Storage Center Command Set Makes Automation a Snap!

This week we announced the availability of the Storage Center Command Set for Windows PowerShell as a free download for Compellent customers.

PowerShell is the powerful, new scripting interface from Microsoft with support for Windows Server 2008 (including Hyper-V), Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows Vista.  We’ve integrated PowerShell automation with our Command Set scripting shell. From Command Set, IT pros can  automate administration tasks on the Windows platforms for their Compellent Storage Center.

We’ve integrated PowerShell automation with our Command Set scripting shell. From Command Set, IT pros can automate administration tasks on the Windows platforms for their Compellent Storage Center.

We’ve exposed over 60 cmdlets that you can use to manage different objects within Storage Center including the controllers, servers, volumes, and alerts in addition to features like Copy-Mirror-Migrate (CMM). With the installation of the Command Set, we also include a few samples scripts to get you started in your scripting endeavors.

What types of scenarios are the Storage Center Command Set useful for?

Exchange Volume Provisioning

With Exchange Server 2007, you can have up to 50 storage groups. In a scenario where you need to deploy 50 storage groups with one database each, you’ll probably deploy with an individual volume for each database and each storage group for the transaction logs totally 100 volumes.

Although the Storage Center web management tool is very easy to use, it can be time consuming to complete the process of creating the volume, mapping it to the server, and then assigning a drive letter or mountpoint server-side for the volume. With the Command Set, you can automate this process from start to finish and complete your provisioning process in minutes instead of hours or days.

To augment this process, you can leverage the Exchange 2007 cmdlets to create your storage groups and databases all in the same pass after the volumes are created.

Windows Failover Cluster Deployment

Taking the same principles from above, you can handle mapping the same volume on the Storage Center to multiple servers at the same time including multiple paths for scenarios that require Multipath I/O (MPIO). You can also leverage CLUSTER.EXE (part of MSCS) to automate the creation of your cluster and the individual cluster resources including details like dependencies.

Virtual Machine Deployment

Using a combination of the Storage Center Command Set and cmdlets that are available within Hyper-V, you can automate the process of provisioning storage as well as deploying virtual machines in literally minutes!

Use Replays for Backups

Instead of backing up each individual volume, how about using the replays for each volume as the source for a backup? Included with the Storage Center Command Set is sample script called “Push2Tape”. This script will take the name of the volume on the Storage Center, retrieve a list of available replays for that volume, and then create a view of the latest replay map that to a tape or media server as either a drive letter or mountpoint. With the replays mounted on the tape or media server, that server is then the sole point for all your backups. This process will take the overhead that is typically associated with running backups on a production server, and put that on the tape or media server.

The possibilities are endless. Login to Knowledge Center today and download your copy of the Storage Center Command Set for Windows PowerShell. You can also register to join our secure online group and share best practices with other Compellent PowerShell users.