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Playing with an Equallogic storage

Last week, I received a Dell Equallogic storage in SAP’s lab to experiment how it works with SAP. This is how I set it up with a SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 as initiator. The good news is that you almost cannot do anything that is wrong or takes you too much time. You get a big poster that describes every step. Anyway, here are all the steps, including those that you will find on the poster.

Set up the storage as described in the paper “PS Series Storage Arrays”:

  1. PS5000 Hardware Installation
    1. Unpack it from the box
    2. Install it into a rack
    3. Connect the array power cables
    4. Connected the array to the network
    5. Turn on power
  2. SAN Configuration
    1. Gather SAN information. In this example I assume our IP addresses will be and
    2. Install the Host Integration Tools CD to my Windows-Laptop
    3. Carry your laptop to the datacenter and launched the Remote Setup Wizard
    4. Discover the array using the tool
    5. Initialized the array: IP is Remember the passwords you set.
    6. Configure a new group, e.g. group01 with IP
  3. Volume configuration
    1. Use a web browser to surf to
    2. Log in as “grpadmin”, using the password you set.

You see a web interface. I clicked on “Create volume” and created an 150GB volume. 

Now I wanted to know if the storage already provides an iscsi target, so I went to wikipedia and found out the default port for iscsi is 3260. With this information, I went back to my Linux server in the network and took a look if the storage allows for iscsi connections: 

tstaerk@ls3122:~> nmap -p 3260

Starting Nmap 4.00 ( ) at 2009-02-09 14:06 CET
Interesting ports on (
3260/tcp open  unknown

I was pleasantly surprised – the iscsi port is already open.

To get access to this volume from SUSE Linux, I do the following:

yast2 -> Network Services -> iscsi Initiator -> Discovered Targets -> Discovery -> (select your volume) -> log in -> Connected Targets -> Toggle Status (to automatic) -> Finish

This looks like this:

yast2 discovered iscsi targets

Now I see the volumes have appeared in my system:

ls3206:/slcs # hwinfo --block --short
  /dev/sda             DELL PERC 6/i
  /dev/sdb             DELL PERC 6/i
  /dev/sdc             Dell Virtual  Floppy
  /dev/sdd             EQLOGIC 100E-00
  /dev/sde             EQLOGIC 100E-00

Linux gurus know it already, now you have to “format” the volumes. Technically, formatting is to make a filesystem, erasing all data. I decide for Linux’ ext3 file system:

ls3206:/slcs # mkfs.ext3 /dev/sde 

Then I can mount the volume to /usr/sap and use it for an SAP installation:

ls3206:/slcs # mount /dev/sde /usr/sap
ls3206:/slcs # df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda1             275G   36G  225G  14% /
udev                   32G  228K   32G   1% /dev
ls3001:/export/suse   250G  198G   53G  80% /mnt/suse
nsl01a:/vol/linuxlab  1.0T  844G  181G  83% /mnt/filer
/dev/sdd               50G  180M   47G   1% /mnt/sdd
/dev/sde              148G   99G   42G  71% /usr/sap

Now the next step is to measure performance – this will be the topic of my next blog.

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      Author's profile photo Jim Hinman
      Jim Hinman
      Hello Thorsten,

      What comments do you have about the performance of running on an Equallogic array?  We are looking at this product for our SAP installation and are not seeing a lot of user's experience with it running an SAP application.  Unfortunately, I am taking the "no news" as bad news.  Can you shed any light on this?


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      for political reasons, I do not give performance statements. However, in my opinion, EQL performs well for SAP applications.

      best regards