Trouble to access Logical Drive on IBM DS3200 from 2 Windows 2008 server!

Posted on 2011-10-14
Last Modified: 2013-11-14

We Have a 2 IBM X series server with each as 2 SAS Controller (IBM 46M0907)
This 2 server are connected to IBM System Storage DS3200.

Server OS: Windows 2008 r2 Ent

On one of this server, we have install IBM System Storage DS Starage Manager 10 (10.77.G5.14)
On the DS3200 I have create a RAID5 array and create Host-to-Logical Drive Mappings
The host type off my two server are "Windows Server 2003/Server 2008 Non-Clustered"

Everything seems to work well!

On the Disk management on servers I see the disk, I can put it online and format it!

Now I have access to my logical drive created on my DS3200, but when I copy data from a server, it is not visible on my other server!

I need both of these servers having access to the data!

Thank you!
Question by:AdminDetail
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    The issue you're having is that while one server is reading and writing to the disk, the other server does not know about it, because you're not passing the data through it's disk IO subsystem.  All Windows OS's have a good idea of what they think is on the disk, and only update it when calls come through the disk IO subsystem.  If you reboot the second server, it will re-read the MFT from the storage, and you will see what the other server sees - until it starts "going out of sync" again.

    You WILL encounter data loss if you continue to use the servers in this way.

    Sharing disks like you've described is not recommended or supported.  Shared disks can only be done in an environment which supports it, like Windows Clustering.  You cannot reliably share the data between both servers in this fashion.  What you can do is map it to one server, and then share it to the other server using standard Windows Shares.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Load and access the volume from only one server. on the other server access the data from a share on the first server.
    Windows server do not play well with each other when the are sharing a disk. Even iSCSI volumes will do the same thing.

    With Windows servers one server should host the drive and then as many servers and client systems can access the drive through that share.

    Author Comment

    Thank you for the answer!

    The goal of this setup is to put the databases of a Microsoft SQL Cluster (Atctive / passive)

    We proceed to the implementation of this cluster next week and I set up the server/storage infrastructure!

    What would be the right approach to configure my storage?

    Thank you very much!
    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution

    Can I suggest you forgo SQL Clustering and use SQL Replication instead.  This way both SQL Servers are active all the time, and replicate the data between them.  If one serer fails, the other server will take over.  In fact, you can even load balance the connections between these two.

    If you choose this option, you will get two sets of data - one which the first server accesses and one which the second server accesses.  Technically, it's not sharing the disk at all, just spreading the load.

    There is also the possibilty of creating a Hyper-V Cluster, and running SQL Server as a Virtual Machine.  I've written some useful articles on how to create a cluster (
    ), as well as how you can save money with Hyper-V and licensing (, as well as adding disks to a cluster (   You would use pass-through disks to get the best SQL performance from your cluster.

    If you wish to do a SQL Cluster - active passive like you originally requested, then you will have to set up Clustering on the two servers, and create a clustered volume.  Only 1 server talks to the volume at one time, and when it fails, the other server will take over the resources.  It's similar to the Virtual Machine cluster, except that the SQL Software is installed on the Cluster Nodes directly, rather than in a Virtual machine.  In my opinion, having it as a separate entity (such as a virtual machine) has greater flexibility because then it can be detached and moved to other hardware easily.
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    In fact, I'm sitting at home working right now, moving virtual machines from one cluster to another :D  Live - while they are running.

    Author Comment

    Thank you for the information, I will take the weekend to analyze the various options available to me! Indeed, the traditional SQL Cluster Active / Passive is maybe not the best solution!

     Thank you!

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you!

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