Archive for September, 2009

Solution of the Clariion plaid issue

The problem was not with plaids as such, but rather with network congestion easily triggered by plaids.

The default configuration of PowerPath is to make all available paths active. With two iSCSI ports per SP, there are four paths, each path 1Gbps wide, 4Gbps total. However, that’s true only for the array side. On the host, we only have two 1G NICs. So, every time the array starts firing on all cylinders (and using plaids built from LUNs owned by different SPs is guaranteed to make it so), it is pumping twice as much data as the host interfaces can handle. Therefore, network congestion, frame discards, and severely impacted throughput.

Solution: change the mode of two of the four paths from active to standby, choosing them so that there’s one active path on each SP to each NIC. Alternatively, add two more NICs so that the host bandwidth is equal to the array bandwidth (though this may require four NICs on all other hosts, since using multiple host NICs on the same VLAN is not recommended).

Expect a new Primus KB and some changes to EMC iSCSI documentation.