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SANtricity E-Series

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

To manage NetApp E-Series arrays, you use the SANtricity Storage Manager software. SANtricity is easy and intuitive to use. Figure 1 shows the first GUI when you have selected an array to manage.

santricity1.PNG

The process of configuring storage on an E-Series array is, in my opinion, really not that different from doing it on a FAS storage system. Of course, the commands are different. However, conceptually, they are quite similar. I’m going to mention just a few very basic storage management tasks on an E-Series array and draw some comparisons between E-Series array and FAS storage systems.

Configure Host Access

This step basically establishes the path(s) between the array and host(s) such that the host can access the storage. This is similar to creating igroup(s) on a FAS storage system. Note that with E-Series arrays, you can configure host access manually or automatically. Auto-config involves a host discovery step by SANtricity. To ensure the path is working, SANtricity creates a tiny 20-MB volume on the array and presents it as a 20-MB disk to the host (see fig. 2). So, don’t be alarmed if you see this disk show up on the host; it’s actually a common practice by number of storage vendors.

unallocatedLUN.jpg

Create Volume Groups and Volumes

Volume Group is a logical storage entity that aggregates a number of physical drives. When you create a Volume Group, you select number of disks as well as a RAID level (e.g., 0, 1, 5 or 6) for that Volume Group. Think of it as aggregate and FlexVol combined on FAS, although they are not quite the same. Within a Volume Group, you can create one or more volumes, which are similar to LUNs on FAS. Figure 3 shows the relationship between Volume Groups and Volumes.

volumegrp.PNG

Create Host-to-Volume Mappings

This step maps host(s) to volumes so that the host can access the volumes, thus the storage array. It is very similar to LUN mapping on FAS. Figure 4 captures the state after several volumes have been mapped to the host x3550-test. Note, if multi-path is used, then proper DSM should be installed and/or configured.

host2volmapping.PNG

Configure Hot Spares

On E-Series arrays, hot spares should be configured so they can be used automatically in place of a failed drive in a volume group. When you configure hot spare disks, you can select which disk as well as how many disks should be hot spares. Note, the hot spares are global, meaning they can be used by any volume group in an array. Figure 5 shows two hot spares have been configured. This step is different from FAS, since on FAS storage systems, un-configured disks are usually hot spares automatically.

hotspare.PNG

SANtricity Storage Manager is a powerful storage management tool. Here, I only touched on a few very basic tasks. Yet these simple configuration steps are enough to let a host access an E-Series array and perform I/O operations (read and write) between the host and the array.

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