Discussion:
MSA1000 / VMS / Linux
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Alan Frisbie
2020-12-19 19:10:31 UTC
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I would like to share my MSA1000 between my VMS system(s) and Linux.
Has anyone here done this? Can it be done at all?

Are there any problems I should look out for? Is any software
required on the Linux side beyond what is normally on an Ubuntu
installation?

Also, my MSA1000 has the older MSA Fabric Switch 6 rather than the
newer MSA SAN Switch 2/8. Are there any problems I should be aware
of with these?

If it cannot be shared, what would you recommend that can do it?

Thanks,
Alan Frisbie
Stephen Hoffman
2020-12-19 19:28:06 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I would like to share my MSA1000 between my VMS system(s) and Linux.
Has anyone here done this? Can it be done at all?
I think you're going to have to try it. "Heterogeneous support is
standard for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 (32-bit and 64-bit) Windows
2000, Windows NT, NetWare and Linux (32-bit and 64-bit) operating
systems. In addition this firmware provides separate support for Alpha
servers in a Tru64 UNIX or OpenVMS environment." OpenVMS has tended to
have its own storage firmware version requirements, though AFAIK those
firmware versions did not explicitly block the use of other operating
systems. I suspect the prohibition from the QuickSpecs was due to (a
lack of) testing and qualification for mixed environments, but don't
know that. And I haven't even seen an MSA1000 in a number of years.
Empty off the contents and/or back up what you care about, set it up,
and try it.

I'm usually running link0aggregated dual-gigabit Ethernet network
attached storage server boxes with Unix, and not Fibre Channel storage.
~USD$2K for a nicely-capable 64 TB NAS (4 x 12 TB), with the most
recent configuration being prototypled here. Or potentially cheaper,
with TrueNAS (née FreeNAS), etc.
--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
Grant Taylor
2020-12-19 19:54:26 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I would like to share my MSA1000 between my VMS system(s) and Linux.
What does "share" mean in this context? Specifically are you trying to
share the same LUN(s) between VMS and Linux? Or just different
dedicated LUN(s) per client system?
Post by Alan Frisbie
Has anyone here done this?
I have not.
Post by Alan Frisbie
Can it be done at all?
If VMS is happy enough with the MSA1000 with multiple LUNs dedicated to
specific client machines, I would expect so.
Post by Alan Frisbie
Are there any problems I should look out for?
My concerns would be if the MSA1000 plays nice enough with the multiple
dedicated LUNs to make VMS happy or not.

I expect that you are going to need to filter access to the different
LUNs based on client host. I don't know if the MSA1000 has the same
capabilities when filtering as it does with unfiltered. (I assume that
one mode or the other makes VMS happy. But I don't know about the other.)

The next thing that I would worry about is what specifically you're
going to do with the MSA1000 on Linux. Are you trying to boot from SAN?
Do you need persistent SCSI reservations? (I don't know if the
MSA1000 supports that.)

Finally, did the MSA1000 fix the problem that the older RA-4000 /
RA-4100 had in that LUN IDs started at the upper end of the 16-bit
address space? I had to hack some FC HBA drivers in Linux to support
that. (Thankfully it was a simple check to see if the LUN ID was less
than 256.)
Post by Alan Frisbie
Is any software required on the Linux side beyond what is normally
on an Ubuntu installation?
I assume that you have at least two paths from the hosts to the storage.
As such, you'll probably want a multi-path implementation on Linux.
DM-Multipath has worked well enough for me in the past.
Post by Alan Frisbie
Also, my MSA1000 has the older MSA Fabric Switch 6 rather than the
newer MSA SAN Switch 2/8. Are there any problems I should be aware
of with these?
Is the MSA Fabric Switch 6 limited to 1 Gbps Fibre Channel?
Post by Alan Frisbie
If it cannot be shared, what would you recommend that can do it?
Given the age of the MSA1000 and speed that it runs at, I would think
very seriously about something newer. I would also consider building a
new counterpart from Linux using Linux I/O / SCSI Targets. I've happily
used it as a SAN target multiple times.

My uncertanty comes form less familiarity with the MSA1000 (I have used
RA-4x00 and MSA1500 more than MSA1000) and almost non-existent VMS
interaction with SANs.
--
Grant. . . .
unix || die
Rich Jordan
2020-12-22 18:06:49 UTC
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Post by Alan Frisbie
I would like to share my MSA1000 between my VMS system(s) and Linux.
Has anyone here done this? Can it be done at all?
Are there any problems I should look out for? Is any software
required on the Linux side beyond what is normally on an Ubuntu
installation?
Also, my MSA1000 has the older MSA Fabric Switch 6 rather than the
newer MSA SAN Switch 2/8. Are there any problems I should be aware
of with these?
If it cannot be shared, what would you recommend that can do it?
Thanks,
Alan Frisbie
We have a customer still running an MSA1000 based cluster storage with two VMS Alphaservers in a fully redundant dual-connection setup. Sorry, no experience running multiplatform on it

The fiber switch 2/8 are fragile; if he gets an A/C failure or UPS bad power down he's got a 50/50 chance of losing one.
The controllers list multiple sets of profiles for the connections including VMS, Windows, etc, and I think Sun Solaris and other third party.
There are ACL controls to restrict which units are accessible to which connections, so it appears you should be able to keep Linux paws off the VMS units and vice versa (assuming it works...)
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