cluster server and SAN

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by MattR2, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. MattR2

    MattR2 New Member

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    i got a couple questions. Ive never worked with cluster server or SAN before but would like to try. Couple questions.

    For a Fibre channel SAN does it require special SAN equipment (optical switch and cards) or is it just regular fiber networking equipment. I always see reference to 'fibre channel'.

    Also anyone succesfully set up a good simulation in VMware? The only thing i can think of is loading one machine as the drive array and trying to connect them through virtual SCSI bus.

    anyone got some advice?
     
  2. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    You're refering to a Windows cluster, right? Yes, Fibre Channel (FC) SANs require Host Bus Adapters (HBAs) in the nodes and usually a FC switch to connect them to the SAN. None of that is cheap. I haven't tried setting that up in VMWare before, no idea if it'll work. It *might* if VMWare will let you have shared SCSI disks that are accessible to both hosts to use as the quorum and storage. If that's the case you can setup a basic cluster, but I'm not sure how well things like failover of shared resources will work.
     
  3. MattR2

    MattR2 New Member

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    so technically speaking how is this fiber equipment different than a normal fiber switch/card?
     
  4. MattR2

    MattR2 New Member

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    also if this can be done over copper whats the point of going fiber? Your bandwidth will be the same and latency shouldnt be a problem unless your connecting distant geographical locations... or did i just answer my own question there?
     
  5. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    SANs are not easy things to configure. We have a prebuilt IBM one at work and it was a big enough pain in the ass just to get the proprietary drivers to talk to the fiber channel PCI-X cards and the PCI-X cards to talk to the controllers. I hope either you're not trying to build one from scratch, or you know a hell of a lot more about them than I do.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Fiber channel cards usually have swappable external interfaces. The ones we have come with mini-adaptors that output light or electrical signals, depending on your needs.

    Three reasons to use fiber instead of FoC are: light isn't influenced by the EMI in the area of all that equipment, fiber can transmit multiple colors of light to increase bandwidth in the future, and fiber doesn't introduce the possibility of bleeding current through the data cable in case of a power surge or brownout on the circuit powering one piece of equipment.
     
  7. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    Yes. FC equipment is different than normal fiber optic networking equipment. I've setup and worked on Dell and HP branded EMC SANs for over 5yrs, they aren't the easiest thing to set up, as someone said above. You might be able to rig up some sort of iSCSI NAS unit or software emulation (like VMWare) to give you the basic shared storage you'd need to set up a Windows cluster of some type, but you'll have a very expensive time if you try to setup a real, fully redundant SAN.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Studying? Just curious?
     
  8. MattR2

    MattR2 New Member

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    studying and curious. I wouldnt mind getting the experience also to add to my skills. I was thinking of picking up a used PowerVault SAN of ebay maybe. I had no idea they were so complicated.
     
  9. JayC71

    JayC71 Guest

    They're complicated and not cheap, but hey, if you've got the cash and the time you can learn how to set one up and configure it.
     

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