Dell PowerVault MD3600f manual

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  • Brand: Dell
  • Product: Disk array
  • Model/name: PowerVault MD3600f
  • Filetype: PDF
  • Available languages: English

Table of Contents

Page: 0
Dell PowerVault MD3600f and
MD3620f 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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Contents 3
Contents
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
About This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Inside the Box of the Dell PowerVault MD3600f
Series Storage Array. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
MD3600f Series Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Dell PowerVault Modular Disk
Storage Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Other Information You May Need . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2 Planning: About Your Storage Array . . . . 25
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Hardware Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Front-Panel Features and Indicators . . . . . . . 26
Back Panel Features and Indicators . . . . . . . . 29
Hard–Drive Indicator Patterns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Power Supply and Cooling Fan Features . . . . . . . . 31
Power Indicator Codes and Features . . . . . . . . . . 32
3 Planning: RAID Controller Modules . . . . 33
RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
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4 Contents
RAID Controller Module Connectors and Features . . . 34
Host Channel LED Link/Rate Indications . . . . . . . . 36
RAID Controller Module—Additional Features . . . . . 36
Battery Backup Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Storage Array Thermal Shutdown . . . . . . . . . 37
System Password Reset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Cache Functions and Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Cache Mirroring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Write–Back Cache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
Write–Through Cache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
SFP Transceivers, Fiber Optic, and SAS Cables. . . . . 38
Interoperability of 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps,
and 8 Gbps Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
4 Planning: MD3600f Series Storage
Array Terms and Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . 41
Physical Disks, Virtual Disks, and Disk Groups . . . . . 41
Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Physical Disk States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Self-Monitoring Analysis and
Reporting Technology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Virtual Disks and Disk Groups . . . . . . . . . . . 43
Virtual Disk States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
RAID Levels. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
RAID Level Usage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Segment Size. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Virtual Disk Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
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Contents 5
Virtual Disk Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Background Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Foreground Initialization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Consistency Check . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Media Verification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Cycle Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Virtual Disk Operations Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Disk Group Operations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
RAID Level Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Segment Size Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Virtual Disk Capacity Expansion . . . . . . . . . . 51
Disk Group Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Disk Group Defragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Disk Group Operations Limit . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
RAID Background Operations Priority . . . . . . . . . 52
Virtual Disk Migration and Disk Roaming. . . . . . . . 53
Disk Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Disk Roaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Advanced Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Host Server–to–Virtual Disk Mapping . . . . . . . 55
Host Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
Snapshot Repository Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . 57
Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Virtual Disk Recovery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Using Snapshot and Disk Copy Together. . . . . . 59
Multi-Path Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Preferred and Alternate Controllers
and Paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Virtual Disk Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
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6 Contents
Load Balancing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Monitoring MD3600f Series System Performance . . . 61
5 Configuration: Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
User Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Enterprise Management Window . . . . . . . . . 66
Array Management Window . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6 Configuration: About Your
Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Adding Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
Setting Up Your Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Locating Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
Naming or Renaming Storage Arrays. . . . . . . . 73
Setting a Password . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Viewing Storage Array Connections . . . . . . . . 76
Adding/Editing a Comment to an
Existing Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Removing Storage Arrays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Enabling Premium Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Failover Alert Display . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Changing the Cache Settings on the
Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Changing Expansion Enclosure
ID Number. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Changing the Enclosure Order in the
Physical Pane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Configuring Alert Notifications . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
Configuring E–mail Alerts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
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Contents 7
Configuring SNMP Alerts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Battery Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Setting the Storage Array RAID Controller
Module Clocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
7 Configuration: Event Monitor . . . . . . . . . 87
Enabling or Disabling the Event Monitor . . . . . . . . 88
Windows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
8 Configuration: About Your Host . . . . . . . . 89
Configuring Host Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Using the Mappings Tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Defining a Host . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Removing Host Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Managing Host Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Creating a Host Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Moving a Host to a Different Host Group. . . . . . 94
Removing a Host Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Host Topology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Starting or Stopping the Host Context Agent. . . . 95
I/O Data Path Protection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Managing Host Port Identifiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
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8 Contents
9 Configuration: Disk Groups and
Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Creating Disk Groups and Virtual Disks. . . . . . . . 101
Creating Disk Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Locating a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Creating Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Changing the Virtual Disk
Modification Priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Changing the Virtual Disk Cache Settings . . . . 107
Changing the Segment Size of a
Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Changing the I/O Type. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Choosing an Appropriate Physical Disk Type . . . . . 111
Physical Disk Security With Self
Encrypting Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Creating a Security Key. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Changing a Security Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Saving a Security Key. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Validate Security Key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Unlocking Secure Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . 119
Erasing Secure Physical Disks . . . . . . . . . . 119
Configuring Hot Spare Physical Disks. . . . . . . . . 120
Hot Spares and Rebuild. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Global Hot Spares. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Hot Spare Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Hot Spare Drive Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Enclosure Loss Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Creating Host-to-Virtual Disk Mappings . . . . . 126
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Contents 9
Modifying and Removing Host-to-Virtual
Disk Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Changing Controller Ownership of the
Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Removing Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping . . . . . . 129
Changing the RAID Controller Module
Ownership of a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Changing the RAID Level of a Disk Group . . . . . 130
Removing a Host-to-Virtual Disk Mapping
Using Linux DMMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Restricted Mappings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Changing the RAID Controller Module
Ownership of a Virtual Disk or a Disk Group . . . . 134
Changing the RAID Level of a Disk Group. . . . . . . . 136
Storage Partitioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
Disk Group and Virtual Disk Expansion. . . . . . . . . 138
Disk Group Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Virtual Disk Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Using Free Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Using Unconfigured Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Disk Group Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Export Disk Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Exporting a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Import Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Importing a Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Storage Array Media Scan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Changing Media Scan Settings . . . . . . . . . . 143
Suspending the Media Scan . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
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10 Contents
10 Configuration: Premium
Feature—Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . 145
Scheduling a Snapshot Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . 146
Common Reasons for Scheduling a
Snapshot Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Guidelines for Creating Snapshot
Schedules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Enabling and Disabling Snapshot
Schedules. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Creating a Snapshot Virtual Disk Using
the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
About the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
Preparing Host Servers to Create the
Snapshot Using the Simple Path . . . . . . . . . 150
Creating a Snapshot Virtual Disk Using
the Advanced Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
About the Advanced Path. . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
Preparing Host Servers to Create the
Snapshot Using the Advanced Path . . . . . . . 154
Creating the Snapshot Using
the Advanced Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Specifying Snapshot Virtual Disk Names . . . . . . . 157
Snapshot Repository Capacity. . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Disabling a Snapshot Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . 162
Preparing Host Servers to Re-create a
Snapshot Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
Re-creating Snapshot Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . 164
Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Rules and Guidelines for Performing a
Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
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Contents 11
Protecting Against a Failed Snapshot
Rollback. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Previous Versions of the MD Storage
Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Starting a Snapshot Rollback. . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Resuming a Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . 167
Canceling a Snapshot Rollback . . . . . . . . . . 168
11 Configuration: Premium
Feature—Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . 169
Types of Virtual Disk Copies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Offline Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Online Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Creating a Virtual Disk Copy for an
MSCS Shared Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
Virtual Disk Read/Write Permissions . . . . . . . . . . 172
Virtual Disk Copy Restrictions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
Creating a Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Before You Begin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
Virtual Disk Copy and Modification
Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Create Copy Wizard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Failed Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Preferred RAID Controller Module Ownership . . . . . 176
Failed RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Copy Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Copying the Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
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12 Contents
Storage Array Performance During
Virtual Disk Copy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Setting Copy Priority . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Stopping a Virtual Disk Copy . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Recopying a Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Preparing Host Servers to Recopy a
Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Re-Copying a Virtual Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
Removing Copy Pairs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
12 Configuration: Premium Feature—
Upgrading to
High–Performance Tier . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
13 Configuration: Premium Feature—
Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
Switchable Host Access Configuration
Required With Remote Replication . . . . . . . . 185
Activating Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . . 186
Replication Repository Virtual Disks . . . . . . . 186
RAID Levels for Replication
Repository Virtual Disks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Primary and Secondary Virtual Disk Pairs . . . . 187
Using Remote Replication With
Other Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Storage Partitioning With
Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Snapshot Virtual Disk With
Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Virtual Disk Copy With Remote Replication . . . 189
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Contents 13
Virtual Disk Expansion With
Remote Replication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Required Switch Zoning Configurations . . . . . . 190
Zoning Guidelines for Remote Replication . . . . . 190
Switch Cascading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Journaling File Systems and
Remote Replication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Setting Up and Managing
Remote Replication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
Activating the Remote Replication Premium
Feature and Creating Replication
Virtual Disks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Activating and Creating Replication
Repository Virtual Disks From
the Storage Array. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Activating and Creating Replication
Repository Virtual Disks From an
Existing Disk Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Creating a Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Selecting the Secondary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . 195
Setting the Write Mode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Setting Synchronization Priority and
Synchronization Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
Completing the Remote Replication . . . . . . . . 197
RAID Controller Module
Ownership/Preferred Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Viewing Information About a Remote
Replication or Replication Repository
Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Viewing the Properties Pane . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Viewing Logical Elements of the
Secondary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Viewing the Physical Components or Logical
Elements of the Primary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . 201
Virtual Disk Status Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Changing Write Mode and Consistency
Group Membership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
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14 Contents
Resynchronizing Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . 204
Normally Synchronized Virtual Disks. . . . . . . 204
Changing Synchronization Priority
and Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
Unsynchronized Virtual Disks. . . . . . . . . . . 207
Automatically Resynchronizing Virtual Disks. . . 208
Manually Resynchronizing Virtual Disks . . . . . 208
Reversing Roles Between the Primary
and Secondary Virtual Disks . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Promoting the Secondary Virtual Disk or
Demoting the Primary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . 210
Suspending a Remote Replication . . . . . . . . 210
Resuming a Remote Replication . . . . . . . . . 211
About Resumed Remote Replications . . . . . . 211
Testing Communication Between the
Primary and Secondary Virtual Disks. . . . . . . 212
Deleting a Virtual Disk From a Replicated Pair
in a Storage Array. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
Deleting a Primary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . . . 213
Deleting a Secondary Virtual Disk . . . . . . . . 214
Deleting a Primary Virtual Disk in a
Replicated Pair From a Storage Array . . . . . . 214
Deleting a Secondary Virtual Disk in a
Replicated Pair From a Storage Array . . . . . . 215
Removing a Remote Replication From a
Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Deactivating the Remote Replication
on the Storage Array . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Disabling the Remote Replication
Premium Feature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
14 Configuration: Device Mapper
Multipath for Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
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Contents 15
Using DM Multipathing Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Prerequisites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Device Mapper Configuration Steps . . . . . . . . 221
Limitations and Known Issues. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
15 Management: Firmware
Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Downloading RAID Controller and
NVSRAM Packages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Downloading Both RAID Controller and
NVSRAM Firmware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
Downloading Only NVSRAM Firmware . . . . . . . . . 232
Downloading Physical Disk Firmware . . . . . . . . . 235
Downloading MD1200 Series Expansion
Module EMM Firmware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Self-Monitoring Analysis and
Reporting Technology (SMART) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
Media Errors and Unreadable Sectors . . . . . . . . . 239
16 Management: Installing Array
Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Recommended Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Front Bezel (Optional) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Removing the Front Bezel . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Installing the Front Bezel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
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16 Contents
Hard Drives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Removing a Hard-Drive Blank . . . . . . . . . . 243
Installing a Hard-Drive Blank . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Removing a Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Installing a Hard Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
Removing a Hard Drive From a
Hard-Drive Carrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Installing a Hard Drive Into a
Hard-Drive Carrier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Removing a RAID Controller Module Blank . . . 249
Installing a RAID Controller Module Blank . . . . 250
Removing a RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . 251
Installing a RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . 252
Opening the RAID Controller Module. . . . . . . 253
Closing the RAID Controller Module . . . . . . . 254
RAID Controller Module Backup Battery Unit. . . . . 255
Removing the RAID Controller Module
Backup Battery Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
Installing the RAID Controller Module
Backup Battery Unit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256
Power Supply/Cooling Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . 257
Removing a Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Installing a Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Control Panel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
Removing the Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . 259
Installing the Control Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
Removing the Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
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Contents 17
Installing the Backplane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
17 Management: Firmware Inventory . . . . 267
Viewing the Firmware Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
18 Management: System Interfaces . . . . . 269
Microsoft Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Virtual Disk Service. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Volume Shadow-Copy Service . . . . . . . . . . . 269
19 Troubleshooting: Your Storage
Array Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Start–Up Routine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Device Health Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Storage Array Support Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Automatically Collect the Support Bundle Data . . . . 275
Collecting the Physical Disk Data. . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Event Log . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Recovery Guru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
Storage Array Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
Viewing the Logical Associations. . . . . . . . . . . . 280
Viewing the Physical Associations . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Finding Nodes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
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18 Contents
Using Go To. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
Recovering From an Unresponsive Storage
Array Condition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
Locating a Physical Disk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Locating an Expansion Enclosure . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Capturing the State Information . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
SMrepassist Utility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289
Unidentified Devices. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
Recovering From an Unidentified Storage Array . . . 290
Starting or Restarting the Host Context
Agent Software. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
20 Troubleshooting: Your Array . . . . . . . . . 295
Safety First—For You and Your Array . . . . . . . . . 295
Troubleshooting Storage Array Startup Failure . . . . 295
Troubleshooting Loss of Communication . . . . . . . 295
Troubleshooting an SFP Transceiver . . . . . . . . . 295
Troubleshooting External Connections . . . . . . . . 298
Troubleshooting Power Supply/Cooling
Fan Module. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
Troubleshooting Array Cooling Problems . . . . . . . 299
Troubleshooting Expansion Enclosure
Management Modules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
Troubleshooting RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . 301
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Contents 19
Troubleshooting Hard Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
Troubleshooting Array and Expansion
Enclosure Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Troubleshooting a Wet Storage Array. . . . . . . . . . 304
Troubleshooting a Damaged Array . . . . . . . . . . . 305
Troubleshooting RAID Controller Modules . . . . . . . 306
Conditions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 306
21 Getting Help. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Locating Your System Service Tag . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Contacting Dell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Documentation Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
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20 Contents
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Introduction 21
1
Introduction
NOTE: Unless specified, MD3600f Series represents Dell PowerVault MD3600f and
Dell PowerVault MD3620f 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
MD3600f Series storage array. The guide is organized according to the tasks
that you must complete after receiving your MD3600f 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 MD3600f and MD3620f Storage Array Deployment Guide at
dell.com/support/manuals.
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22 Introduction
Inside the Box of the Dell PowerVault MD3600f
Series Storage Array
Your MD3600f Series product package includes:
• Dell PowerVault MD3600f Series storage array
• Small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver (2 per controller)
• Fiber optic cables (optional)
• Power cables (2)
• Front bezel (optional)
• Mounting rails (2) (optional)
• MD3600f Series resource media
• Rack Installation Instructions
• Getting Started With Your System (provides an overview of enclosure
features, setting up your enclosure, and technical specifications)
MD3600f Series Storage Array
The MD3600f 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 MD3600f 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
Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapter (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
MD3600f Series storage arrays. The MDSM software is located on the
MD3600f Series resource media.
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Introduction 23
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.
• 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).
• The Resource media contains all system management tools.
• The Configuring Fibre Channel with the Dell MD3600f Series Storage
Array provides information regarding configurations, host bus adapter
(HBA) installation, and zoning. This document is available at
dell.com/support/manuals.
• 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 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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24 Introduction
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 25
2
Planning: About Your Storage Array
Overview
The MD3600f Series storage array is designed for high availability, offering
redundant access to data storage. It’s features support for both single and dual
RAID controller configurations.
The Dell PowerVault MD3600f Series storage array provides Fibre Channel
(FC) connectivity to the host server and enables access for up to eight non-
redundant servers or four redundant servers.
The MD3600f Series storage array includes a number of components. These are:
• RAID controller module(s)
• PSU/fan modules
• Disk drives (also called physical disks/hard drives in this document)
• A front bezel (optional)
• A system enclosure, into which, the other components are plugged
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26 Planning: About Your Storage Array
Hardware Features
Front-Panel Features and Indicators
Figure 2-1. Front-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3600f
Figure 2-2. Front-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3620f
1
2
3
5
4
6
1
2
3
4
6
5
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Planning: About Your Storage Array 27
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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28 Planning: About Your Storage Array
3 Split mode LED This LED must be unlit as the split mode
function is not supported by the MD3600f 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 MD3600f—Up to twelve 3.5" SAS hot-swappable
hard drives.
MD3620f—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 29
Back Panel Features and Indicators
Figure 2-4. Back-Panel Features and Indicators—Dell PowerVault MD3600f 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 4
3
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30 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 31
Power Supply and Cooling Fan Features
The MD3600f 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 257.
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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32 Planning: About Your Storage Array
Power Indicator Codes and Features
Figure 2-6. Power Indicator Codes and Features
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 33
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 Fibre Channel (FC) ports
(labeled FCIN) for host access. The ports provide redundant host
connections and support a high availability storage environment. Each port
must have a small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver module installed
for connectivity. 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 MD3600f and MD3620f Series Storage
Array’s Deployment Guide, at dell.com/support/manuals.
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34 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
RAID Controller Module Connectors and Features
Figure 3-1. MD3600f Series Fibre Channel RAID Controller Module
Item Component Function
1 SAS OUT port Provides SAS connection for cabling to a downchain
expansion enclosure.
2 FCIN port 0 Provides host-to-controller FC connection.
3 FCIN port 1 Provides host-to-controller FC connection.
4 FCIN port 2 Provides host-to-controller FC connection.
5 FCIN port 3 Provides host-to-controller FC connection.
6 MAC Address
label
Provides MAC addresses of the management port.
7 Debug port Dell support only.
8 Management
port activity
LED
Lights green when Ethernet connection is active.
Off when Ethernet connection is not active.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
21 18 17 14 13 8
20 19 16 12 11
15 10 9
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 35
9 Management
port Ethernet
connector
Provides a 100/1000 Mbps Ethernet connection for out-of-
band management of the enclosure.
10 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.
11 Password reset
switch
Activating this switch resets the password.
12 Battery fault Lights amber when battery backup unit or battery
has failed.
Off when battery backup unit is operating normally.
13 FCIN port 3
LED 1 / LED 0
Displays link rate and port status per the accompanying
host channel LED link/rate table.
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 FCIN port 2
LED 1 / LED 0
Displays link rate and port status per the accompanying
host channel LED link/rate table.
16 System
identification
LED
Blinks blue when system identification switch push-button
on enclosure front panel is pressed.
17 Controller fault
LED
Lights amber when controller fault detected.
Off when controller operating normally.
18 FCIN port 1
LED 1 / LED 0
Displays link rate and port status per the accompanying
host channel LED link/rate table.
19 Controller power
LED
Lights green when controller power is on.
Off when controller is not powered.
Item Component Function
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36 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
Host Channel LED Link/Rate Indications
Below each FC port is a pair of LED indicators. The status of any FC port can
be determined by applying Table 3-1 to the condition of each LED pair.
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, see "RAID Controller Module Backup Battery Unit"
on page 255.
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.
20 FCIN port 0
LED 1 / LED 0
Displays link rate and port status per the accompanying
host channel LED link/rate table.
21 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.
Table 3-1. LED Status Indicators
LED 1 LED 0 CommRate
Off Off Link down
Off On 2 Gbps
On Off 4 Gbps
On On 8 Gbps
Item Component Function
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 37
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
about setting your password, see "Setting a Password" on page 75.
NOTE: The reset switch can be accessed by using a small object such as the tip of
a pen.
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.
Table 3-2. 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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38 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
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.
SFP Transceivers, Fiber Optic, and SAS Cables
Figure 3-2 shows fiber optic cable and SFP transceivers.
NOTE: Your SFP transceivers and cables may look different from the ones shown
below. The differences do not affect the performance of the SFP transceivers.
FC host connections may operate at 8 Gbps or at a lower data rate. Ports for 8
Gbps FC host connections require SFP transceivers designed for this data rate.
SFP transceivers that support other data rates are incompatible.
WARNING: Do not disassemble or remove any part of a small form-factor
pluggable (SFP) transceiver due to the possibility of being exposed to laser
radiation.
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Planning: RAID Controller Modules 39
Figure 3-2. Fiber Optic Cable Connection
The RAID expansion ports support SAS expansion connections. Figure 3-3
shows a SAS cable and an SFF-8088 connector.
Figure 3-3. SAS Cable
1 SFP transceiver 2 Fiber optic cable
1 SFF-8088 connector 2 SAS cable
1
2
1
2
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40 Planning: RAID Controller Modules
Interoperability of 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, and 8 Gbps
Devices
The FC standard specifies a procedure for speedy auto-detection. If a 4 Gbps
port on a switch or device is connected to a 2 Gbps port, it must negotiate
down for the link to run at 2 Gbps. If there are two 8 Gbps ports on either end
of a link, the negotiation runs the link at 8 Gbps if the link supports the
required specifications. If a link connects at 4 Gbps in this scenario, possible
causes could be excessive cable length, poor cable quality, loose cables or
SFPs, and so on. Ensure that the cable lengths are not excessive and the
quality of the cable and connector is good.
The same rules apply to 8 Gbps devices relative to 4 Gbps and 2 Gbps
environments. The 8 Gbps devices have the ability to automatically negotiate
down to either 4 Gbps or 2 Gbps, depending on the attached device and link
quality. If the link negotiates down to a speed slower than expected, check
the device.
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Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 41
4
Planning: MD3600f Series Storage
Array Terms and Concepts
This chapter explains terms and concepts used for configuration and
operation of MD3600f 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 disks 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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42 Planning: MD3600f 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 MD3600f 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: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 43
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
1 Organize the physical disks into disk groups.
2 Create virtual disks within these disk groups.
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.
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)
Table 4-1. RAID Controller Physical Disk States (continued)
Status Mode Description Physical Disk
Status LED
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44 Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
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.
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: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 45
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.
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
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46 Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
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.
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.
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Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 47
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.
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 MD3600f 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.
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48 Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
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.
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.
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Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts 49
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.
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.
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50 Planning: MD3600f Series Storage Array Terms and Concepts
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.
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.
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