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17Nov/110

Dell EqualLogic Replication between PS Series Groups – Introduction

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.

4Aug/112

EqualLogic Replication over Nortel ERS 5500 Series – When disaster stikes!

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.

21Jul/110

Dell EqualLogic PS Series Array Firmware Update Using Group Manager GUI

Now that our new Dell EqualLogic PS6000 is racked, networked, initialized and configured it’s time to bring the firmware version up-to-date. Currently the newest firmware version is V5.0.7 and can be downloaded from EqualLogic Support.
Updating the firmware is a fairly simple task, a PS Series Array has dual controllers each with a micro SD card inserted on the underside of the controller (the opposite side to the fan) this is where the firmware runs from.

Most of the time you can update directly to the latest firmware version, it maybe that you need to update to an interim version before updating to the latest version, it really depends on how far behind you are. Always read the firmware release notes.

20Jul/112

Initializing a Dell EqualLogic PS6000 Series Array

This morning we have just taken delivery of our third EqualLogic PS Series array. A PS6000 with 32TB of storage, this new addition to our SAN infrastructure is going to be a replication partner to our existing EqualLogic group. I am going to be blogging about this replication project as I get going with it but firstly thought I would take the opportunity go through deploying a PS Array step by step straight out of the box and creating a new group.

6Jun/114

Dell PowerConnect 5400 Switch config for EqualLogic iSCSI Network

At this current moment we use 2 PowerConnect 5424 switches for our iSCSI backend network.  The PowerConnect 5424 has 24 10/100/1000 BASE-T auto-sensing gigabit Ethernet switching ports and 4 SFP combo ports for fibre connectivity.

The PowerConnect series of switches have many good features some which are irrelevant to what I am talking about so I will leave this out and comment on the features which are important in relation to iSCSI backend networks. Notice I say backend, if this were not a backend network I may be interested in some of the other features such as multiple VLAN capability and iSCSI optimization and QOS. But as this is a backend network I will not require the use of multiple VLANS or iSCSI optimization as I don't see the need to optimise iSCSI on purely iSCSI network.

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