Disk Array to function as a SAN?

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by PacketStorm4, Oct 27, 2015.

  1. PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    I asked this question over in Business and enterprise computing previously, (sorry for the repost)

    I have a HP Drive enclosure (AG638B) loaded with 450GB drives, but it is missing its controller (AG637A).

    I would really like to get some storage attached to a Blade chassis over Fiber Channel.

    To you storage engineers,
    If I purchased a dual port PCI Fibre Channel card, can I control the existing Drive enclosure array (JBOD?) with Freenas or Windows on one port , and then present the other port to the blade array?
    What other ways can I get the storage to the blades?
     
  2. heydonms

    heydonms Member

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    Theoretically, yes.

    I looked into presenting a FC target from a linux host a while back and it is possible but it's not a particularly popular thing to do so documentation and testing are a little lacking, in the end I decided to just use NFS. I'm not sure that you could split a dual port card and have one acting as an initiator and one as a target (I suspect it would work but I don't know).

    Personally, I would try to replace the controller.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    Thanks for the replies,
    It certainly does beg the question what happened to the controller, I just inherited the equipment. No idea where it would have gone!
    Although 1k is cheap for business, as this is a development set up I cant spend that type of money on it :(

    So theoretically possible is good to know, I have 2 separate Fibre Channel cards coming in tomorrow so I will see how I go getting it to work.

    In the mean time however, I have been able to boot the hosts off USB ESXi, and attach the storage via FreeNAS iSCSI which is working well.
    At the very least it might be possible to convert the fibre channel array to iSCSI using FreeNas.
     
  4. fad

    fad Member

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    If you can present the drives as JBOD, you can install Solaris/omniOS, and nappit and present the JBOD as a ZFS pool via FC HBAs.

    You will need a server to run this on.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    Thanks Fad,
    Thats exactly what we have ended up doing, we are using omni + Napp-it on an old box with a fibre channel HBA.
    We are having some issues at the moment with performance, hopefully it can be ironed out in the next few days.

    So the setup currently is
    Blade array --> (iSCSI) --> SAN BOX --> (Fibre Channel) --> JBOD.
     
  6. fad

    fad Member

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    If you are having issues, check the pool speed internally before. Also make sure you have RAM and SSDs. Most of the ZFS speed is from RAM and SSDs.

    Try using FC for the "Blade array --> (FC) --> SAN BOX"

    You also might want to look at jumbo frames, end to end.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    Blade array --> (FC) --> SAN BOX is what we are ultimately aiming for, I have one concern though,
    Both HBA's are the same model, and to allow the blade array to use it as a SAN we read that you have to modify a driver. I'm guessing that both HBA's use the same driver? So if we modify the driver I feel it will most likely stop the access to the JBOD.

    As we are just trying to get iSCSI working first, we have ran into another strange issue to diagnose.
    It is now reporting that the disk is full, however we have only provisioned the 3TB storage, and trying to install 1 Virtual server.

    Hopefully look at this later in the week :)
     
  8. fad

    fad Member

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    You will need two FC cards.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    PacketStorm4

    PacketStorm4 Member

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    Whoops, my bad,
    What i meant to say was:
    I have 2 single port Emulex FC cards. But i believe by modifying the driver that is in use to allow it to be a target, will stop the connection to the JBOD.
     
  10. fad

    fad Member

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    Yeah. I understand now. I've read its easier with two different fc cards. Qlogic and emulex.
     

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