Tag Archives: Storage

Dell DPACK 2.0

For those not familiar with the “Dell Performance Analysis Collection Kit” (DPACK), it is a pretty incredible tool that allows you to visualize the current storage and server workloads from the perspective of the host. It is a great tool for planning Capacity and I/O requirements, and can even be used to troubleshoot problems with your storage and storage network. DPACK measures the following:
– Disk I/0
– Throughput (Which is more important than I/O when we’re talking FLASH)
– Capacity
– Memory Consumption on your Servers
– CPU Utilization on your Servers
– Network Traffic
-Queue Depths

Version 2.0 allows real-time analysis statistics that you can view, instead of having to wait the 24 hrs you were required to wait and let it run previously. Version 2.0 gives you better views into your data for additional insight, and presents this data in a form that Executives can appreciate when you go to them with a PO Request.

Some other things to know about DPACK 2.0 are:
– Uses HTML 5 for viewing real-time data in a browser
– Generate PDFs of data collected to present to management
– DPACK compresses analyzed data and transmits to server every 5 mins
– Uses secure SSL on port 443
– DPACK will continue to run and collect data in the event it loses ability to upload
– DPACK isn’t performance impacting and can be (and should be) run during business hrs

So how do you get started with DPACK 2.0? Its best to call up your local Dell Storage Team and discuss DPACK. Netwize, is a great resource for any Dell Data Center needs, helps customers run DPACK all the time and are a great resource for you to reach out to. I work for Netwize so please feel free to reach out to us and we will get you set up.

Understanding Dell DPACK

The Dell DPACK Tool is a unique agentless tool that collect performance statistics of servers (Physical and Virtual) and displays them in an easy to read report. Key metrics in this report include Throughput, Average IO Size, IOPS, Latency, Read/Write Ratio, Peak Queue Depth, Total Capacity, CPU and Memory Usage and much more. Running this tool against your servers adds NO overhead to your servers and provides a wealth of information.

See this sample report:

Dell DPACK Report

Dell DPACK Report

Data collected through this tool is crucial in sizing SAN storage for your organization.
If you would like a free report on what your environment looks like, along with recommendations, please contact Netwize here and request this free service: http://www.netwize.net/contact-us/

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How to do a Firmware Upgrade on your Exagrid

Need to do a firmware upgrade on your exagrid? It’s a pretty straight forward process. The most difficult part is getting the download link for the firmware.
I have a link for version 4.6.4 here: http://supportweb.exagrid.com/downloads/software/4.6.4/4.6.4.P20/install.

After you have the firmware downloaded (it will be a .jar file), login to your Exagrid through Internet Explorer. Click “Manage” and “Software Upgrade”

From here, you can upload your downloaded file and Apply the file. A firmware update takes around 45 mins-1 hr.

You can view the upgrade in progress by refreshing the web page:

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Reclaim “white space” – HP Lefthand SAN

Post from TeleData:

This is always one of the challenges (and limitations) to thin provisioning.

The technology used to provide thin provisioning in SAN/iQ is really more of a “high water mark”.Once a block has been marked as “written” you cannot recover unused space by deleting data from the volume. There is no communication facility in which the OS would “tell” the SAN that,
“Hey that block of data we were using yesterday, is now empty and you can have it back.”Since there is no way to “tell” the SAN the space is empty, those blocks of data, once written to cannot be reclaimed.

Your only option is to create a NEW volume, and migrate the data to the new volume, and then delete the old volume.

This can be challenging with direct native iSCSI mounted volumes, but if you are using a virtual machine (with virtual disks) you can reclaim storage by creating a new VMFS datastore, using sdelete to zero out unused space (within the Windows OS), then performing a storage migration and choosing “thin” provisioning on the virtual disk.

While still requiring a new (VMFS) volume, the virtualized disk can be left intact avoiding any reconfiguration within the Windows server itself.

The result would NOT be different if you had chosen thick vs thin. The blocks are still marked as used and a “high water mark” is still maintained. The only difference is when you mark it “thick” SAN/iQ reserves the entire space, and it cannot be used to provision to other volumes/snapshots.

This is why you can dynamically switch between thin and thick provisioning within the CMC.

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Compellent Dual Controller to Single Controller Conversion

I went on an install the other day and had a client try and upgrade from a Series 20-Dual Controller SAN to a Series 40-Single Controller Array. It was a test lab of theirs, and they didn’t feel like they needed an additional controller.

Turns out, you cannot do an “upgrade” like this. The client will need Dell to provide them a Single Controller License instead of the old Dual Controller License. And because you cannot upgrade, you have to setup the new Array like you would for a new client, and then do a Thin Import from the older Array.

Crazy, I know, but I guess that is how it has to be done.

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