Fibre Channel (SAN)

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Appliance Devices on SAN

Hello All,

I'm looking for some advice/tips/experience regarding attaching appliance devices to SAN.  By appliances, I'm talking about devices with non-standard operating systems that you might not necessarily find in an interoperability matrix for a particular storage array.

For years, myself and my colleagues have opposed putting these appliances onto our SAN.  This is mainly due to the fact that we have no insight or control over the operating system of the appliance, so we generally can't validate the device against an interop matrix.  The worry being that the device could misbehave on the SAN and we might not be able to do anything about it.

That said, there seems to be a number of devices coming out and the pressure is on my team to come up with a good reason why we should continue the way we do -- no appliances on the SAN, they get their own special dedicated environment -- or whether we should reverse our stance and allow appliances on our SAN and storage.

Does anyone have any arguments/advice/experience they can offer?

For background, my company uses Brocade FOS switches and IBM SVC/DS8000 storage.

Thanks in advance,

--db

Regular Contributor
Posts: 201
Registered: ‎11-24-2009

Re: Appliance Devices on SAN

Hi db,

first off, IBM does offer compatibility matrix for SAN Volume Controller family, please refer to the link below:

https://www-304.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=591&uid=ssg1S1003797

Being an in-band virtualization appliance, SVC also has very strict and detailed guidelines for cabling and zoning. These can be found in the SVC Information Center online:

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/svc/ic/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.storage.svc.console.doc/svc_zoningguidelines_22n6zd.html

If no specific instructions are given, industry standard single-initiatior or point-to-point zoning should apply.

General precautions should be taken as well, such as pilot/proof-of-concept setup, scheduled maintenance window, connecting one fabric at a time with warmup/cooldown periods, and so on.

Hope this helps,

Linar

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