Installing Windows Clients for Xsan & StorNext

There are a lot of environments that attach Windows client computers to an Xsan or StorNext filesystem. In the past I’ve looked at using different versions of StorNext to communicate with Xsan, but in this article we’re actually going to take a look at Quantum’s StorNext FX2 client software. Before getting started, you’ll want to have the StorNext media, have the serial number added to the metadata controllers, have the HBA (fibre channel card) installed, have the fibre patched into the HBA, have the IP addresses for the metadata controllers documented and have a copy of the .auth_secret file obtainable from the metadata controllers once they’ve been properly licensed.

To get started, first install the HBA drivers. This will be different for each brand of card, but in most cases it will be a simple installer. Once the installer is run and the system rebooted (not all HBA’s required reboots), you will see a screen similar to the following, indicating the Generic SCSI Array Device is installed and then starting to recognize the LUNs that comprise the volume. Make sure not to configure a new filesystem for the LUNs, especially if they are already in use.

Once you can see the hardware infrastructure you are ready to install the software. If using a 64 bit version of Windows then contact StorNext for the installers, otherwise you should be able to use those downloaded from the website. Always start with the latest drivers rather than using those distributed on the media with the StorNext license.

Once you have the installer ready, click on it and you will see the StorNext Installation screen. Here, provided it is a new installation, the first item wills ay Install StorNext. As you can see from the following screen, you also have the options in the future to Upgrade, Reinstall, Remove and Configure StorNext from the StorNext Installation screen.

At the StorNext Component selection screen, you will be able to select whether to install the Help Files (FAQs) and/or the StorNext FX2 client. Here, you can probably leave both enabled and simply click on the Next>> button.

You should now see your LUNs. Open the Windows shell environment and cd to the C:Program FilesStorNextbin directory.  Run cvlabel -l and verify all of the LUNs that are needed for the volumes you will be working with are present. If they are not, check your zoning and physical infrastructure.

Still using the Windows shell environment, cd into the C:Program FilesStorNextconfig directory. Edit the fsnameservers file and enter the IP addresses for your metadata controllers in the order they appear in the fsnameservers list on your metadata controllers.

You will also need to copy the .auth_secret file from the metadata controllers to the client computer. By default, this will be copied into the C:Program FilesStorNextconfig directory. Next, reboot.

Provided that we can see our LUNs, we should also be able to see our volumes through cvadmin. To verify, we can use the cvadmin command in much the same way we do so in StorNext for Linux or Xsan:

cvadmin -e select

Provided all of the volumes appear and each has a valid controller (see those with an * below), we can then go into the StorNext Client Configuration tool to complete the client configuration. To do so, open Client Configuration from Start -> Program Files -> StorNext. Once open, you should see the volumes shown in cvadmin and they should be listed as available.

Windows accesses volumes through what are known as drive mappings. A drive map is an alphabetical representation of a location. These locations can be folders within a file system, network volumes or direct attached volumes. the configuration is complete, Windows will treat the drive letter being configured as a local volume. Select Tools Properties and you will then be able to map a drive to the appropriate drive letter. It is also possible to mount an volume into a given directory; however, this is somewhat rare comparably.

Repeat this process until all volumes are mapped and click on Apply. Now you can mount your new volumes. To do so click on them back at the main screen and you will then be prompted to mount. Click Yes.

That’s pretty much it. Have fun.

  • Chris C.

    Don’t you also have to copy the hidden .auth_secret file to each client as well?

    • http://www.krypted.com Charles

      Whoops. Fixed. Thanks!