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Good morning peeps. I'm fairly new sys admin world and am working in my first systems engineer position (jr) and inherited a dual drive SAN array last week which was entirely unused without being touched since 2007. FUN!

Given our need of storage for backup data as BackupExec won't backup our Notes databases, I'm writing a powershell script to do a VSS copy of the databases on a set scheduled to backup them up to this array.

I've updated the firmware to the latest version, formatted it making a RAID50, and have 2 IP's for the internal web interface. However, while accessible via the web interface, the storage behind it is not accessible. I set an option to allow FTP connections but that isn't working either as an error message is received:

An error occurred open the folder on the FTP server. Make sure you have permission to access this folder. 

Details: 501 Directory non existent or syntax error

The controller is an MSA2012fc HP StorageWorks. Is there something I'm missing? I've tried multiple accounts with the FTP site and get the same error each time. This happened before the firmware update as well.

What needs to be installed so that I can manage what's been written to the SAN?

  • Given our need of storage for backup data as BackupExec won't backup our Notes databases - Backup Exec most certainly can backup Notes databases. What is the issue you're having? – joeqwerty Dec 2 '16 at 16:32
  • Backup Exec 14 does not support Notes 9.0.1. I worked with Veritas for 11 days of troubleshooting before they told me "We don't support this configuration" planetlotus.org/profiles/daniel-nashed_140930 blog.nashcom.de/nashcomblog.nsf/dx/… – JohnnyBurst Dec 2 '16 at 17:02
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    Gotcha. Putting the version information in your question would be beneficial to anyone else looking at this question. – joeqwerty Dec 2 '16 at 17:39
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The MSA 2012fc is fibre-channel, the 2012i was the iSCSI version and the 2012sa was the direct-connect SAS version.

If it is the fc version (it'll say on the controllers themselves) then you'll have to connect them via fibre-channel (or FCoE but that's way out of your picture I suggest) - and FC isn't the least-complex thing in the world, though I'm happy to help if you have specific questions.

Sam's right though that R5/50 is dead, has been for half a decade at least, please avoid for your data-health and sanity - 1/10 and 6/60 are the only games in town.


Edit - thanks for all your information so far, here's what you need to do.

Add a dual-port FC HBA PCIe card to your server - there are other manufacturers but I like Emulex (QLogic are very good I just don't have as much experience with them). There are different speeds you can get but as your 2012fc only runs at 4Gbps then there's no point spending money on 8 or 16Gbps card, but you may find that's all you can get - Emulex cards based on their '1105' chipset are very reliable. So you stuff that in the server, you then download and install the latest drivers and utilities from the manufacturer's site.

You also need to add in the 'multipath' feature in server 2012R2, this is important or your server will think the one LUN you've shared is actually two, one down each line!

Oh yes you need to cable it up - go from server FC port 1 to SAN controller 1 port 1 and server FC port 2 to SAN controller 2 port 1 - use 'OM3 LC-LC' fibres, that's all you need.

You then need to configure the array, once you're into the GUI you need to create an array of the disks using RAID 1/0 or 6/60, then create a LUN (logical drive) of whatever size you like, then you share that out onto the controller ports mentioned above as a particular LUN number (start with 1).

You can then go onto the server and go into the FC utilities and 'scan' the FC HBA, you should hopefully see the WWNs (world-wide-names, like MAC addresses for FC kit) listed, one controller per server port, and hopefully the WWN for the shared LUN. If this is the case you just go into windows disk manager and that LUN should be seen as a disk, so partition and format it - job done!

One caveat here, if you ever want to share a LUN between more than one client you have to jump through a lot more hoops, your setup is about as simple as it gets (hopefully).

Hope it goes well, let me know how you get on ok.

  • Yes, it is the fc. There were 6' fiber wires connecting them despite being 1' apart and we just replaced them on Friday. Is there a program available to manage the storage array? Know why the error above is being returned after entering known good credentials? Same error here: An error occurred open the folder on the FTP server. Make sure you have permission to access this folder. Details: 501 Directory non existent or syntax error – JohnnyBurst Dec 5 '16 at 16:05
  • Thanks for confirming it's the FC model - I have to say that given your comparative lack of experience you could easily be in for a very long haul with this one. First of all do you know how you clients are going to talk to this SAN? Do they have FC HBAs? Do you need an FC switch between clients and array? If so do you know how to configure the switch? Will clients have to access the same LUN/s? If so what file system and locking manager will you use to allow this to work? You need to answer these basic questions before worrying about array configuration issues. – Chopper3 Dec 5 '16 at 16:40
  • Oh and I may be wrong but have you connected the array to an ethernet switch? If so please disconnect it, unless it's a few very specific switches in the world that won't work. – Chopper3 Dec 5 '16 at 16:41
  • Long haul is fine. :D This SAN isn't used for anything so it is just sitting there. The only client to be talking to the SAN will be our backup server via TCP/IP or via mapping as a network drive. Whichever is easiest for the powershell scripting. We HAVE a fiber switch but won't be using it for that. The controller is connected to ethernet, the individual storage devices are not. – JohnnyBurst Dec 5 '16 at 16:51
  • Ok so it'll go [backup client]---IP over ethernet---[backup server]---FC---[SAN array] right? If so then you've saved yourself 98% of the crap. So you have an FC HBA in your backup server? What OS is your backup server running? Oh and the data will never be available via FTP, that's not how this works at all, you can only get at the disks via FC, the FTP is there for say management firmware updates and logs. btw I'm in the UK so knocking off soon, available tomorrow though. – Chopper3 Dec 5 '16 at 16:56
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How is the SAN interfaced into the network, iSCSI?

Also, while it's still blank, I would reformat the RAID/s as RAID 10 or at least RAID 6. RAID 50 is just as problem prone as RAID 5, you'd be wise to avoid it!

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    Just looked into it. I'll redo them as RAID10. Thanks. I believe it is iSCSI. – JohnnyBurst Dec 2 '16 at 17:13
  • What do you mean by "RAID 50 is just as problem prone as RAID 5"? Sure, if you don't know how to lay out, align, and partition a RAID 5 LUN, and don't size the RAID segment/stripe size correctly, you'll get crappy performance. – Andrew Henle Dec 4 '16 at 16:35
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    Agreed with SamAndrew, RAID 10 is always better. About SAN, just ping all the paths, the connections to the SAN can be the bottleneck. – Stuka Dec 5 '16 at 9:52
  • Yes, it is iSCSI. The speed of read/write isn't an issue as of right now, but instead the management capacity of the SAN is my concern. Is there a management interface which needs to also be installed? – JohnnyBurst Dec 5 '16 at 15:29
  • @AndrewHenle, it's not about performance, RAID 50 has all the same fault-tolerance shortcomings as RAID 5: community.spiceworks.com/topic/587968-why-not-raid-5 – SamAndrew81 Dec 5 '16 at 20:25

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