Technical White PaperiSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC StorageArrays running PowerMaxOSAbstractThis document provides an in-depth overview of the PowerMaxOS iSCSIimplementation on Dell EMC PowerMax and VMAX All Flash storage arrays.The technology surrounding iSCSI is discussed as well as an in-depth review ofthe PowerMaxOS iSCSI target model.March 2021H14531.3
RevisionsRevisionsDateDescriptionOctober 2016Initial releaseApril 2018Updated for PowerMaxOSSeptember 2019Updates for PowerMaxOS Q3 2019 releaseSeptember 2020Updates for PowerMaxOS Q3 2020 releaseFebruary 2021Minor updatesAcknowledgmentsAuthor: James SalvadoreThis document may contain certain words that are not consistent with Dell's current language guidelines. Dell plans to update the document oversubsequent future releases to revise these words accordingly.This document may contain language from third party content that is not under Dell's control and is not consistent with Dell's current guidelines for Dell'sown content. When such third-party content is updated by the relevant third parties, this document will be revised accordingly.The information in this publication is provided “as is.” Dell Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the information in thispublication, and specifically disclaims implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.Use, copying, and distribution of any software described in this publication requires an applicable software license.Copyright 2016–2021 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell Technologies, Dell, EMC, Dell EMC and other trademarks are trademarksof Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners. [3/2/2021] [Technical White Paper] [H14531.3]2iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
Table of contentsTable of contentsRevisions.2Acknowledgments .2Table of contents .3Executive summary .6Audience .61iSCSI overview .71.1Key iSCSI concepts and terminology .71.2Primary benefits of iSCSI .101.3Core components of iSCSI .101.3.1 Initiators and target nodes .101.3.2 Names .101.3.3 IP interfaces .111.3.4 Sessions and connections .111.3.5 Security and authentication .121.4How iSCSI works .121.4.1 The login process .121.4.2 The data transfer process .131.5How iSCSI compares with other storage transport protocols .141.6Deployment considerations for iSCSI .171.6.1 Network considerations .171.6.2 Multipathing and availability considerations .171.6.3 Resource consumption considerations .182PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation overview .202.1Background.202.2The PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation design objectives .202.3PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation core components .212.3.1 Supported PowerMax hardware: Quad-port 25 GbE interface module .212.3.2 Supported legacy PowerMax hardware: Quad-port 10 GbE interface module .212.3.3 PowerMaxOS iSCSI target node .222.3.4 PowerMaxOS iSCSI IP interface .242.3.5 CHAP authentication .262.3.6 Routing Instance .3032.4PowerMaxOS iSCSI host connectivity limits .322.5Summary .32iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
Table of contents34PowerMax iSCSI use cases .333.1Example 1: Basic port binding .333.2Example 2: PowerMaxOS iSCSI multitenancy or port consolidation .34Implementing example 1: iSCSI port binding .354.1Document the current and desired configuration .354.2Identify all online PowerMax SE ports .364.2.1 Using Unisphere for PowerMax .364.2.2 Using Solutions Enabler .374.3Create the Prod1 iSCSI configuration .384.3.1 Option 1: Using the iSCSI Configuration Wizard .394.3.2 Option 2: Using Solutions Enabler.444.4Verify connectivity between the new Prod1 IP Interfaces and the remote host iSCSI SAN IP Addresses .504.4.1 Using the ping utility in Unisphere for PowerMax .504.4.2 Using the ping utility in Solutions Enabler .524.4.3 Section summary .534.5Create an iSCSI masking view for the Prod1 Host .534.5.1 Create an iSCSI host in Unisphere.554.5.2 Create a Masking View for the new iSCSI Host .574.5.3 Optional: Set up CHAP authorization on the Prod1 host initiator .604.6Discover PowerMax iSCSI storage on the host .614.6.1 Discover the PowerMax Prod1 IP Interfaces using PowerShell .624.6.2 Connect to the host to the PowerMax iSCSI Targets. .654.6.3 Troubleshooting tip: Verify the host iSCSI session status on the PowerMax.684.6.4 Rescan the storage on host. .704.6.5 Verify the PowerMax volumes are visible to the host .704.6.6 Optional: Online, initialize, and create a new file system on the iSCSI volumes. .724.6.7 Optional: Send I/O from Prod1 host to PowerMax iSCSI Storage .784.6.8 Section summary .795Implementing example 2: iSCSI multitenancy .805.1Document the current and desired environments .805.2Create the Prod2 iSCSI configuration .815.2.1 Create the Prod2 target and IP interface on Director 1F .815.2.2 Create the Prod2 target and IP interface on Director 2F .8245.3Verify connectivity between the new Prod2 IP Interfaces and the remote Prod2 host iSCSI SAN IP addresses825.4Create an iSCSI masking view for the Prod2 Host .83iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
Table of contents5.5Discover and acquire PowerMax iSCSI storage on the Prod2 host .836Conclusion .85AConfiguring the iSCSI Initiator and MPIO on a Windows Server 2016 Host .86A.1Identify NICs which will be used for iSCSI on host. .87A.2Rename iSCSI NICs and LAN NICs for easier identification .87A.3Enable Jumbo Frames on iSCSI NICs if supported on network .87A.4Optional: If enabled, disable DHCP on iSCSI NICs .88A.5Use NIC hardware driver tools to add VLAN IDs to iSCSI NICs .90A.6Reexamine VLAN NICs on host .91A.7Rename VLAN NIC Instances for easier identification. .92A.8Configure IP Address and Subnet information for VLAN NICs .92A.9Verify network connectivity to POWERMAX IP Interfaces .94A.10 Verify the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator (MSiSCSI) service is started on the host .94A.11 Configure Windows firewall settings for the MSiSCSI service .95A.12 If not already installed, install multipathing software such as PowerPath or Microsoft Multipath I/O (MPIO) onthe Windows host .96A.13 Optional: Discover and attempt to connect to the PowerMax IP interfaces .98BTechnical support and resources .100B.15Related resources.100iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
Executive summaryExecutive summaryDell Technologies is excited to offer iSCSI connectivity to our existing and new customers. The iSCSI storageprotocol provides a potentially lower-cost-alternative connectivity method between hosts or virtual machinesto Dell EMC PowerMaxOS-based storage arrays. At a high-level glance, the primary benefits of the iSCSIstorage protocol are as follows: Makes consolidated storage possible for a wide range of businessesEnables cost-effective, scalable, secure, and highly available storage area networks (SANs)Leverages existing management skills and network infrastructureDelivers performance comparable to Fibre ChannelProvides interoperability using industry standardsThe PowerMaxOS iSCSI solution has been architected to take advantage of virtual local area networks(VLANs) to provide customers with greater host, port, and connection densities. The ability to use VLANs alsoprovides built in multitenancy capabilities since the front-end storage ports can be virtualized and partitioned.This design makes the PowerMaxOS iSCSI solution an ideal connectivity choice when considering lower-coststorage options for converged infrastructures and all virtualized environments.AudienceThis document is intended for Dell Technologies field personnel, including technology consultants, and forcustomer storage architects, administrators, and operators involved in managing, operating, or designing astorage infrastructure which contains PowerMaxOS based storage arrays.6iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overview1iSCSI overviewiSCSI is a transport layer protocol that uses TCP/IP to transport SCSI packets, enabling the use of Ethernetbased networking infrastructure as a storage area network (SAN). Like Fibre Channel and other storagetransport protocols, iSCSI transports block level data between an initiator on a server and a target on astorage device. IBM developed iSCSI as a proof of concept in 1998 and was ratified as a transport protocol bythe Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in 2003. The current iSCSI standard is IETF RFC 7143 and canbe found at https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7143.1.1Key iSCSI concepts and terminologyThis white paper will consistently use or make reference to specific concepts and terminology. The followingtable provides a detailed list of these terms and their definitions:Key iSCSI technologies and terminologyTerminology(first instance in document)7Equivalent term(later instances indocument)DefinitionOpen Systems InterconnectionModelOSI modelA seven-layer conceptual model that characterizesand standardizes the communication functions of atelecommunication or computer network systemwithout regard to its underlying internal structureand technology. The primary layers are theapplication (Layer 7), Presentation (Layer 6),Session (Layer 5), Transport (Layer 4), Network(Layer 3), Datalink (Layer 2), Physical (Layer 1)EthernetEthernetA family of computer networking technologiesoperating at the OSI physical layer (Layer 1) alsoproviding services to the OSI datalink layer (Layer2). Ethernet is comm*only used in local areanetworks (LAN) and wide area networks (WAN).Systems communicating over Ethernet basednetworks divide a stream of data into frames. Eachframe contains source and destination addresses,and error-checking data so that damaged framescan be detected, discarded, and retransmitted whenneeded. Ethernet can use physical mediums oftwisted pair and fiber optic links which can reachspeeds of 10 Gbps (10 GbE), 25 Gbps, 40 Gbps,50 Gbps, and now 100 Gbps.Virtual Local Area Network(VLAN)VLANAny broadcast domain that is partitioned andisolated in computer network at the datalink layer(Layer 2). VLANs work by applying tags to networkpackets and handling these tags in networkingsystems – creating the appearance andfunctionality of network traffic that is physically on asingle network but acts as if it is split betweenseparate networks.Transmission ControlProtocol/Internet ProtocolTCP/IPA suite of communication protocols used tointerconnect devices on communication networks.TCP/IP specifies how data can be exchanged overnetworks. TCP defines how applications can createiSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overviewTerminology(first instance in document)Equivalent term(later instances indocument)Definitionchannels of communication across a network. Itmanages how data is assembled into smallerpackets before it is transmitted over the networkand how it is to be reassembled at the destinationaddress. In the OSI model, TCP provides servicesto the transport layer (Layer 4) and some servicesto the session layer (Layer 5). IP specifically defineshow to address and route each packet to ensure itreaches the correct destination on the network. Inthe OSI model, IP provides services to the networklayer (Layer 3).8Small Computer SystemInterface (SCSI)SCSIA set of standards for physically connecting andtransferring data between computers and peripheraldevices such as disk storage. The SCSI standardsdefine commands, protocols, and electrical andoptical interfaces.Storage Area NetworkSANA specialized, high-speed network that providesblock-level network access to storage. A SANconsists of two types of equipment: initiator andtarget nodes. Initiators, such as hosts, are dataconsumers. Targets, such as disk arrays or tapelibraries, are data providers. A SAN presentsstorage devices to a host such that the storageappears locally attached. SAN initiators and targetscan be interconnected using various technologies,topologies, and transport layer protocols.Internet Small Computer SerialInterface (iSCSI)iSCSIA transport layer protocol that uses TCP/IP totransport SCSI commands enabling Ethernet basednetworks to function as a storage area network(SAN). iSCSI uses TCP/IP to move block databetween iSCSI initiators nodes and iSCSI targetnodesiSCSI Initiator NodeInitiatorHost-based hardware (virtual or physical) orsoftware which sends data to and from iSCSI targetnodes (storage arrays). The initiator makesrequests for the data to be read from or written tothe storage. In case of read operations, the initiatorsends a SCSI READ command to the peer whoacts as a target and in return the target sends therequested data back to the initiator. In the case of awrite operation, initiator sends a SCSI WRITEcommand followed by the data packets to thetarget. The initiator always initiates the transactions.iSCSI Target NodeTargetStorage arrays, tape drives, storage servers on aSAN. In iSCSI, targets can be associated witheither virtual or physical entities. A storage arraytarget exposes one or more SCSI LUNs to specificinitiators. A target is the entity which processes theSCSI commands from the initiator. Upon receivingiSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overviewTerminology(first instance in document)Equivalent term(later instances indocument)Definitionthe command from the initiator, the target runs thecommand and then sends the requested data andresponse back to the initiator. A target cannotinitiate any transaction.iSCSI IP Interface (NetworkPortal)IP InterfacePrimary gateway for access to iSCSI nodes. IPInterfaces contain key network configurationinformation such as: IP Address, Network ID, VLANinformation, and TCP Port Number. An IP Interfacecan only provide access to a single iSCSI target;however, an iSCSI target can be accessed throughmultiple IP Interfaces.PowerMaxOS 5978(microcode)PowerMaxOSThe PowerMaxOS 5978 release supportsPowerMax NVMe arrays, dedupe, and othersoftware enhancements and is offered with VMAXAll Flash arrays.PowerMaxOS Network IdentityNetwork ID/NetIDA PowerMaxOS construct which is used internallyby the system to associate an array IP interfacewith an array iSCSI target. The PowerMaxOSNetwork ID is specific to a single director on thearray and is not visible to external switches orhosts.iSCSI Qualified NamesIQNPrimary mechanism to identify iSCSI nodes on anetwork. These names are a human-readableASCII string which can be either user oralgorithmically generated; however, the iSCSIName must be unique on a per network basis inorder to avoid duplication.iSCSI Protocol Data Unit (PDU) PDUSCSI commands encapsulated and placed intopackets by the iSCSI Protocol at the session layer(Layer 5).iSCSI ConnectionConnectionA TCP/IP connection which ties the sessioncomponents together. The IP addresses and TCPport numbers in the IP Interfaces define the endpoints of a connection.iSCSI SessionSessionPrimary communication linkage between iSCSIinitiator and target nodes. The session is the vehiclefor the transport of the iSCSI PDUs between theinitiators and target nodes.Challenge HandshakeCHAPAuthentication Protocol (CHAP)9The most commonly used iSCSI authenticationmethod. CHAP verifies identity using a hashedtransmission of a secret key between initiator andtarget.iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overview1.2Primary benefits of iSCSIWith the proliferation of 10 GbE networking in the last few years, iSCSI has steadily gained footprint as adeployed storage protocol in data centers. For data centers with centralized storage, iSCSI offers customersmany benefits. Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a response to the need forinteroperability in networked storage, iSCSI lets businesses create TCP/IP based SANs that deliver theperformance comparable to Fibre Channel, but at a lower cost.The iSCSI protocol can achieve lower costs because the protocol allows for the encapsulation of SCSIcommands on a standard TCP/IP connection and transported over an Ethernet based network. This meansthat host standard Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) and network switches can be used to carrystorage traffic, eliminating the need for a more expensive specialized storage network using separateswitches and host bus adapters (HBAs). Using fewer deployed ports means fewer deployed switches whichcan result in lower infrastructure, administration, power consumption, and cooling costs. Cost reduction andconsolidation of equipment are primary drivers behind the push to converged infrastructures; hence whyiSCSI is a highly considered storage protocol for customers looking to go converged.1.3Core components of iSCSIiSCSI architecture is made up of a set of core components. These components are initiator and target nodes,iSCSI names, IP Interfaces, sessions and connections, and security.1.3.1Initiators and target nodesA storage area network (SAN) consists of two types of equipment: initiator and target nodes. Initiators, suchas hosts, are data consumers. Targets, such as disk arrays or tape libraries, are data providers. iSCSI basedSANs use initiators and targets in the same manner. iSCSI initiator nodes are typically host based software or hardware which sends data to and fromiSCSI target nodes (storage arrays). In data migration between storage arrays, the source array canact as an initiator.iSCSI target nodes expose one or more SCSI LUNs to specific iSCSI initiators. On the enterprisestorage level, iSCSI target nodes are logical entities, not tied to a specific physical port.iSCSI initiators must manage multiple, parallel communication links to multiple targets. Similarly, iSCSItargets must manage multiple, parallel communication links to multiple initiators. Several identifiers exist in theiSCSI protocol to make this happen, including iSCSI Name, ISID (iSCSI session identifiers), TSID (targetsession identifier), CID (iSCSI connection identifier) and iSCSI portals.1.3.2NamesiSCSI nodes are identified by a unique iSCSI Name. iSCSI names are a human readable ASCII string andmust be unique on a per NetID/Network ID basis. iSCSI names can be both user and algorithmicallygenerated. iSCSI Names are formatted in two different ways: 10Enterprise Unique Identifier (EUI): eui.0123456789ABCDEFiSCSI Qualified Name (IQN): Most commonly used naming format: iqn.200105.com.mircosoft:ProdHostiSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overview1.3.3IP interfacesiSCSI Nodes are accessed through IP Interfaces (sometimes called Network Portals). iSCSI IP Interfacescontain key network configuration information such as: IP AddressVLAN informationTCP Port NumberAn iSCSI IP Interface can only provide access to a single iSCSI node; however, an iSCSI node can beaccessed through multiple IP Interfaces.1.3.4Sessions and connectionsiSCSI initiator and target nodes communicate by a linkage called an iSCSI session. The session is thevehicle for the transport of the iSCSI PDUs between the initiators and target nodes. Each session is startedby the initiator logging into the iSCSI target. The session between the initiator and target is identified by aniSCSI session ID. Session IDs are not tied to the hardware and can persist across hardware swaps.Session components are tied together by a TCP/IP connection. The IP addresses and TCP port numbers inthe IP interfaces define the end points of a connection. The iSCSI protocol allows for multiple connectionswithin a single session (MC/S) as means to provide connection resiliency to a target which is presentingvolumes to the host; however, MC/S is rarely done with enterprise iSCSI connections as most enterpriseimplementations use host-based multipath I/O software (MPIO). Using host-based MPIO, a single hostinitiator can access the same devices by presenting them through multiple targets on the storage array. Thisallows the host to see the devices through multiple paths. Each path from the initiator to the targets will haveits own session and connection. This connectivity method is often referred to as “port binding.” The diagrambelow shows these iSCSI connectivity methods:iSCSI Connectivity Methods11iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3
iSCSI overview1.3.5Security and authenticationThe most commonly used iSCSI authentication method is Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol(CHAP). CHAP verifies identity using a hashed transmission of a secret key between initiator and target. TheiSCSI specification RFC 7143 defines that CHAP security is the only “must-support” authentication protocol.All other protocols such as Kerberos are considered to “in addition to” CHAP.The CHAP secret key is a user-defined string up to 32 ASCII charac
iSCSI overview 7 iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays running PowerMaxOS H14531.3 1 iSCSI overview iSCSI is a transport layer protocol that uses TCP/IP to transport SCSI packets, enabling the use of Ethernet-based networking infrastructure as a storage area network (SAN). Like Fibre Channel and other storage
Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 Abstract This document provides best-practices guidelines for managing Dell EMC PowerMax , VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 storage systems for copy management with Dell EMC AppSync . AppSync 4.0 and later versions use the Unisphere for PowerMax REST API with these systems.
Table 3. Dell EMC PowerVault MD-Series storage array rules for non-dense, 2U models only (MD3200, MD3220, MD3200i, MD3220i, MD3600i, MD3620i, MD3600f and MD3620f) Rule Dell EMC PowerVault MD3200 series Dell EMC PowerVault MD3200i series Dell EMC PowerVault MD3600i series Dell EMC PowerVault MD3600f series 6 Gbps SAS 1 Gbps iSCSI 10 Gbps iSCSI 8 .
Table 3. Dell EMC PowerVault MD-Series storage array rules for non-dense, 2U models only (MD3200, MD3220, MD3200i, MD3220i, MD3600i, MD3620i, MD3600f and MD3620f) Rule Dell EMC PowerVault MD3200 series Dell EMC PowerVault MD3200i series Dell EMC PowerVau lt MD3600i series Dell EMC PowerVau lt MD3600f series 6 Gbps SAS 1 Gbps iSCSI 10 Gbps iSCSI .
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“Dell EMC”, as used in this document, means the applicable Dell sales entity (“Dell”) specified on your Dell quote or invoice and the applicable EMC sales entity (“EMC”) specified on your EMC quote. The use of “Dell EMC” in this document does not indicate a change to the legal name of the Dell
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