Applies to:
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Platform - Applies to PowerVault arrays - MD3600i, MD3620i

Author:
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Bryant Vo

Problem:
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How do I cable my PowerVault MD3600i or MD3620i storage array?

Additional Information:
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For more information on PowerVault MD3600i or MD3620i please see the PowerVault manual located at: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/md3600i/en/index.htm

Solution:
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In this article we will discuss how to cable one PowerVault array to a cluster environment. The examples below will illustrate an iSCSI SAN-attached to an Oracle RAC cluster. The Oracle database solutions team per best practice always uses redundant path configurations to ensure high availability.

When cabling the PowerVault iSCSI storage array, there are two options:

  • Direct-Attached (no Ethernet switches used)
  • Network-Attached SAN configurations (Ethernet switches are used)

When configuring your Oracle cluster with a Direct-Attached PowerVault MD3600i or MD3620i, due to using a redundant path configuration, only two nodes in a cluster are supported. Figure 1 shows how to cable a two node cluster direct attached with one MD3600i or MD3620i.

 

Figure 1. Cabling iSCSI Direct-Attached Clusters

 

 

To configure your nodes in a direct-attached configuration, as seen in Figure 1, follow the steps below:

  1. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 1 to the In-0 port of RAID controller 0 in the PowerVault MD36xxi storage enclosure.
  2. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from the other port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 1 to the In-0 port of RAID controller 1 in the PowerVault MD36xxi storage enclosure. 
  3.  Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 2 to the In-1 port of RAID controller 0 in the PowerVault MD36xxi storage enclosure.
  4. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from the other port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 2 to the In-1 port of RAID controller 1 in the PowerVault MD36xxi storage enclosure.
  5. If applicable, connect two SAS cables from the two PowerVault MD36xxi storage enclosures Out ports to the two In ports of the first PowerVault MD12xx expansion enclosure. (See Figure 3)

Figure 2 shows how to cable a cluster network attached with one MD3600i or MD3620i. A cluster that is network attached supports up to 64 hosts within a clustered environment.

 

Figure 2 Cabling iSCSI Switched Clusters

 

 

To configure your nodes in a switched configuration, see Figure 2.

  1. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 1 to the port of network switch 1.
  2. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 1 to the port of network switch 2.
  3. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 2 to the port of network switch 1.
  4. Connect one CAT 5e/6 cable from a port (iSCSI HBA or NIC) of node 2 to the port of network switch 2.
  5. Connect two CAT 5e/6 cables from switch 1 to the In-0 port of RAID controller 0 in the PowerVault MD32xxi storage enclosure.
  6. Connect two CAT 5e/6 cables from two other ports of switch 1 to the RAID controller 1 in the PowerVault MD32xxi storage enclosure.
  7. Connect two CAT 5e/6 cables from a port of switch 2 to the RAID controller 0 in the PowerVault MD32xxi storage enclosure.
  8. Connect two CAT 5e/6 cables from two other ports of switch 2 to the RAID controller 1 in the PowerVault MD32xxi storage enclosure.
  9. If applicable, connect two SAS cables from the two PowerVault MD32xxi storage enclosures Out ports to the two In ports of the first PowerVault MD12xx expansion enclosure. (See Figure 2)

Cabling your PowerVault Expansion Enclosure

To ensure high availability, it is best practice to always use an asymmetric cabling method on both the SAS and iSCSI systems to interconnect controller and drive shelves. This cabling best practices will help keep the PowerVault MD storage to continue functioning in case one enclosure goes down it will not affect the whole storage system. For asymmetric cabling, controller 0 (TOP (0)) connects to the top drive shelf controller (TOP (1)), and controller 1 (BOTTOM (0)) connects to the bottom drive shelf controller (BOTTOM (N)). The drive shelves are then subsequently daisy chained as normal.

Figure 3 Cabling your Expansion Enclosure