Storage Overview and iSCSI SANs with Hands on Labs

Audience: Software Engineers or administrators who are already working or planning to work on products based on iSCSI technology

Prerequisites: Basic understanding of Computer Architecture and Networking

Delivery Method: Classroom Training and Hands on Labs

Audience Size: Not more than 15 attendees

Duration: 3 Days

Course Content:

Day 1 Day 2
Module 1: Storage Technology Overview
  • Basics of disk storage, block storage, RAID
  • Hardware and software components from the storage stack
  • No single point of failure configurations
  • Quick overview of LVM, file-system, simple cluster
  • Introduction to SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage)
  • Introduction to Storage Array Architecture and Functionality

Module 2: SCSI Architecture Model

  • SCSI evolution – SCSI-1, SCSI-2, SCSI-3
  • Overview of SCSI-3 layered architecture model
  • SCSI basic concepts
  • SCSI Remote Procedure Call Model (requirements from a transport layer protocol)

Module 3: SCSI Protocol

  • SCSI Command sets (all devices – mandatory commands, commands for block devices)
  • Brief introduction to SCSI reservations 
  • Control/data flow of a typical read and write operation
Module 4: iSCSI Protocol
  • iSCSI architecture and basic concepts
  • SCSI Mapping
  • iSCSI Phases of operation, PDU formats, Control flow
  • Error Handling and Recovery
  • iSCSI Security Considerations
  • CHAP authentication
  • iSNS

Module 5: iSCSI SANs Overview

  • Practical Considerations while implementing iSCSI SANs
  • Comparison with Fibre Channel SANs

Module 6: Snapshots and Backup

  • Concept of Snapshot as a point in time copy
  • Different snapshot approaches/mechanisms
  • Application consistency related issues with snapshots and how they are resolved
  • Quick overview of backup
Day3 - Hands on Labs
  • Tools: VMware Server Based Virtual Machines running on PCs networked on a LAN, Ubuntu Linux, iSCSI Enterprise Target, open-iscsi initiator for Linux, Wireshark protocol analyzer, sg_utils, scu (scsi utility), iometer, Windows iSCSI initiator
  • Configuring storage using RAID and LVM technologies
  • Presenting iSCSI Logical Units, Initiator Access Control (LUN Masking)
  • Creating and presenting snapshots
  • Performing Device Discovery from Windows, capturing protocol trace using Wireshark, protocol trace analysis for commands sent by the initiator (CDB level) and corresponding responses from the target
  • Accessing the target from Linux initiator
  • Use of sg_utils and scu from Linux and Windows to perform various CDB level operations
  • Using iometer for performance baseline and load testing

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