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Monday, May 24, 2010

Experience on Hyper V R2 Cluster with Dell MD3000 - Part 1

Well, it's not my style to blog about storage as the concept of storage is about the same. Why make this so special since i have play around with Dell EqualLogic, HP Lefthand, Compellent and Windows Storage Server 2008 for Hyper V Cluster?

If you realise, most storage brand that i mentioned above is iSCSI storage.
Recently i'm involved in a project with using Dell MD3000. I'm suppose to learn from the site engineer when he configure the storage before i setup Hyper V Cluster. A bit dissapointed which i do not want to mention about it in detail. Here is the story...
Finally after waiting for almost 3 hours which they fail to configure the storage, i have decided to get my hand dirty by start pick up a phone and talk to engineer who're well verse with MD3000 configuration.
To start with, MD3000 is using direct attached SAS cable (2 meter) and it require HBA card to be present on the server. The Storage came with Dual controller and each HBA card has dual port. Refer to below on how i plug the SAS cable.

The connection to the storage is 3 GBps for each cable. With 2 cables which connect to dual controller, give me around 6GBps speed. That's quite fast compare to iSCSI connection which limited to 1GBps.

However MD3000 is limited to up to 4 hosts depend on firmware that you loaded in.
1st version firmware is limited to 2 hosts.
2nd version of firmware allow up to 4 hosts.

The storage consist of 15 slot for SAS/SATA drive. It is not recommended to combine SAS and SATA together. For those of you who're deciding to purchase this storage for small scale Hyper V Cluster, i recommend that you buy SAS- 15rpm disk. Remember to allocate 1 disk for spare which most people did not bother to include. It come in handy especially you configure RAID 5. With a hot spare, at least you can have 2 disks fail at a time.
Let get back to the configuration, here is what i suggest you to do
1. Plug the HBA card into the server
2. Connect the SAS cable to server and MD3000
3. Plug in Management CAT5 cable. The default ip is and (2 IP because 2 Dual controller in the MD3000). It is not necessary to use management CAT 5. You can skip this step and proceed to Step 4.
4. Power to ON MD3000 and wait for the storage to initializa . Estimate: 2 minute
5. Power to ON Server 1. Make sure Server 2 is still offline. The reason is you may not know which HBA port number is refer to which server. Can't locate which is the correct HBA port number if both server is online. Try looking in Dell Server Administrator, Storage Explorer, MPIO, etc
Not quite straight forward compare to HP. If you know where to locate, please let me know.
6. Install MPIO
7. No need to install SAS HBA card driver. Windows Server 2008 R2 has the driver for it.
8. Using the CD provided, install Dell Storage Manager.
9. Run Modular Disk Storage Manager Client which available on your Start menu.
10.It will start to discover the host.

11. By using Dell Disk Storage Manager, you're using in-band management. If you use management LAN, you're connected as out-band management. Either way also working fine.
12. Click on Configure tab.

13. Select Configure Host Access (Manual) first. Test select Configure Host Access (Automatics) but fail to discover the host. Once you select Manual, you need to key in the server name and select the HBA port number. Here you will see , 2 HBA unique port number . (sometime we called it WWW name). If you did not shutdown the 2nd server, you will see 4 HBA port number. Then, you will feel confuse just as i'm. (start asking question, which refer to the correct host). Once you have added the HBA to 1st Host, then you can ON the 2nd server. Repeat the same process and add both to a host group.
14. Click Create Disk Group and Virtual Disk on the Configure tab. This is where you group your disk and configure LUN.
For my configuration, i have configured 1 Disk Group and 2 Virtual Disk. 1st Virtual Disk is allocate 1GB for quorum and 2nd Virtual Disk allocate 400GB for VHD.
15. If you make a mistake on configure HBA port number, click on Modify tab and select Edit Host Topology

16. On the front page, click on Disk to view the result of the disk that you've configure.

17. I got 2 LUN and currently the 400GB is still initializing.
18. If you go to server Computer Management snap in, you can now detect both LUN present. I have formatted quorum disk and then make it offline.
19. You need to wait until the Disk initialize complete on Disk Storage Manager before format the second LUN.

Quite straight forward and you can easily navigate the tool.
Let see how it go tomorrow. Sorry, can't get all the step by step snapshot of the configuration. But don't worry just follow the step 1- 19 , then you're fine. Just a reminder, make sure you install Disk Storage Manager software- Typical / Full installation on both servers.
Will continue on part 2 to check the status, performance and configuration on Hyper V Failover Cluster.

" Something bad turn to good :- Opportunity to share the experience on Dell MD3000 for Hyper V Cluster configuration" to my blog visitor. :)

Stay Tuned..

[Updated: 25 May 2010]
Part 2:- Go to


  1. Thanks for this great article!
    Exact my planned configuration with one different point: I would like use Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Unfortunately Support-Matrix say "NO"! Do you have any experiences with this "native MS Hypervisor OS" AND DELLs MD3000 also? Is it possible to run Dell Storage Manager
    on Remote Management Workstation, i.e. Windows 7 with RSAT?

    Kind regards

  2. Yes. It's unsupported for native Hyper V version. Most likely is due to SAS HBA driver that you need to install. By default Windows Server 2008 R2 came with the driver for the SAS HBA.
    For remote management, you can configure management port (change the default ip) if you would like to access from remote location.

  3. Thanks a lot ! It really helped

  4. Thanks for the express answer. I found this:
    Perhaps we will be able to try this later?
    (must see/wait what customer think about...)

  5. Hi,
    Nice sharing.According to Support matrix for MD3000i:-

    It's unsupported. Besides, MD3000i is limited to 1Gbps (only 1 NIC for shared storage) and if any problem exist, Dell has the right not to provide support. My recommendation, is check with hardware vendor to confirm first before make any purchase or installation.