Supportsave…which one ???

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Obviously when we need to analyze problems we need to have the correct data. No use of looking at tires when your headlight is broke.

The same is true for storage networks. The vast web of linked systems, servers, switches and arrays require an extensive knowledge of the method how these things work and in order to troubleshoot issues you need to have the right information. For Brocade products they generally fall into 3 categories.

  1. Switches
  2. HBA’s & Fabric Adapters
  3. Brocade Network Advisor
    1. Server
    2. Client

For switches you have two options. A supportSHOW and supportSAVE. The first one is sometimes handy if you want to have a quick look on configuration data like zoning, portsettings and a brief overview of some events. For guys like me working in tech-support these are in general not very useful since they lack the nitty-gritty stuff which often underlie the real technical problem. That’s why we want a supportSAVE out of these boxes.  This can be obtained via the CLI or webgui of the switch. The only thing you need is an external server with ftp or scp capabilities.

When obtaining the supportsave from and HBA or Fabric Adapter you can use the BCU (Brocade Command Utility from where you cna execute the “bfa_supportsave”  command) or the HCM (Host Connectivity Manager) which provides an entry in the Monitor menu item to collect a supportsave.

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So that’s pretty straightforward. When using BNA however you get some more options and it has come to our attention that very often an incorrect supportsave was sent to us because the wrong option was chosen. Now Brocade have improved on that by changing the terminology over a few BNA iterations and basically when you now required to collect a supportsave from either a switch or host (if you have discovered them correctly that is) you use the “Product/Host SupportSave” option.

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It’ll pop up with a new window where you can select the switches, fabrics and/or hosts you need.

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If you have a problem with BNA itself where you observe technical deficiencies we need a BNA supportsave. Instead of selecting a “Product/Host” supportsave you now just select “SupportSave”. This will then pop up a screen like this:

Selection_043The server side of BNA consists of two parts, the application itself and the database. Some configuration data is stored in the database but also in generic config files in the installation folder. That’s the reason we most often require the “Partial” portion of the supportsave. If you see discrepancies in collected data which show incorrect graphs and strange events that cannot be correlated to anything then we would require the “Full” database. (Be aware this can grow significantly over time and results in huge dumps.)

The “Client” portion of the BNA supportsave is the JRE that is actually running on your PC. We do require this if there are problems with GUI interaction between the client and the server or the client responds in a way you did not expect.

Hope this helps in resolving your problems sooner and not be surprised that your support contact comes back to you with the remark you uploaded the wrong info.

Regards,

Erwin

About Erwin van Londen

Master Technical Analyst at Hitachi Data Systems
Brocade , , ,

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