feature section: new horizons in enterprise Storage Storage consolidation with the Dell PowerVault Md3000i iSCSI Array By Dave Jaffe, Ph.D. Kendra Matthews E Related Categories: The Dell™ PowerVault™ MD3000i Internet SCSI (iSCSI) array enables enterprises to easily consolidate storage for multiple servers. To illustrate its performance in a consolidated environment, Dell engineers performed tests demonstrating that the PowerVault MD3000i provides sufficient throughput to handle five server workloads as well as two incremental backups over an eight-hour period. nterprises continue to look for cost-effective ways to steps for resolution. Optional snapshot and virtual disk copy streamline their IT infrastructure and optimize data features that support real-time backups of the entire data envi- management. Although storage consolidation ronment are designed to enhance data protection. through the deployment of a storage area network (SAN) To help provide high availability, the PowerVault MD3000i helps increase utilization and simplify management, in the supports redundant active/active controllers, management past, this approach has typically required an investment in ports, and power and cooling systems designed to increase a Fibre Channel infrastructure. Today, Internet SCSI (iSCSI) resiliency at the hardware level, and can automatically offers an alternative by allowing the transmission of data rebuild a failed drive using a global hot-spare drive. packets over standard Ethernet networks, enabling enter- To help demonstrate how the PowerVault MD3000i per- Dell Enterprise Technology Center prises to take advantage of existing networking expertise forms in a consolidated environment, in September 2007 Dell Dell PowerVault storage and equipment to help simplify SAN implementation and engineers placed the application data for five Dell PowerEdge™ reduce barriers to wide-scale consolidation. servers on a single PowerVault MD3000i array with two Internet SCSI (iSCSI) The Dell PowerVault MD3000i is an iSCSI-based modu- PowerVault MD1000 expansion enclosures, then simulated a lar disk storage array that can consolidate up to 16 hosts, typical workday by running five separate workloads—two Storage expands to support up to 18 TB of data, and provides nodes of a fully redundant Microsoft® Exchange cluster, a Storage consolidation wizard-based installation, intuitive management, and Web-serving application, a Microsoft SQL Server™ database, advanced data protection software. Its modular expand- and file-serving data transfers—during an eight-hour period. ability provides the flexibility to add capacity as needed: In addition, the test team performed two incremental backups the storage array itself can house up to fifteen 3.5-inch using Symantec Backup Exec 11d for Windows Servers during Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives, and can easily be this eight-hour simulation. As the results show, the PowerVault expanded to up to 45 drives by adding up to two PowerVault MD3000i provided sufficient throughput to handle the I/O MD1000 expansion enclosures. from all of these workloads. Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 Visit DELL.COM/PowerSolutions for the complete category index. The array delivers a seamless suite of intuitive, intelligent Storage Manager can automatically configure the system for Dell PowerVault MD3000i features and test configuration optimal performance and availability. The Recovery Guru tool Figure 1 summarizes the key hardware features of the can diagnose system problems and help determine appropriate PowerVault MD3000i. The array includes one or two embedded storage management software capabilities. Dell Modular Disk 22 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | November 2007 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. Figure 5 summarizes the disk configuration Available drives 15,000 rpm SAS drives available in 36 GB, 73 GB, 146 GB, or 300 GB capacities, and 10,000 rpm SAS drives available in 146 GB, 300 GB, or 400 GB capacities* Rack size (including one enclosure with 15 disks) 3U RAID cache size 512 MB per controller Maximum number of disks (including two Dell PowerVault MD1000 expansion enclosures) 45 List price of tested configuration with three-year Gold-level support** US$45,908 *For hard drives, GB means 1 billion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less. **Price given as of October 4, 2007. used in the Dell tests. In addition to creating the application data LUNs described in the preceding sections, the test team assigned disk 0 in enclosure 0 as a hot spare for the entire array and created a 10-disk RAID-10 snapshot repository on enclosures 1 and 2 to help protect against disk and enclosure failures. Figure 6 illustrates the test configuration. The servers were connected to the PowerVault MD3000i array by two subnets, 10.10.20 and 10.10.22, using the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator to provide multiple connection paths for Figure 1. Key hardware features of the Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI storage array load balancing and failover. For simplicity, the PowerEdge 1950 also hosted the Dell Modular iSCSI controllers, each of which includes two adding those servers to the host topology. After Disk Storage Manager management console for Gigabit Ethernet iSCSI ports as well as an creating a LUN, they can use the iSCSI initiator the PowerVault MD3000i. (Typically, the man- Ethernet management port and a SAS expan- for the host OS (such as the Microsoft iSCSI agement server is on a separate network from sion port. In the Dell tests, the test team used Software Initiator used in the Dell tests) to con- the dedicated iSCSI networks.) Because the a PowerVault MD3000i with two controllers and figure a multipath connection to the LUN for server running Symantec Backup Exec 11d three enclosures containing a total of forty-five load balancing and failover.1 Figure 4, for exam- created incremental backups from the passive 146 GB, 15,000 rpm SAS drives. ple, shows the servers that had access to the Exchange node, it did not need to be connected PowerVault MD3000i during the Dell tests. directly to the PowerVault MD3000i. Administrators can install Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager on a server connected to the same network as the array’s Ethernet management port. They can then use this tool to create virtual disks—also known as storage logical units (LUNs)—and make them accessible to specific hosts. The Summary tab in Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager provides an overview of hosts and virtual disks as well as current storage array status (see Figure 2). The Tools tab allows administrators to set the array name and the IP address of the management port, and the iSCSI tab allows them to manage iSCSI settings such as the IP addresses of the four iSCSI ports, authentication, and target discovery (see Figure 3). The Configure Host Access (Manual) function in the Configure tab enables administrators to give a host server access to LUNs on the array, and the Edit Host Topology function in the Modify tab enables them to add the iSCSI initiator for each host (see Figure 4). Administrators can create LUNs to hold host servers’ application data either before or after 1 Figure 2. Summary tab in Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager For details on configuring a multipath connection on the Dell PowerVault MD3000i with Microsoft Multipath I/O, visit www.delltechcenter.com/page/MPIO+to+PowerVault+MD3000i+with+Microsoft+iSCSI+Initiator. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. DELL.COM/PowerSolutions 23 feature section: new horizons in enterprise Storage Figure 3. iSCSI tab in Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager Test workloads Figure 4. Edit Host Topology screen in the Modify tab of Dell Modular Disk Storage Manager Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. The test two four-disk RAID-5 data LUNs for the active The Dell tests used five primary servers with team installed Exchange Server 2007 with clus- node on enclosure 0, and a similar set of LUNs application data consolidated on the ter continuous replication (CCR) on two for the passive node on enclosure 1. (Full fault PowerVault MD3000i: two servers running the PowerEdge 1955 server blades, with one blade tolerance would require the passive node’s Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 application, serving as the active node and the other serv- LUNs to be on a separate storage array one acting as a Web server, one running the ing as the passive node. CCR ships transaction altogether.) Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database platform, logs from the active node to the passive node, The test team used the Microsoft Exchange and one acting as a file server. A separate helping keep the two nodes synchronized. If Load Generator (LoadGen) tool to simulate the server running Symantec Backup Exec 11d the active node fails, the Exchange users auto- Exchange workload. LoadGen simulates e-mail functioned as a backup system for the matically fail over to the passive node. The test users and is typically run over an eight-hour Exchange database. team created one two-disk RAID-1 log LUN and period to simulate a complete workday. It comes with several default profiles; the test team used Enclosure 0 0 1 2 the heavy user profile, where each user aver- Disks 1–4 Hot spare Available Files (RAID-1) Snapshot LUN (RAID-10) Snapshot LUN (RAID-10) 5–6 7–10 11–14 Microsoft Exchange active log LUN (RAID-1) Microsoft Exchange active data LUN 1 (RAID-5) Microsoft Exchange active data LUN 2 (RAID-5) Microsoft Exchange passive log LUN (RAID-1) Microsoft Exchange passive data LUN 1 (RAID-5) Microsoft Exchange passive data LUN 2 (RAID-5) Microsoft SQL Server log LUN for Web server (RAID-1) Microsoft SQL Server data LUN 1 for Web server (RAID-5) Microsoft SQL Server data LUN 2 for Web server (RAID-5) Microsoft SQL Server log LUN (RAID-1) Microsoft SQL Server data LUN 1 (RAID-5) Microsoft SQL Server data LUN 2 (RAID-5) ages 46 actions per day. LoadGen reports results in terms of average latency for each type of e-mail operation. Web serving. To provide a Web-serving application, the test team used an ASP.NET– based Web application from the Dell DVD Store kit running under Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) in front of a SQL Server database, with both IIS and SQL Server running on a third PowerEdge 1955 server blade. The Dell DVD Store application provides a comprehensive set of login, search, and purchase screens for the simulated online store. The complete applica- Figure 5. Disk configuration used in the test environment 24 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | November 2007 tion code is freely available for public use Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. under the GNU General Public License (GPL) at linux.dell.com/dvdstore. The test team used a separate Web driver program from the DVD Store kit to simulate multiple users searching for and ordering DVDs from their Web browsers throughout the test. The back-end SQL Server database for this application used the large version of the DVD Store database (over 100 GB of data) and utilized one two-disk RAID-1 log LUN and two four-disk RAID-5 data LUNs. Microsoft SQL Server 2005. The SQL Server 2005 workload also utilized the Dell DVD Store database, but without the Web interface. The test team installed SQL Server on a fourth PowerEdge 1955 server blade and built the large version of the DVD Store database on one twodisk RAID-1 log LUN and two four-disk RAID-5 data LUNs on the same disk group as the Dell Figure 7. Symantec Backup Exec 11d showing two incremental backups performed in the test environment DVD Store database used for the Web-serving application. Consequently, the same set of 10 the store; searching for DVDs by actor, title, or They assigned a drive letter to this LUN and shared disks was used simultaneously by two 100 GB category; and purchasing DVDs. it as a Windows Server 2003 file share, then databases during the eight-hour duration of the File serving. To provide a file-serving work- copied a set of 41 files, with sizes varying from test. The test team used the SQL Server driver load, the test team created a two-disk RAID-1 LUN 1 MB to 3 GB, to it. They then mounted this file program included with the DVD Store kit to and assigned it to a PowerEdge 1950 server run- share on another PowerEdge 1950 server using simulate a constant load of users logging in to ning the Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 OS. the standard Map Network Drive function in Microsoft Windows® Explorer. To simulate use of this file share, the test team used a simple command-line shell script to copy files back and forth between this server and the file share. Two scripts Disk or tape ran in parallel during the eight-hour duration of the test, with delays placed in the scripts so that Web serving each copied approximately 40 files per hour. Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (active node) Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (passive node) Symantec Backup Exec 11d Dell PowerEdge 1950 Symantec Backup Exec 11d. The test team 10.10.20 subnet used Symantec Backup Exec 11d, which enables fast, comprehensive backup and recovery 10.10.22 subnet using disk or tape, to back up the Exchange database to a PowerEdge 1950 server.2 After Dell PowerVault MD3000i with two PowerVault MD1000 expansion enclosures Test workloads Dell PowerEdge 1955 server blades Backup Exec 11d has performed a full backup of an Exchange database, it uses incremental backups from the passive node of the Exchange cluster to avoid affecting active Exchange users. The test team performed incremental File serving Dell PowerEdge 1950 backups with Backup Exec 11d at times corresponding to 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the simulated day (the two backups dated Figure 6. Hardware configuration used in the test environment 2 September 12, 2007, in Figure 7.) For more information, see “Protecting Critical Enterprise Applications with Symantec Backup Exec 11d,” by Charles Butler, in Dell Power Solutions, May 2007, DELL.COM/downloads/global/power/ps2q07-20070408-Symantec.pdf. Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved. DELL.COM/PowerSolutions 25 feature section: new horizons in enterprise Storage “ By Test results: Total work and data transfer The test team ran the Microsoft Exchange providing simple, cost-effective iSCSI storage along with a single easy-to-use management interface Server 2007, Web serving, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, and file-serving workloads for and optional integrated snapshot and virtual disk copy eight hours to represent a workday running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and performed two incre- functionality, the PowerVault MD3000i enables enter- mental backups with Symantec Backup Exec prises to increase storage utilization by consolidating 11d as described in the preceding section. Each workload driver reported application- their storage with a single efficient system.” specific metrics, such as latency for Exchange tasks and orders per minute. The test team used Microsoft Windows Performance Monitor to record disk parameters. Figure 8 summarizes the total work and data transfer of the five primary servers during forth, for a total transfer of 54 GB. Overall, the a single easy-to-use management interface the eight-hour test. The 500 LoadGen heavy PowerVault MD3000i supplied 387 GB of data and optional integrated snapshot and virtual users completed 23,832 tasks (such as reads, during the eight-hour test. disk copy functionality, the PowerVault replies, and calendar updates) on the active MD3000i enables enterprises to increase Exchange node. The Exchange transaction log Simple, cost-effective iSCSI storage storage utilization by consolidating their stor- files were shipped continuously to the passive As the Dell tests demonstrate, a Dell PowerVault age with a single efficient system. Exchange node, helping synchronize it with MD3000i array with two attached PowerVault the active node. The passive node also han- MD1000 enclosures was able to handle the I/O Dave Jaffe, Ph.D., is a senior consultant on the dled the two incremental Backup Exec 11d from five server workloads—two nodes Dell Enterprise Technology Center team who backups. The Web-serving application handled of a fully redundant Microsoft Exchange clus- specializes in cross-platform solutions. He has 0.77 million orders, while the SQL Server data- ter, a Web-serving application, a Microsoft a B.S. in Chemistry from Yale University and a base handled 1.1 million orders (equating to a SQL Server database, and file-serving data Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of total of more than 2 billion orders per year, if transfers—as well as two incremental backups California, San Diego. they received orders at this pace 24 hours a with Symantec Backup Exec 11d. By providing day). The file share copied 705 files back and simple, cost-effective iSCSI storage along with Kendra Matthews is a storage product marketing manager on the Dell Global Commercial Marketing team. Total work Total data transfer Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (active node) 23,832 tasks by 500 LoadGen heavy users 42 GB Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 (passive node) 23,832 tasks by 500 LoadGen heavy users, as well as two incremental backups 82 GB 0.77 million orders 61 GB Microsoft SQL Server 2005 1.1 million orders 148 GB File serving 705 file transfers 54 GB Web serving Total 387 GB QUICK LINK Dell PowerVault MD3000i: DELL.COM/MD3000i Figure 8. Total work and data transfer for the five primary workloads in the test environment 26 DELL POWER SOLUTIONS | November 2007 Reprinted from Dell Power Solutions, November 2007. Copyright © 2007 Dell Inc. All rights reserved.
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