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Vol. 3 No. 4 June 2004

Down-to-earth HBAs

How to better manage HBAs With so much time spent managing host bus adapters (HBAs), here are some tips to minimize the hassles: Configure it right the first time. Update the firmware and driver software as soon as you install it and set the HBA defaults to your company's standards. Use third-party storage resource management (SRM) tools for reporting. Almost every SRM tool will provide basic HBA information such as the driver level, firmware, manufacturer and number of LUNs accessed by the HBA. You need this information to track which HBA is doing what. Start testing and using vendor-provided failover and load balancing drivers. If you are not already using an HBA driver provided by a storage array vendor such as EMC Corp. or IBM Corp, the HBA vendors' drivers provide similar functionality without any storage array dependencies and will help increase a server's availability and performance. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Obviously, one wants to stay current with regular maintenance updates, but with so many things that can go...

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