Tb, or how many is needed, but to be presented to the server as a single logical volume.
HP technician said us that EVA can make virtual disk of just 2Tb each, no problem if we could see a single logical volume on the server, but neither that is possible.
Are you aware about this limit (virtual disk size)?also, do you think is possible to let the DL380 see just a volume?
Thanks again
Davide
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Have you tried to create a volume of more than 2TB? What does it do when you try?

Are you running EVA8000 or EVA8100?

What is the operating system on your hosts?

What's the storage space being used for? There may be another way to do what you're trying to do.
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Hi Chris,
To be honest I donâ t know the exact error got on there, I simply guess the system didnâ t allow that.
We are running EVA 8100 , and DL380â s run Windows Server Storage server 2003.
The space will be used as a storage for our music archiveâ ¦
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Can you post the error you get.
Urban Petry
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Davide,

even the newest EVAs with v6.x firmware are not able to create a single virtual disk beyond 2TB in size. This is due to the internal handling where the EVA uses some memory-resident tables for storing information about each vdisk (allocated blocks etc.). I heard rumors about future firmware versions lifting this limitation (by sort of doing RAID0 over several vdisks internally) but I don't think it will be in the next months.

On the Windows server side don't forget that dynamic disks (which you would need to use to sripe several EVA vdisks into one volume) are not supported on clusters! I think there is third-party software that makes this possible (from Veritas, overtaken by Symantec now), but have no experience with this.

The only thing that you could do is use DFS or mountpoints (which is supported on clusters) to "mount" each disk into a separate subdirectory of one big name space (e.g. drive letter). As long as a single directory's content doesn't grow beyond 2TB then you're fine. Not a nice solution, but the best I can think of ...

Urban

Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

David,

Do the hosts have to run windows? Have you looked at trying a linux solution (still using the EVA).

If you're interested i can look into it for you.
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Hi,
thanks Urban for cleared (and confirmed) my dubts about EVA configuration.
Chris, our clients run windows xp and servers in front of EVA will be use Windows Storage Server 2003.
using Linux could be a working idea, but I don't think HP will support a costumed installation.
thanks again for all
Davide
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

David,

The servers attached to my EVA run linux and linux is FULLY supported (and even sold by) HP.

You can use linux as a windows fileserver and it is quite easy to setup. You can even cluster it and it will automatically failover when to the redundant node when required.

If there isn't a political reason you HAVE to use windows then it's definately an option.
CA1019066
Occasional Visitor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

We have the same issue. We have Windows file servers, Notes servers and SQL servers that will soon need logical volumes >2TB.

On non-clusters we can (and have) work(ed) around this with spanning disks, but this requires dynamic disks which are not supported on clusters.

It seems that this 2TB restriction is not a technical limitation of the EVA, but rather is a safety measure that was put in place in order to prevent the carving of LUNs that were unusable in Windows.

However, this limitation in Windows has been lifted since 2003 SP1.

We had hoped this child-proofing safety would be lifted in the 6.x firmware but it has not.

Over the next few months we are looking at the possibility of mission-critical databases that we can no longer support on the EVA, and should this happen, senior management will force us to move to EMC, which we already have in our datacenter.

Can someone from HP tell us in what release will the 2TB limit be lifted and how soon it will be available?

Thanks!
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Kevin,

I suggest you speak with your HP account manager about the situation and tell them that they're going to lost another customer if it's not resolved (and you won't be the last to go due to this issue).

Have you tried splitting the SQL DB & LOG onto different LUN's of the EVA on different drives on the server?

I don't know Lotus Notes but can you do something to split it in the meantime?
EG - With exchange you can run multiple "information stores" on different disks of windows and split the data into the information stores. There are a number of advantages to this in an exchange environment (as i said i don't know anything about Notes).
Davide Moronetti
Occasional Advisor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Hi all,
just to keep u up to date.
HP sorted this out installing Polyserve Cluster Gateway application that,using ps file system, let us to create 4 partitions of 14 Tb each...not the best but better than 28 ones.
is also true that is not actually possible to manage a 80 Tb partition with Microsoft file system, and it wouldn't be safe too.
Thanks all for the support
Davide
CA1019066
Occasional Visitor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Thanks, the call wih HP has already been placed by an associate.

The logs and DB's are already split on different LUNs. The DB is forecasted to grow by more than 2TB per year and it must be one contiguous DB.

I'm familiar with Exchange's abiity have upto 20 DB's. However (don't shoot the messenger) our Notes envionment uses a single file for each mailbox and our notes admins insist that we need 1 logical drive holding every mailbox in the company (end users don't hit this server).
Chris Rosan
Valued Contributor

Re: unique partition with EVA8100

Again, not knowing notes, but if that was exchange and you wanted to maintenence to it, not only would ALL the mailboxes be offline, but the maintenence would take FOREVER!!

One of the reasons we split into several Information stores is so that when we perform Offline Defrag's of the information stores, it only takes down half the company and takes half the time, AND requires half the disk space sitting doing nothing during a defrag.