Although the PowerVault MD3000i is an entry level iSCSI array, it does offer both GUI- and command line–based management tools. Understanding what these tools can do is to understand what the PowerVault MD3000i is capable of, and in this discussion will cover both.


Technical Community - Background Reading

iSCSI and Virtualization

iSCSI: Superior Storage for Virtualization

Blog: A Tale of Two Subnets for MD3000i

Chat Transcript

DELL-ToddM Happy Thanksgiving!
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DELL-ScottH Dang Java, had to rdp to lab machine
DELL-ScottH Argg
DELL-ScottH Hello, Ted
TED Hi Scott
DELL-ScottH What part of the world are you in?
TED New Zealand
DELL-ScottH Cool, always wanted to see that neck of the woods; maybe next year
TED Yeah around this time of the year is good for a visit when summer's just kicking in
DELL-ScottH Can't complain here in Texas; Todd and I had lunch out on a patio and the weather is great today
TED Are you a Cowboys fan or Houston?
DELL-ScottH Todd is the real Cowboys fan; I'm just a bandwagon fan. Although, the Thanksgiving game is always fun to watch
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DELL-ScottH Hey Jason!
JasonPowell What up yo
DELL-ScottH Weigh in for this week is before the meal, right?
JasonPowell Ha ha. I need to send out a note saying this is a "free" week since many won’t be near their "normal" scale :-)
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DELL-ScottH Just have everyone take last week’s +5, and it will likely be close
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DELL_AndyF Hello
JasonPowell Lol
DELL-ScottH Hello andy
DELL-ScottH Hey gsherman, long time no see; glad to have you back
gsherman03 Thanks. Often get busy around this time
DELL-ScottH Todd's around here somewhere to kick it off in a few minutes
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DELL-ScottH Hello David
DavidSzp Hi Scott
DELL-ScottH Looks like we will have a decent turnout...though Thanksgiving might have killed attendance
DavidSzp This is my first week in the chat. After receiving my MD3000i :-)
DELL-ScottH Our parking lot at work is quite bare
DELL-ScottH Cool, I'm sure you have lots of Qs...what are you running on it?
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DELL-ScottH Hello koen. Good to see you again
DavidSzp I'm running two PowerEdge 1950 III servers with two PowerConnect 5424 switches in between. Although, I don't have all the redundancy figured out yet...just got it working for now :-)
koen.vdvelde Hi there all. Saw the subject about MD3000i; don't want to miss this ;-)
DELL-ScottH Koen can school you on multi-switches and redundancy Seems to be popular topic :-)
koen.vdvelde Oops...I'm still learning myself! ;-)
DELL-ToddM I'm back; got caught in the hall
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DELL-ScottH Todd has arrived; we all bask in your greatness!
koen.vdvelde The reason why it is such a popular subject is maybe that it is so "difficult," although, it is sold as just "connecting networking"?
DELL-ToddM Hello everybody
DELL-ScottH Hey our marketing guys are hard at work ;-)
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DELL-ToddM Good to see gsherman; it's been a few months I think
DELL-ScottH Hello sean
DELL-ScottH Hello mrokkam
Sean Hey guys
DELL-ToddM Hey sean
mrokkam Hello
DELL-ToddM We usually don't actually get started until about 5 after or so, to give everybody a chance to get connected
DELL-ToddM I agree with Scott that this is a better turnout than I expected; with this kind of being a holiday week in the US
DELL-ScottH I smell turkey
DELL-ScottH Oh, that's just Todd
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Sean Yeah, it worked out for me; it’s quiet here, and this is the only day I’m in the office this week
DELL-ToddM It's really not nice to talk about your coworkers like that :)
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DELL-ScottH Thought a holiday joke was in order :-)
DELL-ScottH ::biggrin
DELL-ToddM Let's officially get started
DELL-ToddM Welcome to today's TechTuesday chat on Managing the Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI array. The MD3000i has been one of the most poplar topics on the Dell TechCenter site. There are lots of questions about it on our discussion forum at http://www.delltechcenter.com/thread
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DELL-ToddM And we also have several wiki pages dedicated to it: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/the+dell+powervault+md3000i
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koen.vdvelde Seems like no one likes these subjects? :-) :-)
DELL-ScottH It's like fishing…I like to see them click :-)
DELL-ToddM This is the second in a three-week series of chats on the MD3000i, with today's focus being on management
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DELL-ScottH Reminder, right-click on the links, or it will exit you from the chat session :-)
DELL-ToddM Welcome mrokkam
TED Yeah, just found out :)
DELL-ToddM Just getting started
DELL-mrokkam Thanks, Todd, I was lurking earlier :-D
DELL-ToddM Ted, don't feel bad, it happens to everybody
DELL-ToddM In terms of management the majority of it is done with the Modular Disk Storage Manager, otherwise known as MDSM. If you already have an MD3000i and have begun using it, then you have used MDSM. I think that it is a decent tool that makes most of the basic tasks like creating disks pretty easy.
TED Is it okay to have MDSM installed on more than one host if you’re only using in-band?
DELL-ToddM It is fine to have MDSM installed on more than one host
DELL-ScottH FYI, docs are here: 

<ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

DELL-ToddM I'm not sure what you mean by in-band?
DELL-ScottH This is a better link to the docs: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/md3000i/en/
DELL-mrokkam Ted, it is okay to have MDSM installed on more than one host
koen.vdvelde In-band = (as far as I understood the docs), from a host that's iSCSI-connected to the SAN and uses the same iSCSI network to connect to the management ports of the SAN?
DELL-ToddM If you don't have your MD3000i yet or you haven't done the setup and configuration yet, we have a demo video showing that here: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/storage+demos
Sean In-band is what you are doing now
TED In-band management where the host is directly attached to a SAN. I think out-of-band is where you install MDSM on a workstation, for example
Sean In-band talks to the MD3000i's management IP using MDSM
DELL-ScottH Yes, out of band is using the management ports and using MDSM on a completely separate machine; that's how I manage mine
DELL-ToddM Okay, that makes sense
koen.vdvelde Okay, that makes my explanation of in-band: in case of in-band you don't use the management ports, but use the storage processor ports to do management too?
DELL-mrokkam So, in-band is using the MDSM on a host to communicate/control the MD3000i using the iSCSI ports. You do not need to use the management ports for in-band
DELL-ToddM The video that I mentioned was done by Ward from our Executive Briefing Center. He spends most of his time talking about and showing our storage solutions to customers that come to Austin for a briefing
koen.vdvelde “Incorrect”... (had to be somewhere in that sentence) :-)
DELL-mrokkam Koen.vdvelde, that is correct
TED Does MD3000i support Hyper-V running on Server Core?
DELL-ToddM You can use the MD3000i as a back end for Hyper-V on Server Core
TED Okay
DELL-ToddM I put together this wiki page with the details on how to use the command line to setup iSCSI in Hyper-V Server: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/using+iscsicli+on+hyper-v+server+to+connect+to+md3000i+and+equallogic
DELL-ToddM I actually talked to Yellowbeard yesterday via e-mail about getting this very thing set up. The catch that he ran into was getting his Chap authentication going; he needed to add the escape character before a " that was in the Chap secret work. The escape character is a \ for the…
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TED Yeah, came across that page when trying to figure out setting up MPIO with Server Core
koen.vdvelde Talking about management, are there any plans to integrate MDSM in the OpenManage tools? Making it Web manageble, integrate it in IT Assistant so you can monitor it from one place, together with the servers?
DELL-ScottH Hello Roger
DELL-ToddM Hey Roger!
Dell-RogerF Afternoon
DELL-ScottH Not into OpenManage
koen.vdvelde That's a pity! :-(
DELL-ScottH OpenManage is moving to something called DMC, Dell Management Console, based on Altiris and is easy to plug stuff into, so you can easily make a "launch point" as a right-click option on an object in DMC that could launch the MDSM, but you can also do that with ITA today
DELL-mrokkam Ted, I believe there was a problem installing MDSM as a host for Hyper-V on Server Core. We should be bringing out a fix for that soon
koen.vdvelde Any timing on that DMC?
DELL-ScottH One thing I found helpful is to memorize the default IP addresses for the management ports on the MD3000i, if it doesn't get DHCP then they default to 192.168.128.101 and 102. I then use a crossover on my laptop to configure. Koen, first part of next year for DMC.
DavidSzp Hmmm, just started MDSM on my workstation and got a new error. "The storage array contains a RAID controller module that has not been added. In this condition, certain operations that require access to the unreachable RAID controller module or both modules will not be available. You can correct this condition by adding the second RAID controller module." What's that about I wonder?
DELL-ScottH Yes, you have to add both controllers for out-of-band, just add the second IP
DavidSzp Hmmm, I thought I'd set that up already? Did it forget?
DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, maybe a network issue? Can you ping both the IP addresses?
Sean MDSM needs to have both IP's added each time it is installed
DavidSzp This is the only install of MDSM I've done. Trying to find the setting...know I've seen it
koen.vdvelde I seem to remember that, during/after installation of MDSM, it scans the network to find its MD3000i, whether it was configured manually or trough DHCP?
DavidSzp I manually configured it with the configurator static IPs
DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, from the drop down, you can remove and re-add the array. However, if you had done it earlier, it should have found it as it remembers the settings
DELL-ScottH When you click "new" up at the top you get the option for automatic or manual, pick manual and add the second IP
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DELL-ScottH Hello mattias
matthiasv Hi
DELL-ToddM Hello Matt, you can use Action, Recent Room History to catch up
TED Mrokkam, so the fix coming out will allow installation of the Host component for MDSM on Server Core, which allows multipathing, failover, and so on?
DavidSzp Doing autodiscovery now, but everything seemed to work and display properly after that error
DELL-ScottH Under the hardware components section on the main page, does it say Storage Controllers :2? I mean, "RAID Controller Modules : 2"?
DELL-mrokkam Ted, the fix will be specifically for Hyper-V on Server Core. And yes, it will allow installation of the host component that does multipathing, failover, and so on
DavidSzp Yes
DELL-ScottH Then you are okay; must have been a network hiccup
DavidSzp I'm trying to figure out how to add my second ESXi host to the array though...first one is fine, got a host group, but trying to add a second server to the host group doesn't seem to work
DavidSzp As in, where do I hit "add host"? Frustrating thing is I did it once! :-)
DELL-ToddM To add a host you go to the Configure tab, and then Configure Host Access
DavidSzp What do I put for the host name? I tried an IP and it failed
DELL-ToddM Either automatic or manual, I usually do manual, which requires that you know the iSCSI initiator name
DavidSzp I tried automatic, nothing displayed
matthiasv The IQN has the host name of the system included ;) Should be easy to find the correct one
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DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, for Manual, the host name is something you call it. It failed because of the periods in the IP address
DELL-ToddM The iSCSI initiator name for the ESXi host in the configuration, Storage Adapters in virtual center. If you have them both up you can just cut and paste :)
DavidSzp In VI Client (no Virtual Center here) the iSCSI name is listed as iqn.blahblahblah, but it's more than 30 characters
DELL-ToddM Both = MDSM and Virtual Center
DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, to be clear, in MDSM for host configuration (manual), the host name you need to enter is any name of your choosing that is less than 30 characters
DavidSzp And MDSM says max. 30 chars…ah, okay, I see now
DELL-ToddM Mrokkam, good call; I think we are confusing the two in this discussion
DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, the next screen should give you the list of IQN names :-D
DELL-ToddM Sorry, I was jumping to the next step
DavidSzp It doesn't, I have to click New apparently
DavidSzp Refresh still shows blank
DELL-mrokkam Todd, I had agonized over this issue earlier
DELL-ToddM If you had tried to connect to the ESXi server to MD3000i previously, then the IQN will some up at this point (well at least sometimes)
DELL-mrokkam Davidszp, do you have your iSCSI initiators logged into the MD3000i's iSCSI ports? Can you verify that from the host?
JasonPowell *cough* EqualLogic *cough* ;-) /me ducks and runs
DELL-mrokkam Ha ha ha ha ha ha
DavidSzp /me slaps Jasonpowell…just be happy I bought the MD3000i from you Jason :-)
DELL-ToddM I agree that EqualLogic is easier :)
matthiasv But it's much more expensive :D
DELL-mrokkam You know, I am not sure about ESX, but there is an excellent utility out there to configure the MD3000i
DavidSzp Yep yep yep!
matthiasv You mean that one shipped with resource CD?
DELL-ToddM But the MD3000i works just fine; you just have to get used to MDSM
matthiasv I don't like that one
DELL-mrokkam MD3000i configuration utility <-- available on support.dell.com. It definitely works on RHEL, Windows, SLES…
DELL-ToddM The demo video that I mentioned earlier shows the MD3000i configuration utility in action. It works quite well to get everything set up
matthiasv Are you using this one?
DELL-ToddM Matthiasv, I'll take the bait, what didn't you like about it?
matthiasv Just one basic little tool setting up the unit for first use…nothing more to do with…you can handle everything with MDSM
DELL-ToddM I used the configuration utility to get our MD3000i setup initially
DavidSzp Okay, got it working
matthiasv Okay. it's useful but same steps can be taken without
DELL-ToddM The other aspect that I wanted to touch on today was the command-line interface for the MD3000i
DavidSzp Just had to play with it a bit...now I have two hosts, each inside a group called "ESXi," so they can use the same LUNs (is my understanding, correct?)
matthiasv Yeah. You just need to map the LUNs to that host group; remember that VMFS is the only cluster file system available. NTFS will get damaged when doing this
DELL-ToddM There is a pretty good doc on the support site that documents all the commands: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/md3000/en/cli/pdf/clia00mr.pdf
koen.vdvelde Before I (right-) click on that link, can you summarize what we could do more with these commands than through the MDSM click-clack interface?
DELL-ToddM We've also got a couple of wiki pages here with some more detailed examples. For the most part it is the same things that you can get with MDSM. One exception is performance stats
matthiasv You can save your set up, create LUNs with other block sizes, and control cache settings—very powerful
DELL-ToddM I have a wiki page on how to use the CLI to get performance stats and create performance graphs with the data: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/md3000i+performance+monitoring
matthiasv The serial interface is just more powerful but you need the docs :)
DELL-ToddM Also, if you want to schedule snapshots, you will have to use the CLI
koen.vdvelde Hmmm, sounds interesting, especially the performance graphs might become handy one day
DELL-ToddM I think that the command-line interface is a very powerful feature for the MD3000i, which gives it some higher-end capabilities not usually seen on an array at this price
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DELL-ToddM Next week's chat is going to focus on performance of the MD3000i, and I was planning to talk a little bit more about the CLI to capture the performance stats then
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DELL-ToddM We are just about out of time, so I want to thank everybody for coming today
DavidSzp Thanks for the help with the setup...learning a bit more every day I play with this thing!
DELL-ToddM I hope that everybody has a great holiday or rest of week depending on where you are :)
TED Thanks guys
DavidSzp Just set it up Friday afternoon and have been busy this week so not much play time yet
koen.vdvelde Thanks guys; see you next week!
DELL-ScottH Thanks everyone!
DELL-mrokkam Thank you all. Have an excellent rest of the week :)
DELL-ToddM Be sure to post any questions that you have to the discussion threads here on Dell TechCenter, and we will try to address them either on the forum or in next week’s chat
DELL-ToddM Thanks.
JasonPowell So when can we have a chat about how to buy a UPS :-)
DELL-ToddM Did you have a power failure?
DELL-ToddM Ouch!