Installation and Definition of

 
 
By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2002-05-15 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


SAN Components"> Configuring a server to bridge between your Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks is a straightforward process. As long as you are prepared, consistent in your methodology, and keep in mind a few conceptual irregularities, these first steps can be fairly painless. Begin by physically installing your Host Bus Adapter (HBA) in a 64-bit PCI slot in the server. Although 64-bit cards are generally backwards compatible with 32-bit slots, this usage will hamper performance to the extent that we would not recommend this configuration.
For this demonstration, we installed an Emulex LP8000 Fibre HBA in a couple of Dell PowerEdge 4-way and 2-way servers running Windows 2000 Server. As seen in the photo below, the Emulex card is equipped with an interchangeable GBIC (Gigabit Interface Converter), allowing you to swap ST and SC fibre connectors as needed (see more details on these connectors below).
Emulex LP8000 It is prudent to label your HBA at this point. HBAs are quite similar in appearance to Gigabit Ethernet Fibre Adapters. As seen below, there are a few distinguishable differences between the types of adapters, but they may be hard to spot when the system is deployed in your server room or rack. Fibre Channel HBA
One best practice to consider is maintaining conformity in your installations between servers. Standardize on which adapter is installed in which slot (ie. HBA slot 1, GigE slot 3) to avoid confusion while administering different machines. These guidelines will help you avoid many troubleshooting headaches later on. As you start the computer, Windows 2000 should recognize your adapter and begin the driver installation process. If the plug-and-play installation does not begin automatically, click START / Settings / Control Panel / Add/Remove Hardware to start the installation. Although Windows 2000 comes with default drivers for many Fibre Channel HBAs, its a good idea to make sure to have the correct and most current drivers handy--we downloaded version 1.3a1 of Emulexs LightPulse installation utility prior to installation from www.emulex.com. As evidenced below, the driver installation steps should be familiar to any Windows-aware administrator.
Armed with the correct drivers, Windows 2000 makes this step a snap.
To verify that installation completed successfully, check the Windows Device Manager. Right-click My Computer, go to the hardware tab, and hit Device Manager. Your HBA should appear under the SCSI and RAID Controllers category. Below, we have expanded our device list to show that, indeed, the driver was installed successfully and appears as a SCSI (not network) device. Device Manager Next, we advise checking the vendor Web site for any HBA firmware updates. Given the still tenuous compatibility between products from different vendors, it is in your best interest to consult the documentation for relevant compatibility information and upgrade the firmware if necessary.


 
 
 
 
Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for eWEEK.com, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at agarcia@eweek.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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