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Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

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Paul_637
Regular Advisor

Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

(Wasn't sure if this was best placed in the Tape Libraries forum or the SAN forum so apoligies if it's felt the other forum was more suitable).

We have two SAN fabrics and each node on the SAN has a minimum of two HBA ports, one of which is connected to each fabric.

We have just purchased two of the above libraries which are configured with two FC ports.

HP docs, however, state that port B should be left disconnected and kept for failover purposes, but how can it fail over when it's not connected!

Thinking in terms of remote support out of hours etc. it would appear to me a better solution to connect all ports but, perhaps, zone out the "spare" ports unless required.

This means that, should something fail in the middle of the night, you don't have to wander back to the datacenter to physically re-connect the second port, but rather can switch the zoning over to zone out the A port and zone back in the B port.

Give this thought, what way should I configure the connectivity? Should I follow standard practice and connect Port A to fabric A and port B to fabric B?

Also from a zoning perspective, am I correct in assuming that I should configure zones similar to my Host -> Storage config, i.e.:

I already have aliases for each host
I already have aliases for each Storage array (EVA4K)
I already have a single zone for each host -> Storage array connection
Should I now create an alias for each library and create a new set of zones linking the host alias to the library alias, or is it "ok" to simply add the libraries to the existing EVA4K zones which then means every host will immediately have access to each library.

I haven't yet looked at anything at all from a backup software perspective - we'll be using HP Data Protector, for which I'm attending a "Fundamentals" HP course in a few weeks. I'm just trying to get the hardware set up so that I can "have a play" with the s/w first rather than go into the training completely cold...

Any suggestions / pointers would be apppreciated..

Regards,

Paul
4 REPLIES
Owen_15
Valued Contributor

Re: Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

Hi Paul,

From the guides for this product, it doesn't look like you are meant to be using Port B, you are meant to be leaving it disconnected as you've said. I'm not sure whether it is really meant for failover purposes, perhaps there is something in the pipeline for the future, but it's not here today.

The best way to zone the tape libraries is to create seperate zones for each tape library. Place the tape library in the zone, and then place just one hba of the server(s) that you are connecting to the tape library. Tape libraries are not multipath aware.

SAN based tape libraries are very sensitive to hosts scanning the tape drives and interupting backups, so it is best to keep only the servers that should see the tape drives in the same zone as the tape library.

With HP Data Protector, if you can use the latest version, 6.0, you'll find that it has a very good feature of being able to figure out the path to the tape library again if it changes due to the library disappearing from the SAN temporarily and then coming back again.

Regards
Owen


Owen_15
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

Also,

There is this forum article discussing the dual ports in the MSL2024.
http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1143551

They do say that you could connect the Port B fibre connection and do manual failover in the case of failure using zoning. But they say this creates an administrative headache. I think they are right and you will create more problems than it is worth by having this additional connection.

Regards
Owen
Paul_637
Regular Advisor

Re: Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

Thanks for the responses Owen. The other thread pretty much mirrors my views although I don't see it as any more of a headache than having to march over to the datacenter should one of the switches go down!

I'll try it with zone management first and see how I go. At the end of the day, if I don't experience any failures, I'll never need to try messing with it anyway.

I think the intention will be that any server on the SAN will be backing up directly to the libraries anyway and so will ultimately need to be zoned in with it anyway...

Thanks again.

Paul
Curtis Ballard
Honored Contributor

Re: Zoning for MSL2024 Ultirum960 FC

It sounds like you have a good zoning strategy and are all set up to do exactly what you want. Zone out port B but have it connected so you can zone it back in if there is a failure.

DP has some path fail-over functionality but the feature to support two paths to a library or tape drive isn't available yet. It supports two paths to the primary storage but not to tape drives.

It is best to zone your system so only hosts that will be performing backup are allowed to see the tape drive and then make certain that the hosts are all configured so that RSM and Testunit polling are disabled on the Windows hosts and the SAN SAFE configurations are set on your HP-UX systems.