Dell PowerVault MD3220 manual

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  • Brand: Dell
  • Product: Disk array
  • Model/name: PowerVault MD3220
  • Filetype: PDF
  • Available languages: English

Table of Contents

Page: 0
Dell PowerVault MD3200
and MD3220 Storage Arrays
Owner’s Manual
Regulatory Model: E03J Series and E04J Series
Regulatory Type: E03J001 and E04J001
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Page: 1
Notes, Cautions, and Warnings
NOTE: A NOTE indicates important information that helps you make better use of
your computer.
CAUTION: A CAUTION indicates potential damage to hardware or loss of data if
instructions are not followed.
WARNING: A WARNING indicates a potential for property damage, personal
injury, or death.
____________________
© 2013 Dell Inc.
Trademarks used in this text: Dell™, the DELL logo, PowerEdge™, PowerVault™, and
OpenManage™ are trademarks of Dell Inc. Intel®
is a registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in
the U.S. and other countries. Microsoft®
, Windows®
, Windows Server®
, MS-DOS®
, and Internet
Explorer®
are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States
and/or other countries. Red Hat®
and Red Hat Enterprise Linux®
are registered trademarks of Red
Hat, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SUSE®
is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc. in
the United States and other countries.
Regulatory Model: E03J Series and E04J Series
Regulatory Type: E03J001 and E04J001
2013 - 06 Rev. A02
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Page: 2
Contents 3
Contents
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
About This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Inside the box of the Dell PowerVault MD3200
Series Storage Array. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
MD3200 Series Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Dell PowerVault Modular
Disk Storage Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Other Information you May Need . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2 Planning: About Your Storage Array . . . . 23
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Hardware Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Front-Panel Features and Indicators . . . . . . . 24
Back Panel Features and Indicators . . . . . . . . 27
Hard-Drive Indicator Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Power Supply and Cooling Fan Features . . . . . . . . 29
Power Indicator Codes and Features . . . . . . . . . . 30
3 Planning: RAID Controller Modules . . . . 31
RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
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4 Contents
RAID Controller Module Connectors
and Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
RAID Controller Module—Additional Features . . . . . 34
Battery Backup Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Storage Array Thermal Shutdown . . . . . . . . . 35
System Password Reset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Cache Functions and Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Cache Mirroring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Write-Back Cache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Write-Through Cache. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage
Array Terms and Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Physical Disks, Virtual Disks, and Disk Groups . . . . . 37
Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Physical Disk States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Self-Monitoring Analysis and
Reporting Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Virtual Disks and Disk Groups . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Virtual Disk States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
RAID Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
RAID Level Usage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Segment Size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Virtual Disk Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Virtual Disk Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Background Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Foreground Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Consistency Check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Media Verification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
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Contents 5
Cycle Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Virtual Disk Operations Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Disk Group Operations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
RAID Level Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Segment Size Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Virtual Disk Capacity Expansion . . . . . . . . . . 46
Disk Group Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Disk Group Defragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Disk Group Operations Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
RAID Background Operations Priority . . . . . . . . . 47
Virtual Disk Migration and Disk Roaming. . . . . . . . 48
Disk Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Disk Roaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Advanced Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Host Server-to-Virtual Disk Mapping. . . . . . . . 51
Host Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Snapshot Repository Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . 52
Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Virtual Disk Recovery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Using Snapshot and Disk Copy Together. . . . . . 54
Multi-Path Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Preferred and Alternate Controllers
and Paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Virtual Disk Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Load Balancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Monitoring MD3200 Series System
Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
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6 Contents
5 Configuration: Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
User Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Enterprise Management Window . . . . . . . . . 62
Array Management Window . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
6 Configuration: About Your
Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Out-of-Band and In-Band Management . . . . . . . . . 65
Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Adding Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Setting Up Your Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Locating Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Naming or Renaming Storage Arrays. . . . . . . . 70
Setting a Password . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
Viewing Storage Array Connections . . . . . . . . 72
Adding/Editing a Comment to an
Existing Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Removing Storage Arrays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Enabling Premium Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Failover Alert Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Changing the Cache Settings on the
Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Changing Expansion Enclosure ID Number . . . . 75
Changing the Enclosure Order in the
Physical Pane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Configuring Alert Notifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Configuring E-mail Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Configuring SNMP Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Battery Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
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Contents 7
Setting the Storage Array RAID Controller
Module Clocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
7 Configuration: Event Monitor . . . . . . . . . 83
Enabling or Disabling the Event Monitor . . . . . . . . 84
Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
8 Configuration: About Your Host . . . . . . . . 85
Configuring Host Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Using the Mappings Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Defining a Host . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
Removing Host Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Managing Host Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Creating a Host Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Moving a Host to a Different Host Group. . . . . . 89
Removing a Host Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Host Topology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Starting or Stopping the Host
Context Agent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
I/O Data Path Protection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Managing Host Port Identifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
9 Configuration: Disk Groups and
Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Creating Disk Groups and Virtual Disks. . . . . . . . . 95
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8 Contents
Creating Disk Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Locating a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Creating Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Changing the Virtual Disk
Modification Priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Changing the Virtual Disk Cache Settings . . . . 101
Changing the Segment Size of
a Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Changing the I/O Type. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Choosing an Appropriate Physical Disk Type . . . . . 105
Physical Disk Security with Self
Encrypting Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Creating a Security Key. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Changing a Security Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Saving a Security Key. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Validate Security Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Unlocking Secure Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . 113
Erasing Secure Physical Disks . . . . . . . . . . 113
Configuring Hot Spare Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . 114
Hot Spares and Rebuild. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Global Hot Spares. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Hot Spare Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Hot Spare Drive Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Enclosure Loss Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Creating Host-to-Virtual Disk Mappings . . . . . 119
Modifying and Removing Host-to-Virtual
Disk Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Changing Controller Ownership of the
Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Removing Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping . . . . . 122
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Contents 9
Changing the RAID Controller Module
Ownership of a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Changing the RAID Level of a Disk Group . . . . . 124
Removing a Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping
Using Linux DMMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Restricted Mappings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
Changing the RAID Controller Module
Ownership of a Virtual Disk or a Disk Group . . . . 127
Changing the RAID Level of a Disk Group. . . . . . . . 129
Storage Partitioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Disk Group and Virtual Disk Expansion. . . . . . . . . 131
Disk Group Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Virtual Disk Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Using Free Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Using Unconfigured Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Disk Group Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Export Disk Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Exporting a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Import Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Importing a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Storage Array Media Scan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Changing Media Scan Settings . . . . . . . . . . 136
Suspending the Media Scan . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
10 Configuration: Premium Feature—
Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Scheduling a Snapshot Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . 140
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10 Contents
Common Reasons for Scheduling a
Snapshot Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Guidelines for Creating
Snapshot Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Enabling and Disabling Snapshot
Schedules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Creating a Snapshot Virtual Disk Using
the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
About the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Preparing Host Servers to Create the
Snapshot Using the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . 143
Creating a Snapshot Virtual Disk Using the
Advanced Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
About the Advanced Path. . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Preparing Host Servers to Create the
Snapshot Using the Advanced Path . . . . . . . 147
Creating the Snapshot Using
the Advanced Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Specifying Snapshot Virtual Disk Names . . . . . . . 151
Snapshot Repository Capacity. . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Disabling a Snapshot Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . 155
Preparing Host Servers to Re-create a
Snapshot Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Re-creating Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . 157
Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Rules and Guidelines for Performing a
Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Protecting Against a Failed
Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Previous Versions of the
MD Storage Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Starting a Snapshot Rollback. . . . . . . . . . . 159
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Contents 11
Resuming a Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . 160
Canceling a Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . 161
11 Configuration: Premium Feature—
Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Types of Virtual Disk Copies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Offline Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Online Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Creating a Virtual Disk Copy for an
MSCS Shared Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Virtual Disk Read/Write Permissions . . . . . . . . . . 166
Virtual Disk Copy Restrictions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
Creating a Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Before you Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Virtual Disk Copy and Modification
Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Create Copy Wizard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Failed Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Preferred RAID Controller Module Ownership . . . . . 170
Failed RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Copy Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Copying the Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Storage Array Performance During
Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Setting Copy Priority. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Stopping a Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
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12 Contents
Recopying a Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Preparing Host Servers to
Recopy a Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Re-Copying a Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Removing Copy Pairs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
12 Configuration: Premium Feature—
Upgrading to High-
Performance-Tier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
13 Configuration: Device Mapper
Multipath for Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Using DM Multipathing Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Prerequisite Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Device Mapper Configuration Steps . . . . . . . 181
Limitations and Known Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
14 Management: Firmware
Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Downloading RAID Controller and
NVSRAM Packages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Downloading Both RAID Controller and
NVSRAM Firmware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Downloading Only NVSRAM Firmware . . . . . . . . 192
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Contents 13
Downloading Physical Disk Firmware . . . . . . . . . 195
Downloading MD1200 Series Expansion Module
EMM Firmware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting
Technology (SMART) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Media Errors and Unreadable Sectors . . . . . . . . . 198
15 Management: Installing Array
Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Recommended Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Front Bezel (Optional) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Removing the Front Bezel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Installing the Front Bezel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Hard Drives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Removing a Hard-Drive Blank . . . . . . . . . . . 203
Installing a Hard-Drive Blank. . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Removing a Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
Installing a Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
Removing a Hard Drive From a
Hard-Drive Carrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Installing a Hard Drive Into a
Hard-Drive Carrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Removing a RAID Controller Module Blank . . . . 209
Installing a RAID Controller Module Blank. . . . . 210
Removing a RAID Controller Module. . . . . . . . 211
Installing a RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . 212
Opening the RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . 212
Closing the RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . 213
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14 Contents
RAID Controller Module Backup Battery Unit. . . . . 214
Removing the RAID Controller Module
Backup Battery Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Installing the RAID Controller Module
Backup Battery Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Power Supply/Cooling Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . 216
Removing a Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Installing a Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
Control Panel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Removing the Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . 218
Installing the Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Removing the Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Installing the Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
16 Management: Firmware Inventory . . . . 225
Viewing the Firmware Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . 225
17 Management: System Interfaces. . . . . . 227
Microsoft Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Virtual Disk Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Volume Shadow-Copy Service . . . . . . . . . . 227
18 Troubleshooting: Your Storage
Array Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Start-Up Routine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
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Contents 15
Device Health Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Storage Array Support Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
Automatically Collect the Support Bundle Data . . . . 233
Collecting the Physical Disk Data. . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Event Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
Recovery Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Storage Array Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Viewing the Logical Associations. . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Viewing the Physical Associations . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Finding Nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239
Using Go To . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
Recovering From an Unresponsive Storage
Array Condition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Locating a Physical Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Locating an Expansion Enclosure . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
Capturing the State Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
SMrepassist Utility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Unidentified Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Recovering From an Unidentified Storage Array . . . . 248
Starting or Restarting the Host Context
Agent Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251
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16 Contents
19 Troubleshooting: Your Array . . . . . . . . . 253
Safety First—For you and Your Array . . . . . . . . . 253
Troubleshooting Storage Array Startup Failure . . . . 253
Troubleshooting Loss of Communication . . . . . . . 253
Troubleshooting External Connections . . . . . . . . 253
Troubleshooting Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Troubleshooting Array Cooling Problems . . . . . . . 255
Troubleshooting Expansion Enclosure
Management Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
Troubleshooting RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . 256
Troubleshooting Hard Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Troubleshooting Array and Expansion
Enclosure Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
Troubleshooting a Wet Storage Array . . . . . . . . . 260
Troubleshooting a Damaged Array . . . . . . . . . . 261
Troubleshooting RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . 261
Conditions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Invalid Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
ECC Errors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
PCI Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Critical Conditions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Noncritical Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
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Contents 17
20 Getting Help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Locating Your System Service Tag . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Contacting Dell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
Documentation Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
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18 Contents
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Introduction 19
1
Introduction
NOTE: Unless specified, MD3200 Series represents Dell PowerVault MD3200 and
Dell PowerVault MD3220 Storage Arrays.
WARNING: See the Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Information document
for important safety information before following any procedures listed in this
document.
About This Document
This guide familiarizes you with the functions of the Dell PowerVault
MD3200 Series storage array. The guide is organized according to the tasks
that you must complete after receiving your MD3200 Series storage array.
The tasks are:
Planning—Information about the storage array and its features.
Configuration—Tasks that must be completed to ensure that your storage
array performs optimally.
Management—Tasks that may be performed to ensure that the storage array
components are up to date and performing properly, including removal and
installation of storage array components.
Troubleshooting—Tasks that you must complete to resolve problems that
may occur with the storage array.
Additional information on these and other topics can be found in the Dell
PowerVault MD3200 and MD3220 Storage Array Deployment Guide at
dell.com/support/manuals.
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20 Introduction
Inside the Box of the Dell PowerVault MD3200
Series Storage Array
Your MD3200 Series product package includes:
• Dell PowerVault MD3200 Series storage array
• SAS cables
• Power cables (2)
• Front Bezel (optional)
• Mounting rails (2) (optional)
• MD3200 Series resource media
• Rack Installation Instructions
• Getting Started With Your System (provides an overview of enclosure
features, setting up your enclosure, and technical specifications)
MD3200 Series Storage Array
The Dell PowerVault MD3200 Series is a 2U rack-mounted external
redundant array of independent disks (RAID) storage array capable of
accommodating up to twelve 3.5" or twenty four 2.5" 6.0-Gbps Serial-
Attached SCSI (SAS) disks. The MD3200 Series storage arrays can be daisy-
chained with MD1200 Series expansion enclosures, providing access to a
maximum of 120 disks (or 192 disks with Premium Feature activation) in the
entire storage array. Connectivity between the storage array and the host
server is provided by a Dell 6.0-Gbps SAS Host Bus Adapter (SAS 6Gb HBA).
Dell PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager
Dell PowerVault Modular Disk Storage Manager (MDSM) is a graphical user
interface (GUI) application, used to configure and manage one or more
MD3200 Series Storage Arrays. The MDSM software is located on the
MD3200 Series resource media.
Other Information You May Need
WARNING: See the safety and regulatory information that shipped with your
system. Warranty information may be included within this document or as a
separate document.
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Introduction 21
• The Getting Started Guide provides an overview of setting up and cabling
your storage array.
• The Deployment Guide provides installation and configuration instructions
for both software and hardware.
• The Storage Manager CLI Guide provides information about using the
command line interface (CLI).
• Resource media contains all system management tools.
• The Systems Support Matrix provides information on supported software
and hardware for MD systems. The document is available at
dell.com/support/manuals.
• The Dell PowerEdge Cluster Documentation is available at
dell.com/support/manuals.
• Release notes or readme files are included to provide last-minute updates
to the enclosure or documentation or advanced technical reference
material intended for experienced users or technicians.
• This document as well as the Dell PowerVault MD 1200 Series Installation
Guide is available at dell.com/support/manuals for users who incorporate
MD1200 expansion enclosures.
• The Rack Installation Instructions included with your rack solution
describes how to install your enclosure into a rack.
NOTE: Always check for updates on dell.com/support/manuals and read the
updates first because they often supersede information in other documents.
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22 Introduction
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 23
2
Planning: About Your Storage Array
Overview
The MD3200 Series storage array is designed for high availability, offering
redundant access to data storage. It features support for both single and dual
RAID controller configuration.
The Dell PowerVault MD3200 Series storage array provides 6.0-Gbps SAS
connectivity to the host server and enables access for up to eight non-
redundant servers or four redundant servers.
The MD3200 Series storage array includes a number of components. These
are:
• RAID controller module(s)
• PSU/Fan modules
• Disk drives (also called physical disk drives in this document)
• A front bezel (optional)
• A system enclosure, into which, the other components are plugged
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24 Planning: About Your Storage Array
Hardware Features
Front-Panel Features and Indicators
Figure 2-1. Front-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3200
Figure 2-2. Front-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3220
1
2
3
5
4
6
1
2
3
4
6
5
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 25
Figure 2-3. Front-Bezel Features and Indicators
Item Indicator, Button, or
Connector
Icon Description
1 Enclosure status LED The enclosure status LED lights when the
enclosure power is on.
Lights blue during normal operation.
Blinks blue when a host server is identifying the
enclosure or when the system identification
button is pressed.
Lights amber as enclosure boots or is reset.
Blinks amber when the enclosure is either in a
fault state or the hosts are not using the preferred
path to a virtual disk.
2 Power LED The power LED lights green when at least one
power supply is supplying power to
the enclosure.
1
2
3
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26 Planning: About Your Storage Array
3 Split mode LED This LED must be unlit as the split mode
function is not supported by the MD3200 Series
Storage Arrays.
4 System identification
button
The system identification button on the front
control panel can be used to locate a particular
enclosure within a rack. When the button is
pushed, the system status indicators on the
control panel and the RAID controller module(s)
blink blue until the button is pushed again.
5 Hard drives MD3200—Up to twelve 3.5" SAS hot-swappable
hard drives.
MD3220—Up to twenty four 2.5" SAS hot-
swappable hard drives.
6 Enclosure mode
switch
The function of this switch is not applicable to
your storage array. However, if MD1200 Series
expansion enclosures are daisy chained to the
storage array, the enclosure mode switches of the
MD1200 Series expansion enclosures must be set
to the Unified-Mode position.
NOTE: This switch must be set before turning on
the MD1200 Series expansion enclosure. Changing
the switch setting after the expansion enclosure is
turned on has no effect on the enclosure
configuration until the expansion enclosure goes
through a complete power cycle.
Item Indicator, Button, or
Connector
Icon Description
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 27
Back Panel Features and Indicators
Figure 2-4. Back-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3200 Series
1 600 W power supply/cooling fan
module
2 RAID Controller Module 0
3 RAID Controller Module 1 4 600 W power supply/cooling fan
module
1 2 3 4
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28 Planning: About Your Storage Array
Hard-Drive Indicator Patterns
Figure 2-5. Hard Drive Indicators
1 hard-drive activity indicator (green) 2 hard-drive status indicator (green
and amber)
1 2
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 29
Power Supply and Cooling Fan Features
The MD3200 Series storage array includes two integrated, hot-swappable
power supply/cooling fan modules. Both modules must be installed to ensure
proper cooling. The system requires at least one of the cooling fans to
function to avoid overheating.
A power supply/cooling fan module can be replaced without powering down
the system. For information on removing and installing the modules, see
"Power Supply/Cooling Fan Module" on page 216.
CAUTION: A power supply/cooling fan module can be removed from a powered-
on enclosure for a maximum period of 5 minutes. Beyond that time, the system may
automatically shut down to prevent damage.
Drive-Status Indicator Pattern Condition
Off The physical disk is:
• not yet discovered by the host server
• is spun down for removal
• not supported for the RAID controller
module or is not in the physical disk slot
NOTE: The drive status indicator remains
off until all hard drives are initialized after
system power is turned on. Drives are not
ready for insertion or removal during this
time.
Steady green Physical disk is online
Green flashing (On 250 ms, Off 250 ms) Physical disk is being identified
Green flashing (On 400 ms, Off 100 ms) Physical disk rebuilding
Amber flashing (On 150 ms, Off 150 ms) Physical disk failed
Flashing green, amber, and Off (green On
500 ms, amber On 500 ms, Off 1000 ms)
Physical disk failure predicted (SMART)
Flashing green, amber, and Off (green 3
seconds, amber 3 seconds, and Off 3
seconds)
Physical disk rebuild aborted
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30 Planning: About Your Storage Array
Power Indicator Codes and Features
Figure 2-6. Power Indicator Codes and Feature
Item LED Type Icon Description
1 DC power The LED lights green when the DC output
voltage is within the limit.
If this LED is off, it indicates that the DC output
voltage are not within the limit.
2 Power supply/cooling
fan fault
The LED lights amber when the DC output
voltage is not within the limit or a fault with the
fan is detected.
If this LED is off, it indicates that no fault
condition is present.
3 AC power The LED lights green when the AC input voltage
is within the limit.
If this LED is off, it indicates either there is no
power or the AC input voltage is not within the
limit.
4 Power connector Connect the external power supply to this
connector.
5 Power switches (2) The power switch controls the power supply
output to the enclosure.
1
2
3
5
4
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 31
3
Planning: RAID Controller Modules
RAID Controller Modules
The RAID controller modules provide high-performance, advanced virtual
disk configuration, and fault-tolerant disk subsystem management. Each
RAID controller module contains 2 GB or 4 GB of mirrored cache for high
availability and is protected by a battery powered cache offload mechanism.
NOTE: The 4 GB mirrored cache is an optional feature.
RAID controller modules provide the following data path and enclosure
management functions:
• Monitoring and controlling enclosure environment elements
(temperature, fans, power supplies, and enclosure LEDs)
• Controlling access to the physical disks
• Communicating enclosure attributes and states to the host server and
management station
Each RAID controller module has multiple SAS IN ports for host access. The
ports provide redundant host connections and support a high availability
storage environment. Various configurations can be utilized, in both single
controller (simplex) and dual controller (duplex) modes, to connect the
storage enclosure to hosts depending on specific redundancy needs.
For information on cabling, see the MD3200 and MD3220 Series storage
array’s Deployment Guide at dell.com/support/manuals.
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32 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
RAID Controller Module Connectors and Features
Figure 3-1. MD3200 Series SAS RAID Controller Module
Item Component Function
1 SAS OUT port Provides SAS connection for cabling to a downchain
expansion enclosure.
2 SAS IN port 0 Provides host-to-controller SAS connection.
3 SAS IN port 1 Provides host-to-controller SAS connection.
4 SAS IN port 2 Provides host-to-controller SAS connection.
5 SAS IN port 3 Provides host-to-controller SAS connection.
6 MAC Address
label
Provides MAC addresses of the management port.
7 Debug port Dell support only.
8 SAS OUT port
link/fault LED
Lights green when all four links are connected.
Lights amber when one to 3 links are disconnected.
Off when all links in the port are disconnected or cable is
disconnected.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 11 12 15 16 21
9 10 13 17 18
14 19 20
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 33
9 Controller power
LED
Lights green when controller power is on.
Off when controller is not powered.
10 SAS IN 0 port
link/fault LED
Lights green when all four links are connected.
Lights amber when one to 3 links are disconnected.
Off when all links in the port are disconnected or cable is
disconnected.
11 Controller fault
LED
Lights amber when controller fault detected.
Off when controller operating normally.
12 System
identification
LED
Blinks blue when system identification switch push-button
on enclosure front panel is pressed.
13 SAS IN 1 port
link/fault LED
Lights green when all four links are connected.
Lights amber when one to 3 links are disconnected.
Off when all links in the port are disconnected or cable is
disconnected.
14 Cache active or
cache offload
LED
Lights green when on-board controller memory contains
data.
If AC power fails, this LED changes to indicate Cache
Offload status.
If the password reset function has successfully changed the
password, this LED flashes on and off briefly.
15 Battery fault Lights amber when battery backup unit or battery has
failed.
Off when battery backup unit is operating normally.
16 Password Reset
switch
Activating this switch deletes the password.
17 SAS IN 2 port
link/fault LED
Lights green when all four links are connected.
Lights amber when one to 3 links are disconnected.
Off when all links in the port are disconnected or cable is
disconnected.
Item Component Function
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34 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
RAID Controller Module—Additional Features
Battery Backup Unit
Each RAID controller contains a two-cell Lithium ion nanopolymer battery
backup unit (BBU). It provides power to the RAID controller module in the
event of a power outage. For information on removing and installing the BBU,
see "RAID Controller Module Backup Battery Unit" on page 214.
NOTE: For virtual disks, the RAID controller firmware changes the data cache
setting based on the state of the battery. If the battery is missing or does not have
sufficient charge, the controller flushes the cache and sets the write cache
attribute to Write Through for all virtual disks. When the battery is replaced, Write
Back is re-enabled.
18 SAS IN 3 port
link/fault LED
Lights green when all four links are connected.
Lights amber when one to 3 links are disconnected.
Off when all links in the port are disconnected or cable is
disconnected.
19 Management
port speed LED
Lights green when ethernet connection is operating at 1000
Mbps.
Lights amber when ethernet connection is operating at 100
Mbps.
Off when ethernet connection is operating at 10 Mbps or is
not active.
20 Management
port activity LED
Lights green when ethernet connection is active.
Off when ethernet connection is not active.
21 Management
port Ethernet
connector
Provides a 100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connection for out-of-
band management of the enclosure.
Item Component Function
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 35
Storage Array Thermal Shutdown
The system automatically shuts down when system temperature exceeds the
safe threshold. The battery backup unit protects against data loss by
providing power to offload cache to non-volatile memory in the event of
power loss. It is not necessary to shut down any MD1200 Series expansion
enclosures attached to the storage array when thermal shutdown occurs.
Temperature threshold values determine the temperature at which shutdown
occurs. These thresholds cannot be changed.
System Password Reset
The storage array password can be reset if it is forgotten. To reset the
password, push and hold down the password reset switch for at least 5
seconds. The password is deleted. See Figure 3-1 to locate the password reset
switch.
The RAID controller module allows you to change the password. For more
information about setting your password, see "Setting a Password" on page 71.
NOTE: The reset switch can be accessed by using a small object such as the tip of
a pen.
Table 3-1. Shutdown Threshold Type
Threshold Temperature Exceeding Event Description
Nominal failure threshold A critical event is set
Maximum failure threshold Shutdown of the system power supplies occurs
within 3 minutes
Shutdown threshold Shutdown of the system power supplies occurs
within 5 seconds
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36 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
Cache Functions and Features
Cache Mirroring
Cache mirroring function copies accepted host-write data from the primary
controller to the partner controller. This action ensures that host-write data is
safely mirrored to the partner controller before successful completion status is
returned to the host. If a controller fails, the surviving controller safely retains
all mirrored data. Cache mirroring is enabled by default.
Write-Back Cache
In Write-back Cache, write operations result in a completion signal being
sent to the host operating system as soon as the cache receives the data to be
written. The target physical disk receives the data at a more appropriate time
in order to increase controller performance. In dual-active controller
configurations with Write-back Caching enabled, the write data is always
mirrored to the cache of the second controller before completion status is
issued to the host initiator. Write-Back Cache is enabled by default unless
cache mirroring is disabled.
Write-Through Cache
In write-through cache, data is written to the physical disk before completion
status is returned to the host operating system. Write-through cache is
considered more robust than write-back cache, since a power failure is less
likely to cause loss of data. The RAID controller automatically switches to
write-through if cache mirroring is disabled or if the battery is missing or has a
fault condition.
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 37
4
Planning: MD3200 Series Storage
Array Terms and Concepts
This chapter explains the terms and concepts used for configuration and
operation of the MD3200 Series storage arrays.
Physical Disks, Virtual Disks, and Disk Groups
Physical disks in your storage array provide the physical storage capacity for
your data. Before you can begin writing data to the storage array, you must
configure the physical storage capacity into logical components, called disk
groups and virtual disks.
A disk group is a set of physical disks upon which multiple virtual disks are
created. The maximum number of physical disks supported in a disk group is
120 disks (or 192 drives with Premium Feature activation) for RAID 0, RAID
1, and RAID 10, and 30 drives for RAID 5 and RAID 6. You can create disk
groups from unconfigured capacity on your storage array.
A virtual disk is a partition in a disk group that is made up of contiguous data
segments of the physical disks in the disk group. A virtual disk consists of data
segments from all physical disks in the disk group. Virtual disks and disk
groups are set up according to how you plan to organize your data. For
example, you may have one virtual disk for inventory, a second virtual disk for
financial and tax information, and so on.
All virtual disks in a disk group support the same RAID level. The storage
array supports up to 255 virtual disks (minimum size of 10 MB each) that can
be assigned to host servers. Each virtual disk is assigned a Logical Unit
Number (LUN) that is recognized by the host operating system.
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38 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
Physical Disks
Only Dell supported 6.0-Gbps SAS physical disks are supported in the storage
array. If the storage array detects unsupported physical disks, it marks the disk
as unsupported and the physical disk becomes unavailable for all operations.
NOTE: The MD3200 Series storage array must contain at least two physical disks
for proper operation. This is necessary because the physical disks are used to store
configuration information.
Physical Disk States
Table 4-1 describes the various states of the physical disk, which are
recognized by the storage array and reported in the MDSM application.
Table 4-1. RAID Controller Physical Disk States
Status Mode Description Physical Disk
Status LED
Optimal Assigned The physical disk in the indicated slot
is configured as part of a disk group.
Steady Green
Optimal Unassigned The physical disk in the indicated slot
is unused and available to be
configured.
Steady Green
Optimal Hot Spare
standby
The physical disk in the indicated slot
is configured as a hot spare.
Steady Green
Optimal Hot Spare in
use
The physical disk in the indicated slot
is in use as a hot spare within a disk
group.
Steady Green
Failed Assigned,
Unassigned,
Hot Spare in
use, or Hot
Spare standby
The physical disk in the indicated slot
has failed because of an unrecoverable
error, an incorrect drive type or drive
size, or by its operational state being
set to failed.
Amber flashing
(150 ms)
Replaced Assigned The physical disk in the indicated slot
is replaced and is ready to be, or is
actively being configured into a disk
group.
Green flashing
(On 400 ms, Off
100 ms)
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 39
If a disk drive rebuild fails because of a source drive failure or because the
drive is too small, the MDSM reports a failure of the physical disk even
though the LED state on the drive indicates the rebuild was aborted (green
for 3 seconds, amber for 3 seconds, then off for 3 seconds).
Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology
SMART monitors the internal performance of all physical disk components to
detect faults indicating the potential for physical disk failure. SMART uses
this information to report whether failure is imminent so that a physical disk
can be replaced before failure occurs. The storage array monitors all attached
drives and notifies you when a predicted failure is reported by a physical disk.
Virtual Disks and Disk Groups
When configuring a storage array, you must:
1 Organize the physical disks into disk groups.
2 Create virtual disks within these disk groups.
Pending
Failure
Assigned,
Unassigned,
Hot Spare in
use, or Hot
Spare standby
A Self-Monitoring Analysis and
Reporting Technology (SMART) error
is detected on the physical disk in the
indicated slot.
Green flashing
(500 ms), Amber
(500 ms), and Off
(1000ms)
Offline Not applicable The physical disk has either been spun
down or had a rebuild aborted by user
request.
Green flashing
(3000 ms), Amber
(3000 ms), and
Off (3000ms)
Identify Assigned,
Unassigned,
Hot Spare in
use, or Hot
Spare standby
The physical disk is being identified. Green flashing
(250 ms)
N/A N/A The indicated slot is empty, or the
array cannot detect the physical disk.
Table 4-1. RAID Controller Physical Disk States (continued)
Status Mode Description Physical Disk
Status LED
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40 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
3 Provide host server access.
4 Create mappings to associate the virtual disks with the host servers.
NOTE: Host server access must be created before mapping virtual disks.
Disk groups are always created in the unconfigured capacity of a storage array.
Unconfigured capacity is the available physical disk space not already
assigned in the storage array.
Virtual disks are created within the free capacity of a disk group. Free capacity
is the space in a disk group that has not been assigned to a virtual disk.
Virtual Disk States
The storage array recognizes the following virtual disk states.
RAID Levels
RAID levels determine the way in which data is written to physical disks.
Different RAID levels provide different levels of accessibility, redundancy, and
capacity.
Table 4-2. RAID Controller Virtual Disk States
State Description
Optimal The virtual disk contains physical disks that are all online.
Degraded The virtual disk with a redundant RAID level contains an inaccessible
physical disk. The system can still work properly, but performance may
be affected and additional disk failures may result in data loss.
Offline A virtual disk with one or more member disks is in an inaccessible
(failed, missing, or offline) state. Data on the virtual disk is no longer
accessible.
Force online The storage array forces a virtual disk that is in an Offline state to an
Optimal state. If all the member physical disks are not available, the
storage array forces the virtual disk to a Degraded state. The storage
array can force a virtual disk to an Online state only when a sufficient
number of physical disks are available to support the virtual disk.
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 41
Using multiple physical disks has the following advantages over using a single
physical disk:
• Placing data on multiple physical disks (striping) allows input/output (I/O)
operations to occur simultaneously and improve performance.
• Storing redundant data on multiple physical disks using mirroring or parity
supports reconstruction of lost data if an error occurs, even if that error is
the failure of a physical disk.
Each RAID level provides different performance and protection. You must
select a RAID level based on the type of application, access, fault tolerance,
and data you are storing.
The storage array supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, and 10. The maximum
number of physical disks that can be used in a disk group depends on the
RAID level:
• 192 for RAID levels 0, 1, and 10
• 30 for RAID levels 5 and 6.
RAID Level Usage
To ensure best performance, you must select an optimal RAID level when you
create a system physical disk. The optimal RAID level for your disk array
depends on:
• Number of physical disks in the disk array
• Capacity of the physical disks in the disk array
• Need for redundant access to the data (fault tolerance)
• Disk performance requirements
RAID 0
RAID 0 uses disk striping to provide high data throughput, especially for large
files in an environment that requires no data redundancy. RAID 0 breaks the
data down into segments and writes each segment to a separate physical disk.
I/O performance is greatly improved by spreading the I/O load across many
physical disks. Although it offers the best performance of any RAID level,
RAID 0 lacks data redundancy. Select this option only for non-critical data,
because failure of one physical disk results in the loss of all data. Examples of
RAID 0 applications include video editing, image editing, prepress
applications, or any application requiring high bandwidth.
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42 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
RAID 1
RAID 1 uses disk mirroring so that data written to one physical disk is
simultaneously written to another physical disk. This RAID level offers fast
performance, the best data availability, and the highest disk overhead. RAID 1
is recommended for small databases or other applications that do not require
large capacity. RAID 1 provides full data redundancy. For example accounting,
payroll, or financial applications.
RAID 5
RAID 5 uses parity and striping data across all physical disks (distributed
parity) to provide high data throughput and data redundancy, especially for
small random access. This is a versatile RAID level and is suited for multi-user
environments where typical I/O size is small and there is a high proportion of
read activity such as file, application, database, web, e-mail, news, and
intranet servers.
RAID 6
RAID 6 is similar to RAID 5 but provides an additional parity disk for better
redundancy. This is the most versatile RAID level and is suited for multi-user
environments where typical I/O size is small and there is a high proportion of
read activity. RAID 6 is recommended when large size physical disks are used
or large number of physical disks are used in a disk group.
RAID 10
RAID 10, a combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0, uses disk striping across
mirrored disks. It provides high data throughput and complete data
redundancy. Utilizing an even number of physical disks (four or more) creates
a RAID level 10 disk group and/or virtual disk. Because RAID levels 1 and 10
use disk mirroring, half of the capacity of the physical disks is utilized for
mirroring. This leaves the remaining half of the physical disk capacity for
actual storage. RAID 10 is automatically used when a RAID level of 1 is
chosen with four or more physical disks. RAID 10 works well for medium-
sized databases or any environment that requires high performance and fault
tolerance and moderate-to-medium capacity.
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 43
Segment Size
Disk striping enables data to be written across multiple physical disks. Disk
striping enhances performance because striped disks are accessed
simultaneously.
The segment size or stripe element size specifies the size of data in a stripe
written to a single disk. The MD3200 Series array supports stripe element
sizes of 8 KB, 16 KB, 32 KB, 64 KB, 128 KB, 256 KB, and 512 KB. The default
stripe element size is 128 KB.
Stripe width, or depth, refers to the number of disks involved in an array
where striping is implemented. For example, a four-disk group with disk
striping has a stripe width of four.
NOTE: Although disk striping delivers excellent performance, striping alone does
not provide data redundancy.
Virtual Disk Operations
Virtual Disk Initialization
Every virtual disk must be initialized. Initialization can be done in the
foreground or the background. A maximum of four virtual disks can be
initialized concurrently on each RAID controller module.
Background Initialization
The storage array executes a background initialization when the virtual disk is
created to establish parity, while allowing full host server access to the virtual
disks. Background initialization does not run on RAID 0 virtual disks. The
background initialization rate is controlled by MDSM. To change the rate of
background initialization, you must stop any existing background
initialization. The rate change is implemented when the background
initialization restarts automatically.
Foreground Initialization
The storage array supports foreground initialization for virtual disks. All
access to the virtual disk is blocked during foreground initialization. During
foreground initialization, zeros (0x00) are written to every sector of the virtual
disk. The virtual disk is available after foreground initialization is completed.
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44 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
Consistency Check
A consistency check verifies the correctness of data in a redundant array
(RAID levels 1, 5, 6, and 10). For example, in a system with parity, checking
consistency involves computing the data on one physical disk and comparing
the results to the contents of the parity physical disk.
A consistency check is similar to a background initialization. The difference is
that background initialization cannot be started or stopped manually, while
consistency check can.
NOTE: It is recommended that you run data consistency checks on a redundant
array at least once a month. This allows detection and automatic replacement of
unreadable sectors. Finding an unreadable sector during a rebuild of a failed
physical disk is a serious problem, because the system does not have the
redundancy to recover the data.
Media Verification
Another background task performed by the storage array is media verification
of all configured physical disks in a disk group. The storage array uses the
Read operation to perform verification on the space configured in virtual
disks and the space reserved for the metadata.
Cycle Time
The media verification operation runs only on selected disk groups,
independent of other disk groups. Cycle time is the time taken to complete
verification of the metadata region of the disk group and all virtual disks in
the disk group for which media verification is configured. The next cycle for a
disk group starts automatically when the current cycle completes. You can set
the cycle time for a media verification operation between 1 and 30 days. The
storage controller throttles the media verification I/O accesses to disks based
on the cycle time.
The storage array tracks the cycle for each disk group independent of other
disk groups on the controller and creates a checkpoint. If the media
verification operation on a disk group is preempted or blocked by another
operation on the disk group, the storage array resumes after the current cycle.
If the media verification process on a disk group is stopped due to a RAID
controller module restart, the storage array resumes the process from the last
checkpoint.
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 45
Virtual Disk Operations Limit
The maximum number of active, concurrent virtual disk processes per RAID
controller module installed in the storage array is four. This limit is applied to
the following virtual disk processes:
• Background initialization
• Foreground initialization
• Consistency check
• Rebuild
• Copy back
If a redundant RAID controller module fails with existing virtual disk
processes, the processes on the failed controller are transferred to the peer
controller. A transferred process is placed in a suspended state if there are four
active processes on the peer controller. The suspended processes are resumed
on the peer controller when the number of active processes falls below four.
Disk Group Operations
RAID Level Migration
You can migrate from one RAID level to another depending on your
requirements. For example, fault-tolerant characteristics can be added to a
stripe set (RAID 0) by converting it to a RAID 5 set. MDSM provides
information about RAID attributes to assist you in selecting the appropriate
RAID level. You can perform a RAID level migration while the system is still
running and without rebooting, which maintains data availability.
Segment Size Migration
Segment size refers to the amount of data (in KB) that the storage array
writes on a single physical disk in a virtual disk before writing data on the next
physical disk. Valid values for the segment size are 8 KB, 16 KB, 32 KB, 64 KB,
128 KB, 256 KB, and 512 KB.
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46 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
Dynamic segment size migration enables the segment size of a given virtual
disk to be changed. A default segment size is set when the virtual disk is
created, based on such factors as the RAID level and expected usage. You can
change the default value (128 KB) if segment size usage does not match your
needs.
When considering a segment-size change, two scenarios illustrate different
approaches to the limitations:
• If I/O activity stretches beyond the segment size, you can increase it to
reduce the number of disks required for a single I/O. Using a single physical
disk for a single request frees disks to service other requests, especially
when you have multiple users accessing a database or storage environment.
• If you use the virtual disk in a single-user, large I/O environment (such as
for multimedia application storage), performance can be optimized when
a single I/O request is serviced with a single data stripe (the segment size
multiplied by the number of physical disks in the disk group used for data
storage). In this case, multiple disks are used for the same request, but
each disk is only accessed once.
Virtual Disk Capacity Expansion
When you configure a virtual disk, you select a capacity based on the amount
of data you expect to store. However, you may need to increase the virtual disk
capacity for a standard virtual disk by adding free capacity to the disk group.
This creates more unused space for new virtual disks or to expand existing
virtual disks.
Disk Group Expansion
Because the storage array supports hot pluggable physical disks, you can add
two physical disks at a time for each disk group while the storage array
remains online. Data remains accessible on virtual disk groups, virtual disks,
and physical disks throughout the operation. The data and increased unused
free space are dynamically redistributed across the disk group. RAID
characteristics are also reapplied to the disk group as a whole.
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 47
Disk Group Defragmentation
Defragmenting consolidates the free capacity in the disk group into one
contiguous area. Defragmentation does not change the way in which the data
is stored on the virtual disks.
Disk Group Operations Limit
The maximum number of active, concurrent disk group processes per
installed RAID controller module is one. This limit is applied to the following
disk group processes:
• Virtual disk RAID level migration
• Segment size migration
• Virtual disk capacity expansion
• Disk group expansion
• Disk group defragmentation
If a redundant RAID controller module fails with an existing disk group
process, the process on the failed controller is transferred to the peer
controller. A transferred process is placed in a suspended state if there is an
active disk group process on the peer controller. The suspended processes are
resumed when the active process on the peer controller completes or is
stopped.
NOTE: If you try to start a disk group process on a controller that does not have an
existing active process, the start attempt fails if the first virtual disk in the disk group
is owned by the other controller and there is an active process on the other
controller.
RAID Background Operations Priority
The storage array supports a common configurable priority for the following
RAID operations:
• Background initialization
• Rebuild
• Copy back
• Virtual disk capacity expansion
• Raid level migration
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48 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
• Segment size migration
• Disk group expansion
• Disk group defragmentation
The priority of each of these operations can be changed to address
performance requirements of the environment in which the operations are to
be executed.
NOTE: Setting a high priority level impacts storage array performance. It is not
advisable to set priority levels at the maximum level. Priority must also be assessed
in terms of impact to host server access and time to complete an operation. For
example, the longer a rebuild of a degraded virtual disk takes, the greater the risk
for secondary disk failure.
Virtual Disk Migration and Disk Roaming
Virtual disk migration is moving a virtual disk or a hot spare from one array to
another by detaching the physical disks and re-attaching them to the new
array. Disk roaming is moving a physical disk from one slot to another on the
same array.
Disk Migration
You can move virtual disks from one array to another without taking the
target array offline. However, the disk group being migrated must be offline
before your perform disk migration. If the disk group is not offline prior to
migration, the source array holding the physical and virtual disks within the
disk group marks them as missing. However, the disk groups themselves
migrate to the target array.
An array can import a virtual disk only if it is in an optimal state. You can
move virtual disks that are part of a disk group only if all members of the disk
group are being migrated. The virtual disks automatically become available
after the target array has finished importing all the disks in the disk group.
When you migrate a physical disk or a disk group from one MD3200 array to
another, the MD3200 array you migrate to, recognizes any data structures
and/or metadata you had in place on the migrating MD3200 array. However, if
you are migrating from any device other than a MD3200 Series storage array,
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Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 49
the MD3200 Series storage array does not recognize the migrating metadata
and that data is lost. In this case, the MD3200 Series storage array initializes
the physical disks and marks them as unconfigured capacity.
NOTE: Only disk groups and associated virtual disks with all member physical disks
present can be migrated from one storage array to another. it is recommended that
you only migrate disk groups that have all their associated member virtual disks in
an optimal state.
NOTE: The number of physical disks and virtual disks that a storage array supports
limits the scope of the migration.
Use either of the following methods to move disk groups and virtual disks:
• Hot virtual disk migration—Disk migration with the destination storage
array power turned on.
• Cold virtual disk migration—Disk migration with the destination storage
array power turned off.
NOTE: To ensure that the migrating disk groups and virtual disks are correctly
recognized when the target storage array has an existing physical disk, use hot
virtual disk migration.
When attempting virtual disk migration, follow these recommendations:
• Moving physical disks to the destination array for migration—When
inserting drives into the destination storage array during hot virtual disk
migration, wait for the inserted physical disk to be displayed in MDSM
before inserting the next physical disk.
WARNING: Without the delay between drive insertions, the storage array can
become unstable and manageability is temporarily lost.
• Migrating virtual disks from multiple storage arrays into a single storage
array—When migrating virtual disks from multiple or different storage
arrays into a single destination storage array, move all of the physical disks
from the same storage array as a set into the new destination storage array.
Ensure that all of the physical disks from a storage array are migrated to
the destination storage array before starting migration from the next
storage array.
NOTE: If the drive modules are not moved as a set to the destination storage
array, the newly relocated disk groups may not be accessible.
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50 Planning: MD3200 Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
• Migrating virtual disks to a storage array with no existing physical disks—
Turn off the destination storage array, when migrating disk groups or a
complete set of physical disks from a storage array to another storage array
that has no existing physical disks. After the destination storage array is
turned on and has successfully recognized the newly migrated physical
disks, migration operations can continue.
NOTE: Disk groups from multiple storage arrays must not be migrated at the
same time to a storage array that has no existing physical disks.
• Enabling premium features before migration—Before migrating disk
groups and virtual disks, enable the required premium features on the
destination storage array. If a disk group is migrated from a MD3200
storage array that has a premium feature enabled and the destination array
does not have this feature enabled, an Out of Compliance error message
may be generated.
Disk Roaming
You can move physical disks within an array. The RAID controller module
automatically recognizes the relocated physical disks and logically places
them in the proper virtual disks that are part of the disk group. Disk roaming
is permitted when the RAID controller module is either online or powered
off.
NOTE: The disk group must be exported before moving the physical disks.
Advanced Features
The RAID enclosure supports several advanced features:
• Virtual Disk Snapshots
• Virtual Disk Copy
• High Performance Tier
NOTE: Virtual Disk Snapshot, Virtual Disk Copy, and High Performance Tier are
premium features that must be activated separately. If you have purchased these
features, an activation card is supplied that contains instructions for enabling this
functionality.
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