Recently I have done a couple of posts on the EqualLogic CLI, updating firmware and collecting log informaiton. Well in my travels I came across the fact that EqualLogic is NetBSD underneath the pretty exterior, with this in mind I started doing a little digging around with the mentality that there must be some information you can extract form your EqualLogic using standard NetBSD commands, afterall it is just a BASH shell!
take a look over here at what I found - Undocumented EqualLogic CLI commands
Please be mindful that entering the support layer of an EqualLogic is not supported in a normal situation by EqualLogic as stated in the message you will recieve upon entering.
"You are running a support command, which is normally restricted to PS Series Technical Support personnel. Do not use a support command without instruction from Technical Support."
I would only recommend using the support command in a test/development environment or unless you really know what you are doing.
After our EqualLogic PS6000 decided to go into a NetBSD Kernel Panic (crash) while performing a firmware update from version 5.1.1 to 5.1.2 using the Group Manager GUI, resulting in a firmware mismatch on our controllers, As advised by EqualLogic Tech support I performed another update to FW 5.1.2 using the CLI, with success.
Using the CLI has its advantages, altough the process is a little more involved, ie copying the firmware to the array member using FTP then SHH to the member to execute the update, you do get to see what happens during a firmware update in more detail.
Here is the process of performing a Firmware update using the CLI.
Firstly download the firmware from EqualLogic Support https://support.equallogic.com
Lets update the firmware.
After running EqualLogic for a couple of years now, I have never experienced any real issues with the boxes. Running what seems to be a customized version of NetBSD they have proven to be fast, and reliable systems.
I was performing what is now a routine Firmware update from version 5.1.1 to 5.1.2, I have already done this on a PS6000 we have setup for Replication with no issue what so ever, and left upgrading our production Array untill I was happy that the Replication Array was working fine with the new firmware. Satisfied I decided to update our production PS6000 to FW 5.1.2. During the upgrade I recieved a Kernel Panic and subsequent Panic Recovery, looks like the controller crashed during the update this resulted in the iSCSI targets being unavailable for a couple of minutes, the controllers did not fail over and I now have a Firmware mismatch.
After the purchase of another EqualLogic PS6000 Series Array and 4 Dell PowerConnect 5524 switches to facilite onsite replicaiton, we decided we needed to look at the iSCSI backend network and how we where going to transport the replication data across site.
The PowerConnect 5000 switch's come with some new features, such as stacking with the use of HDMI ports located on the front of the switch, and Auto detection of EqualLogic Arrays with automatic configuration of ports attached to the Array. Enabling iSCSI mode will switch on jumbo frames, flow control, spanning-tree port fast, unicast storm control and enable the switch to automatically detect an Equallogic Array connected to any of its switch ports. - NOTE there is an issue with the implementation of flow-control prior to Firmware version 126.96.36.199 A02, Released on 10/25/2011 the issue as per the Firmware release notes are;
Now that our new PS6000 is initialized and ready to go, we started to look at replication and what we wanted to achieve in terms of backup/recovery and failover/failback. The idea was to replicate our Hyper-V virtual Machines to this second PS Series group and also all our users data. The Second PS Series group will be onsite but at the furthest most point away from our primary PS Series group in a seperate building. We also needed to look at our SAN Network topology and how we needed to extend this to give us the High Availability and bandwidth we required.
EqualLogic comes with SAN based replication built into the inclusive licensing model and with tools such as SANHQ and Dell's Manual Transfer Utility or MTU for short configuring replication is once again a nice and easy process.
Firsty lets take a quick look at what EqualLogic replication is and what it involves.