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We are thinking about getting HP StorageWorks P2000 G3 iSCSI, but I would be very glad, if someone could respond to some of my questions. We would like to have two XenServer hosts connected with iscsi to this storage.

1) Is it possible to connect it with standard cat5e ethernet cable directly to NIC of Xen hosts?
2) Can I select what disks are raided0 and what are not ?
3) Please explain me, what is that storage in fact. Is there some linux, how does administrator access it ?
4) Can I export some NFS shares as well ?
5) Can multiple hosts access same iSCSI ? (live migration, backuping, ...)

Thank you very much.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

1) Is it possible to connect it with standard cat5e ethernet cable directly to NIC of Xen hosts?

Yes.

2) Can I select what disks are raided0 and what are not?

Yes.

3) Please explain me, what is that storage in fact. Is there some linux, how does administrator access it?

It has proprietry embedded controller/s - you manage it via a web interface accessed through a dedicated ethernet port at the rear of each controller.

4) Can I export some NFS shares as well?

No it's a block-level device offering both iSCSI and FC interfaces. You can share this block-level data as file-level shares by exposing the storage to a general purpose server offering SMB/CIFS/NFS etc. however.

5) Can multiple hosts access same iSCSI ? (live migration, backuping, ...)

Yes, very easily but be aware that sharing blocks/LUNS to multiple machines not setup with a cluster-aware file system will cause almost immediate data corruption of that entire block/LUN.

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nitpicking: for live migration uses you typically don't share filesystems, just volume groups. if done correctly, you don't need a cluster-aware filesystem –  Javier Jan 24 '11 at 18:49

1) Is it possible to connect it with standard cat5e ethernet cable directly to NIC of Xen hosts? yes, but it's not recommended. The proper setup would be to have a switch, or better - two, and have a cable from every host to every switch to every SAN port. This way, you will get a fully redundant multipath

2) Can I select what disks are raided0 and what are not ?

You can create logical disks out of the physical ones, raid configurations are per logical disk. from those disks you can carve and export LUNs.

3) Please explain me, what is that storage in fact. Is there some linux, how does administrator access it ?

some kind of management console, usually they are GUI or web based. Ask HP for details

4) Can I export some NFS shares as well ? I doubt it, but again - ask HP

5) Can multiple hosts access same iSCSI ? (live migration, backuping, ...)

yes, if you set the SAN up in a clustered configuration.

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For the multiple-access iSCSI issue, you would use lvm-over-iSCSI SRs, and the system should handle contention appropriately.

You won't want to share filesystems under iSCSI... even with read-only mounts you will end up with inconsistent filesystem status. But LVM should handle it pretty well.

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