Q

Swapping out SANs without damaging clusters

I have a Dell PowerEdge SAN system with an NT 4.0 cluster running Oracle server system. Recently, the company decided to upgrade the SAN with EMC CX300 and use the old SAN in a testing environment. What is there the most efficient way to replace the SAN without damaging the NT/Oracle clustering system?
For your environment, and without knowing what your current SAN storage is, it sounds like what you will want to do is to install your new storage along side your existing SAN storage, and then perform a data migration from the old to the new. This can be done either online or offline. For example, you could do a backup from existing SAN storage and restore to the new storage, and then make associated name changes for your storage volumes. Another option is to talk to the supplier of your EMC CX300 to see if EMC SANcopy makes sense and is applicable for your environment. EMC SANcopy can copy data from some source storage systems to an EMC storage device like the Clariion CX300 on a LUN-by-LUN basis. This is a good approach if the database data is idle and you can schedule some time to perform the data copy. Depending on how you have your NT cluster configured, you might be able to add the new storage, perform an online copy and migrate from the old to the new data. It probably goes without saying, however, that a best practice when moving from one storage device to the other regardless of size is to have a backup copy of your data made before starting the migration.
This was first published in September 2004

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