San: Left Hand from HP

Hi,

1) The consultant just installed the "Left Hand" for our Storage SAN
2) The consultant need to download the iscsi initiatior (from google)
3) My question:
What is the function of this "iscsi initiator"? Is it a Management console or what? Please explain a little bit of this "iscsi initiator"? (Why do we should download it in the first place?)
4) Thank you

tjie
tjieAsked:
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r_panosCommented:
iSCSI Initiator is the software that enables connection of hosts (initiators) to an external iSCSI storage array (target) using Ethernet NICs.

Here is a link for further informations, although it is Microsoft oriented and regards Microsoft's iSCI Software initiator:

http://download.microsoft.com/download/A/E/9/AE91DEA1-66D9-417C-ADE4-92D824B871AF/uGuide.doc
teledata-consultingCommented:
The software iSCSI initiator would be installed on any of your hosts (servers) that need to mount a SAN volume from your LeftHand SAN.  This allows you to use a standard Gigabit Ethernet port to communicate with the SAN vs buying a dedicated (and more expensive) "hardware" initiator.

If you use VMware, you would likely use the built-in software initiator to mount VMFS volumes presented from the SAN.

If your LeftHand has the newest (SAN/iQ 8.5) software, the application integrated snapshots can "talk" to your Windows operating system (through the software initiator), so that when you want to snapshot your data (any VSS data like SQL database or Exchange Information Store) the SAN will politely ask the OS to quiesce the application to a consistent recovery state.

To see an example of how you use the iSCSI initiator to connect to a LeftHand volume check out these 2 videos at this website: http://www.tdonline.com/training/lefthand/
Managing Server Assignment on HP Lefthand Central Management Console (CMC)
and Binding Windows Volumes to iSCSI on HP Lefthand with MS iSCSI Initiator

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tjieAuthor Commented:
teledata-con...

" .....so that when you want to snapshot your data (any VSS data like SQL database or Exchange Information Store) the SAN will politely ask the OS to quiesce the application to a consistent recovery state."

1) Would you elaborate the explanation more detail?
2) What is "VSS"?
3) What is the meaning of " ....to quiesce the application to a consistent recovery state"
4) Your explanation is greatly appreciated
5) Thank you

tjie
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teledata-consultingCommented:
Sure - VSS is a microsoft method of storing data in its filesystem.  It stands for volume shadow (copy) service: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Copy

Quiesce is like temporarily (invisible to applications and users) hitting the "pause" button, but doing it gracefully within the application, so you aren't in the middle of a "half done" operation.

Particularly for database applications like SQL or Exchange, if your SAN just blindly takes a snapshot at the "raw data level" without interacting with the OS, your snapshot could be missing a transaction that was in the process of being written to the database when the snapshot occurs.  This could potentially be a problem if you later mount that snapshot, and find that the database is captured in an inconsistent state.

In the past the SAN/iQ had to be run via a VSS command line request FROM inside the OS (like with a scheduled script.  Now with 8.5 you can manage the snapshots FROM the SAN management console, and it will interact with the OS to use the VSS service to "cleanly" snapshot your data.  this makes it much less complicated to setup automated snapshots, yet still gain the benefit of a more consistent snapshot.

Although it is still helpful VSS is less critical for file-level shares (like file/print share volumes).  There is significantly less danger of having corrupted snapshot data.  The biggest issue is typically databases files that are transactional in functionality like SQL/Exchange.

Good choice with your LeftHand SAN.  I'm sure you will find it to be an excellent storage solution!
tjieAuthor Commented:
teledata.con .....

1) Maybe, i will be posting other questions (related to this Left hands) in this Posting link; and will need your comments (if you don't mind)
2) Thank you very much

tjie
tjieAuthor Commented:
teledata-con....,

1) I need your help if you may .......
2) I open the "HP LeftHand Networks Centralized Management Console"
3) I created the test volume called "Volume 2"
4) The properties of this "Volume 2" as follows:
At the Basic Tab:
  * Volume name: Volume 2
  * Size: 10 GB
  * Server: Assign and Unassign servers .......
At the Advanced tab:
  * Cluster: BobaCluster_1
  * Data Protection Level: "Network RAID-10 (2-way mirror)"
  * Type: Primary
  * Provisioning: Thin
5) My question:
-I went to "Disk Management", but i can not see this "Volume 2" at all
-Any help? (I can see "other volumes" at the disk management)
6) Thank you

tjie
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