Best Practices

QLogic FC HBA in an EMC Environment
QLogic Press
V1 JULY 2007

Best Practices Guide

QLogic FC HBA in an EMC Environment
Version 1.0

Abstract
This guide discusses the best practices for planning, deploying, maintaining, and performance tuning a QLogic 4Gb Fibre Channel HBA in a SAN connected to EMC storage arrays.

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..................................................................................................................................................... 14 Choosing One or More Single/Dual/Quad Port HBAs .................................................................................................................................. 9 What are Host Bus Adapter Best Practices?.............................................................................................................................. 13 Using a 4Gb HBA in a 2Gb FC SAN...................................................................... 14 Validating Failover Configurations .................................................................... 11 SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices ........................ 21 Understand the LED Scheme for QLogic HBAs......................................................... 16 Considerations for Tape Access via an HBA ......................... 9 Audience ........................................................... 19 Verifying the HBA Installation........................................................................................................................................ 19 HBA Handling Best Practices ..................................................... 14 Connecting the SAN for High Availability .............................................................................................................................................. 14 High Availability Features of the QLogic HBA ................... 22 HBA Configuration Best Practices............................................................................................. 20 Verify that the Host Can See the LUNs ............................................ 16 Check Interoperability of SAN Components ................... 16 HBA Installation Best Practices ........................................................................................ 20 Verify that the Host Can See the HBA....................................................................................... 9 Supported HBAs ....................................................................................... 10 Statement of Services and Support ...................................0.................................... 13 High Availability Best Practices ...................................................................................................... 21 Latest HBA Driver Versions .................................... 10 How this Guide is Organized ........................................................ 15 Choosing the Right Port on the Switch for Host and Storage Ports .............................................................................................................................. 23 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.......................................... 19 Use Fast!UTIL to Verify HBA BIOS and Connectivity................................................................................ JULY 2007 PAGE 5 .................................................Table of Contents Introduction ............................................................

........................................... 26 Throughput Based Processes (MBps)......................................................... 28 Execution Throttle............................................................................... 27 HBA Parameters that Impact HBA Performance............................................................... 25 Understanding Application Workloads............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 40 Gathering Host Server Data ...................................................................................................................................0.............................................. 28 HBA Performance Tuning in Microsoft Windows . 42 Choosing the Optimal PCI Slot for Your HBA ........................................................................ 26 Differences Between Transaction Based and Throughput Based Workloads ................................ 40 Monitoring Performance........................... 49 Setting a Password for QLogic SANsurfer FC HBA Manager................................................................................................ 50 PAGE 6 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1............................ 41 Gathering Fabric Network Data .... 31 Maximum Scatter/Gather List ................ 38 Maximum Sectors .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 27 Characterization of Common Application Workloads ..... 46 Fan-In Considerations ............................................................................. 29 HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 47 I/O Load Balancing.............................................................................................. 46 Avoiding RSCNs....................................... 25 Introduction ............................ 46 Minimize ISL . 46 Fencing High Performance Applications ...................... 25 Transaction Based Processes (IOPs) ................................................................................................................................. 49 Generic Fibre Channel SAN Security ............ 43 General SAN Considerations for Performance ......................................................................................................................................... 46 Set Data Rate to Auto-negotiate........................................................ 46 Linear Scaling of HBAs...................................................... 31 HBA Queue Depth.... 47 Fibre Channel Security Best Practices ........................................................................................................................................................Table of Contents HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices .......................................................................................................................................................................... 46 Upgrade to 4Gb .......................................... JULY 2007 .....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

......................................................................Table of Contents Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet.......................................................... 51 Appendix B – QLogic HBA LED Scheme.....0................... JULY 2007 PAGE 7 ..... 59 QLogic Company Information ......................................................................................... 57 QLogic Press Review ................. 55 References............................................................................................................... 61 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1...................

Table of Contents

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Introduction
QLogic 4Gb Fibre Channel (FC) host bus adapters (HBAs) are designed and developed to provide industry leading performance, simplify management, and offer fully interoperable solutions in the most demanding enterprise storage area network (SAN) environments. This guide — QLogic FC HBA in an EMC Environment — presents a compilation of best practices to apply when using QLogic FC HBAs in an EMC® SAN.

Audience
This guide is intended for SAN architects, IT administrators, and storage system professionals that currently utilize, or are considering utilizing, a QLogic HBA in a Fibre Channel SAN.

What are Host Bus Adapter Best Practices?
Best practices are process-oriented steps that are planned and prioritized to facilitate a certain activity. Using best practices helps ensure the highest quality of service (QoS). Best practices also provide guidelines on how to best utilize your HBA in a SAN. Please note that these practices are only recommendations, not requirements. Not following these recommendations does not affect whether your solution is supported by QLogic or EMC. Not all recommendations apply to every scenario. QLogic believes that their customers will benefit from reviewing these recommendations before making any implementation decision. As with virtually any best practices recommendation, implementing security best practices inevitably involves some tradeoffs. The best practice recommendations provided in this guide include discussions regarding potential tradeoffs. Every organization’s requirements for a Fibre Channel SAN are different. The requirements are frequently driven by factors such as the type of business in which the organization engages, the type of data stored in the SAN, the organization’s customer base, etc. All these factors must be carefully evaluated in conjunction with these best practices to develop an appropriate plan for deploying and using a SAN. This evaluation should include specific considerations as to how the data is stored and managed in a Fibre Channel SAN. This set of best practices enables administrators to quickly and easily enhance the value of existing storage resources with little or no investment.

QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0, JULY 2007

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Introduction Supported HBAs

Supported HBAs
This guide supports the following QLogic 4Gb FC HBAs used in EMC SAN environments. These QLogic SANblade® HBAs are collectively referred as QLogic HBAs or adapters throughout this guide.
QLogic SANblade HBA
QLA®2460-E QLA2462-E QLE2460-E QLE2462-E

FC Rate
4Gb 4Gb 4Gb 4Gb

Host Bus
PCI-X 2.0 PCI-X 2.0 PCI Express PCI Express

Number of Ports
1 2 1 2

How this Guide is Organized
The contents of this guide are described in the following paragraphs. SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices (page 13). This section discusses what to consider before implementing a SAN in your organization, including helping you choose the right equipment and making the right interconnections. HBA Installation Best Practices (page 19). This section discusses best practices that you can implement to verify HBA installation, verify that there are no conflicts, choose the right driver, etc. HBA Configuration Best Practices (page 23). This section discusses EMC recommended HBA parameter configurations for optimal operation in an EMC environment. HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices (page 25). This section discusses various HBA driver and firmware parameters that you can modify to enhance the performance of the HBA. This section also discusses how server and slot types can affect HBA performance. Fibre Channel Security Best Practices (page 49). This section discusses how to implement a secure SAN using the available features of the QLogic HBA. Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet (page 51). This appendix lists the various common tasks a SAN Administrator performs on an HBA and the tools that can help complete the tasks. Appendix B – QLogic HBA LED Scheme (page 55). This appendix defines the blink patterns of the various LEDs on the back of a QLogic HBA.

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QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. For additional information on support. For warranty information. Most importantly.qlogic.Statement of Services and Support The QLogic SAN Pro™ Service and Support Program allows customers to choose from a variety of service plans designed to meet specific business requirements.com/support/service_programs.com/support/warranty. including remote technical assistance. JULY 2007 PAGE 11 . customer satisfaction is guaranteed by QLogic and its network of authorized service partners. Customers may choose among the services that best meet the demands of their business.qlogic. please visit QLogic at: http://support. on-site support and advanced hardware replacement. please see the QLogic website at: http://support. and SAN Pro Exchange.0. Best of all.asp. no matter which plan is selected. Whether it's a fast growing small firm implementing a network with 10–20 devices or a Fortune 100 Corporation creating a large infrastructure with thousands of devices. The SAN Pro Service and Support Program offers a diverse range of services including SAN Pro Prime. QLogic SANtrack Service and Support Program effectively addresses either set of business requirements. customers are assured complete satisfaction since QLogic and its qualified partners fully guarantee all products and services. QLogic switch products allow a wide range of organizations to exploit the power of a SAN. SAN Pro covers a diverse range of services. SAN Pro Select.links below.asp.

JULY 2007 .Statement of Services and Support PAGE 12 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0.

JULY 2007 PAGE 13 . enhanced product and data reliability. choosing and deploying a 4Gb FC HBA enables better investment protection to meet future needs.000 No No No 150. A summary of the benefits of 4Gb FC HBAs versus 2Gb FC HBAs is described in the table below.com/knowledgecenter/briefs_papers. 2Gb Higher Performance Maximum IOPs/port Intelligent Interleaved DMA Dual Read DMA Out of Order Frame Reassembly 40. QLogic 4Gb FC HBAs offer significantly higher performance.0. and allow superior scalability (refer to the white paper Benefits of 4Gb HBA in 2Gb SANs.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices Using a 4Gb HBA in a 2Gb FC SAN As a best practice.qlogic. use a 4Gb HBA even if the EMC SAN has 2Gb components (switch or storage) for the following reasons: QLogic 4Gb FC HBA technology is backward compatible with 2Gb and 1Gb infrastructures. posted on http://www. QLogic 4Gb FC HBAs are offered at very competitive pricing compared to 2Gb FC HBAs.000 Yes Yes Yes Higher performance Enhanced Return on Investment (ROI) in mixed speed SANs Superior performance through faster parallel processing Reduces congestion and improves network performance 4Gb QLogic 4Gb Benefits Superior Scalability Virtualization (N_Port Virtual ID) VSAN No No Yes Yes Higher availability and security Improved QoS and lower TCO Enhanced Reliability T10 CRC Support Overlapping Protection Domains No No Yes Yes Provides end-to-end data integrity Higher data reliability QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. User needs and data volumes continue to grow.asp). Consequently.

Choosing One or More Single/Dual/Quad Port HBAs Use the following guidelines when deciding how many ports per HBA you need for a server: To achieve High Availability. High Availability Features of the QLogic HBA The QLogic HBAs provide several High Availability features. and path Failover functions into one integrated package. PAGE 14 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. The third HBA allows the storage HBAs to perform their tasks while providing unprecedented bandwidth to the backup application. EMC PowerPath is a server-resident solution that works closely with the QLogic HBA to enhance performance and application availability. Connecting the SAN for High Availability It is recommended that all SANs be setup such that a single point of failure (failure of a single component of the SAN) does not disrupt application I/O. Two single-port HBAs provide better reliability and performance compared to one dual-port HBA. The second best option to multiple HBAs is to have a single HBA with multiple ports.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices High Availability Best Practices High Availability Best Practices This section discusses the various High Availability features of the QLogic HBAs and discusses how to choose between single. the section provides best practices on how to connect the HBA port to a switch to attain High Availability and how to avoid a single point of failure (of an HBA). it is best to have a dedicated third HBA. To best utilize these features. When using a SAN to back up your array. dual. The following EMC PowerPath table summarizes the various connectivity options and their benefits. storage processors. Use this option when server PCI slot space can accommodate only one HBA. switches. Redundant HBAs. In addition. automatic load balancing. Choose which option you want to deploy in your enterprise. use EMC PowerPath® software. there must be more than one physical HBA in a server. and fabric should be used with EMC PowerPath to achieve a highly available SAN. and quad port HBAs. JULY 2007 .0. It combines multiple path I/O capabilities.

In each case. Disconnect the fiber cable connecting the switch to the storage system. Disconnect the fiber cable connecting the HBA to the switch. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices High Availability Best Practices Validating Failover Configurations Once the host environment has been successfully configured for Failover. For each of these cases. verify that the LUNs fail over to the alternate path. This testing should be done in the deployment stage. The following scenarios should be individually tested while there is active I/O level at the host. QLogic recommends that the host be tested to determine that Failover and Failback work correctly. including setting up redundant paths and Path Management software. JULY 2007 PAGE 15 . Disable one of the storage controllers. Disable or physically remove the HBA from the host. following a successful Failover. revive/reconnect the failed component and see if Failback works as expected.0.

each one accessing its own storage port. The reasons for this recommendation are as follows: Separate zoning keeps streaming tape traffic segregated from standard disk traffic in the SAN. or other components — it is critical to know: Which products have been rigorously tested with all of the others and are known to work properly. Check Interoperability of SAN Components Today’s IT environments incorporate products from many different vendors and sources with the possibility of millions of combinations. do not attach both HBAs. PAGE 16 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. or all of the HBA and storage ports to the same switch ASIC. What configuration information and best practices are available to ensure that these products actually work together.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices Considerations for Tape Access via an HBA Choosing the Right Port on the Switch for Host and Storage Ports In addition to validating failover configuration. To take advantage of this breadth of products and to use the best product for the task at hand — whether servers. QLogic recommends trying to connect host and storage pairs to the same ASIC. In addition to fault tolerance concerns. Host HBA HBA HBA Host HBA ASIC 1 FC Switch ASIC 1 SPA SPB SPA SPB Array Array Considerations for Tape Access via an HBA QLogic recommends that a separate HBA and switch zone be used in the fabric for tape access. if a host has two HBAs. if the switch being used contains multiple ASICs. both storage ports. operating system. This connection prevents using the shared internal data transfer bus and reduces switch latency. performance is also a consideration.0. Zoning out the tape HBA and the tape port on the switch decreases the impact of tape reset/rewind issues on disk traffic. For example. storage. Where you can go for support of a mixed-vendor installation. JULY 2007 .

0. JULY 2007 PAGE 17 . This guide is available in electronic or print form from http://www.com/. Follow the links from https://elabnavigator.qlogic.com/interopguide/.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices Check Interoperability of SAN Components EMC recommends using the E-Lab Interoperability Navigator to obtain this information.emc. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. QLogic also provides a comprehensive SANtrack interoperability guide.

JULY 2007 .0.SAN Planning and Deployment Best Practices Check Interoperability of SAN Components PAGE 18 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

EMC recommends using the Customer Procedure Generator software to get step-by-step information about setting up a supported configuration. follow these instructions to determine if your QLogic FC HBA and its driver have been correctly installed. After you have installed the QLogic HBA as per EMC guidelines and connected the HBA port to a storage array. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. EMC strongly recommends using both a workstation antistatic mat and an ESD wrist strap. Observe the following precautions to avoid ESD-related problems: Leave the HBA in its antistatic bag until you are ready to install it in the system. not the connectors.asp. QLogic recommends using these manuals to complement the step-by-step instructions generated by the EMC Customer Procedure Generator. JULY 2007 PAGE 19 .0.com/support/oem_emc. HBA Handling Best Practices To minimize the possibility of ESD-related damage. Verifying the HBA Installation QLogic recommends that every HBA installation be verified to guarantee that the HBA and drivers have been installed successfully and are working properly.qlogic. Always use a properly fitted and grounded wrist strap or other suitable ESD protection when handling the HBA. and that each of these steps are completed without error. Also observe proper ESD grounding techniques. Place the HBA on a properly grounded antistatic work surface pad when the HBA is out of its protective antistatic bag. the right drivers are loaded. QLogic provides EMC Installation and Configuration Guides for various operating systems at http://support.HBA Installation Best Practices This section provides a list of best practices that QLogic recommends to ensure that your QLogic HBA is installed correctly. Hold the HBA by the edge of the PCB or mounting bracket.

Use the Fast!UTIL menu options to scan for fibre devices and view serial number and WWPN information. depending in your operating system (OS): In Windows. In Solaris. check that the QLogic HBA is visible in the Windows Device Manager under the SCSI and RAID Controllers section. In Linux. Verify that the QLogic HBA appears in the list of adapters. At this time.qlogic. Do one of the following.HBA Installation Best Practices Verifying the HBA Installation Use Fast!UTIL to Verify HBA BIOS and Connectivity While the host server is booting. the QLogic BIOS banner displays. press CRTL+Q to enter Fast!UTIL. use the configuration administration command cfgadm to check the status of the fc-fabric occupant.0. In VMware. JULY 2007 . Detailed instructions on how to use Fast!UTIL can be found at http://www. Verify that the Host Can See the HBA Verify that the host can see the QLogic HBA. log into the Management User Interface (Virtual Infrastructure Client or Virtual Center). navigate to the Configuration Tab for the host.com/ in the EMC section. Verify that the HBA can see the EMC Storage Array LUNs. run /sbin/lspci or /usr/bin/lsdev to verify that the QLogic HBA is among the list of devices. and then proceed to Storage Adapters. PAGE 20 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

HBA Installation Best Practices Latest HBA Driver Versions Verify that the Host Can See the LUNs Verify that the host can see all the LUNs that were presented to the QLogic HBA ports (the ones that were visible at the HBA BIOS level in “Use Fast!UTIL to Verify HBA BIOS and Connectivity” on page 20).qlogic. Try doing a rescan if you think new LUNs may have been added since the host was booted. In Linux. navigate to the Configuration tab for the host. depending in your OS: In Windows. In Solaris.asp. Use the QLogic Linux Tool ql-scan-lun.0. Use the QLogic SANsurfer Management application to view the LUNs. Do one of the following. use the command format to see a list of LUNs. In VMware ESX. QLogic drivers follow the unified driver model.sh to rescan the Fibre Channel for new LUNs. Latest HBA Driver Versions Ensure that the latest HBA driver is installed on all the HBAs in your environment.com/support/oem_emc. No reboot is required. execute the cat /proc/scsi/scsi command to see a list of LUNs presented to the Linux host via the QLogic HBA. The latest driver versions can be downloaded from http://support. which in turn reduces the number of software components a SAN administrator has to manage. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. do one of the following: Navigate to Computer Management and then Disk Management. log into the Management User Interface (Virtual Infrastructure Client or Virtual Center). From there. go to Storage Adapters and verify that the LUNs can be seen. where the firmware is bundled along with the driver package. The information displayed by the cat /proc/scsi/scsi command is not dynamic and does not reflect state changes caused by fabric changes. verify that the LUNs can be seen as disks. JULY 2007 PAGE 21 . this prevents any possible mismatch between the driver and firmware versions.

HBA Installation Best Practices Understand the LED Scheme for QLogic HBAs Understand the LED Scheme for QLogic HBAs See “Appendix B – QLogic HBA LED Scheme” (page 55) to identify the HBA LEDs. Use this information as a starting point in all of your SAN link troubleshooting exercises and after you have successfully installed the QLogic HBA. PAGE 22 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. JULY 2007 .0. and how the LED color and blink patterns indicate HBA status and connected components.

The documents can be found at http://powerlink. refer to the appropriate guide listed below. . the default HBA parameter settings are also the recommended values. See the following EMC – QLogic published documents to obtain EMC approved HBA settings.emc. depending on your operating system. NOTE: For most cases. For a detailed explanation of each parameter. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0. JULY 2007 PAGE 23 .HBA Configuration Best Practices EMC recommends that you use the EMC E-Lab Interop Navigator to obtain EMC approved HBA driver and NVRAM settings for optimal operation.com/.

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it is the internal plumbing of the SAN. but may make things worse. management. HBA types. and functionality. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. This section describes the tools available to an administrator to measure and analyze performance. and that I/O performance is monitored before implementing the changes in a live SAN environment. you might make blind changes. SAN performance tuning is not dependent on just the HBA level performance tuning. QLogic recommends that the SAN administrator look into all factors that influence SAN performance. Knowing and understanding how your host servers and applications handle their workload is an important part of being successful with your storage configuration efforts and the resulting performance of the QLogic HBA. To ensure adequate performance. This section provides insight into many of these architectural considerations. the disk array controllers. This section also describes the different workloads generated by enterprise applications. When tuning a SAN for performance. their impact on performance.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Introduction SAN performance depends on many factors.0. and must be planned for differently. administrators must be able to monitor and measure system performance. The HBA is more than a piece of the SAN performance puzzle. it is important to understand the system's operation and architectural design from end-to-end. JULY 2007 PAGE 25 . and the disk drive. Understanding Application Workloads In general. RAID levels. there are two types of data workload (processing): Transaction based Throughput based These two workloads are very different. Without an understanding of the supporting components. and how performance can be addressed by configuration and parameter modifications. Managing SAN performance means meeting the demands of current workloads as well as ensuring the ability of applications to scale and handle larger workloads and peak demands. or changes to one area of the system without considering all others. and offers advice on how to avoid common mistakes. hardware. NOTE: QLogic recommends that performance tuning be conducted in a test SAN environment. including workload. Recommendations made in this section should enable optimal balance between performance. and stripe sizes. cache sizes. This section describes performance topics as they apply to the QLogic Fibre Channel HBAs. End-to-end refers to all operations and components of the entire system. vendor. and shows how to use the tools effectively. the physical HBA. the SAN fabric components. from handling an application request to the underlying support software. These changes not only yield no overall system performance improvement. Performance monitoring and tuning is a continual process. so that you can match components such as I/Os per second (IOPS) and queuing.

and the misses need to be retrieved from disk. With this type of data pattern. they can present a very difficult and frustrating task to resolve. slow transaction performance problems can be traced directly to hot files that cause a bottleneck on a critical component (such as a single physical disk). and generally use large sequential blocks to reduce disk latency. as read cache is far less effective. JULY 2007 . Generally. transaction intense applications also use a small random data block pattern to transfer data. these bottlenecks can be very mysterious in nature and appear and disappear. On the Windows platform. The workload is the total amount of work that is performed at the storage server. which improves overall performance. or move from one location to another over time. the above formula shows that when the number of host transactions increases. and is measured through the following formula: Workload = [transactions (number of host IOPS)] * [throughput (amount of data sent in one I/O)] Since a storage server can sustain a given maximum workload. This situation can occur even when the overall storage server has a fairly light workload. When bottlenecks occur. Throughput Based Processes (MBps) Throughput based workloads are seen with applications or processes that require large amounts of data to be sent. PAGE 26 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. having more back-end drives enables more host I/Os to be processed simultaneously. the throughput decreases. Transaction process rates are heavily dependent on the number of back-end drives that are available for the controller to use for parallel processing of the initiator/host generated I/Os. A workload characterized by large I/Os is called throughput based workload.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Understanding Application Workloads Transaction based and throughput based processing are types of workload. the I/O transfer size of an application can be determined using Perfmon. I/O (and therefore application) performance is best when the I/O activity is evenly spread across the entire I/O subsystem. As workload content can continually change throughout the day. While transaction based workloads reduce block contention. In many cases. Generally. the number of transactions decreases. In this environment. read operations use the cache to stage greater chunks of data at a time. only a small number of drives (20–28) are needed to reach maximum throughput rates with the EMC storage servers. they have a relatively large host CPU overhead. Generally. Transaction Based Processes (IOPs) High performance in transaction based environments cannot be created with a low cost model (with a small number of physical drives) storage server.0. I/O (and therefore application) performance is best when the I/O activity is evenly spread across the entire I/O subsystem. Generally. if the host is sending large volumes of data with each I/O. and consequently require different configuration settings across all parts of the storage solution. Conversely. These two workload types are conflicting in nature. The following sections further describe each workload type. A workload characterized by a high number of transactions (IOPS) is called a transaction based workload.

Throughput based workloads have a relatively low host CPU overhead. For maximum performance of both workloads. Characterization of Common Application Workloads The following table characterizes the most common workloads in an enterprise.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Understanding Application Workloads Throughput rates are heavily dependent on the storage server’s internal bandwidth.0. With care and consideration. 8. Use this large percentage tilt to decide how you want to tune your QLogic HBA for optimum performance. and audio streaming Oracle I/O Characteristics Table 2. Workload Characterization Block Size 4. JULY 2007 PAGE 27 . video. QLogic recommends considering two separate QLogic HBAs. instead of sharing a single HBA to serve both workloads at the same time. datacenter budgets may dictate which model you choose. and 16KB 16–32KB 32–64KB Workload Type Transaction oriented Throughput oriented Throughput oriented Enterprise Application Oracle. Oracle I/O Characteristics Subsystem OLTP – Log I/O Block Size Up to 60KB (Sector Aligned) Access Type Sequential I/O Type Read or Write Workload Type Primarily throughput OLTP – Data OLTP – Lazy Write OLTP – Checkpoint Read ahead (DSS. Microsoft Exchange & SQL. each tuned for their specific workload type. This is a generalized characterization. File Server Log files Backup and recovery. portions of the storage server configuration will be tuned to better serve one workload or the other. they span the entire solution. Lotus Domino. table/index scans) Bulk insert 8KB 8k–256K 8k–256K 8k–256K 8k–128K Random Random Random Sequential Sequential Read Write Write Read Write Transactional Primarily transactional Primarily transactional Primarily throughput Primarily transactional QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. a large percentage of an enterprise application workload will be one or the other. these two workload types have different parameter settings to optimize their specific workload environments. you can create an environment of very good performance with both workload types and share the same QLogic HBA. These settings are not limited to the storage server. However. However. Differences Between Transaction Based and Throughput Based Workloads While no single enterprise application can be classified as having a solely transaction or throughput based workload. Table 1. With the QLogic HBA. Web Server. use these definitions as a starting point and refine them based on your environment.

Specifies the size of a Fibre Channel frame per I/O. Default Value 256 2048 Auto Range 1–256 512–2048 1 (Auto). and Fibre Channel Data Rate. 3 (2Gb).0.EDB Database Store . Execution Throttle is the only HBA parameter that you can tune to improve HBA performance in a Windows environment. 32 32 512 1-65535 1-255 512. and shows their default values and range. 1024.LOG I/O Block Size 4KB 32–64KB 4KB Access Type Random Random Sequential I/O Type Equally split reads and writes Equally split reads and writes Write Workload Type Transactional Throughput Transactional HBA Parameters that Impact HBA Performance The following table lists the programmable HBA driver and HBA parameters (also called NVRAM parameters). 2 (1Gb). Specifies the HBA adapter data rate. Specifies the size of the list of DMA items that are reported to SCSI mid-level per I/O request. This section provides a brief description of the parameters.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Parameters that Impact HBA Performance Microsoft Exchange I/O Characteristics Table 3. HBA Performance Tuning in Microsoft Windows In Microsoft® Windows® environments.STM Database Store . 4 (4Gb) OS Support Windows All All Maximum Queue Depth Maximum Scatter Gather List Size Maximum Sectors Specifies the maximum number of I/O commands allowed to execute/queue on a HBA port. JULY 2007 . The following sections discuss several of these parameters in more detail. Frame Size. Therefore. Modifying these parameters may impact HBA performance. Specifies the maximum number of disk sectors that are reported to SCSI mid-Level per I/O request. Microsoft Exchange I/O Characteristics Subsystem Database Store . 2048 VMware ESX VMware ESX VMware ESX The following sections focus on tuning HBA performance in Windows and VMware ESX environments. PAGE 28 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. Of these. When set to Auto. the Frame Size and Fibre Channel Data Rate default settings are pre-set to 2112 bytes (2048 bytes + headers) and auto-negotiate to provide the best possible performance in any environment. the following three HBA parameters affect HBA performance: Execution Throttle. HBA Parameter Execution Throttle Frame Size Fibre Channel Data Rate Definition Specifies the maximum number of I/O commands allowed to execute on a HBA port. the adapter auto-negotiates the data rate with the connecting SAN device.

Set each HBA in the SAN to the calculated value. In general. To calculate the new execution throttle. the value of 52 to the HBAs in the second server. it is OK to set the value of Execution Throttle to its maximum for all HBAs in the SAN. For Microsoft Windows environments. in a four-server configuration. The valid options for this setting are 1–256. For example. The effects of changing the execution throttle of a QLogic HBA are most noticeable when the application workload type is transaction oriented. The value of the Execution Throttle parameter can be increased to allow the HBA to execute more commands or decreased to decrease the amount of I/O an HBA port can put on the wire. JULY 2007 PAGE 29 . When adding the values. For example. if you decide to change this from its default value. divide 250 by 4 to arrive at 62. treat each server as having a single value. and then adjust the values so that servers with higher I/O loads have higher Execution Throttle values and servers with lower I/O loads have lower execution throttle values. Tuning Execution Throttle In a SAN configuration with three or more servers accessing the same storage array. in a four-server configuration. and the adapters in the third and fourth servers are set to 62. If all servers carry the same I/O load. the adapters in the second server are set to 52. By default all QLogic EMC 4Gb FC HBAs have their Execution Throttle value set to maximum. and the value of 62 to the HBAs in the remaining two servers. Assign the value of 62 to all HBAs. In most environments. the sum is 248. If some of the servers carry heavier I/O loads. you can assign the value of 72 to the HBAs in the server with the highest I/O load. With this value. If the adapters in the first server are set to 72. calculate the value by dividing 250 by the number of servers in the SAN. first calculate the Execution Throttle value by dividing 250 by the number of servers.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in Microsoft Windows Execution Throttle What is Execution Throttle? Execution throttle is a HBA parameter that controls the maximum number of I/O commands executing on any one HBA port. The Execution Throttle value for each HBA is 62.5. consider the following: EMC recommends setting all HBAs in a server to the same Execution Throttle value. When calculating the server Execution Throttle value. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. this parameter is set to the default value of 16 or to an OEM specific value. at any point in time. Any more I/O commands will have to wait before they can be scheduled in the HBA. When a port’s execution throttle is reached. increasing the value of the execution throttle will have a more profound increase in performance for transaction-oriented applications as compared to throughput-oriented applications. QLogic recommends changing the default Execution Throttle value for each HBA. use the guidelines below to derive a new value. first determine if all servers carry the same I/O load. one HBA port can have a maximum of 16 I/O commands executing. no new commands are executed until the current command finishes executing.0.

HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in Microsoft Windows How to Change the Execution Throttle The Execution Throttle value for each port of an HBA can be easily changed with the QLogic SANsurfer FC HBA Manager application (or the SANsurfer command line interface (CLI)) on Windows environments (see the figure below). the speed of the HBA is limited by speed of the storage array.0. In many cases. Key Notes on Tuning Execution Throttle CAUTION: When experimenting with Execution Throttle. This flooding will neither allow nor delay access to this storage device from other HBA ports. PAGE 30 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. consider: There is a risk of flooding the storage array with I/O from just one HBA port that has a high Execution Throttle. Do not increase the Execution Throttle to a value such that the I/O overwhelms the storage array. JULY 2007 . attached servers may indicate an I/O timeout issued by the QLogic Fibre Channel device driver in the data section of the Windows Event Viewer System log. If the Execution Throttle value is too high.

The default for ESX 3. but the best value for your environment depends on the following factors: The total number of LUNs exposed through the storage array (target) ports The queue depth of the storage array (target) port Parameter Description HBA Max Queue Depth Denoted in Driver by ql2xmaxqdepth Default in ESX 2.x 16 Default in ESX 3.0 is 32 and 16 for ESX 2. JULY 2007 PAGE 31 . Tuning a physical server is similar to tuning a virtual machine environment.5. This section describes the QLogic HBA parameters that apply to the VMware ESX Server that can impact the performance of the virtual machines hosted by the server. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. The valid queue depth range is from 1–256.0.x 32 Range 1–256 The effects of changing the HBA Max Queue Depth parameter are most noticeable when the application workload type is transaction oriented.5.0.x. hosts an operating system and runs applications. It relates to the maximum number of outstanding commands that can execute on any one HBA port. There are three such HBA parameters: Maximum Queue Depth Maximum Sectors Maximum Scatter Gather Entries HBA Queue Depth What is HBA Queue Depth? HBA queue depth is an HBA driver parameter that refers to the number of HBA SCSI command buffers that can be allocated by an HBA port. which notifies the SCSI layer above the HBA driver how many commands the HBA driver is willing to accept and process. consider the effect of the HBA queue depth on other SAN components. it registers the value of the queue depth with the SCSI mid-level.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server A virtual machine. but there are a few considerations and special options. which is no different than a physical server.0. When the QLogic driver loads. Tuning HBA Queue Depth for your Environment When determining the right value of HBA queue depth for your environment. This section describes the relationship between the HBA queue depth and the target device queue depth. and discusses whether increasing the HBA queue depth can increase performance without adversely affecting other SAN components.

PAGE 32 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. with host and HBA factors that affect the storage array’s optimal utilization. When determining loading in any mass storage SAN setup. Q = Queue depth per HBA port. This is a QLogic FC driver/SCSI driver parameter.0.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server I/O Loading Fundamentals The section presents the fundamentals of I/O loading using EMC Disk Array examples. the maximum I/Os outstanding per LUN from the host at any given time.. L = The number of LUNs configured on the array device port as seen by a particular host path. For example. it is the variable ql2xmaxqdepth. T = The maximum queue depth per array device port. which signifies the maximum number of I/Os outstanding (that can be handled) on that port at a given time. The following five main variables assess the loading factor on a device port: P = The number of host paths connected to that array device port. The value for T is typically 2048 for EMC arrays. the maximum I/Os that an HBA can have outstanding at an instant. the QLogic driver queue depth per LUN is the variable sd_max_throttle. This model should extend to other devices in the SAN as well. in Solaris. The host flow control variable is the queue depth per LUN. q = Queue depth per LUN on the hosts (for the host port). the device flow control variable is target port queue depth. i. The above diagram shows the placement of these variables in the I/O architecture.. is necessary to understand the factors used. Loading is presented from the target device port loading perspective. JULY 2007 . these factors are at the SCSI layer level in both the initiator (host) and the target (device). in VMware.e. This parameter is needed only if q (queue depth per LUN) is not available.e. The concepts and variables presented are standard SCSI terminology. The terminology may change depending on the host operating system. i. These factors provide an I/O flow control mechanism between the initiator and the target.

.. Navigate your way through esxtop to find disk statistics. one EMC controller with four ports can have 2048 x 4 = 8192 outstanding I/Os at a time handled by the EMC controller without any port overloading. Check the specifications of your EMC array to get the exact number.. When the target stops issuing QFULL conditions. Determining HBA Queue Utilization Use the VMware ESX tool esxtop to view the current HBA queue utilization while I/O is active on the HBA ports. thereby slowly increasing I/O to the target port.. 2048 outstanding I/Os (simultaneous) at a time. Therefore. Not abiding by the above equations can result in either under utilizing (T < actual queue depth) or flooding (T > actual queue depth) the target device.. For heterogeneous hosts connected to the same port on the device. that is. Excessive QFULL commands will drastically decrease the performance of your SAN connection. Flooding the target device queue results in a QFULL condition.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server These variables relate to each other through the following equation: T => P * q * L where: The target queue depth should be greater than or equal to the product of host paths.. In VMware ESX.0. This value throttles I/O to the target port. when a QFULL condition is received from the target. JULY 2007 PAGE 33 .... Two controllers can have 16384 outstanding I/Os.. A QFULL is an I/O throttling command that is sent by the Storage Array SCSI layer to an HBA port to notify the port that its I/O processing limit has been reached and it cannot accept any more I/Os until it completes its current set. you can enable the Extended Error Logging flag in the HBA parameters to view extended logging and see if a QFULL command is being received by the HBA. the HBA driver starts gradually increasing the LUN queue depth value.. use the following equation: T => Host OS 1 (P * q * L) + Host OS 2 (P * q * L) + . + Host OS n (P * q * L) Key Considerations The target port queue depth value (2048 for many EMC arrays) used in the equations above is on a per-port basis. and the number of LUNs configured. HBA queue depth. If you suspect flooding. the HBA driver typically decreases the LUN’s maximum queue depth to the minimum value (usually 1). A man esxtop command issued from the ESX console provides detailed information on its usage. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

JULY 2007 . Note that any increase in the HBA queue depth should be guided by the equation discussed in “I/O Loading Fundamentals” on page 32. which means that performance has increased. The figure below shows the effect of increasing the HBA queue depth. This result of esxtop has been captured after increasing the HBA queue depth from its default value of 32 to 64. Note that the LOAD is < 1 and there is a significant increase in the READS/s operations. PAGE 34 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. A value of LOAD > 1 indicates that the host application is placing more data in the HBA queue than its current size can handle.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server The figure below shows the output of the storage statistics section of esxtop while I/O is active. LQLEN shows the current HBA queue depth set in the QLogic HBA driver.0. A system with this issue can benefit from an increase in the HBA queue depth.

Save the file. 7. where xx is the queue depth value: /vmkmodule[0002]/module = "qla2300_707. Modify the entry as shown.conf so you have a backup copy.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server How to Change the HBA Queue Depth To change the queue depth of a QLogic HBA in VMware ESX. Reboot the VMware ESX Server.conf in your favorite editor. 3. 4. JULY 2007 PAGE 35 . follow these steps: 1.0.o" /vmkmodule[0002]/options = "" 5. Locate the following entry: /vmkmodule[0002]/module = "qla2300_707. Create a copy of /etc/vmware/esx.o" /vmkmodule[0002]/options = "ql2xmaxqdepth=xx" 6. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. Log on to the VMware ESX Console as root. Edit the file /etc/vmware/esx. 2.

1. PAGE 36 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. where x is the port number of the QLogic HBA.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server How to Verify the Queue Depth Change The current QLogic HBA queue depth and any changes to it can be verified by one of the methods described in the following paragraphs. Look for the string Device queue depth. and 0 and 1 for a dual port HBA. Execute the command cat /proc/scsi/qla2300/x at the VMware ESX console.0. View the entries for the QLogic FC adapter driver in the proc File System. JULY 2007 . The port number is typically 0 for a single port HBA. The value assigned to this field is a hexadecimal representation of the currently configured queue depth for the HBA port specified in the command. a. b.

Look for the string Queue depth.. the default is 32.x (in Virtual Infrastructure 3). because the maximum parallel execution (or queue depth) of SCSI operations is 64.07 and 7. Increasing the HBA queue depth will likely result in an increased number of I/O operations that can be placed in the HBA queue for servicing.04.0. b. Look at the VMware kernel log files. should be considered with EMC arrays and the I/O performance of the QLogic HBA. a. consequently increasing the CPU utilization of the host. The number of disks. Consider the I/O performance of disks or another I/O device that is in between the storage controller port and disks. Experiment with your SAN setup and determine the value that best suits your environment. Key Notes on Tuning the HBA Queue Depth Consider the following when tuning the HBA queue depth: For QLogic driver version 6. The value assigned to this field is a decimal representation of the currently configured queue depth for the specified HBA port. for versions 6. which allow outstanding I/Os to be processed from the host side.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server 2. cache settings. RAID type used. Array controller I/O queue clearance depends on these devices. Increasing the queue depth in the QLogic Fibre Channel HBA above 65 has little effect. JULY 2007 PAGE 37 . the default setting for the HBA queue depth is 16. View the file /var/log/vmkernelin your favorite editor after logging on to the VMware ESX console. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. etc.

A scatter/gather list is stored as a table in host kernel memory. as the default value for the scatter/gather list is pre-optimized for most application environments. host memory. The following table specifies the VMware ESX specific parameter name. A scatter/gather list is a list of vectors. the block device driver stores the data contained in the I/O into locations in memory. which is programmed to support scatter/gather operations.x 32 Range 1–255 Tuning the Maximum Scatter/Gather List Based on the maximum scatter/gather list concept. The larger the table. QLogic does not recommend setting the value of the scatter/gather list to its maximum value (255) for any application environment. conceptually larger size I/O operations (throughput based) will benefit from an increased value of the HBA Max SG List parameter. defaults.0.0. changing the size of the scatter/gather list to a very large value (even for large I/O block sizes) may adversely effect the performance. PAGE 38 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. Any I/O operation performed by an application to a disk first reaches a block device driver in the host operating system. The block device driver passes these memory locations and their length to the HBA driver via the SCSI layers. the more entries it can store and process. The QLogic HBA parameter HBA Max SG List defines the size of this table. QLogic Fibre Channel adapters have a DMA controller on each adapter.5. Parameter Description HBA Max SG List Denoted in Driver by ql2xmaxsgs Default in ESX 2. However. the memory has a list of all these memory locations and the length of each such location. and the DMA engine. each of which gives the location and length of one segment in the overall read or write request. the more scatter/gather entries are needed to store the I/O data. and range. which in turn does a DMA operation to retrieve the data.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server Maximum Scatter/Gather List What is Scatter/Gather List? Scatter/gather is a QLogic driver feature that processes DMA data transfers that are written to noncontiguous areas of memory. The larger the I/O operation. Do not expect a big performance jump.x 32 Default in ESX 3. then measuring the performance gain. The data for a single I/O operation processed from an application could span across multiple memory locations. QLogic recommends experimenting by increasing the scatter/gather list for large size I/Os or decreasing the list for small size I/Os. JULY 2007 . This HBA driver parameter is not available on Windows operating systems. as a very large scatter/gather list may put a undue load on the HBA firmware. The HBA driver then passes this table to the firmware on the physical adapter.

Save the file. perform the following steps: 1. Look for the string sg_tablesize. Log on to the VMware ESX console as root. 7.o" /vmkmodule[0002]/options = "ql2xmaxsgs=xx" If you need to change more than one option. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. 2. The value assigned to this field is a decimal representation of the currently configured size of the scatter/gather list. Locate the following entry: /vmkmodule[0002]/module = "qla2300_707. For example: /vmkmodule[0002]/module = "qla2300_707.conf so you have a backup copy.conf in your favorite editor.o" /vmkmodule[0002]/options = "ql2xmaxsgs=xx q12xmaxqdepth=64" 6. 3. Reboot the VMware ESX Server. JULY 2007 PAGE 39 .HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server How to Change Maximum Scatter/Gather List To change the HBA Max SG List parameter of a QLogic HBA in VMware ESX. Edit the file /etc/vmware/esx.0. 4. as follows: View the file /var/log/vmkernel in your favorite editor after logging on to the VMware ESX console. as shown in the following screenshot.o" /vmkmodule[0002]/options = "" 5. separate them with spaces in the options field. Create a copy of /etc/vmware/esx. Modify as the entry as follows. where xx is the new HBA Max SG List value: /vmkmodule[0002]/module = "qla2300_707. How to Verify the Max Scatter/Gather List Change Any change in the QLogic HBA Max SG List parameter can be verified by looking at the VMware kernel log files.

It is not uncommon to be misled by a single piece of information and misdiagnosing the cause of poor system performance. Parameter Description HBA Max Sectors Denoted in Driver by ql2xmaxsectors Default in ESX 2. QLogic does not recommend setting the value of HBA Max Sectors above 2048 in any application environment. Random write operations are exceeding 2ms with the cache enabled. and monitors are available to help you analyze what is happening within your SAN environment. and range. Do not expect a big performance jump.x 512 Default in ESX 3. Transaction performance is generally perceived to be poor when the following conditions occur: Random read/write operations are exceeding 20ms (without write cache).HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Monitoring Performance Maximum Sectors This QLogic HBA driver parameter defines the maximum number of disk sectors for a LUN that are reported by the HBA driver to the SCSI mid-level. 1024. tools. and disk arrays provide a host of utilities (add-on and built-in) to help you monitor I/O performance. PAGE 40 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. This section looks at what utilities. Fibre Channel switches. This HBA driver parameter is not available on Windows operating systems. defaults.0. Throughput performance is generally perceived to be poor when the disk capability is not being reached.x 512 Range 512. JULY 2007 .5. When verifying for a successful change. I/Os are queuing up in the operating system I/O stack (due to a bottleneck).0. The value of this parameter is used by the block device driver to obtain a DMA transaction size for each I/O operation. Fibre Channel adapters. it is important to gather data from all the components of the storage solution. preventing higher amounts of immediate data available. 2048 QLogic recommends experimenting with increasing the HBA Max Sectors parameter for large size I/Os or decreasing the parameter for small size I/Os. as the default value for the HBA Max Sectors parameter is pre-optimized for most application environments. The following table specifies the HBA Max Sectors parameter name. read-ahead is being limited. I/Os are queuing up in the operating system I/O stack (due to a bottleneck). only to realize that another component of the system is causing the problem. then measuring for a performance gain. Most operating systems. The recommended procedure for changing and verifying the Max Sector HBA parameter is similar to the procedure for changing the HBA Max SG List detailed in “HBA Performance Tuning in VMware ESX Server” on page 31. look for the string max_sectors in the vmkernel file. Monitoring Performance To determine where a performance problem exists or where a potential problem will happen. Causes of this can stem from the following situations: With read operations.

esxtop VMware Display ESX server resource utilization statistics in real time. disk. memory.asp Menu under Administrative tools → Performance or by entering perfmon at the command line /usr/bin/esxtop perfmon Windows built-in real time performance monitoring tool.0.x Historical graphs that show physical server and virtual machine system statistics http://<ip address of host>/vmkusage QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Monitoring Performance QLogic recommends breaking down the measurement into the following three parts: Gathering host server data. network statistics Virtual machine CPU. memory.qlogic. Tool SANsurfer OS Windows. error statistics CPU. Linux. network statistics Virtual Center/Virtual Infrastructure Client vmkusage VMware http://<ip address of host>/ VMware 2. disk. Gathering fabric network data. The following table summarizes many of the commonly used tools. JULY 2007 PAGE 41 . network Virtual machine CPU. memory. memory utilization. Performance tabs for these VMware applications display performance charts per VM and host server CPU. MBps. memory. Ability to set alerts for various thresholds. disk. Gathering Host Server Data Most operating systems (OSs) have several built-in utilities to measure I/O performance and the effect of this performance on other host server components (CPU consumption. etc. network Usage http://support.com/support /oem_emc. Gathering EMC storage server data. disk.). Solaris Windows Description QLogic HBA performance monitor Key Statistics HBA port IOPS.

0. PAGE 42 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. QLogic recommends looking at the FC switch statistics as the first step in any performance monitoring exercise.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Monitoring Performance Gathering Fabric Network Data One of the easiest ways of measuring and monitoring I/O performance in a SAN is to look at I/O statistics at the heart of the SAN — the Fibre Channel switch. These statistics provide a view of SAN performance from both the initiator and target. JULY 2007 . The viewer provides real time graphs of current I/O workloads for easy comparison. Use the SANsurfer Performance Viewer to connect to a Fibre Channel switch and monitor I/O performance for one or more switch ports of your choice. QLogic Fibre Channel switches have a built-in performance monitor agent.

which disks are taking the most I/O hits.. it is imperative that the right PCI slot be chosen to host the QLogic HBA. In a shared bus environment like PCI. which provides detailed real-time information about your array and system performance.0 PCI-X 2. VGA.0.pdf for more information about the EMC Navisphere Analyzer. Navisphere Manager fully integrates the Navisphere Analyzer.0a PCI Express 1.3V Slot Key 3.0a Bus Length 64-bit 64-bit x4 lane x4 lane Power 3.com/pdf/products/navisphere/navisphere_analyzer. LUNs.3V 3. The type and placement of the slot makes a significant difference in the HBA performance. Choosing the Optimal PCI Slot for Your HBA A typical enterprise server may have several add on cards — SCSI.3V 3. JULY 2007 PAGE 43 . and from which hosts to gather data. LAN. These features allow you to investigate performance patterns and trends before problems occur.emc. Table 4.3V 3. etc. what is the split between read and write operations across the array. EMC-Supported QLogic HBAs HBA QLA2460-E QLA2462-E QLE2460-E QLE2462-E PCI Slot PCI-X 2. what is the cache hit percentage. This section will help you choose the right slot in your server with multiple prospective slots. etc. as well as a variety of slots to house these cards. Explore http://germany. These tools provide a wealth of information about how I/O is being processed by the storage array. The following table matches each QLogic HBA to the appropriate slot.3V n/a n/a QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0 PCI Express 1. HBA. and storage processors. and provide a powerful tool for capacity planning and intelligent load balancing. where to store the results. You can set the schedule of when to record the data. There is an easy-to-use data record and playback facility for reviewing the captured data. Navisphere Analyzer lets you automatically record data metrics from selected arrays.3V 3. QLogic recommends installing and using the EMC Navisphere Manager for CLARiiON arrays to supplement any performance monitoring done in your SAN.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Choosing the Optimal PCI Slot for Your HBA Gathering Disk Array Performance Data All EMC storage arrays have built-in capabilities for performance monitoring and measurement.

populate only one slot on each bus and leave the second slot empty.0.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Choosing the Optimal PCI Slot for Your HBA A typical motherboard I/O diagram is depicted below. for optimum performance. install cards in slots 4. Many PCI/PCI-X slots share the bus bandwidth. JULY 2007 . 7. PCI/PCI-X cards of different speeds should not be installed on the same bus. but leave slots 5. General Rules for PCI and PCI-X HBAs A PCI bus operates at the clock rate of the slowest card installed on that bus. closely spaced PCI slots most likely share the same PCI bus and bridge (the figure below shows an example). 6. slots 6 and 7. on an HP Integrity rx5670 server. For example. To maximize PCI bus bandwidth. and 9 for non-performance critical adapters. a common 66-MHz bus is shared between slots 4 and 5. QLogic recommends that you obtain the I/O Diagram for your host server from its manufacturer to understand which PCI/PCI-X slots share a PCI bridge and bus. it shows the maximum available bandwidth in each direction for various slot types and the difference between these slot types. For example. Therefore. PAGE 44 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. and 8. and slots 8 and 9.

and x32 lane widths to increase bandwidth to the slot. x16. Placing an x4 HBA into an x8 or x16 slot will not make it run faster. which enable 250 MBps bandwidth per direction. per lane.0. Multiple lanes can be grouped together into x1 (“by-one”). PCI Express provides each device with its own dedicated data pipeline. you can insert a 64-bit HBA into a 32-bit PCI slot if no 64-bit PCI-X slots are available. JULY 2007 PAGE 45 .HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices Choosing the Optimal PCI Slot for Your HBA Match the slots speeds with device/adapter speeds. slower or non-performance critical should take up the slower PCI/PCI-X slots. HBAs without a slot key can be inserted into any PCI slot. however. An x4 slot is the right slot for this kind of a HBA. General Rules for PCI Express (PCIe) HBAs Unlike PCI/PCI-X which divides bandwidth between all devices on the bus. Data is sent serially in packets through pairs of transmit and receive signals called lanes. Use this as a reference to see if you are imposing any limitations on the performance of the HBA by putting it in a slower slot. PCI Express denotations are for Gen1 (1. x12.0a) FC Interfaces Bar Chart QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. 8Gb data is a future projection. the data transmission rate is limited to standard PCI speed. x2. In this case. Avoid such HBA placements. x8 and x16 slot. such a placement only wastes a high performance slot which could be used for a higher performance device. x8. but will fit into an x4. A QLogic PCIe x4 FC HBA will not fit in an x1 or an x2 slot. The bar chart below compares Fibre Channel HBA capabilities with PCI technologies hosting the HBA. This allows a QLogic PCIe HBA to be placed in any available PCIe slot on a server that can fit the HBA connector without any performance impedances. x4.

try to minimize ISLs and decrease the number of hops. Visit powerlink. this ratio is called the Fan-In. This zoning strategy isolates an initiator from Register State Change Notification (RSCN) disruptions. JULY 2007 . All QLogic HBAs come factory set to auto-negotiate. The Fan-In ideally is 1:1 — one storage port is bound to a single HBA. Minimize ISL QLogic recommends that you locate the HBA and the storage ports it will access on the same switch. regardless of the number of ports. and storage ports) be set to auto-negotiate the Fibre Channel speed.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices General SAN Considerations for Performance General SAN Considerations for Performance Fencing High Performance Applications It is good practice to fence out a high performance demanding application away from other applications by assigning it a dedicated SAN fabric. for each WWN (each initiator HBA). which can hamper performance. Upgrade to 4Gb QLogic recommends replacing all 2Gb Fibre Channel adapters with QLogic 4Gb adapters. Besides performance advantages. depending on the application and time-of-the-day load. the slower it reaches its destination. PAGE 46 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0. The more hops the data takes. then the Fan-In can be relaxed to 3:1 or further. high performing applications can overwhelm other applications competing for the same storage resource over the same port.com to review EMC recommended Fan-In and Fan-Out ratios for popular operating systems and EMC Arrays. If this fencing is not implemented. Set Data Rate to Auto-negotiate EMC recommends that all Fibre Channel ports (HBAs. Any other setting results in a slow connection. switches.emc. Otherwise. and better troubleshooting capabilities. High Availability. Avoiding RSCNs Assign a unique Fibre Channel switch zone between the server initiator and the storage controller processor ports. That is. If the application accessing the storage ports is not bandwidth intensive. Fan-In Considerations Consider the ratio of storage ports bound to a single QLogic HBA port. as 4Gb Fibre Channel adapters have many advantages over 2Gb adapters. there should be one unique zone. they offer new features.

When trying to balance the load within the storage unit. spread them across separate device adapters. I/O Load Balancing You can maximize the performance of an application by spreading the I/O load across multiple paths. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. When selecting RAID disk groups within a cluster for a critical application. are the most critical to balance: Activity to the RAID disk groups. QLogic recommends that you follow the slot identification guidelines in “HBA Parameters that Impact HBA Performance” (page 28) to take advantage of the full capacity of two or more QLogic HBAs. in relative order of importance. When installing more than one HBA on a server. Use as many RAID disk groups as possible for critical applications. Activity to the device adapters. The graph below shows that total bus throughput increases with number of devices for different interfaces.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices I/O Load Balancing Linear Scaling of HBAs It is possible to achieve higher performance by scaling the number of HBAs in a host. arrays. Many performance bottlenecks occur because a few disks are overloaded. The following resources. Spreading an application across multiple RAID disk groups ensures that as many disk drives as possible are available. JULY 2007 PAGE 47 . and device adapters in the storage unit.0. placement of application data is the determining factor.

0. PowerPath is not available for VMware ESX Server. Visit www.com to learn more about PowerPath.HBA Performance Tuning Best Practices I/O Load Balancing Activity to the Fibre Channel ports.emc. servers are continually tuned to adjust to changing application loads. This is because channel directors/storage processors write to cache instead of disk. NOTE: With PowerPath. EMC recommends the use of an EMC automated non-disruptive solution — PowerPath — to load balance I/O between paths in your SAN. JULY 2007 . PAGE 48 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

Many SANsurfer features are password protected. The focus is on QLogic Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters. 2. As with any other best practice. and is known by almost anybody who manages a SAN or has access to the internet and a search engine. This section defines a series of best practice recommendations for enhancing the security of Fibre Channel SANs. associated software. The default password for these features is “config”. as shown in the following figure. Therefore. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. To effectively protect a Storage Area Network. configure. NOTE: Fibre Channel security is as strong as the weakest component in the SAN. JULY 2007 PAGE 49 . many of them with their own security considerations.0. and how security relates to generic SAN best practices. Click the Security tab. troubleshoot. protecting this data has come to the forefront as one of the key best practices that every SAN administrator must implement. the "best" approach to implementing security is dependent on the business and the current needs of the organization. It is essential to keep yourself and your host abreast with the latest security patches for all components of the host. Setting a Password for QLogic SANsurfer FC HBA Manager QLogic SANsurfer FC HBA Manager software runs on a host server and allows you to install. QLogic recommends that you set both host and application access passwords for SANsurfer by performing the following steps: 1. hosts that are connected to a SAN constitute the weakest link. The Security tabbed page displays. It is also important to understand the impact of these actions on the rest of the environment. along with an assessment of risk to the data being protected. Today's hosts potentially host hundreds of different applications. protecting hosts from intruders should have priority over protecting other components. it is important to understand what actions increase security and what actions create potential loopholes.Fibre Channel Security Best Practices As more business critical data is being consolidated into SANs. typically. and driver components. select the host for which you want to set the application access password. OSs. In the SANsurfer FC HBA Manager main window HBA tree. and analyze an installed QLogic HBA. Leaving the SANsurfer password at its default value means that anyone with access to the host server could easily change key HBA parameters and potentially breach the security of the SAN.

JULY 2007 . the paper focuses on general SAN technologies as opposed to specific products.com/.0.Fibre Channel Security Best Practices Generic Fibre Channel SAN Security Generic Fibre Channel SAN Security The EMC white paper Security for Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks provides a series of best practice recommendations for enhancing the security of a Fibre Channel SAN. You can find this white paper at http://powerlink. PAGE 50 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.emc. EMC recommends that you tailor these security guidelines for your environment.

Linux ✓ ✓ ✓ Subtask Operating System SANsurfer FC CLI Windows.0.Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet This appendix provides: Task: Information (page 51) Task: Monitoring/Diagnostics (page 52) Task: Configuration (page 53) Task: Maintenance (page 54) Task: Other (page 54) Task: Information SANsurfer FC HBA Manager Windows. Linux ✓ ✓ ✓ Windows Install Wizard Windows FlasUTIL Any FAST!UTIL Any EfiUTIL Any Linux Tools Linux Serial number Model/type OptionROM (BIOS/FCode/EFI) version Firmware version Driver version Fibre Channel specific data: WWN. Mac. Mac. Solaris. Solaris. JULY 2007 PAGE 51 . NetWare. loop ID Target information VPD displays Graphic SAN topology ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. NetWare.

sh PAGE 52 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. flash Email notification of fabric events Error/alarm reporting Statistics Snapshot Low-level disk commands LUN state transition Note aWith b SANsurfer FC CLI ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Windows Install Wizard FlasUTIL FAST!UTIL EfiUTIL Linux Tools ✓ ✓ ✓a loopback plug Use Linux tool ql-hba-snapshot.0. JULY 2007 .sh cUse Linux tool ql-lun-state.Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet Task: Monitoring/Diagnostics SANsurfer FC HBA Manager ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓b ✓ ✓c ✓ Subtask Real-time status of the HBAs On-demand Fibre Channel link status Read/write buffer test Loopback test SFP health Verifying NVRAM.

Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet Task: Configuration SANsurfer FC HBA Manager ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Subtask Driver settings NVRAM settings Persistent binding LUN masking Updating factory NVRAM defaults BOOT from SAN device Scan for Fibre Channel devices Remote HBA management SCSI command timeout value Failover Device replacement Option ROM config iiDMA setting Note a SANsurfer FC CLI ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Windows Install Wizard FlasUTIL FAST!UTIL EfiUTIL Linux Tools ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓a ✓b ✓c ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Use Linux tool ql-scan-lun.sh cUse Linux tool ql-set-cmd-timeout.sh and ql-set-cmd-timeout.0.sh bCapability QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. JULY 2007 PAGE 53 .sh limited to Linux tools ql-lun-state.

0. JULY 2007 . EFI.Appendix A – QLogic HBA Tasks and Tools Sheet Task: Maintenance SANsurfer FC HBA Manager ✓ ✓ Subtask Driver installation/update Change boot code/Option ROM (BIOS. FCode) Copying the current flash and NVRAM contents Installation reports SANsurfer FC CLI ✓ ✓ Windows Install Wizard FlasUTIL FAST!UTIL EfiUTIL Linux Tools ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Task: Other SANsurfer FC HBA Manager SANsurfer FC CLI ✓ ✓ ✓ Subtask Scripting Generate XML Generate a summary of current configuration of the local host/HBA/devices Windows Install Wizard FlasUTIL FAST!UTIL EfiUTIL Linux Tools PAGE 54 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

and Amber LEDs flashing alternately OFF OFF On/Flashing Flashing OFF On/Flashing OFF OFF On/Flashing OFF OFF Flashing QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. 1 Gbps link / I/O activity Online.) Firmware Error Online.Appendix B – QLogic HBA LED Scheme HBA QLA2460-E QLA2462-E QLE2460-E QLE2462-E Scheme Yellow LED (4 Gbps) OFF On Flashing Green LED (2 Gbps) OFF On Flashing Amber LED (1 Gbps) OFF On Flashing Activity Power Off Power On (before firmware init. 2 Gbps link / I/O activity Online. 4 Gbps link / I/O activity Beacon Yellow. JULY 2007 PAGE 55 .0. Green.) Power ON (after firmware init.

JULY 2007 .Appendix B – QLogic HBA LED Scheme PAGE 56 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0.

Rev A05 at http://powerlink.com VMware SAN System Design and Deployment Guide.emc.com/ EMC Fibre Channel and iSCSI with QLogic Host Bus Adapter in the Linux v2.x-Series Drivers.References EMC CLARiiON High Availability (HA) Best Practices.com/ http://www.com/ . Rev A13 at http://powerlink. Rev A04 at http://powerlink.com/ EMC Network Storage Topology Guide.emc. April 2003 at http://www.0.com/ VMware Technology Network (VMTN) at http://vmware.com/ EMC Security for Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks Best Practices Planning.Several storage connectivity related articles.techtarget.emc. March 2007 at http://vmware.emc.x kernel Environment and the v8. July 2005 at http://powerlink.qlogic.qlogic.com/ EMC Fibre Channel and iSCSI with QLogic Host Bus Adapter in the Windows Environment.com/ VMware Performance Tuning Best Practices for ESX Server 3.6. JULY 2007 PAGE 57 . Technical Note at http://vmware. August 2006 at http://powerlink.emc.asp QLogic SANblade 2200 and 2300 Series Troubleshooting Guide for EMC.com/support/oem_emc. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.com/ QLogic Corporation EMC Approved Software Website section at http://support.

References PAGE 58 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.0. JULY 2007 .

addressing value. Name: Title: Company Name: Email Address: Phone Number: Address: City. Your Contact Information The data you provide here may be used to provide you with information from QLogic about our products. JULY 2007 PAGE 59 .0. Please review the document.qlogic. or Print both pages of this Press Review form and fax completed pages to: (949) 389-6114. subject matter.com/go/qlogic-press-review and complete the online form. or activities. Please use one of the following methods to provide feedback so we can make this document better suit your needs: ■ ■ Visit the QLogic website at http://www. State.QLogic Press Review The QLogic Press authors value your feedback. depth. structure. Zip: Please identify yourself as belonging to one of the following groups: Customer Solution Developer Other (please specify): Business Partner QLogic Employee QLogic Press Document Title Please rate your overall satisfaction with the document: Very Satisfied Satisfied Somewhat Satisfied Not Satisfied QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. We are especially interested in situations where a QLogic Press publication has made a difference. services. and quality as appropriate.

JULY 2007 .0.QLogic Press Review Review Comments What other subjects would you like to see QLogic Press address? PAGE 60 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.

com or refer to the contact information on the following page. IBM. QLogic products are also powering solutions from leading companies like Cisco. and storage services platforms for enabling advanced storage management applications. iSCSI routers. producing the controller chips. Dell. blade server embedded Fibre Channel switches. Fibre Channel stackable switches. visit the QLogic website at www.qlogic.0. Hitachi Data Systems. EMC. JULY 2007 PAGE 61 . and fabric switches that are the backbone of storage networks for most Global 2000 corporations. host bus adapters (HBAs). and Sun Microsystems. QLogic is a member of the S&P 500 Index. QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1.QLogic Company Information Powered by QLogic QLogic is a leading supplier of high-performance storage networking solutions. The company delivers a broad and diverse portfolio of products that includes Fibre Channel HBAs. Network Appliance. NEC. HP. To learn more about QLogic. The company is also a leading supplier of InfiniBand switches and InfiniBand host channel adapters for the emerging High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC) market. QLogic products are delivered to small-to-medium businesses and large enterprises around the world via its channel partner community. iSCSI HBAs.

O.662. Road Sec 2.932.6009 UK–Sales Office QLogic Corporation Surrey Technology Centre 40 Occam Road Guildford GU2 5YG Surrey. Taiwan.6557 santrackpartner@qlogic. Mitte 18 85356 Muchen Germany (49) 89 97007-427 QLogic Asia–Sales Office QLogic Corporation 23F.6442 reseller@qlogic. CA 92656 Phone: 949.4471 Technical Support 952.4040 support@qlogic. JULY 2007 .0. 501 Partner Programs Channel Programs 877.com Sales Information 800.training@qlogic. 105 Dun Hua S.training@qlogic. 886-2-2755-0000 Ext.C.com Sales Education and Technical Training Technical Training tech.6000 Fax: 949.com PAGE 62 QLOGIC FC HBA IN AN EMC ENVIRONMENT VERSION 1. Taipei 106.com Interoperability Testing solutions@qlogic. R.com Sales Training sales.389.com Business Alliances Programs 949.389.QLogic Company Information Contacting QLogic Corporate Headquarters QLogic Corporation 26650 Aliso Viejo Parkway Aliso Viejo.975. UK Phone: (44) 1483-295825 Fax: (44) 1483-295827 Germany–Sales Office QLogic Corporation Terminalstr.389.

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Fibre channel stackable switches. host bus adapters (HBas) and fabric switches that are the backbone of storage networks for most Global 2000 corporations. surrey technology centre 40 Occam road Guildford Fc0054602-00 rev a 7/07 . recent accolades include: . QLogic products are delivered to small-to-medium businesses and large enterprises around the world via its channel partner community. QLogic products are also powering solutions from leading companies like cisco. QLogic is a member of the s&P 500 index.6000 surrey GU2 7YG UK +44 (0)1483 295825 europe Headquarters QLogic (UK) LtD. iBM.com. HP.s&P 500 index .389.Fortune’s 100 Fastest Growing companies . ca 92656 949. the company is also a leading supplier of infiniBand switches and infiniBand host channel adapters for the emerging High Performance computing cluster (HPcc) market. blade server embedded Fibre channel switches. the company delivers a broad and diverse portfolio of products that includes Fibre channel HBas.Network computing Well connected .qlogic. eMc.Business Week Hot Growth company . For more information go to http://www.2005 storage Magazine “saN Product of the Year” . Network appliance and sun Microsystems. Hitachi Data systems. iscsi routers and storage services platforms for enabling advanced storage management applications.Forbes’ Best 200 Best small companies .2005 saNbox 5602 infostor and asNP “Most Valuable Product Finalist” corporate Headquarters QLogic corporation 26650 aliso Viejo Parkway aliso Viejo. Nec. iscsi HBas. Dell. producing the controller chips.B e s t Pr a c t i c e s QLogic FC HBA in an EMC Environment JULY 2007 About QLogic QLogic is a leading supplier of high-performance storage networking solutions.

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