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  • H14531.2

    Technical White Paper

    Dell EMC PowerMax: iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays Running PowerMaxOS

    Abstract This document provides an in-depth overview of the Dell EMC™ PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation on Dell EMC PowerMax and VMAX™ All Flash storage arrays.

    September 2019

  • Revisions

    2 Dell EMC PowerMax: iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays Running PowerMaxOS | H14531.2

    Revisions

    Date Description

    October 2016 Initial release

    April 2018 Updated for PowerMaxOS

    September 2019 Updated for PowerMaxOS Q319 SR

    Acknowledgements Author: James Salvadore

    The information in this publication is provided “as is.” Dell Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the information in this publication, and specifically disclaims implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. Use, copying, and distribution of any software described in this publication requires an applicable software license. Copyright © 2016-2019 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell, EMC, Dell EMC and other trademarks are trademarks of Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners. [9/10/2019] [Technical White Paper] [H14531.2]

  • Table of contents

    3 Dell EMC PowerMax: iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays Running PowerMaxOS | H14531.2

    Table of contents Revisions............................................................................................................................................................................. 2

    Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................................................................. 2

    Table of contents ................................................................................................................................................................ 3

    Executive summary ............................................................................................................................................................. 4

    Audience ............................................................................................................................................................................. 4

    1 iSCSI overview ............................................................................................................................................................. 5

    1.1 Key iSCSI concepts and terminology ................................................................................................................. 5

    1.2 Primary benefits of iSCSI ................................................................................................................................... 8

    1.3 Core components of iSCSI ................................................................................................................................. 8

    1.3.1 Initiators and target nodes .................................................................................................................................. 8

    1.3.2 Names ................................................................................................................................................................ 9

    1.3.3 IP interfaces ........................................................................................................................................................ 9

    1.3.4 Sessions and connections .................................................................................................................................. 9

    1.3.5 Security and authentication .............................................................................................................................. 10

    1.4 How iSCSI works .............................................................................................................................................. 11

    1.4.1 The login process ............................................................................................................................................. 11

    1.4.2 The data transfer process ................................................................................................................................. 11

    1.5 How iSCSI compares with other storage transport protocols ........................................................................... 13

    1.6 Deployment considerations for iSCSI ............................................................................................................... 17

    1.6.1 Network Considerations ................................................................................................................................... 17

    1.6.2 Multipathing and availability considerations ..................................................................................................... 17

    1.6.3 Resource consumption considerations ............................................................................................................ 18

    2 PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation overview .......................................................................................................... 20

    2.1 Background ....................................................................................................................................................... 20

    2.2 The PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation design objectives ............................................................................ 20

    2.3 PowerMaxOS iSCSI implementation core components ................................................................................... 21

    2.3.1 Hardware: Quad Port 10GbE Interface Module ............................................................................................... 21

    2.3.2 PowerMaxOS iSCSI target node ...................................................................................................................... 21

    2.3.3 PowerMaxOS iSCSI IP interface ...................................................................................................................... 24

    2.3.4 CHAP authentication ........................................................................................................................................ 25

    2.3.5 Routing instance ............................................................................................................................................... 30

    2.4 PowerMaxOS iSCSI host connectivity limits .................................................................................................... 32

    3 Summary .................................................................................................................................................................... 34

    A Technical support and resources ............................................................................................................................... 35

    A.1 Related resources............................................................................................................................................. 35

  • Executive summary

    4 Dell EMC PowerMax: iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays Running PowerMaxOS | H14531.2

    Executive summary Dell EMC offers Internet Small Computer Serial Interface (iSCSI) connectivity to our existing and new customers which provides a potentially lower-cost alternative connectivity method between hosts/virtual machines to Dell EMC™ PowerMaxOS-based storage arrays. At a high-level, the primary benefits of the iSCSI storage protocol are as follows:

    • Makes consolidated storage possible for a wide range of businesses. • Enables cost-effective, scalable, secure, and highly-available storage area networks (SANs). • Leverages existing management skills and network infrastructure. • Delivers performance comparable to Fibre Channel. • Provides interoperability using industry standards.

    The PowerMaxOS iSCSI solution has been built from the ground up to take advantage of virtual local area networks (VLANs) to provide customers with greater host/port/connection densities which also provides built in multi-tenancy capabilities as the front end ports can be virtualized and partitioned. This design makes the PowerMaxOS iSCSI solutionan ideal connectivity choice when considering lower cost storage options for converged infrastructures and all virtualized environments.

    Audience This document is intended for Dell EMC field personnel, including technology consultants, and for customer storage architects, administrators, and operators involved in managing, operating, or designing a storage infrastructure which contains PowerMaxOS-based storage arrays.

  • iSCSI overview

    5 Dell EMC PowerMax: iSCSI Implementation for Dell EMC Storage Arrays Running PowerMaxOS | H14531.2

    1 iSCSI overview iSCSI is a transport layer protocol that uses the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) to transport SCSI packets, enabling the use of Ethernet based networking infrastructure as a storage area network (SAN). Like Fibre Channel and other storage transport protocols, iSCSI transports block level data between an initiator on a server and a target on a storage device. IBM developed iSCSI as a proof of concept in 1998 and was ratified a