Category Archives: Configuration - Page 2

How to set the NTP server, time and timezone in a Brocade switch

NTP server

Previously I wrote about setting the NTP, time and timezone settings in a Cisco switch and now it’s time for the same in a Brocade switch.

It’s in fact not that hard to do. Log in to the CLI and use the following commands:

tsclockserver 1.2.3.4

or

tsclockserver ntp.domain.ext (make sure the DNS is set up properly first)

This will set the NTP server address in this switch to ip address 1.2.3.4. Set this only on the principal switch, as this switch will propagate the time to the other switches in the fabric.

To set the timezone use the following command:

tstimezone –interactive

(please note that there’s a double “-” before “interactive”)
This will ask for the region and country the switch is located in.

Choose 8 for Europe and 34 for the Netherlands and after verifying the setting, choose 1 (yes) to set the TZ.

Use the “date” command to verify the current time and date and TZ region:

Wed May 13 01:08:32 CEST 2015

This makes life a lot easier when troubleshooting!

Adding or replacing a Cisco SAN switch in an IVR topology

Cisco MDS

If you have multiple datacenters or a multi tenant fibre channel environment and you’re using Cisco FC switches, it’s a best practice to use VSANs to separate the configurations of each location / tenant. To allow storage arrays and / or hosts in different VSANs to communicate with each other Inter VSAN Routing needs to be used.

If you need to have 2 EMC VNX storage arrays “talk” to each other for MirrorView for example over 2 or more datacenters (for data replication purposes that is) or hosts in one DC talk to storage in another DC, using transit VSANs (and therefore IVR) will keep your VSANs with equipment indoors and the slightly more vulnerable VSAN outdoors. If some farmer with his tractor rips your single mode fiber, only the outdoor VSAN will be fractured and the indoor VSANs remain unharmed. And of course communication between the remote sites is interrupted, but the indoor VSANs / fabrics remain unchanged.

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Setting Daylight Savings Time on a Cisco MDS switch

Cisco MDS

I recently ran into a log time difference at a customer’s site so I want to repeat my blog from last year (Configuring the timezone and NTP). It’s slightly different on Cisco LAN / Routing equipment, but on Cisco MDS SAN switches the DST configuration is set by using the following commands:

config t
clock summer-time CEST 5 Sun Mar 02:00 5 Sun Oct 03:00 60
exit
copy run start

  • CEST means Central Europe Summer Time (you can use your timezone name instead if you like)
  • the first 5, followed by “Sun” means that the DST will become active on the LAST (5th, sometimes the 4th) Sunday of the month following the day you just named (March)
  • 02:00 is the time of day when the DST will become active (time will go forward)
  • the second 5, followed by “Sun” means that the DST will become active on the LAST (5th, sometimes the 4th) Sunday of the month following the day you just named (October)
  • 03:00 is the time of day when the DST will end (time will go back to normal, backwards, so from 03:00 in my example the clock will go back to 02:00)

You can check the date, time and timezone by typing “show clock”.

Cisco MDS NX-OS zoning on the CLI

Cisco MDS

The Cisco Fabric Manager or the newer DCNM can be great for creating a limited number of zones and aliases, but when the number of zones exceeds 10 or 20 or so, creating, cloning and editing these can be a pain in the [email protected]

FC-SWITCH-01# conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.

FC-SWITCH-01(config)#

Create aliases:

FC-SWITCH-01(config)# fcalias name VM101-HBA1 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config)# member pwwn 20:21:22:25:B6:00:00:01

Enhanced zone session has been created. Please ‘commit’ the changes when done.

FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)#

FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)# fcalias name VM101-HBA1 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)# member pwwn 20:21:22:25:B6:00:00:02
FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)# fcalias name VM102-HBA1 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)# member pwwn 20:21:22:25:B6:00:00:03

FC-SWITCH-01(config-fcalias)# device-alias commit

Create two new zones:

FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# zone name VM101-HBA1_VNX-5600-08-SPA6 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# member fcalias VNX5600-08-SPA6
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# member fcalias VM101-HBA1
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# zone name VM102-HBA1_VNX-5600-08-SPB7 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# member fcalias VNX5600-08-SPB7
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# member fcalias VM102-HBA1
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zone)# zone commit vsan 45

Commit operation initiated. Check zone status

Now add the two new zones to a zoneset:

FC-SWITCH-01(config)# zoneset name ZS_VSAN170 vsan 45
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zoneset)# member VM101-HBA1_VNX-5600-08-SPA6
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zoneset)# member VM102-HBA1_VNX-5600-08-SPB7
FC-SWITCH-01(config-zoneset)# zone commit vsan 45

FC-SWITCH-01(config)#

Maximum distances using fiber cable types OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OS1

What are the maximum distances using different fiber grades?

 

fiber cable specs graph

The graphs show the direction where OM-specs are going compared to distances.

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Cisco MDS: Fabric is already locked

Cisco MDS

When you encounter a fabric lock, because you accidentally left the GUI or CLI without committing the changes, you can try the following to clear the lock and retry to apply your changes:

  1. run ‘show cfs lock’ to see who lock`s the fabric
  2. run ‘clear device-alias session’ to clear the lock when you were doing zoning activities

Instead of the “clear device-alias session” in line 2, another common possibility to get the lock cleared is:

  • ‘clear ivr session’ (when you were in the middle of IVR activities)

Other locks can occur, but the device-alias and ivr are probably the most common. At least the ones that I encountered so far.

Cisco zoning: some commonly used – show – commands

Cisco MDS

When you need to look up the current zoning config of a Cisco SAN-switch / VSAN, there’s a number of commands that will help you. Because a “show run” doesn’t always do the trick well, especially if you have a large config. And using the “sh run | i “some text you’re looking for” doesn’t always help as well if you don’t know the exact phrase you’re looking for.

I hope this table helps:

show Command
Description
show zone Displays zone information for all VSANs.
show zone vsan 100 Displays zone information for VSAN 100.
show zoneset vsan 100 Displays information for the zone set in VSAN 100.
show zoneset vsan 2-5 Displays configured zone set information for a range of VSANs (2, 3, 4 and 5 in this case).
show zone name AZone Displays members of zone “AZONE”.
show fcalias vsan 100 Displays fcalias configuration in VSAN 100.
show zone member pwwn 20:00:00:25:b1:34:aa:c2 Displays membership status of a port wwn. Very good if you’re concerned that 1 HBA is used in more than 1 zone!
show zone statistics Displays zone statistics.
show zone statistics read-only-zoning Displays read-only zoning statistics.
show zoneset active Displays the active zone sets.
show zoneset brief Displays brief descriptions of zone sets.
show zone active Displays the active zones.
show zone status Displays zone status.
show zone Displays zone statistics.
show running Displays the interface-based zones.

How to get started setting up ESRS on the latest OE for Block and MCx codes

It’s just another short post on a single command again. This time I was looking for an easy way to get started on ESRS on the latest OE for Block code or the newer MCx code (33.071 or newer).

First of all you need to set up DNS in your VNX machine. In Unisphere, go to settings and click on “configure DNS”.

Also, if there’s a firewall blocking internet traffic, you need to make sure the storage processors can reach *.emc.com over tcp ports 443 and 8443.

After this you can use the following command on the CLI:

naviseccli -h [SPx ip#] esrsconfig -agentProvision -user [Online Support logon name] –password [Online Support super secret password]

Repeat this for the other SP as well.

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Cisco Smart Zoning: is it really worth the effort? YES!

It’s been available since NX-OS 5.2(6), but is the community ready for a change? It seems the majority of SAN managers are still afraid to start using it, but why? the concept is so simple: it looks like the infamous “default zone” has made it’s way back to the storage area network, but with a twist.

Default zoning

When I was introduced to the world of Fibre Channel, over ten years ago, I remember going through the automatic steps of setting up a freshly powered-on SAN-switch and disabling the default zone, because that one makes that all initiators and targets can communicate with each other. And two initiators talking to each other is not done, because on the midrange arrays an initiator (used for data replication) can also be a target and you don’t want ports logging into each other.

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Optimizing performance using VAAI and the ESX MaxHWTransferSize setting

xcopy transfer size

If you’re running an EMC VNX using a lower version than block OE version 05.32.000.5.209, you might want to upgrade to the latest and greatest version (patch 209 or newer). The 209 offers EMC’s latest fixes and enhancements for VAAI performance. Many of the found performance issues have been fixed in the 209 code. However, in some environments sub-optimal performance has been detected with xcopy operations, or in some cases with the performance of non-xcopy IO during xcopy operations to the same pool.

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How to change the VNX weekly heartbeat date and time

Changing the time for the weekly heartbeat

People with Clariion or VNX systems installed on site know that these arrays will email “home” (that’s EMC/you) once a week on a seemingly random date/time. Ok, once the day of the week and the time are set, each week the “I’m still alive” email will go out at that time. But what if you don’t want to have that email sent out at Thursday at 2:47AM and you want all of your arrays to send out that email on Saturday at noon sharp? You will need to adjust the parameters. I didn’t find a way to change the weekday, so I’m changing the time less than a day before it needs to run. So if I want it to run on Saturday at noon, I could run this script on Friday after noon. It will pick the next available day automatically.

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Configuring timezone and NTP on a Cisco MDS switch

Timezone and NTP configuration of a Cisco MDS switch

Using a GUI for configuring purposes isn’t always the best thing to do, although it most certainly provides a level of overview that cannot be obtained on the CLI.

I’ve found out the Device Manager default settings for NTP for example are that IPv4 addresses used to point to an NTP entity is set to “peer” and if you don’t use peer synchronization, but have a dedicated NTP server instead, it’s better to place a check mark on the “server” item. Also if you have several time sources, you can set a preferred one by placing a check mark at the particular entity.

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Fixing misalignment without moving data

Fixing misaligned partitions

It’s quite an old topic, but I recently found a great tool which allows you to re-align partitions without the need to manually move data from the misaligned disk to a new aligned disk.

First of all I must add that all the credits go to Nicholas Weaver, since he wrote the original blog and the actual tool!

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How to translate Windows disk ids to storage array’s LUNs

Converting disk information in a VM into the actual LUN information

We’ve all been there: you have a certain Windows virtual machine with several disks of the same size and you don’t know which Windows-disk is in fact which storage LUN.

The VMware settings for this VM might look like this:

VM-config

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Which Hot Spare will be used for a failed drive? – part 2

Hard Drive

A while ago I talked about Hot Spares and how they are picked when a rebuild is necessary. It was almost 2 years ago and you can read it here.

Since then the rebuild / equalize technology has changed! Well, not for existing systems, but the new VNX family aka VNX2 does things a bit differently.

In the old days when a drive failed, a suitable Hot spare would kick in and the unprotected LUNs (regarding the failed drive) would be rebuild onto the Hot Spare. After a while, when the rebuild was done and the failed drive was replaced by a replacement drive, the data on the Hot spare would need to be copied to that new drive. This was called equalizing.

In the VNX2 (with MCx) this last step doesn’t exist anymore. So that means the Hot spare that was used to contain the rebuilt data is not longer a Hot Spare! It has become a regular drive! And that replacement drive will now be a new Hot Spare. When configuring a new VNX2 you’d see rules about Hot Spares and you simply don’t even need to configure Hot Spares anymore. Just make sure you have some unconfigured drives and you’re good. Your VNX2 will make sure they’re used as Hot Spares from then on.

If I remember correctly the DMX4 had a similar feature back in 2008, but it now flowed to the midrange platform as well.

 

How to set the “The array is alive” on a specific day and time on a VNX

The need for weekly messages

EMC’s Symmetrix already knew this feature for a decade or so (or even longer), but since a few years EMC’s pushing customers to make every array to email home once a week so they can keep track of its pulse. And they’re not joking about its importance either, since once an array skips a beat, a severity 1 ticket is being created to get that fixed as soon as possible. EMC truly seems to care about the arrays they have running all over the world, so they’re indeed in good shape and being monitored actively.

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EMC World 2013 – day 4

A little late, but better late than never. This last EMC World post has been sitting in my drafts, knowing two of my coleagues already posted theirs about the exact same thing that I wanted to talk about. And since I don’t want to play copy cat, I’m going to refer to their posts. That seems the best thing to do.

EMC World 2013, day 4

Thursday is traditionally (half) a day to say goodbye to the many old and new friends, visit some last day sessions, leave the hotel and head back to the airport, but this year I planned ahead and I decided to stay a bit longer for some quality time with the EMC Elect: My plane wouldn’t leave until Saturday afternoon!! I had to switch hotels though from the fancy and luxurious Venetian to the hotel next door “Harrah’s”. It’s a huge step down, but Harrah’s does what it’s supposed to do and that’s offering me a bed to sleep.

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Live VMware datastore expansion with running VMs

How to enlarge datastore capacity in Virtual Center?

There are several ways to get more disk storage available for your VMs running on VMware ESX. Adding an extra datastore is an option, but having multiple datastores creates an extra administrative overhead since you now have multiple datastores to monitor.

Another option is to simply extend an existing datastore. Live!

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Migrating hosts to new storage ports, LIVE

Migrating hosts to new storage ports, LIVE!

Many SAN administrators will face this challenge from time to time: certain hosts need to start using new storage ports. Reasons vary, but in the EMC Clariion/VNX world this might happen because it’s decided to dedicate the mirrorview ports to mirrorview only instead of allowing hosts to use these ports as well. Obviously having dedicated replication ports will improve replication performance and for synchronous replication this will also improve the production host performance since the write acknowledgement from the remote array will be quicker and the extra latency is limited to a minimum.
So you end up wanting to free the SPA1 and SPB1 ports (most Clarrions) or SPA0 and SPB0 (VNX). But disalowing hosts to use these ports means they will loose access to these paths. This just might be disruptive! Or not?

There’s a way to migrate nondisruptively!

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VMware: “adaptive queue depth” setting

What is the recommended LUN queue depth throttling in VMware ESX/ESXi?

According to EMC this “adaptive queue depth” setting is not yet supported (June 2013). The full article can be found on this link. It is known as Primus solution id emc279718.

My advice would be not to use this setting until EMC certifies this setting for use with their arrays.

The exact Article is as follows:

What is the recommended LUN queue depth throttling in VMware ESX/ESXi?
 
  • Need to know QFullThreshold,QFullSampleSize & Queue Fulls values for VMware.
  • Host Connectivity Guide does not include any standard values.
  • Performance issues.
 
OS: VMware ESX / ESXi
Product: CLARiiON / Symmetrix and I assume VNX as well
 
According to Engineering, enabling the adaptive queue depth algorithm is NOT documented in the Host Connectivity Guide or the EMC Support Matrix.
The recommendation is to use the default setting which is disable adaptive queue depth.
Additional checks with E-Lab VMware quality engineers, E-Lab testing is done with the default setting.
 
See emc274169 for additional information and or changes.  Also see these two documents on support pages support.emc.com or Powerlink.Using EMC VNX Storage with VMware VsphereUsing EMC Clariion Storage with Vmware Vsphere & VMware Infracture Version 4.0