Did you have a change to test this new firmware (which seems, if I am not mistaken, specific to Window server OS) ?
I appreciate your question and concern, but unfortunately I do not have the answers to your technical questions. I think it is better to direct those questions to dell support and/or create a new question on the forum. I am not a VRTX / SPERC product specialist, I only had some issues with the setup and figured out a lot on my own.
Sorry I can't be of any help regarding your questions.
I would advice against running this firmware based on my experience this past 6 weeks. My VRTX running a Dev/Test ESXi cluster was plagued with issues after upgrading to this firmware and enabling the 2nd Perc. The VMs and hosts would become unresponsive. Commands issued to the hosts would timeout on the VI Client. vMotions (manual or DRS initiated) would fail to complete. The logs for the hosts would keep reporting about 'Lost connectivity to Datastore' issues.
After the 4th outage to this environment, which was running solid on firmware 23.8.12 with the 2nd Perc disabled, we think there's issues with the firmware. In short:
Furthermore, after calling Dell Support this morning, I was told that I should not be running this firmware with both controllers AND writeback enabled. That the firmware that fixes the issues with writeback and dual controllers was due in Q1. And yes, I did tell the tech on the line that is not what my TAM told me and not what the download page for the latest firmware says, but the tech still said that information was not accurate. So I emailed my TAM to get some clarification. But yeah, I advise against putting this in a production environment.
Did this firmware update solved your problema? i mean, with this update you were able to set the dual SPERC8 in fault tolerance and obtain the same performance as with one SPERC?
We have lost complete confidence in this ever going to work and as the VRTXs are in production for quite some time now, we are not going to test this. We have had enough trouble and downtime due to these faulty/buggy firmware(s).
So we don't know if the latest firmware will solve the problem and we are unwilling to take the risk atm.
Not sure what your remaining issues are (after the latest firmware updates from a few months ago), Erik, but we've had a half a dozen of these running in somewhat hostile environments (temperature, vibration, tilt, power cuts on half of the PSUs) and no failures so far. Longevity is still to be determined, of course.
Running them with both raid controllers with recent firmwares hasn't given us any headaches so far. We even got some scripts from Dell to simulate a failed controller to see if failover worked as intended, and it did in our tests. Performance is not stellar (hell, we're running RAID6 mostly), but certainly not troublesome so far. Our tests showed greatly increased performance with the dual controllers and write-back. Performance was within expected parameters for us (hence the choice to even go with RAID 6, since it was "good enough"). We are obviously not running high performance database or HDD intensive processing on this though. You also might not want to use write-back if you don't have redundant power and/or UPS backing.
What has proved most annoying is the phasing out of the M520 blades (there will not be an M530). Dell only offers the M630 as an alternative, but it's 10% more expensive. That's on top of the expected 5-7% price increase, we're looking at swallowing due to the weak euro. That's eating my budgets for future planned deployments.
did you complete your testing with the latest FW? Does it work now as expected?
Here is my update on my situation. There IS an issue with the 23.8.12 and 23.11.16 PERC 8 firmwares. Under certain load conditions, the blades will consistently lose connectivity to the storage due to insane latenly spikes. We had this happen on two of our VRTX systems running vsphere that are used for dev/test.
We worked closely with Dell, including running a custom firmware with debugging flags enabled. Eventually they were able to reproduce the issue we were seeing on their labs. The result of that engagement was a new firmware which is currently available that, per Dell, addresses the issue. That firmware version is 23.11.46. We are currently in the process of upgrading all of our 16 VRTX systems.
I am just wondering, did the firmware update help solve the issue?