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

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Compellent, Development, 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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Compellent, Development, PowerShell

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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Compellent, Development, PowerShell

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.

Is Your PowerShell Slow to Start?

Posted 7 CommentsPosted in Development, PowerShell, Windows

I ran into a scenario last week where we had loaded the Compellent Storage Center Command Set for Windows PowerShell on a server.  When we launched the shell shortcut, the window opened but took a long time to get to a PowerShell command prompt.

So, what causes slow start-up when loading PowerShell?

The most common reason seems to be that machines experiencing this slowness are not connected to the Internet.

What?

Well, when Since PowerShell is loading the Compellent Command Set DLL externally, .NET has a security feature to check Microsoft’s CRL, or Certificate Revocation List.  This process verifies the authenticity and validity of the software publisher’s certificate.  If this check can’t reach the Internet, the process will time out after several minutes.  Now, this doesn’t prevent anything from loading (which seems odd), but it takes a couple minutes for a process that should take only a couple of seconds.

The easiest resolution at this point appears to allow Internet access to the server.  If that is not possible, you can disable the check for the publisher’s certificate revocation.  You can do this from Internet Explorer (or Control Panel, Internet Options) by clicking on Tools, Internet Options.  Under the Security section of the Advanced tab, uncheck “Check for publisher’s certificate revocation”.

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NOTE: These type of security features are in place for a reason.  Take extreme caution when considering disabling these.