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AX150 boot from SAN

Posted on 2010-09-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I am just curious if it is possible to setup a boot from san scenario, and the general process.  For example, I want to install Windows Server from DVD, but have the OS install on the SAN so the server is diskless.  
Question by:B1izzard
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Duncan Meyers earned 1200 total points
ID: 33741806
Easy-peasy! From http://filedownloads.qlogic.com/files/api/65612/Readme_BootfromSAN.htm

First, add the boot from SAN LUN to the storage group - it should be the first LUN presented. Then you need to prepare the QLogic cards:

   1.  Press CTRL+Q to access the BIOS setup utility (Fast!UTIL) during system boot-up.
   2. From the Fast!UTIL Options menu, enable the adapter BIOS by selecting Configuration Settings > Adapter Settings > Host Adapter BIOS.
   3. From the Configuration Settings menu, select Selectable Boot Settings > Selectable Boot option (enable).
   4. From the (Primary) Boot Port Name, LUN field, press ENTER to select the primary boot device. (scroll down through teh list until you find it - there's 127 options so the list is long. And they always seem to be right at the end...  :-)
   5. Press ESC to exit Fast!UTIL.
   6. Select Save changes.
   7. Reboot the system.

Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition Boot from SAN Installation Procedure

   1. Copy the boot from the SAN QLogic package driver to a floppy disk.
   2. Insert the Windows 2003 Server Enterprise CD into CD drive.
   3. Press F6 at first CD boot when you see the first Windows Setup screen to specify additional SCSI adapters.
   4. Type S to specify an additional device after Windows setup displays the following message:
      Windows Setup could not determine the type of one or more mass storage devices installed in your system, or you have chosen to manually specify an adapter currently. Setup will load support for the following mass storage devices:
   5. Insert QLogic driver package floppy into floppy drive.
   6. Press ENTER to continue loading driver from floppy.
   7. Press ENTER to select QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter from the floppy.
   8. Type S again to use the driver on floppy after Windows setup displays the following message:
      The driver you provided seems to be newer than the Windows default driver.
   9. Windows setup displays the message:
      Windows Setup will load support for the following mass storage devices.
      QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter
  10. Press ENTER to continue installation using QLogic Fibre Channel Adapter.
      Windows Setup loads the QLogic driver and detects all devices attached.
  11. Press ENTER to continue at the Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition Setup menu display.
  12. Press F8 to agree Windows Licensing Agreement.
      Windows setup displays the list of existing partitions and unpartition space on this computer.
  13. Select the device and press ENTER to install Windows 2003 on selected device.
  14. Partition and format selected device and continue installation follow normal Windows installation procedure.
LVL 25

Assisted Solution

madunix earned 400 total points
ID: 33741988
generally you have to be aware:

- there are some changes that need to be made at a firmware configuration level before a system  can boot from SAN attached storage. We need to disable the on board disk from the BIOS utility. It is necessary to configure the HBA BIOS to boot from SAN.

-implement Multipath (devicemapper/SDD/powerpath) it gives  the ability to fail over to another  available path and  maintains  access  to the Data LUN without any interruption.

-Ensure that the hosts HBAs are zoned correctly to the target Array

look @
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

andyalder earned 200 total points
ID: 33742227
I think there's a bit missing after step 14 in meyersd's list, upgrade to the latest storport drivers after installing Windows because the CD install method uses scsiport drivers with windows 2003.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 33742300
That'll teach me to copy-and-paste.
LVL 25

Expert Comment

ID: 33742403
i did lately in a project BCP and disaster recovery plan by implementing multiple blade servers connected to IBM SAN  to host multiple application and replicate them to DR site (5Km) through Dark Fiber. I deployed them on a disk-less Blade server that boot from the SAN FC (BFS),  boot images stored on disk arrays SAN can be easily cloned between the 2xsites beside the data. The servers are running OS Red Hat ELS 5.5 x86_64 64Bit + Windows2003.  BFS will help you  to implement  DR in a proper way if you enable Hardware SAN replica feature later

Author Comment

ID: 33746991
I will try this tonight.  

Will boot from SAN work on both Windows Server 2008 32 & 64 bit with the AX150 and QLogic QLA2342 HBA's?  I just ask because of the Windows 2003 server reference which is sometimes the death knoll for the latest OS.  

If it will, if I was running Windows Server 2008 x64, it looks like these would be the correct drivers.  Please confirm.


Author Comment

ID: 33751386
meyersd, can you elaborate where you said: 'First, add the boot from SAN LUN to the storage group - it should be the first LUN presented.'   I am using Navisphere Express, so what is the procedure using this?

When I try to boot, all I get for selectable boot options are (I did not get anything at 125):
ID         Vendor                               Rev             Port Name                                 Port ID
0           DGC                                   0220           50:06:01:63:3A:60:1D:03         0000EF
1           QLogic QLA 2342                                 21:00:00:E0:8B:0A:90:CD         0000E8

Who is DGC?   What hardware device is the Port Name 50:06.... referring to?  Why is the HBA listed?

Author Comment

ID: 33756559
So in Navisphere Express, do I simply create a virtual disk and if the HBA is configured correctly, it will boot to it?

I had a prexisting 1GB lun and was able to see this when booting DVD and trying to install Windows Server 2008.  Since I couldn't install to 1GB, I went to Navisphere and deleted it and created a 20GB lun in it's place for virtual disk 1.  When I tried rebooting the server, it stopped seeing the lun as it had previously when I saw it in the Windows Server setup.  It gives some error about no device found at ID 125 (don't remember the exact verbiage).  

So is the vendor 'DGC' at ID 0 what it looks like normally when trying to boot from SAN?  

Why would the server stop seeing the SAN after deleting the 1GB and creating a 20GB?  Must I reboot the whole SAN?  II tried rebooting SP A, which did nothing.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 33759607
You're almost there. Highlight this one and press Enter:
0           DGC                                   0220           50:06:01:63:3A:60:1D:03         0000EF

DGC is Data General Corporation - the inventors of the CLARiiON line. The name lives on in the boot BIOS despite DG having been bought out by EMC in 1999. 50:06:01:63:3A:60:1D:03 is the World Wide Name (similar to a MAC address) of the CLARiiON. 50:06:01:63: identifies the box as EMC and a CLARiiON. The last octet tells me you're on port 3 on SPA. The last part of the WWN (:3A:60:1D:03) is unique to your AX150.

>Why would the server stop seeing the SAN after deleting the 1GB and creating a 20GB.
It's now looking for an OS on that drive - if you now install an OS on that drive, life will be sweet.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 200 total points
ID: 33761885
Remember that once you seperate the image loaded from the hardware, you have also broken the link between a node-name and the hardware as well, so you need to make sure you have a naming convention that identifies the image and also identifies the hardware as separate items as well.

Author Comment

ID: 33762007
It is working now.  2 quick questions then I will close this post:

>> The last octet tells me you're on port 3 on SPA.
Can you explain this?  The AX150 has SP A ports FE0 & FE1, and SP B ports FE0 & FE1.  So where does port 3 come from?  

I found out the problem on booting when it gave the error 'No fibre devices found' for adapter 0 loop id 125.  When I deleted the partition and recreated it, I did not assign it to a server, so apparently you must do so.  Is this 'lun masking'?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 33762376
>Can you explain this?  The AX150 has SP A ports FE0 & FE1, and SP B ports FE0 & FE1.  So where does port 3 come from?  
It's a quirk of the AX-series. Their big brother, the CX4- series arrays, use the same prefix: 50:06:01:6n for SPA and SPB. For SPA, n is 0 to 7, for SPB, n is 8 to F, so you can tell from the WWN exactly which port you're connected to. (Incidentally, SPB port 0 will be at 50:06:01:6B...)

>Is this 'lun masking'?
Certainly is. I use full Navisphere almost exclusively, so I forget some of the terminology used in Navisphere Express. In a CX4- series (or if you're using full Navisphere with the AX-150), you'll see storage groups. You use the storage group to assign a LUN to a server.

Author Comment

ID: 33767127
>> Incidentally, SPB port 0 will be at 50:06:01:6B
How did you arrive at that?  I understand SPA 0-7, SP B 8-F, but if it was SP B port 0, how would it be 50:06:01:6B instead of 50:06:01:68?
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 33767492
I think (although I' m mot 100% sure this is the case), the AX port numbering is offset because there is an iSCSI and a FC version. SPB is :6B: because it would go 68, 69, 6A, 6B, like SPA port numbers go 60, 61, 62, 63.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33795751
Got it working.  Thanks everyone!

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