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HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

Robert Scarlett
Occasional Visitor

HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

Hello everyone,

Given HP have pretty much forgotten about further developing this product.

I am wondering if there is any reason why HP Polyserve for MS SQL would not work on Hitachi Dynamic Provisoning Software on AMS or USPV Storage arrays?

Any comments? Not expecting any response from HP on this as I have tried multiple ways to get answers from HP on this.

Emil Velez
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

Polyserve is pretty generic when it comes to the clustered storage. Not sure whether these disk arrays are ISCSI or Fibrechannel.

Can the luns from these disk arrays be presented to all of the nodes in the Cluster ? (multiple hosts).

do you have a way to configure fencing successfully either ILO or via a supported FC switch.

As long as all of the nodes in the cluster see the same luns it should not be a concern.

Robert Scarlett
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

The storage is Fibre Channel based and abstracted using Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning Software on the USPV. . The USPV class is the same model as the HP XP24000 and XP20000. The LUNS can be presented presented to multiple hosts as normal storage assignment rules.

Is there any reason that this would not be supported by HP?
Emil Velez
Honored Contributor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

Since you have disk arrays from another vendor that vendor would support you not HP. The polyserve product can use luns from a disk array that are presented to all of the nodes in the cluster as long as windows sees them properly.

What are you looking for regarding support ?

If something fails on polyserve you call HP. If something fails on the hitachi disk arrays you call hitachi. As long as you configure the disk array to be seen by the hosts in the cluster and windows sees them properly and you resolve a multipathing issue withe hitachi MPIO software it should not be a issue.

Honored Contributor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

Polyserve is fully supported at XP storages so it should be supported also for Hitachi USP V, and USP VM... (identical microcode)

Hitachi Dynamic Provisoning Software is XP Thin provisioning. it seems not being finaly tested with Polyserve...
the pain is one part of the reality
Milan Niznansky
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

I second IBaltay on this.

IMHO the basic issue here is the definition of a word "(to) support".

When the "old" Polyserve company said they "supported" certain 3rd party product, what it meant was:
- they _have_tested_the_product_VERSION_in_their_lab_ (storage, RDAC version, etc.)
- they have experience with the _3rd_ party product
- they help you configure the _3rd_ party product to work correctly with Polyserve
- they _assume_responsibility for the _3rd_party_ product being compatible with Polyserve

Such an customer-centric high-commitment support of _3rd_party_ products is NOT standard, nor common.
Definitely not for an established vendor like HP.

Keep in mind that Polyserve was highly non-standard, cutting-edge, technology with no major HW vendor backing it.
This was the only way for an ISV to get Enterprise adoption of such a product.

Welcome 2007 - what changed:
- HW support for homogeneous clusters becomes mainstream (mostly thanks to ESX)
- major vendor (HP) buys Polyserve
- Polyserve code-base is already mature enough (3.4/3.5 releases)

- while HP take over all the support responsibility for previous Polyserve commitments, it is not willing to extend the generous support of _3rd_party_ products any more
- compatibility guide gets almost frozen

Solution to these misunderstandings:
HP shall publish an explanation to customers regarding this behind-the-curtain policy "change".
HP shall publish specific requirements for storage/MPIO to be compatible with Polyserve clusters.
HBA drivers compatibility shall continue the "compatibility guide" route.

Especially the notice to customer about the change in the meaning of the Compatibility guide should have take place looong ago.

From my experience, HP has lost many customers just because of this misunderstanding.
I have experienced several cases where formal "non-support" was cited by customer as a reason to avoid our Polyserve-based solution.
(Of course appending the Comp.Guide was a no-no from HP)
Tom Nieman
Occasional Advisor

Re: HP Polyserve for Microsoft SQL

From the cheap seats... I'll put on my old HP hat for a moment and give an opinion only...

HP has purchased many SAN/Storage companies over the years and typically the acquired technology is integrated loosly in the following way(s):

Support Team:
Initially the technology is supported as it had been before the acquisition on a "pass-through" basis. Meaning the calls pass through the HP support queue and are redirected to the original support team. Close ties to the development and engineering teams remain intact.

Support team members are usually then converted over to HP badged employees and may be gradually relocated and/or re-assigned to different support groups. Similarly, development and engineering teams are gradually absorbed into HP proper. Roadmaps are changed and focus gradually changes. This is the "harder to support" stage.

At some point there will be a decision to rename the product to HP StorageWorks XXXXXXX. By that time some or most of the original support team will likely no longer be with HP, or if they are, will have completely different roles. New support teams will have been created to support the new version of the product...

All along the transformation path into HP proper, it is most difficult to determine what configurations are supported and tested. Most of that is determined by the original "pass through" group while they remain intact. Until the product reaches the official status as HP StorageWorks XXXXX, the support "streams" are pretty fuzzy. It kind of looks like this: OEM labs -> FIT labs -> HP labs. The FIT lab (Field Integration Testing) is transitional and is more ad hoc. If you have a configuration, they may be able to duplicate the environment, do some testing and give you a reasonable estimate of success.

Support Contract:
Of course at any time you may purchase a support contract for anything related to HP products. Most support products are standard SKU's but you can have HP write custom support contracts on anything in the fleet. We used to call it SAN Environmental Support and basically we had agency agreements on behalf of the customer to work with any vendor who had components in the solution.

Having said all that... It is important to note or at least understand the logical bias HP or any vendor would have towards their own storage. While it is not going to be "on stream" unless their is enough demand from the customer base. Meaning, a single large customer, or several enterprise level customers, or a sizeable support contract in place...

Specifically to your question... HP Polyserve for MS SQL is a specific configuration optimized as a shrink wrapped solution. The sizzle to this product is obviously the ability to provide high performance active/active NAS clusters (files) optimized for database applications and other. The reason this is important, is you no longer need to run Oracle or SQL or whatever on large amounts of raw partitions (block) traditionally provided by Fiber Channel SAN infrastructure for performance.

The problem you are having is getting to the right support group within HP.

Acquisition is made...
Progress stalled within existing support infrastructure...
Development of next generation product & support continues under cloak of darkness...
Support of legacy product is difficult...
New product & support emerges to light of day...
Kiss and make up with all customers run over by transformation...
Move on to next new big thing...

If you were a large HP customer (top 52 globally) you should have your ADM (account delivery manager) who is there courtesy of the persuit organization within HP, handle this issue.

If you are a not so large HP customer (enterprise customer) you are the middle class and should have your ADM (account delivery manager) who is there courtesy of the delivery organization within HP, run with this issue. Don't take no for an answer.

If you are less than a "not so large" customer of HP but have a support contract, and have a TAM (technical account manager) have them handle the issue...

But in any event keep trying... You have a right (somehow) to better support (at least answers) than you are receiving (IMHO). If you have a good sales rep, they will be the best resource to take your issue to the 800lb gorilla... If you don't have a good sales rep, keep pounding them, as you paid a lot of money for the right to better support than you are getting. Regarless of what they tell you.

Your original statement "Given HP have pretty much forgotten about further developing this product" I guarantee you is a wrong assumption... This IS HUGE in the evolution of the datacenter... HP is just having a hard time supporting it during the transformation.
God Bless America