Configuring a Dell PowerVault SAN

Below is a brief description of how to configure a Dell PowerVault SAN.

On iSCSI Network cards on Server:

  • Disable client for MS networks
  • Disable Netbios over TCP
  • Disable File & Printer sharing
  • Do not register connection in DNS
  • Enable Jumbo Frames and set to 9000
  1. Configure Jumbo frames on SAN, Switches and Server (9000 on server and SAN – Just enable on Switches)
  2. Disable Spanning Tree port fast on switches (Recommended to disable if using SAN)
  3. Connect to SAN management port (Default IP’s of SAN management ports – & 102)
  4. Set your IP to same range – Wait bit for default static IP’s to be assigned (Will look for DHCP and after 150 seconds assign default static IP)
  5. Install Dell Storage Manager Software (Run auto discover and it will pick up the SAN)
  6. Using software configure Raid Pools and Virtual Discs
  7. Rename Server network Cards to appropriate names.
  8. Configure switches  according to:
  9. Configure IP address of SAN iSCSI ports as well as set frames to  9000 (Jumbo Frames)
  10. Enable Jumbo frames on Server NIC’s (9000).
  11. Disable client for MS networks
  12. Disable netbios over tcp
  13. Disable File & Printer sharing
  14. Do not register connection in DNS
  15. Assign IP addresses to Server NIC’s
  16. iSCSI Initiator configuration follow below:
  17. Discover portal add IP address of SAN iSCSI NIC’s (PowerVault limited to 2 connections and Equalogics to 4)
  18. Back to targets and select target and say connect
  19. Select enable multipath
  20. Click advanced – set local adapter as iSCSI initiator
  21. Set Initiator IP address
  22. Set corresponding target IP address
  23. Go to properties of target – Add session – Enable multipath – advanced – set local and target to secondary iSCSI connection on SAN
  24. Go back to Storage Manager and add host
  25. Assign volumes to host.

Adding disks to Dell SAN – Grow RAID, virtual disks and OS volumes

Adding disks to a SAN can be a long process. In this case we added 12x 600GB SAS drives to a Dell PowerVault SAN. The SAN was configured with 3x RAID groups (RAID10, RAID1 and RAID5) which are split into 2 virtual disks per group.

The process to install the new disks and grow the RAID, virtual disks and volumes:

  1. If your SAN has hot swappable drives, you install the drives while the SAN is on.
  2. Log into the Dell storage manager
  3. Go to the Logical tab.
  4. Right click on the RAID group and select ‘Add free capacity (Physical disks)’.

5. Select which disks you would like to add to the pool.

6. You will notice that it adds the new disks as free capacity to the pool. Note that this  process can take very long – In this case 1 hour per 100GB. So it took 12 hours to add 2x 600GB to the pool. You can monitor the progress on the summary tab, ‘Operations in progress’.

7. After the process of adding the disks to the group is complete you need to add the available free space to the virtual disk within the group. This process can also take very long depending on if it needs to move other virtual disks on the SAN to be able to add the necessary space. The one virtual disk that I increased took 40 minutes for adding 300GB, the other took almost 6 hours as it had to move another virtual disk in order to be expanded.

8. Once you have added free space to a virtual disk, you can log into the OS that use the virtual disk and extend the windows volume.