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Setup Fibre Channel on Windows Server

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Pure Storage no longer officially supports Windows Server 2008 or 2008R2 , which has reached end of support by Microsoft. Please refer to the Windows Server Catalog for version compatibility.


The Pure Storage FlashArray supports the Fibre Channel (FC) connectivity. Setting up FC connectivity to the FlashArray is very straightforward. Fibre Channel configuration for connectivity is within the fabric of the infrastructure and does not involve protocol configuration on the host like iSCSI. 

The screenshot below illustrates four connected FC Ports (CT0.FC0/FC1 and CT1.FC0/FC1) on a Pure Storage FlashArray//M20. These ports will be configured using Step 05.2 -- Setup FC Connectivity. Step 05.2 references this current article. 


The following steps will illustrate how to connect to the Pure Storage FlashArray FC ports using the Windows Server Disk Management tools.

In the previous Windows Server Best Practice Guides, it was noted that Emulex HBA Queue Depth (default = 32) and NodeTimeOut (default = 30) settings should be changed from their defaults. This is no longer recommended. These settings were used with the earlier versions of Purity OE and the FlashArray 300/320. 

Setup Host, WWNs and Volume Connectivity with FlashArray Management Tools

This section walks through the steps for configuring FC using the Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools provided by Pure Storage FlashArray management interface.

Configuring FlashArray Host, WWNs, and Volume

  1. Open the Pure Storage FlashArray Management interface and log into the FlashArray.
  2. Click on the Storage tab and select Hosts.
  3. Click on the + in the upper right hand corner of the  Hosts section to open the Create Host dialog box. Give the new host a name and select a host personality if appropriate, otherwise leave the default value of "None".

  4. Select the newly created host. Click the 'vertical ellipsis'  icon within the Host Ports panel and select Configure WWNs.

  5. The Configure Fibre Channel WWNs for Host dialog box will open. Select the WWNs from the Existing WWNs list. To identify the proper WWNs for a host refer to Retrieve World Wide Names (WWNs) on Windows Server.

With a properly configured fabric that has a Pure Storage FlashArray connected the WWNs for all the hosts connected to the fabric will be displayed in the Existing WWNs list. If they do not show up and it is necessary to enter them manually refer to Retrieve World Wide Names (WWNs) on Windows Server.


6. Click on the + in the Volumes section to create a volume. For this example, the name FC-TestVolume with a size of 500 G is being used. A different name and size can be used. Specify values for bandwidth and/or IOPS limits if desired.

7. After creating the new volume, navigate back to the Hosts view and select the host. Within the Connected Volumes pane click the 'vertical ellipsis' icon and select the Connect... menu item.


8. The Connect Volumes to Host dialog will open. Click on the FC-TestVolume (or whatever volume name was created) then click Connect.


9. Now the new host is connected to the new volume, FC-TestVolume, with the host WWNs configured.


10. In the FlashArray Management interface, select Health from the lefthand menu and then click Connections. Within the Host Connections pane, select the host that was just configured. The Connection Map for Host dialog should show Redundant connections. 


When all volumes are disconnected from a host, the FlashArray will disconnect the session to the initiator and wait for the initiator's commands to re-establish the session, a new session will be created with the next initiator request from the host. If the initiator doesn't log back in, the Host Port Connectivity for this initiator will show connections as grayed out.

By removing the session we guarantee that both the target and initiator understand the channel is closed and no more data can be sent down it. This is a protection against unexpected re-use of the session.

Test Connectivity

To test the connectivity from the host to the FlashArray you can use DISKSPD for a basic plumbing test. DISKSPD is a storage load generator/performance test tool from the Microsoft Windows, Windows Server, and Cloud Server Infrastructure Engineering teams.

DISKSPD is not recommended for performance testing. The use case mentioned here is to simply test the connectivity to the FlashArray.

Running diskspd with the below example command line will generate I/O to evaluate connectivity. The <DRIVE_LETTER> in the command line should be the drive letter of the newly connected volume. To learn how to set up a drive letter for a newly connected volume, see Working with Volumes on a Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 or 2019 Host.

 .\Diskspd.exe -b8K -d3600 -h -L -o16 -t16 -r -w30 -c400M <DRIVE_LETTER>:\io.dat

The results of the plumbing test should generate similar output as below.


The host can also be monitored using the Purity CLI with the pureuser account with the below command. 

pureuser@myarray-ct0:~# purehost monitor --balance
Name      Time                     Initiator WWN  Initiator IQN                       Target       Target WWN  Failover  I/O Count  I/O Relative to Max
Server01  2017-06-07 09:30:06 PDT  -      (primary)    -           -         500187     99%
                                          (secondary)              -         506741     100%