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 18.104.22.168 A02, Released on 10/25/2011 the issue as per the Firmware release notes are;
If you have been keeping upto date with my previous blog articles, you will know that we have recently taken delivery of a Dell EqualLogic PS6000 32TB. My intention is to use this as a replication partner for our existing PS Series Group.
With the new EqualLogic initialized and firmware upto date, I continued to set up replication, this was again as expected with EqualLogic a quick and painless task, I will blog on setting up replication in another article.
For the initial replication we co-located our new EqualLogic in the same Datacentre as our current PS group, created replication schedules and away it went all volumes replicated and continuing to replicate on an hourly schedule, no issues what so ever. All of this on our backend iSCSI network of course.
The next task was to move our replication partner to our secondary Datacentre accross the other side of our site in a seperate building, to offer onsite replication. the link to this secondary Datacentre is a 6GB MLT using Nortel/AVAYA as now is, Ethernet Routing Switch 5500 Series. We needed a way of transporting this backened iSCSI traffic over our current network infrastructure.