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Dell PowerVault 3000 to 1000 Daisy Chain

Posted on 2014-09-28
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I've been using a Dell MD3K, configured as one Datastore, with a couple R610 servers running ESXi and am adding storage via a MD1K.  The original MD3K is in Unified Mode, as I understand the MD1K needs to be in to support daisy chain.  I'll have to verify firmware versions when I have the MD1K connected.  The MD3K is good to go at 07.35.39.60.  Have not yet connected the 1K because I'm not sure how to cable.  Reading the Dell manual and looking at their connection scenarios, they seem to omit the configuration I'm using for the (MD3K) host controller.  Simple enough to connect MD3K controller 0 out to MD1K EMM 0 in, but I have both R610 servers connected to each MD3K controller.  In MDSM I don't quickly find which path is preferred and which path available for failover, but I've had them fail, then resolved and had to fail back to the preferred path to get back to optimal operation.  If I connect, as they say, MD3K controller 0 out to MD1K EMM 0 in, does that set me up for no access to the MD1K if the 0 path is preferred and fails?  Is it even more complicated and depend on server AND MD3K path?  The way I understand what I'm reading, I don't use the MD1K EMM 1 in port at all unless I have split both racks and connect to different servers.  That's a bit of a conflict in their statement of non-support for split rack in daisy chain.  Do I need to simplify my cabling from servers to MD3K with single paths to controller 0?
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Question by:HerrBall
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 40349483
You connect controller0 to EMM0 and controller 1 to EMM1, i.e. left controller to left EMM and right controller to right EMM. Drawing is in the hardware owner's manual on page 29.

Do not let the fact that both the host and back-end cabling is SAS confuse you, the hosts do not talk to the MD1000, they talk to the MD3000. Consider the MD3000i which works exactly the same except for the host connectivity being iSCSI so there can be no confusion there, the hosts talk to the MD3000(i) which uses the MD1000 just the same as it uses its own internal disk bays.

The MD1000 must be in unified mode so both EMMs connect to all the disks, if one path fails the controller that connects to the surviving back-end path does all the work.
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Author Closing Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40349800
I feel like I got all my questions answered, rather than just "how to..."
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Author Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40349815
After connecting the MD1000 and powering up the environment, all the SAS green "link" LEDs all came up.  MD1000 has blue enclosure LED, but MD3000 has flashing yellow.  MDSM sees a Expansion Enclosure error.  It sees the disks in the MD1000, but has lost path redundancy.  Will be posting a new question about that.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 40350430
May be old firmware or the MD1000 may not be in unified mode. Sometimes you have to connect the MD1000 to a PERC to flash the firmware if the MD3000 refuses to recognise it.
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Author Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40351062
I've got 4 balls in the air around the same problem.  This is one of them.  When I got back to looking at the Enclosure config, I found MD1000 at A04.  Don't really know whether that is correct, so went looking on the Dell site.  Surprised to find service tag 9C9DYF1 was not found, then got jammed up on another aspect.  I've attached the Enclosure config.  I'll get back to it, but appreciate any insight you have
PV-Enclosures.txt
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Author Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40351420
OK, found that I was looking for the service tag as if this were the last Dell laptop I downloaded drivers for...  The service tag pulled up only one result in the version format I expected, A04, or A.04.  Released in Sept 2007, updated July 2012.  So how do you tell what update of A04 you have?  Then as I look at the firmware upgrade process, I wonder how I'm going to do this from a server running ESXi 5.1 when not recognized by the MD3000.  I didn't find where the enclosure config calls it out, but unified mode is selected on MD1000, as verified by no LED "Split" indication.
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Author Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40351434
When I looked up firmware for the MD3000, I did not find firmware in the format of 07.35.39.64 as hown in the file attached above.  I found A11.  Can someone explain the difference?
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by:andyalder
ID: 40351679
http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/storage/f/1216/t/19391430 may be some help although in that case it was a missing SAS cable which isn't the case for you as both are running at 3Gb. Dell support may help with the firmware, they're pretty good even when warranty has expired.
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Author Comment

by:HerrBall
ID: 40352019
Thanks Andy, what that link does make me think about is an obvious possibility - that there is a cable/cable connection problem.   I'll probably check that before I ring Dell.
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