i assume for many of you this old box will seem a ghost from the past.
i opted for these models for building a small fc+iscsi based SAN with a very (i mean it) small budget. I have one of these right now and am testing wheter it will do all we need or not.
The san is supposed to attach 2-4 XenEnterprise hosts to two EMC^2 CX600 storage systems, and for now I have to go via iSCSI as the software vendor only supports software iSCSI as clustered storage. Later on I'm planning to attach the host systems via FC and use iSCSI for our lower-bandwidth systems.
I've read the configuration guide and also all SN54xx related posts in here, but still i'm left with a few basic questions. (My imppression is that the config guide does not really bother with SAN-related tasks, reminds me of the last time i set up a more current MDS...)
In the current setup I just have one node attached to on the CX' SPs via iSCSI. It's tested that far, I/O peak throughput at around 93MB/s is giving me much hope.
One post in here says that the SN4528 can only inherit san zoning information from another switch via an E-Port. Is this true? And how does this relate to ZoneSets defined in the switch? Are they "iscsi-fc zonesets" but not FC zones as in normal zoning?
Another post said that clustered SN54xx will go dead if the backend storage uses same port WWNs in active/active mode. first of all, if thats true, then it's a sad joke. :(
Luckily, our EMC^2 boxes can't handle active/active mode anyway.
Still I'm a bit worried about what is going to happen, when i plug each of them into both switches. I hope you agree that that is pretty much standard, but will SN5428 cluster really work with it?
Are there any limits regarding ISL?
If possible I would want to connect both switches over 2x2Gbps ports.
I read something about using an FCIP port to do HA, but somehow this smells weird, donating a gigE interface (and redundancy) to get half the bandwidth. If it needs be :>
Also, in case anyone still remembers:
The manual sometimes addresses both "transparent scsi routing" and "scsi routing" modes by "scsi routing" - on the other hand it stats that HA Mode will only work in "scsi routing" mode. This very much affects the way I have to layout my actual storage, can one of you enlighten me if it is possible to use a HA setup in "transparent scsi routing" mode or not?
also i'm still puzzled how the SN5428 detects new storage devices - I found that my device probably has no scsi-target autopoll set, but I'm not sure this is the issue. Right now it won't pick up storage changes except through a reboot. How this can be a default is beyond me.
Last, is the SN5428 supported in Cisco Fabric and/or device manager in case we add more Cisco devices?
Allow me a little rant: while liking the added management and security features, both the old and current cisco switches I set up are so twisted that I deem buying more quite unfeasable. Just imagine if you bought a 2800 router and 99% of the manual deals not with router functions but with how to attach and manage USB disks. :))
Anyway, I'll keep trying and hope a few more weekends from now I'll have the fully redundant iSCSI setup I want.