Dell Storage Volume Cleanup with PowerShell

If you’re new to PowerShell with Dell Storage, be sure to take a look at this post.  Depending upon the size of system that your managing, over the course of time, you might have experienced some challenges in managing disk resources, especially if you’re using an array in a lab-type environment.

Here’s an easy way to inventory volume objects on your SC Series array which are not currently mapped, and also find out how much actual space they’re consuming. Continue reading “Dell Storage Volume Cleanup with PowerShell”

PowerShell Scripting Options for Dell Storage

Back in 2008, Compellent released their first iteration of the PowerShell Command Set.  They were the first storage vendor on the scene to provide PowerShell automation capabilities with the Series 40 array.

Fast forward a bunch of years.  The PowerShell Command Set has grown from 50 cmdlets to over 100, and added the capability to work with more advanced features like replication and Live Volume. Continue reading “PowerShell Scripting Options for Dell Storage”

Be More Fluid with the New Storage Center Command Set for PowerShell

Windows PowerShell was designed as a scripting language to help IT administrators automate repetitive tasks that could otherwise be error-prone by nature and in return free administrators to focus on other activities of the IT Pro. 

We began the voyage over two years ago in expanding the capabilities of automation with the Compellent Storage Center by creating the Compellent Storage Center Command Set for Windows PowerShell.  As the first storage vendor on the PowerShell scene, we offered over 60 cmdlets in our 1.0 release to handle anything from user management and alerting, to storage provisioning and volume management for the Windows platform.

In just a short time from now, Compellent will be releasing its new version of the Storage Center Command Set 6.0.  This new version includes a number of features including new cmdlets that support the configuration and management of a new Storage Center feature called Live Volume, as well as Remote Instant Replay.  Along with new features, the syntax of many of the existing cmdlets have changed to simplify their use, provide naming consistency across cmdlets, as well as increase the availability of pipelining results from one cmdlet to another.  Watch for future posts where we’re cover some of the newness in more detail.

How is PowerShell and the Compellent Command Set being used in your environment?  Leave me a note – I’d love to hear your story!

Watch for more updates on Compellent’s Blog: Around the Block.

Compellent PSCS One-Liner Coding: Tip #2

With Compellent Storage Center 5, you have the ability to control whether an alert is generated for individual servers when connectivity changes.

This means when your server reboots or you switch around cables (in your lab environment of course), these alerts are triggered and show up in the system alerts as well as the GUI which presents a “stop light” that isn’t green.

You can control this connectivity per server in the Storage Center Manager, or perhaps you want to disable it for all of your lab servers.  Here’s a simple way to do so.  In this example I take the servers that are in my folder on the Storage Center and turn off their connectivity alerts.

Get-SCServer -ConnectionName SC5 | ?{ $_.ParentFolder -eq "Justin" } | { Set-SCServer -Index $ _.Index -EnableConnectivityAlert:$false -ConnectionName SC5 }

Beginner hints: The usage of “?” in PowerShell is synonymous with “where”.  We use this to filter the Get-SCServer cmdlet in the above example.  Additionally, “%” is synonymous with “for-each”, also used in the example.


Compellent PSCS One-Liner Coding: Tip #1

The Compellent Storage Center provides in-depth reporting, alerting, and monitoring as part of the platform.  It’s very important for Storage Administrators to monitor and review the alerts (informational or otherwise) that might be generated on their Storage Center.

By design, alerts in the Storage Center will change the “stop-light” status from green to red, especially critical alerts where, for example, a component is malfunctioning or a path between the controllers and disk are down.  It is also by design that these alerts have to be acknowledged one-by-one in the Storage Center interface.

That being said, there are times when you might be performing some configuration changes or maintenance that could trigger alerts.  Having to acknowledge 10 alerts is one thing, but lets say you replaced a switch, and lets say there are now 50 alerts.  How can I acknowledge those quickly and easily using the Compellent Storage Center PowerShell Command Set?

Like this:

Get-SCAlert -ConnectionName SC12 | foreach {Acknowledge-SCAlert -Index $_.Index -ConnectionName SC12}

This will get a list of alerts from the connection I have previously saved using the Get-SCConnection cmdlet.  We then pipe that to the Acknowledge-SCAlert cmdlet which then acknowledges the alert on the Storage Center.  I just cleared my 50 alerts in less than a minute!

NOTE: It really is important to review the alerts that your system might be generating.  Use all script examples with caution.

Seattle Tech Field Day

I’m still getting caught up on events, so I thought I’d share with you a little about our participation in the 2010 Tech Field Day held in Seattle, WA. 

Back in the middle of July, Compellent had an opportunity to participate in Gestalt IT Tech Field Day.  As it says on their website, “This unique event brings together innovative IT product vendors and independent thought leaders, allowing them to get to know one another. It is a forum for engagement, education, hands-on experience, and feedback.”

Compellent was thrilled to be part of the experience as one of five sponsors for this event.  Others included F5, NEC, Veeam, and Nimble Storage, who used Tech Field Day as their official launch.

The event focused around these different vendors who had the opportunity to present their technologies to an esteemed panel of delegates.  The delegates, which comprised of technologists and bloggers, came from around the world.

The evening of July 15th included a reception and dinner at the Boeing Museum of Flight.  This was about the coolest thing I’ve seen.  I have a love for aviation, but to see where some of the first aircraft were built was simply amazing. 

First Flying Machine

The welcome reception was held in the “Red Barn”.  This is the original Boeing airplane factory.  The smell of the wood barn interior makes you feel like you were there.  Seeing the woodshop tools that were used to create the different components of the flying machine was pretty cool.

Red Barn - The Original Boeing Airplane Factory

This was an opportunity for us to meet the other vendors in attendance, but more importantly to meet all of the delegates and learn more about them and what they do.  Liem Nguyen, the director of Corporate Communications for Compellent helped to coordinate Compellent’s sponsorship and involvement, and is seen below with Kirby Wadsworth, a marketing exec with F5 Networks.  You can’t tell from this picture, but Kirby was rockin’ some pretty sweet yellow slacks that night.

Liem Nguyen (Compellent) and Kirby Wadsworth (F5 Networks)

Most of the delegates in one form or another were involved in IT, but specifically this Tech Field Day was focused on virtualization.  So, the basis of what we talked about centered around our virtualized storage solution, but also the integration points with Hyper-V and VMware.

Bob Fine, Director of Product Marketing, Scott DesBles, Director of Technical Solutions, and myself tag-teamed to present the Compellent solution.  Bob and Scott provided the Compellent overview and a roadmap discussion which seemed to keep the panel engaged, and we also discussed Live Volume while demonstrating the Compellent Storage Center and its ease of use in addition to Enterprise Manager, the “single pane of glass” which can be used to manage multiple Storage Centers in your environment and the interface that enables the world-famous “6 clicks to replicate a volume’”. 

Check out Liem’s blog post about Tech Field Day with some exclusive interview footage of the delegates and shots from the Museum of Flight.

We had a blast meeting with the delegates and other vendors in Seattle.  We’d love the opportunity to do this again and continue to share the Compellent story.

Cargo plane on approach, Mount Rainer in background

Did I mention the view in Seattle?  For this last picture, I was amazed at how close the parking lot was to the runway at Boeing Field.  We were able to get some great photos and videos of the experience.  Here’s a nice shot of a cargo aircraft on approach with Mount Rainer in the distance.

Search Your Compellent Storage Center Using Windows PowerShell

Using Windows PowerShell and the Compellent Storage Center Command Set for PowerShell, I have created a simple script that performs searches for server and volume objects providing results of each in addition to their related mappings.  This can be helpful if you have multiple levels of server or volume folders.

If you have ideas for scripts or would like to share your creations with other Compellent customers, check out the Forums at the Compellent Customer Portal. [authentication required]

Compellent Volume Reporting with PowerShell

Compellent Enterprise Manager works great for managing your Storage Center environment and providing reports on volume usage and utilization.

I was looking for a little different spin on the information.  I was looking for a cumulative volume count across an entire Storage Center, plus a total count of replays on the system, and how many of the volumes that exist are actually mapped up to a server object.

For example, the test system that I ran my script on determined that we had over 900 volumes with over 3,000 replays.  We also realized that we had some cleanup to do when we figured out that only 180 of the volumes were actually mapped up.

I did build into the script to collect the page count of each replay so you could tell how large they were if you wanted to; just the calculation needs to be added.

If you have any ideas on how this script could be more useful in your environment, drop me a comment below.

PowerShell with Compellent and Exchange 2010

I’ve been doing lots of work in the lab lately with Exchange 2010 to understand all the new changes and how it works with the Compellent Storage Center.

With Exchange 2010, the concept of Storage Groups no longer exists.  Databases are the sole object and are a peer to the server now.  Database names must be unique, but can be moved from server to server as necessary.

In the past, I’ve shared some scripts on how to provision storage for an Exchange 2007 environment.  I’ve slightly reworked this script to account for no longer needing storage groups, but to also automatically create the mailbox database on the Exchange Server and mount it when completed.