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Clustered Win2003 Servers Can't Access Same iSCSI Target on EqualLogic SAN

I am trying to setup 2 Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition servers in a cluster, with shared SAN storage. The 2 servers are Dell PowerEdge R710s, and they are connected via 10Gbps Cisco switches, to a Dell EqualLogic PS6100 SAN.

We have created a 500GB volume on the SAN, and set it with read/write access for both of the iSCSI initiator names of the servers. I use the MS iSCSI initialtor client (v2.08) with the Dell EqualLogic Host Integration Tools (MPIO) on the servers, and I can connect to the iSCSI target, and map the 500GB volume, as a drive (E:) on both servers.

However, when I try to create a fole, even a simple .txt file, on the volume from each server, the other server can't see the file created, even though the E:\ drive for both servers points to the same iSCSI volume on the SAN! i.e. Create a test1.txt file from Server01, and save to it's E:\ drive, Server02 can't see the file. Create a test2.txt file from Server02 and save to it's E:\ drive, and server01 can't see the file.

Eventually, if you leave the files for both servs on their E:\ long enough, both will become corrupt! So something is definitely wrong with this setup, but I'm unsure what!
iSCSI-Volume-Access.jpg
iSCSI-Persistent-Target.jpg
iSCSI-Dell-MPIO.jpg
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bjblackmore
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bjblackmore
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3 Solutions
 
andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
You haven't set up clustering software, do you want an active/passive fileserver cluster or CSV for Hyper-V? Either way you control access to the shared storage through setting it up with cluster manager. NTFS in itself isn't a cluster filesystem, the file allocation table is cached in RAM, that's why you don't see the freshly created file from the other machine.
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bjblackmoreAuthor Commented:
Hi,

Thanks for the reply! Didn't realise that it was the clustering software that manages the storage!

I want to run Oracle (9g) on these servers in an active/passive cluster, will that make any difference? I was going to use just the Microsoft clustering manager that comes with Win2003 Enterprise Edition!
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Haven't heard of 9g, thought it went 9i->10g.

First few steps in this will get the MSCS cluster setup (stop when you reach the IBM bit)
http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/iisinfsv/v8r5/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.swg.im.iis.productization.iisinfsv.ha.install.doc%2Ftopics%2Fwsisinst_ha_winexampletop.html 

Think http://www.experts-exchange.com/Database/Oracle/Q_27751868.html will help for the Oracle part. (need their setup ontop of MSCS setup)
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bjblackmoreAuthor Commented:
i wasn't sure, as I'm not the Oracle admin, I've just been asked to setup this cluster so the Oracle admin can then perform the oracle install. However I asked him this morning, and officially, 9g doesn't exist, however there is a patch/feature pack or something, that gives the grid computing features (found in g) to 9i.

I'm just setting up the cluster now, so will report back once done, if it works.

One further question: The custer consists of 2 Dell R710 servers, each has 8 NICs. We have teamed 2 together for standard traffic (RDP/Active Directory/Internet etc) on a 10.x.x.x IP, and teamed another 2 together for the iSCSI traffic, on a 192.168.x.x IP. As the cluster required a private network for the heartbeat traffic, should I use another of the free NICs on each server, setup a vLAN on the switch, and use this for the private cluster heartbeat traffic, or should I just use the existing iSCSI connection for the private heartbeat traffic?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Heratbeat is meant to be on a dedicated NIC with crossover cable so that no other traffic gets in the way.
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bjblackmoreAuthor Commented:
So cross over cable would be prefered over dedicated vLAN on 2 separate switches, for fault tolerance?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Yes. You can use a dedicated VLAN but make sure the switch is non-blocking (backplane bandwidth is greater than sum of port bandwidths). Generally it's a waste of ports. BTW, you can probably use straight-through if gigabit as it may have Auto-MDIX.
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bjblackmoreAuthor Commented:
I managed to get clustering working with 2 nodes eventually. I used a cross over cable and assigned 2 stic private IP addresses. I had some initial troubles with setting up the Quorum disk on the SAN, as each server was seeing a different target ID, however I was able to resolve this using the 'Advanced (Minimum)' option when setting up the cluster.

I have setup a new resource for a file share, and pointed it to the 500gb volume on the SAN, and set it as the E: drive (Database). It all seems to work OK. Is it normal for the passive server not to see the Quorum disk, and resource, until the active server goes offline, and the passive then becomes the new active?

Currently Node1 can see the Quorum disk (Q:) and the Database (E:) drive, but node 2 doesn't see them, although in disk manager they show as 'Unknown volumes'. If I reboot node1, node2 will suddenly get access to the Quorum & database drives (mapped as Q: and E:). When node1 comes back up, it then can't see Q: or E:, until node2 is rebooted. I'm assuming this is normal behavior? Will Oracle run Ok setup like this? If it's installed on node2, how will it know about the database on E:? Or is that what the Oracle fail safe application, in one of the above links, does?

One last question: Should I set any dependancies for a File Share Resource running Oracle, such as Cluser IP address, Cluster Name etc?
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