Tag Archives: 3par

Checking the 3PAR Quorum Witness appliance

Two 3PAR StoreServs running in a Peer Persistence setup lost the connection to the Quorum Witness appliance. The appliance is an important part of a 3PAR Peer Persistence setup, because it acts as a tie-breaker in a split-brain scenario.

While analyzing this issue, I saw this message in the 3PAR Management Console:

In addition to that, the customer got e-mails that the 3PAR StoreServ arrays lost the connection to the Quorum Witness appliance. In my case, the CouchDB process died. A restart of the appliance brought it back online. read more

HPE 3PAR OS updates that fix VMware VAAI ATS Heartbeat issue

Customers that use HPE 3PAR StoreServs with 3PAR OS 3.2.1 or 3.2.2 and VMware ESXi 5.5 U2 or later, might notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • hosts lose connectivity to a VMFS5 datastore
  • hosts disconnect from the vCenter
  • VMs hang during I/O operations
  • you see the messages like these in the vobd.log or vCenter Events tab

  • you see the following messages in the vmkernel.log

Interestingly, not only HPE is affected by this. Multiple vendors have the same issue. VMware described this issue in KB2113956. HPE has published a customer advisory about this.

Workaround

If you have trouble and you can update, you can use this workaround. Disable ATS heartbeat for VMFS5 datastores. VMFS3 datastores are not affected by this issue. To disable ATS heartbeat, you can use this PowerCLI one-liner: read more

Chicken-and-egg problem: 3PAR VSP 4.3 MU1 & 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU3

Since monday I’m helping a customer to put two HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200c into operation. Both StoreServs came factory-installed with 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU3, which is available since July 2015. Usually, the first thing you do is to deploy the 3PAR Service Processor (SP). These days this is (in most cases) a Virtual Service Processor (VSP). The SP is used to initialize the storage system. Later, the SP reports to HP and it’s used for maintenance tasks like shutdown the StoreServ, install updates and patches. There are only a few cases in which you start the Out-of-the-Box (OOTB) procedure of the StoreServ without having a VSP. I deployed two (one VSP for each StoreServ) VSPs, started the Service Processor Setup Wizard, entered the StoreServ serial number and got this message: read more

Tiering? Caching? Why it’s important to differ between them.

Some days ago I talked to a colleague from our sales team and we discussed different solutions for a customer. I will spare you the details, but we discussed different solutions and we came across PernixData FVP, HP 3PAR Adaptive OptimizationHP 3PAR Adaptive Flash Cache and DataCore SANsymphony-V. And then the question of all questions came up: “What is the difference?”.

Simplify, then add Lightness

Lets talk about tiering. To make it simple: Tiering moves a block from one tier to another, depending on how often a block is accessed in a specific time. A tier is a class of storage with specific characteristics, for example ultra-fast flash, enterprise-grade SAS drives or even nearline drives. Characteristics can be the drive type, the used RAID level or a combination of characteristics. A 3-tier storage design can consist of only one drive type, but they can be organized in different RAID levels. Tier 1 can be RAID 1 and tier 3 can be RAID 6, but all tiers use enterprise-grade 15k SAS drives. But you can also mix drive types and RAID levels, for example tier 1 with flash, tier 2 with 15k SAS in a RAID 5 and tier 3 with SAS-NL and RAID 6. Each time a block is accessed, the block “heats up”. If it’s hot enough, it is moved one tier up. If it’s less often accessed, the block “cools down” and at a specific point, the block is moved a tier down. If a tier is full, colder blocks will to be moved down and hotter block have to be moved up. It’s a bit simplified, but products like DataCore SANsymphony-V with Auto-Tiering or HP 3PAR Adaptive Optimization are working this way. read more

What to consider when implementing HP 3PAR with iSCSI in VMware environments

Some days ago a colleague and I implemented a small 3-node VMware vSphere Essentials Plus cluster with a HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200c. Costs are always a sore point in SMB environments, so it should not surprise that we used iSCSI in this design. I had some doubt about using iSCSI with a HP 3PAR StoreServ, mostly because of the performance and complexity. IMHO iSCSI is more complex to implement then Fibre Channel (FC). But in this case I had to deal with it.

iSCSI options for HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 read more

HP Discover: New 3PAR StoreServ models

HP has brushed up the StoreServ 7000 series and updated the StoreServ 7200 and 7400 models. HP also added a new model to the 7000 series: The StoreServ 7440c.

New 3PAR StoreServ models:

Model3PAR StoreServ 7200c3PAR StoreServ 7400c3PAR StoreServ 7440c
Nodes22 or 42 or 4
CPUs2x 6-Core 1,8 GHz2x or 4x 6-Core 1,8 GHz2x or 4x 8-Core 2,3 GHz
Gen4 ASICs22 or 42 or 4
On-Node Cache40 GB48 – 96 GB 96 – 192 GB
Max Drives8 – 240 (max 120 SSDs)8 – 576 (max 240 SSDs)8 – 960 (max 240 SSDs)
Max Enclosures0 – 90 – 220 – 38

Old 3PAR StoreServ models

Model3PAR StoreServ 72003PAR StoreServ 7400
Nodes22 or 4
CPUs2x 4-Core 1,8 GHz2x or 4x 6-Core 1,8 GHz
Gen4 ASICs22 or 4
On-Node Cache24 GB32 – 64 GB
Max Drives8 – 240 (max 120 SSDs)8 – 480 (max 240 SSDs)
Max Enclosures0 – 90 – 22

Especially the 7440c is a monster: It scales up to 38 enclosures and 960 drives (just to compare: A 3PAR StoreServ 10400 scales also up to 960 drives!). Check the QuickSpecs for more details.

As you can see, the new models got new CPUs, more on-node Cache and tehy support mode disks. In addition to this, the they got support for a new dual port 16 Gb FC HBA, a dual port 10 GbE and a quad port 1 GbE NIC. You may ask yourself: Why 10 GbE and 1 GbE NICs (not iSCSI/ FCoE)? The answer is: HP 3PAR File Persona Software Suite for HP 3PAR StoreServ. This software license adds support for SMB, NFS, NMDP and Object Storage to the nodes of the 7200c, 7400c and 7440c. I assume that this license will not be available for the “older” 7200 and 7400. But this is only a guess. With this license you will be able to use 3PAR StoreServ natively with block and file storage protocols. I think this is a great chance to win more deals against EMC and NetApp. read more

HP publishes HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU1 with Thin Deduplication

On October 28 2014 HP has published HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU1, the first maintenance update for HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1. Beside some fixes, HP enabled in-line deduplication (Thin Deduplication) on all the systems with 3PAR GEN4 ASIC (StoreServ 7000 and 10000). Thin Deduplication does not require any license! It’s included in the base license and every customer can use it without spending money for it.

In-line deduplication is awesome, congrats to HP for making this possible. Deduplication on primary storage is nothing new, but the way how HP 3PAR doing it, is really cool. It’s not a post-process, like NetApps deduplication technology. With HP 3PAR, deduplication happens when data enters the array. I took this figure from a HP whitepaper. It shows in a simple way what enables HP 3PAR to do in-line deduplication: The 3PAR GEN4 ASIC (Who has criticised 3PAR for using custom ASICs…?). Thin Deduplication is in line with the other 3PAR thin technologies. read more

HP 3PAR Peer Persistence for Microsoft Windows Servers and Hyper-V

Some days ago I wrote two blog posts (part I and part II) about VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) with HP 3PAR Peer Persistence. Because I wrote about it in the first of the two blog posts, allow me to take a short description, what Peer Persistence is and what it does, from that blog post:

HP 3PAR Peer Persistence adds functionalities to HP 3PAR Remote Copy software and HP 3PAR OS, that two 3PAR storage systems form a nearly continuous storage system. HP 3PAR Peer Persistence allows you, to create a VMware vMSC configuration and to achieve a new quality of availability and reliability. read more

VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster with HP 3PAR Peer Persistence – Part II

The first part of this (short) blog series covered the basics of VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) with HP 3PAR Peer Persistence. This, the second, part will cover the basic tasks to configure Peer Persistence. Please note that this blog post relies on the features and supported configurations of 3PAR OS 3.1.3! This is essential to know, because 3.1.3 got some important enhancements in respect of 3PAR Remote Copy.

Fibre-Channel zoning

On of the very first tasks is to create zones with between the Remote Copy Fibre Channel (RCFC) ports. I used two ports from a quad-port FC Adapter for Remote Copy. This matrix shows the zone members in each Fibre Channel fabric. 3PAR OS 3.1.3 supports up to four RCFC ports per node. Earlier versions of 3PAR OS only support one RCFC port per node. read more

VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster with HP 3PAR Peer Persistence – Part I

The title of this blog post mentions two terms that have to be explained. First, a VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (or VMware vMSC) is a configuration of a VMware vSphere cluster, that is based on a a stretched storage cluster. Secondly, HP 3PAR Peer Persistence adds functionalities to HP 3PAR Remote Copy software and HP 3PAR OS, that two 3PAR storage systems form a nearly continuous storage system. HP 3PAR Peer Persistence allows you, to create a VMware vMSC configuration and to achieve a new quality of availability and reliability. read more