HBA Firmware and Drivers – The Storage Grey Area

Whenever things goes haywire on an OS or application there are two areas that are looked at first:

  1. Networks
  2. Storage

In a fair few cases the issue is founded to be external from the host systems but when it comes to performance related problems from a storage perspective the entire IO-stack is at play.

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Storage, Storage Networking, Troubleshooting , , , ,

Crackdown on FOS support

If you’ve read my articles over the last decade or so you’ve seen I’m keen on maintenance. Both from a physical hardware as well as software perspective a storage environment needs to be kept in tip-top shape at all times.

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Brocade, Fibre Channel, Storage Networking, Troubleshooting , , , , ,

BNA before 14.4.1 is no longer supported

I’ve already mentioned that BNA was End-of-Life and will/is (be) replaced by SANNav.

As of the time of this writing any BNA version older than 14.4.1 is no longer supported. This basically means that your BNA (or any OEM version) older than that release is not being looked at when yo have a problem with it.

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Brocade, Brocade Technical, Storage Networking , , , ,

Storage Videos – Troubleshooting – High CPU utilisation

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Storage Videos

Preventing client DNS leaking on OpenWRT

A while ago I wrote an article whereby I provided an OpenDNS resolver server via DHCP to the computers, tablets and phones of my kids. (See here). This worked very well and I have been able to keep the nastiness of the web out of sight. Plus it gave me the option to block certain sites which were not captured under a certain category or, if those domains fell under a category that also included a lot of useful domains, exclude them.

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General Info , , , , ,

Initiator, Target, Both or None ??

Whenever you’ve encountered an output of a nameserver entry you may have come across the phenomenon that the fabric has no clue what the attached device is. For a FC switch an attached device (or N-port in technical terms) is not more than a source or destination where frames originate from or can be sent to. As soon as smarter functions are required it may be helpful (or required) to be able to obtain more information from that device.

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Brocade, Brocade Technical, Fibre Channel, Storage Networking, Troubleshooting , , ,

Brocade Network Advisor (BNA) is End-of-Life

So the final nail is in the coffin. Brocade Network Advisor is being put to rest. The juggling of Java code to the ever expanding demand of functions, features and other capabilities was no longer sustainable. Oracle starting to charge for Java would’ve made the decision even easier.

The replacement is SANNav (No I don’t get into the same discussion VMWare has with which character should be capitalized or not. :-))

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Uncategorized

Getting rid of whitespace

No, not storage related but more towards coding scripts etc and assuring your git repositories do not show up with huge diff sections you need to correct. Just a little tip and a “note to self”.

If you’ve event been keen enough to not use an IDE for whatever language you use and kept to a real editor (VIM obviously.. :-)) you may have encountered the phenomenon that whitespace at the end of lines is a nasty thing to look at when you start putting stuff into version control repositories like Subversion or GIT. A little change from some copy or past action may leave you with a “git diff” of a couple of hundred lines you need to correct.

To fix that simply let VIM clear out all empty whitespace (tabs, spaces, etc.) by having these removed before the actual write to disk.

To do that simply add

autocmd BufWritePre *.sh :%s/\s\+$//e

to your ~/.vimrc and with every :w the substitute function driven by the regex after the colon will remove it all in all shell scripts (*.sh). Obviously you can add every extension you need here.  Very handy.

Cheers,

Erwin

General Info, Linux , ,

SFP in -INF state

The entire IT industry is packed with mathematics. So instead of keeping things easy we need to work our way around imposed restriction that have been imposed on us by history.

When hardware was developed 1 to 5 decades ago things were (maybe still are) very expensive. Every corner was cut to keep costs low in order to be to sell anything. You can have the latest and greatest but if you’re pricing yourself out of the market the shelf-life of your shares becomes very short and at some stage you basically cease to exist. Companies like DEC and SUN have found out the hard way. Fabulous marvels of engineering but lack of sales and marketing efforts aligned to that engineering feat basically failed to gain sufficient traction in the market and as such they are no more.

Going back to the hardware restrictions and the SFP -INF state

You may encounter some output from an sfpshow (Brocade) or “show transceiver detail” (Cisco) like this:

Temperature: 46 Centigrade
Current: 6.428 mAmps
Voltage: 3261.5 mVolts
RX Power: -inf dBm (0.0 uW)
TX Power: -3.3 dBm (464.2 uW)

So what does that mean? Read on.

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Troubleshooting ,

FOS 8.2.1 – the one that is required.. or not?

Like clockwork Brocade releases new FOS version around every 6 months. No news here. FOS 8.2.1 is however a release you may need to pay special attention to especially if you have X6 director class switches hooked up to a 240 volt, 50 Hz power mains as well as sitting between a rock and a hard place with the 7800 extension switch but don;t have the budget to go to a relatively pricey 7840. One other thing is the change in licensing hardening on pizza-box switches which makes the upgrade to this release a one-way street without being able to go back.

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Brocade Technical, Troubleshooting , , ,