EMC Solution Brief - Configuring Boot from SAN with an EMC VNX or CLARiiON

Note: This content applies to EOL equipment though the concepts are still relevant to newer Dell-EMC SANs such as Unity, ME4, and PowerStore. 

Storage Support Boot from SAN

After you successfully provision storage in Unisphere, you can head back over to the server you want to boot. You are going to enable the ROM BIOS on at least one of the two HBA ports and select the correct boot LUN.



Part I: Zoning the Brocade Switch

Part II: Provisioning Storage with EMC Unisphere

Part III: Configuring the QLogic BIOS

Part IV: Configuring ALUA / Failover in Windows and verifying dual connectivity

After pressing CTRL-Q to start the HBA configuration, select one of the adapter ports if you have a dual ported HBA. Then select the 'Adapter Settings' menu.

Q-Logic BIOS

Most of the default settings are fine, but you need to enable the Host Adapter BIOS for SAN boots. You may want to disable Fibre Channel Tape Support since certain Operating Systems like Solaris do not support multipathing to tape (and virtual tape) devices. Keeping this option enabled may prevent multipathing to other (non-tape) devices depending on driver versions.

Enable Q-Logic Boot BIOS

Exit the 'Adapter Settings' menu. Enter into the 'Selectable Boot Settings' and enable 'Selectable Boot.' You can then select one of the LUN entries and map it to the LUN on the EMC VNX / EMC CLARiiON that you wish to boot from.



Clicking enter on the "Boot Port Name, Lun:" brings up a menu for you to find the LUNs masked to your server.

Q-Logic Select Boot Device

At this point, you may want to repeat the steps above for the second HBA or HBA port. This will ensure that your sever can still boot in the event one link (path) goes down.


Note: Most operating systems, like Windows 2008, enable multipathing after boot meaning that the boot process will not "load balance" over multiple ports or HBAs.




Now escape out of all the menus and make sure you save all settings when prompted. When the server restarts, you should see BIOS outputs similar to the screen below:

Select from list of LUNs

In order to boot off the FC LUN, some HP and DELL servers quite you to set the PCI HBA in the boot order via the SYSTEM BIOS. In most cased, if you don't have any disk drives installed on your server, the system BIOS will be smart enough to try the LUNS on the HBA.

Q-Logic Option ROM BIOS Installed

Now, you need to install an OS. Booting off of a Windows 2008 R2 CD, we start the installation utility. Here is one quick shot showing the visibility of the EMC CLARiiON LUNs to the OS. (We will discuss the offline disks later.) Windows 2008 R2 comes with a lot of standard HBA drivers, so you probably won't have to use the locate driver option. If, however, the Windows setup cannot see the LUNs on the EMC storage system, downloading a driver to a CD or floppy (you still have a few of those, don't you?) would be the first thing to try. Partition and format the LUN just as you would a local disk.

Windows Select Installation Disk