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Archive for the ‘DELL MD3000i’ Category

Microsoft iSCSI Target Cluster – Building Walkthrough

Posted by Brajesh Panda on May 3, 2011

In one of my last post I have discussed about Microsoft iSCSI Target Software 3.3. You can use this software to convert your (old) servers especially where you can populate a bunch of high capacity SATA/SAS HDD to convert the same to an IP SAN. Well this kind of scenario may be applicable for LAB/SMB business units where we don’t want to buy/spend lots of money for a specialized storage box. Well these days a lot of low cost SAS based DAS or IP-SANs are available in market with specialized storage features. So for usability you have to decide where you can use this kind of setup. Lets build a highly available storage, kind of active passive iscsi storage controllers ;-). Hope you are not getting confused with Building a MS Failover Cluser using MS iSCSI Target Software.

My Design Decisions & Blueprint

In my environment I used to have a Dell MD3000 SAS based direct storage box. I can connect 4 Servers directly without any path redundancy to this storage box & 2 Servers with 2-redundant path. But I have bunch of old (10) Dell Poweredge servers in my lab (generated out of dc consolidation project), I would like to repurpose them in my LAB & for some low priority low production purpose in my headquarter. Well none of my servers or devices is having warranty any longer. Renewing warranty or buying new hardware is out of budget. So I thought let’s do it this way…..

  • Apart from 1st 2 HDD I have pulled out all HDDs from Dell PE Servers & Populated remaining empty slots of MD 3000i. And made sure these HDDs are compatible with the storage box. Easy way of doing is install MD 3000 storage manager software & verify from the console software. I have discussed the installation & MD 3000 config step in one of my old post. It is here.
  • On server front I have decided
    • Two Node Windows Failover cluster with complete redundant path
    • I will utilize this cluster for Two Roles
      • Hyper-V Failover Cluster Role;
        With one Clustered Shared Volume to Host Less Critical LOB Application Virtual Machine
      • Ms iSCSI Target Cluster Role;
        with multiple clustered LUNs to Host virtual disks. These virtual disks will be presented to other Stand Alone Poweredge Servers through iSCSI Target using iSCSI technique. After wards I can use the same disk to host multiple virtual machines or I can use the same disk as a pass-through disk to your existing VMs. I prefer them to use as pass-through disks. . If I could use these Disks to host multiple Virtual Machine VHDs, there must be a lot of virtual translations i.e. VHDs inside -> VHDs inside -> NTFS partition.

Note: In next version of iSCSI Target I would like to see direct use of physical disk not VHDs inside NTFS partition. I could have also used those 8 Stand Alone Poweredge Servers to again create a hyper-v cluster using exported iSCSI volumes. But I never thought of that as a requirement because I will be using them in my test lab. Even if one server fails I will re-assign iSCSI exported virtual disk (LUN) to another node & start VMs over there. We can design all components in a better way to provide more performance like one VHD in one LUN, redundant network connections etc.

  • So to start with I have carved out 3 LUNs from the MD3000 & assigned to Node1 & Node2
    • Quorum LUN:         1GB
    • CSV LUN:        550GB
    • iSCSI Target LUN:    550GB
  • Network Design is one of the key components to achieve this; so I have decided on below NICs for Failover Cluster Nodes. I am flexible because it is a LAB & low priority production env.
    • Management & Virtual Machine Network: 1 NIC/node with X.X.X.X subnet
    • Cluster Communication & Live Migration Network: 1 NIC/node with Y.Y.Y.Y subnet
    • iSCSI Target Network: 1 NIC/node with Z.Z.Z.Z subnet (this is the adapter through which iSCSI Traffic will be coming in from Standalone LAB Hyper-v Server’s iSCSI initiators)

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Posted in Clustering, DELL MD3000i, Hyper-V, IP-SAN, WindowsStorageServer2008 | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Configure MD3000i Virtual Disk on your computer

Posted by Brajesh Panda on December 31, 2009

Before I start writing about this post, will like to put a caveat over here i.e. you must have configured basic things for this storage device to get it accessed from Network. Some of the bullet points look like as follows;

– IP Address Configuration for Storage Management Controllers

– IP Address configuration for iSCSI Controllers

To accomplish this task we may be flipping between storage box & our server for some time. Bear me with that.

Open up Storage Client after installation. It will up to scan to find out new arrays in the network. Select “Automatic” click “OK

– It will scan for some time. It will detect the array for management. Now you can manage the array from the same server too.
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Posted in DELL MD3000i, Storage | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Install MD3000i Storage Client on your computer

Posted by Brajesh Panda on December 29, 2009

  • For detailed instruction please visit or Installation & Configuration Guide in the CD/DVD
  • Download MD3000i Resource CD from Dell Site
  • Start installation by double clicking “Setup.exe” in the same server where you like to configure a Storage LUN.
  • I assume you have already configured basic things in MD3000i like
    • Assigning IP Address to Management Controller
    • Assigning IP Address to iSCSI Controllers
  • Make sure your logon ID has Administrative permission to install software & it don’t have a “!” icon before your user account. I spent 2days to figure out why my installation is failing due to “!” before my user ID. They have a standard to put “!” before consultants Domain ID.

  • Click on “Install MD3000i Storage Software

Posted in DELL MD3000i, Storage | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

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