Storage Area Network

PowerShell and the Nimble Storage REST API

If you read my previous blog article on “PowerShell Function to Determine the Installed VSS Providers” then you’re already aware that I recently migrated one of my customers to a Nimble Storage Area Network. While Nimble does have a PowerShell module and it’s decent, I wanted to see how difficult it is to work with their REST API directly with PowerShell. Their REST API documentation also seems to be decent.

Use PowerShell to Determine the Uptime of an EqualLogic SAN

Recently, I received notification from EqualLogic support that there could be issues with their storage area networks running firmware version 7.0.x at 248 consecutive days of uninterrupted operation and they recommend updating to firmware version 7.0.9 to correct (and prevent) the problem. While I know that I have EqualLogic storage area networks running in some of the data-centers I support, I’m not sure what version of firmware they’re running or what the uptime on them is so I’ll use PowerShell (of course) to determine this information.

Take an EqualLogic PS Series SAN Volume Offline or Bring it Online with PowerShell

You have a volume on your EqualLogic PS Series SAN named “mikefrobbins”: The EqualLogic Host Integration Tool (HIT) Kit for Microsoft which can be downloaded from support.equallogic.comis required to complete the steps shown in this blog article. The following PowerShell script can be used to take this particular SAN volume offline: $GrpAddr = "" $VolName = "mikefrobbins" Import-Module "c:\program files\EqualLogic\bin\EqlPSTools.dll" Connect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr -Credential (Get-Credential) Set-EqlVolume -VolumeName $VolName -OnlineStatus offline Disconnect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr The volume is now offline: Use the same script except with the –online parameter to bring the volume online:

Use PowerShell to Change the Snapshot Reserve on EqualLogic SAN Volumes

You have a customer who has an EqualLogic PS Series Storage Area Network (SAN) where the Snapshot Reserve for many of their SAN volumes is currently set to more than 100% of the actual volume size. The SAN also has several volumes where the snapshot reserve is set to exactly 100%, other volumes where the snapshot reserve is set to less than 100%, and others that don’t have or need snapshots configured at all.

Can iSCSI Targets be Renamed on an EqualLogic PS Series Storage Area Network?

I received a tweet from someone a few days ago asking if it was possible to rename an iSCSI target on an EqualLogic PS Series Storage Area Network (SAN). I wasn’t sure, but it was interesting enough to research and determine if it was possible or not. Based on a screenshot provided by this person, they wanted to change the default iSCSI target name prefix so new volumes that are created have a different target prefix.

Use PowerShell to Manage an EqualLogic SAN

Today my Use PowerShell to Manage an EqualLogic SAN guest blog was published on the Hey, Scripting Guy! Blog on Microsoft TechNet. Click on the link above or on the image to the left to view it. µ

Use PowerShell to Check the Firmware Version on an EqualLogic Storage Area Network

I received an email recently stating that I hadn’t downloaded the most recent version of firmware for multiple EqualLogic Storage Area Networks that I support. What’s the easiest way to check what firmware version an EqualLogic SAN is running? PowerShell of Course! You’ll need the EqlPSTools PowerShell Module which is part of the EqualLogic Host Integration Tools (HIT) kit for Microsoft that can be downloaded from the EqualLogic support site. Once this module has been installed, you’ll be able to check the firmware version on your EqualLogic SAN using the following PowerShell script:

New PowerShell Cmdlets added with the EqualLogic HIT Kit version 4.0.0

The EqualLogic Host Integration Tool kit for Microsoft version 4.0.0 adds 12 additional PowerShell cmdlets to the 55 that existed in version 3.5.1 for a total of 67 cmdlets. The release notes state that firmware version 4.2.0 or later is required for the HIT kit v4.0.0 PowerShell tools. The syntax of several of the existing cmdlets also changed which appears to be mostly the addition of new parameters. See the release notes which are included as part of the new HIT kit that can be downloaded from the EqualLogic support site for details about the changes to existing cmdlets.

Importing PowerShell Modules and Locating Added Cmdlets

Want to add a feature to a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine using PowerShell? That functionality is part of the ServerManager PowerShell Module that’s install by default on 2008 R2. The module has to be imported for it’s cmdlets to be made available since it’s not loaded by default when you launch PowerShell. To view the Modules that are available to be imported, run Get-Module -ListAvailable The ServerManager module has to be imported so that it’s commands are made available to PowerShell.

Set EqualLogic PS Series SAN Volume ACL’s using PowerShell

Query and return the current Access Control List (ACL) for an EqualLogic PS Series SAN volume named “mikefrobbins” using PowerShell: $GrpAddr = "" $VolName = "mikefrobbins" Import-Module "c:\program files\EqualLogic\bin\EqlPSTools.dll" Connect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr -Credential (Get-Credential) Get-EqlVolumeACL -VolumeName $VolName Disconnect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr You can see the same information using the GUI: Remove the current ACL’s using the following PowerShell command: $GrpAddr = "" $VolName = "mikefrobbins" Import-Module "c:\program files\EqualLogic\bin\EqlPSTools.dll" Connect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr -Credential (Get-Credential) Remove-EqlVolumeACL -VolumeName $VolName Disconnect-EqlGroup -GroupAddress $GrpAddr Once again, you can see the same information using the GUI:

Dell EqualLogic PS4000 – Creating a Volume with PowerShell

Download the EqualLogic Host Integration Toolkit (HIT Kit) for Microsoft from the EqualLogic support site. Install the PowerShell Tools portion of the HIT Kit on the computer you want to manage the SAN from. For a PS4000, this computer doesn’t need access to the iSCSI network as long as it has connectivity to the management network. The following PowerShell script creates a 36GB thin provisioned volume named mikefrobbins with a snapshot reserve of 100%, sets a description for the volume, allows two specific IP addresses to access the volume and its snapshots, sets up a 1am snapshot schedule that takes place once per day and attempts to keep 7 snapshots as long as the total size of the snapshots doesn’t exceed the snapshot reserved space.

EqualLogic PS Series SAN Password Recovery

Problem: You’re unable to login to your EqualLogic PS Series Storage Area Network (SAN) to perform administrative functions. When you attempt to login, you receive a login exception message stating “Invalid username or password”. Solution: The grpadmin account password can be reset by connecting a computer to the serial port of the active controller on your EqualLogic SAN. You’ll need one of the serial cables that shipped with your SAN which is a standard 9 pin female to female serial cable.

Enabling Jumbo Frames for iSCSI on Server Core

I recommend following the instructions in my Rename a Network Interface from the Command Line so you can easily distinguish the difference in the network interfaces. Once the network interfaces are renamed, they should look similar to the ones in this image: If you attempt to ping your SAN at this point with a 8972 byte ping (9000 bytes minus a 20 byte IP header and a 8 byte ICMP header), you’ll receive a message stating “Packet needs to be fragmented but DF set.

MultiPath I/O on Server Core with the EqualLogic HIT Kit

I’ve written a few other blogs about iSCSI and Multipath I/O on Windows Servers, but this one focuses on installing the EqualLogic Host Integration Tool (HIT) Kit on Windows Server 2008 R2 Core (no GUI). If you are using an EqualLogic SAN, I recommend installing the HIT kit before doing any of the iSCSI or Multipath I/O configuration. It will make your life a lot easier. It’s also not a problem to install the HIT kit after you’ve done some or all of the configuration, just keep in mind there will be a few dialog boxes in this blog that you won’t see such as the HIT kit wanting to install the Multipath I/O feature.

Rename a Network Interface from the Command Line

While building a Hyper-V server this week, I decided to rename the network interfaces to something that would make identifying the iSCSI connections a little easier. Since the server was installed with only the core (no GUI) installation of Windows Server 2008 R2, the process had to be performed from the command line. The network interface is also commonly referred to by other names such as network adapter or network connection.

Increase the size of a volume on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN

You have a Windows 2008 R2 server that is nearly out of disk space on its ‘D’ drive. The ‘D’ drive is a volume on an EqualLogic PS4000XV Storage Area Network. This is a production server and the change needs to be done immediately in the middle of the day without service interruption. Whenever possible, I prefer to make changes like this outside of production hours or as scheduled downtime if you operate in a 24/7 environment since there is a chance that something could go wrong.

Updating the Firmware on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN

This blog will walk you through the steps of updating the firmware on an EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN (Storage Area Network) from version 4.3.0 to version 5.0.2. Plan the Update This process requires that the SAN be restarted so I recommend scheduling it outside of production hours or as scheduled downtime if you work in a 24/7 environment. I also recommend gracefully shutting down any servers that have data on the SAN since you would otherwise be ripping the drives out from underneath those servers.

Multipath I/O Installation on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core

To determine if the Multipath I/O feature has been installed, login to your core server and run oclist.exe: If you already know the name of the feature or role your looking for, you can save yourself some time by piping the output of the oclist.exe command to the find.exe command. The /I parameter makes the search case insensitive. To install the MultipathI/O feature, run “start/w ocsetup.exe MultipathIo”. The name of the feature is case sensitive.

iSCSI Initiator Configuration on Windows 2008 R2 Server Core

This blog will guide you through the necessary steps of connecting the iSCSI initiator on Windows Server 2008 R2 Server Core to an iSCSI target or volume on a Storage Area Network. I prefer server core for the host operating system on my Hyper-V virtualization servers, but some things such as the iSCSI Initiator settings are easier to configure through a GUI. Luckily Microsoft has included the iSCSI Initiator control panel applet as part of R2.

Dell EqualLogic PS4000 – Creating a Volume

You’ve followed the steps in my Initial Configuration of a Dell EqualLogic PS4000 SAN blog and now your ready to start carving up the disk space on your new Storage Area Network. Open Internet Explorer and browse to the management IP Address you assigned to your SAN group. Login with the “grpadmin” account when prompted. On the initial screen, underneath “Activities”, click “Create Volume”: Enter a meaningful name and description that follows your company’s naming convention:

Initial Configuration of a Dell EqualLogic PS4000XV SAN

Unpack your new Dell EqualLogic PS4000 Storage Area Network, install it in the server rack, and cable it up. A dedicated iSCSI network that is totally separate from your normal network is required. Depending on your existing environment, you could create a separate VLAN on existing gigabit Ethernet switches to separate the iSCSI traffic from normal network traffic or you could purchase two dedicated gigabit Ethernet switches and place them in a stacked configuration or connect them via a crossover cable.

Dell EqualLogic PS4000XV Storage Area Network

One of my customers recently purchased a Dell EqualLogic PS4000XV Storage Area Network (SAN). Here are some pictures of the unit. Front of the Unit. Sixteen 3.5″ Hard Drives in 3U of space: Back of the Unit. Dual Power Supplies and Controllers: 9.6Tb of Storage via sixteen 600Gb 15K SAS Hard Drives: Front of the controller card: Back of the controller card: Power Supply: Power Supply Fans: This seems to be a very cool piece of hardware for the SMB sector.