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HPE MSA 1050 Storage - How to Connect Two Storage Systems to Replicate Volumes

Connecting two storage systems to replicate volumes

Remote Snap replication is a licensed feature for Disaster-Recovery. This feature performs asynchronous replication of Block-Level data from a volume in a primary system to a volume in a secondary system by creating an internal snapshot of the primary volume, and copying the changes to the data since the last replication to the secondary system via FC or iSCSI links.

The two associated volumes form a replication set, and only the primary volume (Source of data) can be mapped for access by a server. Both systems must be licensed to use Remote Snap, and must be connected through switches to the same fabric or network (No direct attach). The server accessing the replication set need only be connected to the primary system. If the primary system goes offline, a connected server can access the replicated data from the secondary system. Replication configuration possibilities are many, and can be cabled - In switch attach fashion - To support MSA 1050 FC and iSCSI systems on the same network, or on different networks (MSA 1050 SAS systems do not support replication). As user consider the physical connections of users system - Specifically connections for replication - Keep several important points in mind:

  • Ensure that controllers have connectivity between systems, whether the destination system is co-located or remotely located.

  • FC and iSCSI controller models can be used for host I/O or replication, or both.

  • The storage system does not provide for specific assignment of ports for replication. However, this can be accomplished using virtual LANs for iSCSI and zones for FC, or by using physically separate infrastructure.

  • For remote replication, ensure that all ports assigned for replication are able to communicate appropriately with the remote replication system (See the CLI Reference Guide for more information) by using the query peer-Connection CLI command.

  • Allow a sufficient number of ports to perform replication. This permits the system to balance the load across those ports as I/O demands rise and fall. If some of the volumes replicated are owned by controller A and others are owned by controller B, then allow at least one port for replication on each controller module - And possibly more than one port per controller module - Depending on replication traffic load.

  • For the sake of system security, do not unnecessarily expose the controller module network port to an external network connection.

Conceptual cabling examples address cabling on the same network and cabling relative to different networks.

  • Remote Snap must be licensed on all systems configured for replication, and the controller module firmware version must be compatible on all systems licensed for replication.
  • Systems must be correctly cabled before performing replication. See the following references for more information about using Remote Snap to perform replication tasks:


Cabling for replication

This section shows example replication configurations for MSA 1050 FC or iSCSI controller enclosures. The following illustrations provide conceptual examples of cabling to support remote snap replication.

NOTE: Simplified versions of controller enclosures are used in cabling illustrations to show host ports used for I/O or replication, given that only the external connectors used in the host interface ports differ.
  • Virtual replication supports FC and iSCSI host interface protocols.
  • The 2U enclosure rear panel represents MSA 1050 models using FC or iSCSI SFPs.
  • Host ports used for replication must use the same protocol (Either FC or iSCSI).
  • Blue cables show I/O traffic and green cables show replication traffic.

Once the MSA 1050 systems are physically cabled, see the SMU reference guide or online help for information about configuring, provisioning, and using the optional remote snap feature.


Host ports and replication

NOTE: MSA 1050 controller enclosures support dual-controller configuration only. A controller module must be installed in each IOM slot to ensure sufficient airflow through the enclosure during operation.

Each of the following diagrams show the rear panel of two MSA 1050 FC or iSCSI controller enclosures equipped with Dual-Controller modules.

NOTE: MSA 1050 controllers support FC and iSCSI host interface protocols for host connection or for performing replications.


Multiple servers/single network

The diagram below shows the rear panel of two MSA 1050 controller enclosures with both I/O and replication occurring on the same physical network. With the replication configuration shown below, Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) and zoning could be employed to provide separate networks for iSCSI and FC, respectively. Create a VLAN or zone for I/O and a VLAN or zone for replication to isolate I/O traffic from replication traffic. The configuration would appear physically as a single network, while logically, it would function as multiple networks.

The diagram below shows the rear panel of two MSA 1050 controller enclosures with I/O and replication occurring on different physical networks. Use three switches to enable host I/O and replication. Connect one port from each controller module in the left storage enclosure to the left switch. Connect one port from each controller module in the right storage enclosure to the right switch. Connect one port from each controller module in each enclosure to the middle switch. Use multiple switches to avoid a single point of failure inherent to using a single switch, and to physically isolate replication traffic from I/O traffic.


Multiple servers/different networks/multiple switches

The diagram below shows the rear panel of two MSA 1050 controller enclosures with both I/O and replication occurring on different networks.

Although not shown in the preceding cabling examples, user can cable replication-enabled MSA 1050 systems and compatible MSA 1040/2040 systems - via switch attach - For performing replication tasks limited to the remote snap functionality of the MSA 1040/2040 storage system.


Updating firmware

After installing the hardware and powering on the storage system components for the first time, verify that the controller modules, expansion modules, and disk drives are using the current firmware release.

NOTE: Update component firmware by installing a firmware file obtained from the HPE web. To install an HPE ROM flash component or firmware smart component, follow the instructions on the HPE website.

Otherwise, to install a firmware binary file, follow the steps below.

Using the SMU, in the system topic, select "Action > Update Firmware".

The Update firmware panel opens. The Update controller modules tab shows versions of firmware components currently installed in each controller.

NOTE: Partner firmware update using management interfaces
  • The SMU provides an option for enabling or disabling partner firmware update for the partner controller.
  • To enable or disable the setting via the CLI, use the "set advanced-settings" command, and set the"partner-firmware-upgrade" parameter. See the CLI reference guide for more information about command parameter syntax.
  • HPE recommends that partner firmware update is enabled (The default setting).
  • See the topics about updating firmware within the SMU reference guide before performing a firmware update.
  • To locate and download the latest software and firmware updates for users product, go to

    Click here to "HPESC website" for more information .


Legal Disclaimer: Products sold prior to the November 1, 2015 separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc. may have older product names and model numbers that differ from current models.

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Document title: HPE MSA 1050 Storage - How to Connect Two Storage Systems to Replicate Volumes
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