Creative Commons

2007-06-05 09:01:05

Using SAN disks in Windows

So you have a fibre-channel SAN connected to some servers and you want to know the correct way to make Windows see the space... Assuming you have done everything necessary on the SAN side (creating RAID groups, LUNs, storage groups, etc.) and assigned the storage group to a specific host, we can use a builtin Windows command to make the space usable.
First, though, you'll have to open the Disk Management MMC console and refresh until you see all of the "disks" you assigned to this host (for normal uses, you'll have only assigned one "disk" to a host). Once it shows up, right click it and select Initialize. Now we can open a command prompt and enter the Diskpart CLI by typing `diskpart` and hitting ENTER. Once Diskpart has loaded, run `list disk` to see all disks available to your host. Since you have an internal hard drive and the new SAN space you'll see two disks. You can tell which is which by looking at the size (the SAN space will most likely be huge compared to internal drive). So let's assume that your SAN space is "Disk 1". Enter `select disk 1`. Now that we have the SAN "disk" selected, we want to create a partition filling the entire space.
If, for some weird reason, you need multiple partitions, configure multiple storage groups for your host instead of putting multiple partitions on one storage group.
To create the partition, enter `create partition primary align=128`.
Beware when using "align=128". That should only be used when using SAN disks. It improves performance by limiting the amount of moves the disk heads have to make. If you are using internal SCSI drives, set "align=64".
Great! We have our single partition created. Back to Disk Management; format the partition giving it a drive letter and selecting NTFS for the filesystem.
Do not select a "quick format" option. Again, for performance, you want the entire drive to be formatted from the get-go.


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