HP SAN Multipathing on MSA1500 cs

Hi,

I currently have 4 x HP ML370R05 running ESXi 3.5 (ESX installed on local storage 2 x 72Gb) connected to an MSA1500cs SAN Starter Kit which has the VM's for all 4 ESX hosts residing on the MSA030 (8 x 300Gb RAID5)

Existing Hardware (if required)
AE327B - HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP MSA1500 SAN SCSI STARTER G2 KIT
254786-B21 - HEWLETT-PACKARD: 256MB CACHE UPG SA5300 CONTROLLERS
A7446B - HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP 4GB SW SFP TRANSCEIVER
AE312A - HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP FC1242SR 4Gb PCI-E DC HBA
350964-B22 - HEWLETT-PACKARD: 300GB 10k Ultra320 UNI HARD DRIVE

I am trying to introduce some redundancy into the Fibre pathing, i.e. I want to be able to lose either a "FIbre HBA" OR "SAN Switch" OR "MSA Controller" and remain operational, we can live the the risk of only having the one MSA030 in RAID5 as replication is looking too difficult/expensive at present.

I am looking at purchasing the following;

AE328B - MSA1500 SAN Starter Kit HA G2 Bundle
A7446B - HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP 4GB SW SFP TRANSCEIVER
AE311A - HEWLETT-PACKARD: HP FC1142SR 4BG PCI-E HBA
254786-B21 - HEWLETT-PACKARD: 256MB CACHE UPG SA5300 CONTROLLERS


So as I see it, each server will have 2 x Fibre HBA's, one connected to each Fibre Switch, Each Fibre Switch is connected to it's own MSA Controller.

I am having trouble understanding what, if anything, needs to occur between the new MSA1500 Controller and the MSA030 Disk Shelf. Do I need to install a Dual port SCSI Interface in the MSA030 and connect 1 port to each MSA1500 controller? Or does the MSA030 remain only connected via a single SCSI Connection to the MSA Controller Shelf, and there is some kind of connectivity withing the MSA Controller Shelf that allows both MSA1500 controllers to access the MSA030 through a single SCSI Interface?

Excuse my ignorance if I am approaching this the wrong way but I have been unable to find any definitive information that states how to do what I am trying to do.

Help appreciated
cbresnehanAsked:
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andyalderCommented:
You don't need another SCSI module to attach the MSA30, it will remain single-attached. The MSA1500 midplane and the MSA30 enclosure and attachment will remain a single point of failure, there's no way around this I'm afraid but there's very little to go wrong on them compared to the controllers and switches. The MSA30 midplane contains a PCI bus that joins everything together so each controller can talk to any SCSI module.

The MSA30 Dual Bus interface just splits it 7 disks on one channel and 7 on the other so doesn't improve redundancy unless using RAID 10. It might speed it up if you do by one (plus another SCSI interface for the MSA1500 since the bus is only U160.
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bahmaneCommented:
Take a look at this link page 2 bottom of the page right hand diagram shows what you need to gain complete redundancy. Also, what you need to do make sure your controllers are upgraded to firmware version 7, that's when HP introuduced Active/Active instead active/stanby controllers. After that you need to download MPIO software from HP's site and configure it on each server with Dual HBA's so if one path fails the other will take over. HP used to do this with SecurePath software but the got rid of it after Microsoft came up with MPIO in Windows Server.

Hope this helps.
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bahmaneCommented:
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andyalderCommented:
Active/active or active passive it's still only got one path to the MSA30
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bahmaneCommented:
Andyadler is right, Active/Passive there is only one path to MSA30. I was just trying to fill in the rest of the puzzle for complete redundancy.
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cbresnehanAuthor Commented:
thankyou both very much for the help so far

I am aware that after the MSA1500 Shelf there is only one path to the MSA030 (SCSI), it is within the Fibre pathing that I wanted to remove the failure points, i think the only part of the question that remains unanswered is in relation to ESX, as the ML370's are running ESX how/what do I use to get them to acknowledge that they have two HBA's and mulitple paths to the storage?
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cbresnehanAuthor Commented:
too make this even clearer

I guess the questions are;
Q1. Is it as simple as, buy the hardware listed above, upgrade the firmware on the existing (and the new) MSA1500 controller to active/active (6.86?), install the new MSA1500 controller in the shelf, install the new HBA's in the ML370 ESX Servers, connect the new SAN Switch and cables, turn it all back on and it just works? Or is there additional config required either on the ESX hosts or the MSA Controllers?

Q2. Are the existing LUN's preserved?
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bahmaneCommented:
I'm not familir with ESX but for Windows server 2008 and Hyper-Visor all I had to was to download the mutli-path I/O(MPIO) which is a free download from HP and configure it so a server knew there are multple path to SAN and if one fails the other on takes over. You need to check with HP to make sure they support MPIO for ESX. but everything else you have listed are the parts you need to acheive redundancy. By the way did you know HP has discotinued 1500 for MSA2000, so getting the parts maybe difficult.
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andyalderCommented:
Luns are preserved, no data loss should ocur although like anything else you should always backup first assuming current firmware is 4.48 or greater. MPIO is not required since multipath functionality is built into the drivers. ESX automatically recognise it as the same disk as long as the LUN id number is the same when presented from either controller.

Whitepaper for upgrading to active/active is here: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00864119/c00864119.pdf
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
ESX will see it just fine.  You can chose Most Recent Path Used or static settings for primary and secondary path for the MPIO.  
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