HP P2000 MSA G3 iscsi SAN overview

Looking at deploying the above.  

What i'm struggling to understand is how to configure the SAN and servers. We may upgrade and use existing DL360 G5's but may look at new 380 g7's...  difference (big?) being more NICS in the 380's.
we are on a 172.19.0.0/16 address range.  
How & what settings are required for the SAN?
It will have 2x controllers (8 iscsi ports) with 1x management port per controller.  
Can someone explain the basics of the iscsi ports and addressing?  Also are the Ethernet management ports equivalent to say an ILO port for a server????

Thanks
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CHI-LTDAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The Ethernet Management Ports are how you configure it remotely using a Web Browser, otherwise you have to configure it locally with a serial cable. So Out of Band Management is provided by using the Management Ports, so they need an IP address and connecting to your LAN.

How you configure the SAN depends on how much availability and resilience you need.

You could just configure and connect a single ethernet port on the controller, of configure them ALL for multi paths to your SAN controller, and you've got two SAN controllers for redundancy. (controller).

Each Port on the Controllers (x2), can own a volume.
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James HaywoodCommented:
We use these and they are great.

Management: You have 2 x Management Nics 1 per controller (A & B). We have these on a separate VLAN. They are for web access only but there is a mini-usb connector for the initial setup (assigning IPs to the controllers). They are not an iLO but are pretty reliable once the box is up.

iSCSI: Each controller has 4 x iSCSI ports (A1-A4 & B1-B4). We have A1, A3, B1, B3 on switch 1 and A2, A4, B2, B4 on switch 2 to allow for redundancy but all can go to a single switch if necessary.

Each iSCSI port is allocated an IP address within the range (we use a physically separate network but a VLAN will work just as well) used by the servers accessing the storage. As this is a storage LAN and shouldn't be connected to anything else then you can use whatever range you like.

You then setup the storage however you like, allocate LUN numbers and default/explicit mapping etc. Configure the initiator software on the server and you should be allowed access to the relevant portion of the storage and away you go.

Microsoft instructions for iSCSI here:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee338480(v=ws.10).aspx
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James HaywoodCommented:
Go for G7's if you can as the extra NICs are very useful (especially if going down the virtualization route). Adding a Dual/Quad Gigabit card to a G5 is not difficult however. It all depends on your future rollout.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would highly recommend, READING ALL the HP P2000 G3 documentation available from HP, before you implement your P2000.

See here
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
So will the ethernet port on the 2x controller have to be on a vlan (physical) or can all be plugged into one switch but vlanned (using vmware)?

thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
does not have to be VLAN, depends on your network design, switchs, physical storage network is always best.

Its very difficult to check network utilisation inside VLANs.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
hhaywood000: ahev you set them up via directly i.e. no switches between the servers adn san?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
cannot do vlan, if attach directly.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
do you not hane any 1GBps switch hardware?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
not even virtualised vlan?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No, what switch is going to handle the 802.1Q Tags?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VLAN tags are used on trunks to switches.
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James HaywoodCommented:
We always have switches between servers and storage as the storage is shared. You could setup direct connections but switches give far more flexibility.

If this is your first time with iSCSI etc then I would agree with hancocka and suggest you have a good read up on the basics of iSCSI, SANs, Shared Storage etc.

http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/tutorial/Learning-Guide-SAN
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
hhaywood000:
So you have the san connected 'directly'?  If so then how does the esxi hosts connect to the LAN?
I'm having difficulty understanding the differences between iscsi and lan connections/configs....
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James HaywoodCommented:
No. Our SAN is connected to switches reserved for storage traffice only. The ESX hosts then connect to the same switches using NICs also reserved specifically for storage. Only storage traffic moves across this LAN.

The ESX host also have other NICs, some are connected to the Data LAN and some are connected to the Management LAN each of which uses its own Switches.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
can i ask which switches?
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James HaywoodCommented:
Cisco 2960G.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
ok.  So, in my case i could setup like:

Each host use 4x pot NIC's connected directly to the SAN or using a vlan or even separate switches for iscsi traffic on whatever range i like i.e. 10. or 192....

The use additional NIC's dual ports and connect into the lan switches using current 172 ranges...

???
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James HaywoodCommented:
Yes.
If you have more then one host then definately use switches as this will allow the storage to be shared and you can use vmotion etc.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
thought we could still use vmotion / HA / DRS without switches as the directly attached SAN will still have Ip's....?
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James HaywoodCommented:
Probably. As long as both hosts can see the storage then it should work.

I haven't tried that particular setup as if we have a second host we put switches in.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you not have any switches at present?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
only one.
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James HaywoodCommented:
If that switch has the capability you could VLAN off some ports and use these for your Storage LAN.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
and can you not use that to connect the servers and SAN?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
sure.  but in terms of redundancy (possibly even performance) would it be best to use 2x dedicated switches for iscsi traffic on the controllers/servers?  
guess directly attaching hosts to san simply reduces the amount spend and redundancy required for iscsi?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, 2x switches would be best.
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James HaywoodCommented:
Yes it would be best for redundancy to have 2 x switches dedicated to storage but it comes down to cost.

A single switch will provide good performance but will give a single point of failure.

Don't directly connect unless you really have to.

It all comes down to money - you either have it or not!!
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
which is why we were looking at simply loadbalancing the guests over 2x hosts and using veeam as backup (in event of failure we would of course lose data)  but have ability to restore very quickly say a days previous.
Other option was VSA, which seems to be still quite expensive (possibly performance hit) and also loses a lot of available local storage.
SAN does give us all when we require i.e. HA, DRS vmotion.  - and room to expand, just costs so damn much.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you looked at other VSA products?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
just to completely alarm you we had 6 P2000 completely fail last year at clients sites, with hardware failure.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
in as much as reviewing specs of the VSA suppliers/vendors yes.
6 at one site?!

where was the resiliency?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
six different clients in the UK.

No resilience!

Business down for 18 hours.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
so what - one controller?

where/what were the failures?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
three disks failed at same time
four backplanes failed in chassis
other issues undetermined by engineers
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
exactly my worries - with the amount of £'s these cost they should be bullet proof!!!

Me thinks original idea of 2x beefy live servers, 1x beefy DR server, NAS/Veeam.  job done.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
nothing is bullet proof ever!

We had an EVA fail last year and that cost £250k!

Business issues for 3 days getting it resolved.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
sure, however VFM my solution is probably best (ok no HA) but as stable/reliable...

Think you have finally hit the nail on the head re - SAN.
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James HaywoodCommented:
We've got 10 and not had any issues over the past 9 months or so. Also got 10 of the previous version (2312i) and only had a single controller go down.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Its simple, if you stack all your eggs in one basket, it can be a single point of failure.

if you go forward you need to design in what happens if SAN fails?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
invoke DR - which is real terms is a real ball ache!!!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you have a DR Plan?

Have you tested and Invoked your DR plan?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
Yes
Tested - Yes.  Real Invoke - no
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
i suppose having a large local storage as a san backup (using veeam backups) would provide a good local BCP solution should the san fail?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, thats what ALL our clients have NAS or iSCSI SANs as backup store, iOmega products.

Thats how we were able to restore to SAN, when repaired.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
ok, so should we go for the P2000 then what sort of NAS is best for backing up the hosts using veeam?  im looking at the qnap - i assume just use it as a network share via ethernet into lan, or can USB or esata be used?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
iOmega devices, rack mount, on the VMware HCL and support NFS, iSCSI and Windows Shares.

iomega also owned by EMC, which owns VMware.
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
The knock-on affect of having 2x different boxes:

1. One with evc cpu and the other without evc cpu - with evc enabled means?
2. As above - witout evc enabled means?
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CHI-LTDAuthor Commented:
arse, wrong question....
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
you can delete now!!!
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