How many gatekeepers should I present in my SAN? I have an EMC 8430 with 82 disks, 407 HyperVolumes and five big HP UNIX servers. Should I have one gatekeeper for every server?
There is a good paper on the EMC site that goes into detail on the SYMAPI and the use of gatekeepers. Here is an excerpt:
"Gatekeeper devices I/O commands executed by SYMAPI are transferred to the Symmetrix via a Symmetrix device that is designated as a gatekeeper device. The gatekeeper allows SYMAPI functions to retrieve configuration and status information from the Symmetrix without interfering with normal Symmetrix operations. By default, SYMAPI uses one of the available Symmetrix devices as a gatekeeper. Alternatively, you can establish the use of specific devices as gatekeepers."
So the gatekeeper acts as the target to accept commands from an external server wishing to control the functions of the SYM box. Following this logic, I would assume the best practice would be to have at least one gatekeeper for every application running on the array you wish to control. This will spread the command load around a bit. In other words, use one gatekeeper device for SRDF, another for Timefinder, etc.
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This was first published in April 2003