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Publication numberUS20030189929 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/270,131
Publication dateOct 9, 2003
Filing dateOct 15, 2002
Priority dateApr 4, 2002
Also published asDE60324539D1, EP1496649A1, EP1496649A4, EP1496649B1, EP1796317A2, EP1796317A3, EP1796317B1, EP1940082A2, EP1940082A3, EP1940082B1, US7752295, US20050055428, WO2003085894A1
Publication number10270131, 270131, US 2003/0189929 A1, US 2003/189929 A1, US 20030189929 A1, US 20030189929A1, US 2003189929 A1, US 2003189929A1, US-A1-20030189929, US-A1-2003189929, US2003/0189929A1, US2003/189929A1, US20030189929 A1, US20030189929A1, US2003189929 A1, US2003189929A1
InventorsNoriaki Matsuzaki, Yasushi Kishimoto, Fumikazu Fujimoto, Kenichi Matsumoto, Hiroki Ohashi, Hideaki Hasegawa, Keiko Usunaga, Soichi Takeuchi
Original AssigneeFujitsu Limited
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electronic apparatus for assisting realization of storage area network system
US 20030189929 A1
Abstract
An apparatus for assisting the realization of a storage area network (SAN) system is provided. The assisting apparatus includes first and second information input means and plan generating means. The first information input means is provided for inputting device data of the servers, the storages and the fiber channel switches used for the SAN system. The second information input means is provided for inputting information about physical connection among the servers, the storages and the switches. The plan generating means is provided for generating, based on the information inputted through the two information input means, a plan of a virtual storage area network system. The generated plan is visually presented by a display.
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Claims(16)
1. An apparatus for assisting realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels, the assisting apparatus comprising:
first information input means for inputting device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch;
second information input means for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels;
plan generating means for generating, based on the information inputted through the first and the second information input means, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and
display means for displaying the generated plan.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
third information input means for inputting information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system;
display control means for adding, based on the information inputted through the third information input means, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and
recording means for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.
3. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising:
information obtaining means for obtaining information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and
system structure checking means for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the obtained information about the fiber channel ports and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.
4. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein the information about the physical connection and the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system is generated by using tentative world wide port names set for the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channels.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4, further comprising logical connection setting means for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.
6. A method of assisting realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels, the method comprising:
a first information inputting step for inputting into a computer device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch;
a second information inputting step for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels;
a plan generating step for generating, based on the information inputted at the first and the second information inputting steps, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and
a displaying step for causing display means to display the generated plan.
7. The method according to claim 6, further comprising:
a third information inputting step for inputting into the computer information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system;
a display renewing step for adding, based on the information inputted at the third information inputting step, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and
a recording step for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.
8. The method according to claim 7, further comprising:
a fourth information inputting step for inputting into the computer information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and
a system structure checking step for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the information about the fiber channel ports inputted at the fourth information inputting step and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.
9. The method according to claim 7, wherein the information about the physical connection and the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system is generated by using tentative world wide port names set for the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channels.
10. The method according to claim 9, further comprising a logical connection setting step for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.
11. A program for assisting realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels, the program causing a computer to function as:
first information input means for inputting device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch;
second information input means for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels;
plan generating means for generating, based on the information inputted through the first and the second information input means, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and
display means for displaying the generated plan.
12. The program according to claim 11, further causing the computer to function as:
third information input means for inputting information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system;
display control means for adding, based on the information inputted through the third information input means, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and
recording means for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.
13. The program according to claim 12, further causing the computer to function as:
information obtaining means for obtaining information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and
system structure checking means for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the obtained information about the fiber channel ports and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.
14. The program according to claim 12, wherein the information about the physical connection and the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system is generated by using tentative world wide port names set for the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channels.
15. The program according to claim 14, further causing the computer to function as logical connection setting means for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.
16. A computer-readable recording medium that stores the program according to claim 11.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to an electronic assisting apparatus for enabling easy and low-cost realization of a storage area network system. The present invention also relates to a method and to a computer program for assisting the realization of a storage area network system.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] For the purpose of communicating data electronically, two or more computers are connected with one another through various types of networks. As known in the art, two basic network types are local-area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks. Of these, LANs connect computers and peripheral devices in a limited physical area by means of permanent links, so that each computer on the network is allowed to access a common set of files. The largest wide-area network is the Internet, which is very popular.

[0005] A LAN may be built to connect several storages and servers. With the LAN, a storage area network (SAN) system is often employed to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) by centralizing the management of the storages.

[0006] The SAN system connects the servers and the storages through a route different from that of the LAN. The server-storage connection may be established with the use of fiber channels and fiber channel switches. Dynamically connecting the servers and the storages, this connection method (often called “Fabric”) enables high-speed access to the storages from the servers.

[0007]FIG. 1 illustrates the basic structure of a SAN system. For simplicity of illustration, FIG. 1 shows only one server 100 and only one storage 200 that are connected to each other via fiber channels (consisting of seven optical fibers) 400 a˜400 g. As illustrated, the fiber cannels are provided with two intervening fiber channel switches (“FC switches”) 300A, 300B.

[0008] The server 100 is provided with two fiber channel ports (“FC ports”) 101˜102, while the storage 200 is provided with four FC ports 201˜204. The FC switches 300A and 300B are provided with FC ports 310310I and 320A-320I, respectively.

[0009] The fiber channels connect FC ports in a prescribed manner. Specifically, the fiber channel 400 a connects the FC port 310I of the FC switch 300A to the FC port 320I of the FC switch 300B. The fiber channel 400 b connects the FC port 101 of the server 100 to the FC port 310A of the switch 300A. The fiber channel 400 c connects the FC port 102 of the server 100 to the FC port 320A of the switch 300B. The fiber channel 400 d connects the FC port 310E of the switch 300A to the FC port 201 of the storage 200. The fiber channel 400 e connects the FC port 310F of the switch 300A to the FC port 202 of the storage 200. The fiber channel 400 f connects the FC port 320E of the switch 300B to the FC port 203 of the storage 200. The fiber channel 400 g connects the FC port 320F of the switch 300B to the FC port 204 of the storage 200.

[0010] For effecting the fiber channels, each of the FC ports is assigned a specific ID code, or a World Wide Port Name (“WWPN”) in a particular format. Based on the WWPNs, the zoning mechanisms 311, 321 of the FC switches 300A and 300B divide the server-storage connecting situation into several zones. As a result, it is possible to dynamically control the connection between the FC ports of the server 100 and the FC ports of the storage 200.

[0011] The zoning mechanisms 311, 321 are supplied with zoning information specifying the connecting relationship between the FC ports 101, 102 of the server 100 and the FC ports 201˜204 of the storage 200. Based on the zoning information, logical connection paths (access paths) are set between the FC ports 101, 102 of the server 100 and the FC ports 201˜204 of the storage 200. In the example shown in FIG. 1, Zone A (WWPN11, WWPN21) and Zone B (WWPN11, WWPN23) are provided by the zoning mechanism 311 of the FC switch 300A, while Zone C (WWPN12, WWPN22) and Zone D (WWPN12, WWPN24) are provided by the zoning mechanism 321 of the FC switch 300B. Accordingly, four access paths PA1, PA2, PA3 and PA4 are respectively formed between the FC port 101 and the FC port 201, between the FC port 101 and the FC port 203, between the FC port 102 and the FC port 202, and between the FC port 102 and the FC port 204.

[0012] To construct a SAN system, the types and the number of servers, storages and FC switches are specified, and then the FC switches should be physically connected to the servers and the storages by fiber channels. Further, the zone setting for the FC switches should be performed to form access paths in the SAN system.

[0013] By a conventional constructing scheme, an actual (i.e. physically-built) SAN system is constructed after a blueprint of the system has been drawn by e.g. a system designer working with a traditional drafting board. Then, FC switches are connected to the servers and the storages by using optical fibers in conformity to the blueprint. After this connection is completed, the setting of access paths is performed by using SAN-managing software. Finally, a visual inspection (i.e. inspection by humans) is performed to see if the SAN system has been built correctly.

[0014] In the conventional scheme, the blueprint drawn by the system designer is the only representation of the SAN system to be built. Unfavorably, since a SAN system often has a complicated structure, drawing the blueprint tends to be a laborious job. Accordingly, the system introduction cost tends to be high.

[0015] Another problem is as follows. After the physical structure of the system has been built, the system is subjected to the access path setting procedure. However, it has been found that the conventional setting procedure often requires much labor and time even when the above-mentioned SAN-managing software is used. In addition, a number of errors can occur when necessary data is inputted into the SAN-managing software. This adverse trend becomes more serious as the SAN system is larger.

[0016] After the SAN system construction is over, inspection is performed to see if the system has been built properly (i.e. in conformity to the blueprint). However, the conventional inspection is made by humans (system designer, system engineer, etc.) with reference to the blueprint. Thus, reviewing the entire system often takes much time. Moreover, human inspection may overlook many defects that can be entailed in the system.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0017] The present invention has been proposed under the circumstances described above. According to the present invention, preparing the plan of a virtual SAN system is performed by a computer. Further, the physically-built SAN system is subjected to computer-aided structure checking.

[0018] According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided an apparatus for assisting the realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels. The assisting apparatus includes: first information input means for inputting device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch; second information input means for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels; plan generating means for generating, based on the information inputted through the first and the second information input means, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and display means for displaying the generated plan.

[0019] Preferably, the assisting apparatus of the present invention may further include: third information input means for inputting information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system; display control means for adding, based on the information inputted through the third information input means, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and recording means for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.

[0020] Preferably, the assisting apparatus of the present invention may further include: information obtaining means for obtaining information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and system structure checking means for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the obtained information about the fiber channel ports and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.

[0021] Preferably, the information about the physical connection and the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system may be generated by using tentative world wide port names (WWPNs) set for the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channels.

[0022] Preferably, the assisting apparatus of the present invention may further include logical connection setting means for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.

[0023] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of assisting the realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels. The method includes: a first information inputting step for inputting into a computer device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch; a second information inputting step for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels; a plan generating step for generating, based on the information inputted at the first and the second information inputting steps, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and a displaying step for causing display means to display the generated plan.

[0024] Preferably, the method of the present invention may further include: a third information inputting step for inputting into the computer information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system; a display renewing step for adding, based on the information inputted at the third information inputting step, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and a recording step for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.

[0025] Preferably, the assisting method of the present invention may further include: a fourth information inputting step for inputting into the computer information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and a system structure checking step for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the information about the fiber channel ports inputted at the fourth information inputting step and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.

[0026] Preferably, the information about the physical connection and the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system may be generated by using tentative world wide port names set for the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channels.

[0027] Preferably, the assisting method of the present invention may further include a logical connection setting step for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.

[0028] According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a program for assisting the realization of a storage area network system in which a server with a fiber channel port, a storage with a fiber channel port and a fiber channel switch with a plurality of fiber channel ports are connected to each other via a plurality of fiber channels. The program causes a computer to function as: first information input means for inputting device data relating to the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch; second information input means for inputting information relating to physical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber cannel switch via the fiber channels; plan generating means for generating, based on the information inputted through the first and the second information input means, a plan of a virtual storage area network system in which the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch are physically connected via the fiber channels; and display means for displaying the generated plan.

[0029] Preferably, the program of the present invention may further cause the the computer to function as: third information input means for inputting information relating to logical connection among the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of the virtual storage area network system; display control means for adding, based on the information inputted through the third information input means, a logical connection representing symbol to the displayed plan; and recording means for causing a recording medium to store information about a structure of the virtual storage area network system and information about logical connection of the virtual storage area network system.

[0030] Preferably, the program of the present invention may further cause the computer to function as: information obtaining means for obtaining information about the fiber channel ports of the server, the storage and the fiber channel switch of a real storage area network system built in accordance with the plan of the virtual storage area network system; and system structure checking means for checking if the real storage area network system is identical in physical connection to the virtual storage area network system, the checking being performed by comparing the obtained information about the fiber channel ports and the information about the fiber channel ports of the virtual storage area network system.

[0031] Preferably, the program of the present invention may further cause the computer to function as logical connection setting means for performing automatic logical connection setting with respect to the real storage area network system based on the information about the logical connection of the virtual storage area network system stored in the recoding means.

[0032] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0033]FIG. 1 shows the structure of a SAN system;

[0034]FIG. 2 shows a general-purpose computer used for building the SAN system of the present invention;

[0035]FIG. 3 is a block diagram for illustrating the main components incorporated in the general-purpose computer;

[0036]FIG. 4 illustrates the basic concept of a system design assisting procedure of the present invention;

[0037]FIG. 5 shows an on-screen plan in which the symbols representing a server, storage and FC switches appear;

[0038]FIG. 6 illustrates how physical path setting is performed on the on-screen plan;

[0039]FIG. 7 shows an example of physical construction of a virtual SAN system;

[0040]FIG. 8 illustrates how access path setting is performed on the on-screen plan;

[0041]FIG. 9 is a block diagram of the principal functional means of a SAN system design assisting apparatus of the present invention;

[0042]FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing the system design assisting procedure;

[0043]FIG. 11 illustrates a practical example where a SAN managing server is used as a SAN system assembly assisting apparatus for building a real SAN system;

[0044]FIG. 12 is a block diagram of the principal functional means of the SAN system assembly assisting apparatus;

[0045]FIG. 13 is a flow chart showing the system assembly assisting procedure;

[0046]FIG. 14 is a flow chart showing a physical structure checking procedure performed in building the real SAN system; and

[0047]FIG. 15 illustrates a possible way to present the result of checking the physical structure of the real SAN system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0048] Preferred embodiments of the present invention will be described below with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0049] According to the present invention, a SAN realization assisting apparatus utilizes two kinds of computer programs, namely, a first program (“Program 1”) for assisting the preparation of a plan of the SAN system to be introduced and a second program (“Program 2”) for assisting the completion of the physically-built SAN system. These programs may be installed in computers like the one shown in FIG. 2. More precisely, Program 1 may be installed in any general-purpose computer in light of the system-initiating (i.e. plan-preparing) purpose of the program. Typically, this computer is not connected to the LAN to which the present invention is to be applied.

[0050] Program 2, on the other hand, may be installed in a particular computer that is connected to a real (i.e. not virtual but physically-built) SAN system constructed in accordance with the plan prepared with the aid of Program 1. The particular computer may be a SAN system managing server. In this case, after Program 2 has been installed, the particular computer functions as both the system managing server and the SAN system realization assisting apparatus. Alternatively, the particular computer may be prepared separately from the units constituting the physically-built SAN system. In this case, after Program 2 has been installed, the particular computer is connected to the SAN system. Thereafter, the computer may function only as the SAN system realization assisting apparatus, or both as the system managing server and as the SAN system realization assisting apparatus.

[0051] Referring to FIG. 2, the assisting apparatus used for system introduction will be described.

[0052] The computer 1 shown in FIG. 2 includes a main unit 11, a data-input keyboard 12 connected to the main unit 11, and a data-output display 13. The main unit 11 is provided with a drive 14 for a removable storage medium such as a floppy disk or CD-ROM.

[0053] Inside the main unit 11, referring to FIG. 3, a CPU 111, a ROM 112, a RAM 113, an input/output interface 114 and a media interface 115 are provided. The ROM 112, the RAM 113, the input/output interface 114 and the media interface 115 are connected to the CPU 111 via a bus line 116. The keyboard 12 and the display 13 are connected to the input/output interface 114, while the removable disk drive 14 is connected to the media interface 115.

[0054] The ROM 112 stores basic software (e.g. operating system) and SAN realization assisting programs in accordance with the present invention. The CPU 111 is provided with an arithmetic-logic unit and a control unit, where the control unit regulates the operations of the arithmetic-logic unit, ROM 112, RAM 113, keyboard 12, display 13, drive 14 and so forth. Under the control of the CPU 111, the SAN realization assisting programs are read out from the ROM 112 and written to the RAM 113. These programs are executed by the CPU 111 for assisting the design of the SAN system.

[0055] Referring to FIG. 4, to perform the system design assisting procedure, the data necessary for the system construction is input into the assisting apparatus 1. Based on the supplied data, a plan G of a virtual SAN system is produced, and the data of the plan G is supplied to the display 13 for visual presentation.

[0056] The above-mentioned data necessary for the system construction comes in three types. The first one is “device data” relating to the servers, storages and fiber channel (FC) switches used for construction of the SAN system. More specifically, device data concerns the types, manufacturers, brand names, etc., of the relevant units as well as the number of the units to be used for the SAN system. The second one is “physical path data” relating to the physical connection paths of the fiber channel that connects the FC ports of the above-mentioned servers, storages and FC switches of the SAN system. More specifically, physical path data concerns “FC port connection setting” that specifies the matches between the FC ports (that is, which FC port a selected FC port should be connected to). The third one is “access path data” relating to the logical connection paths through which the servers can access the storages via the FC switches.

[0057] Each of the FC ports of the servers, storages and FC switches is allotted port-specific ID information called WWPN (World Wide Port Name) composed of two kinds of numbers, namely, a number to identify the manufacturer and a number selected by the manufacturer. The setting of the physical paths for the SAN system is performed by setting the WWPN of the counterpart FC port to which a selected FC port is to be connected through the fiber channel.

[0058] As will be described later, the SAN system realization assisting scheme of the present invention requires the generation of the plan of a virtual SAN system. In the virtual system, the FC ports of the servers, storages and FC switches are not assigned real WWPNs, but tentative ID numbers (“tentative WWPNs”). In this specification, the above-mentioned device data includes these tentative WWPNs. The physical path setting for the virtual SAN system is performed by the tentative WWPNs.

[0059] Access path data mentioned above concerns the “zoning, by the FC switches in which the FC ports of the storages are sorted (or “zoned”) depending on the accessibility to the FC ports of the servers. Owing to the zoning function of the FC switches, each server can dynamically control the memory regions of accessible storages. As a result, these particular storages are regulated as if they provide a single, combined storage area. Advantageously, this realizes the effective use of the storages.

[0060] The zoning by the FC switches is also managed by the tentative WWPNs of the FC ports. Specifically, the FC ports of accessible servers and storages are divided into several zones, and the tentative WWPNs are used to specify which FC ports belong to a particular zone.

[0061] Referring to FIG. 4, device data is written to a removable data-storing medium M from which the SAN system realization assisting apparatus 1 retrieves the required data. More precisely, device data files are produced in advance for each of the servers, FC switches and storages, and these files are written to the data-storing medium M. Thereafter, the medium M is inserted into the drive 14, and the SAN system realization assisting apparatus 1 reads out the data from the medium M to store it in the RAM 113.

[0062] In accordance with device data, the CPU 111 reads out relevant image data (symbol data stored in the RAM 113) representing the servers, storages and FC switches. Then, the CPU 111 causes the display 13 to visually represent a diagram in which the symbols of the specified components (servers, storages and FC switches) appear.

[0063] The on-screen representation of the FC ports shown in the diagram is GUI-controlled. Thus, a system designer can easily mark out a physical path by designating the FC ports to be connected by fiber channels. Upon receiving the physical path data, the CPU 111 adds a channel-representing symbol to the on-screen diagram. Repeating this procedure to complete the setting of all the desired physical paths, the CPU 111 generates a file of data concerning the physical structure of the on-screen SAN system (the data includes the physical path data). This file (“SAN system structure file”) is stored in the RAM 113.

[0064] After the setting of the physical paths is over, the setting of access paths is performed by designating the FC ports of the server and the storage to be accessed. Upon receiving the access path setting information, the CPU 111 adds access path representing symbols to the on-screen diagram. Repeating the designation of the ports to be connected, the access path setting is over. Thereafter, based on the access path setting information, the CPU 111 generates commands to set the access paths in the real SAN system to be built later. The file of the commands (“access connection command file”) is stored in the RAM 113.

[0065] The above-mentioned SAN system structure file and the access connection command file, both of which are stored in the RAM 113, are used for building the real SAN system.

[0066] According to the above system design assisting scheme, an on-screen plan of the SAN system shown in FIG. 1 is produced in a manner as follows. First, device data regarding the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B is inputted into the SAN system realization assisting apparatus 1. The inputted data is stored in the RAM 113.

[0067] Then, based on the device data, suitably arranged symbols representing the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B are caused to appear on the monitor 13A of the display 13, as shown in FIG. 5.

[0068] After the desired symbols are displayed, the physical path setting is performed. Specifically, as shown in FIG. 6, the system designer designates a pair of ports to be connected by a fiber channel. In the illustrated example, the FC port 101 of the server 100 and the FC port 310A of the FC switch 300A are selected, and a fiber channel 400 is displayed to connect these two ports.

[0069] In addition to the designation of the ports, the system designer is supposed to allot tentative WWPNs (e.g. WWPNs1 and WWPNa) to the selected FC ports 101 and 310A, respectively. Then, at the FC port 101, the system designer sets WWPNa, which is the tentative WWPN of the FC port 310A to be connected with the FC port 101. Likewise, at the FC port 310A, the system designer sets WWPNs1, which is the tentative WWPN of the FC port 101 to be connected with the FC port 310A.

[0070] After the physical path setting for the first pair of FC ports is over, the other pairs of FC ports are also subjected to physical path setting in the same manner. The resultant on-screen plan G is shown in FIG. 7, in which the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B are connected via seven fiber channels 400. For the on-screen plan G, a SAN system structure file is produced and stored in the RAM 113.

[0071] Referring to FIG. 8, after the desired fiber channels are produced, the system designer selects an on-screen pair of FC ports to be connected by an access path. In the illustrated example, the FC port 102 of the server 100 and the FC port 202 of the storage 200 are selected. As a result, an access path PA3 appears on the screen, extending between the FC port 102 and the FC port 202. In addition to the on-screen selection of the ports, the setting of the tentative WWPNs for the paired FC ports is performed, as in the physical path setting described above.

[0072] After the setting of the access path A3 is finished, the setting of the other access paths PA1, PA2 and PA4 (see FIG. 1) is performed in the same manner. Thereafter, an access connection command file is produced based on the access path data. This file is stored in the RAM 113, and the system design assisting procedure ends.

[0073] Reference is now made to FIG. 9 which is a block diagram for illustrating the system design assisting function of the above-described apparatus 1.

[0074] Specifically, the device data input means 111A is provided for inputting information about the servers, storages and FC switches. The input means 111A may correspond to the removable medium M and the drive 14 (see FIGS. 2 and 4). The physical path data input means 111B and the access path data input means 111C are provided for inputting information about the physical paths and access paths, respectively. These input means may be the keyboard 12. The system plan generating means 111D is provided for generation of the plan of the virtual SAN system to be displayed on the monitor. The recording means 111E is provided for generating SAN system structure files and access path connection command files and also for storing these files in the RAM 113.

[0075]FIG. 10 is a flow chart showing how the system design assisting scheme proceeds.

[0076] Specifically, at Step 1 (S1), the CPU 111 retrieves the device data files from the removable medium M (CD-ROM, floppy disk, MO, etc.) inserted into the drive 14. As noted above, the device data files relate to the information about the servers, storages and FC switches of the SAN system. The retrieved files are stored in the RAM 113.

[0077] Then, at Step 2, based on both the device data stored in the RAM 113 and the numbers of the servers, storages and FC switches to be included in the system, the CPU 111 retrieves, from the ROM 112, symbols representing the servers, storages and FC switches. Properly arranged, the symbols are displayed on the monitor 13A (see FIG. 5).

[0078] Then, at Step 3, the CPU 111 generates physical paths based on the physical path data inputted from the keyboard 12. As a result, the desired fiber channels are added to the on-screen plan (see FIGS. 6 and 7).

[0079] Then, at Step 4, the CPU 111 generates SAN system structure files based on the on-screen plan and the inputted physical path data, and stores the files in the RAM 113.

[0080] Then, at Step 5, the CPU 111 generates access paths based on the access path data inputted from the keyboard 12. As a result, the desired access paths are added to the on-screen plan (see FIG. 8).

[0081] Finally, at Step 6, the CPU 111 generates access path connection command files based on the inputted access path data, and stored the files in the RAM 113.

[0082] According to the above-described system design assisting scheme, the display 13 electronically presents the plan of the SAN system under consideration, and the system designer can set physical paths and access paths with respect to the on-screen plan. In this manner, the plan of the SAN system can be generated more readily than by manually drawing the plan on paper. Another advantage of the electronically drawn plan is that modifications can be made more easily than on paper.

[0083] Next, a SAN system assembly assisting procedure will be described below. This procedure, which is performed subsequently to the above-noted design assisting procedure, assists the building of the real SAN system based on the system plan produced by the previous design assisting procedure. Further, in the assembly assisting procedure, physical path checking and automatic access path setting are performed with respect to the physically-built SAN system.

[0084]FIG. 11 illustrates the physically-built SAN system and a SAN system managing server 600 connected to the SAN system via a LAN 500. As will be described in detail below, the managing server 600 is responsible for the system assembly assisting procedure.

[0085] As seen from FIG. 11, the physically-built SAN system includes a server 100, a storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B. The system managing server 600 checks the setting state of the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B. In addition, the server 600 is responsible for repair of the SAN system.

[0086] The server 600 is load with the SAN system structure files and access path connection command files from the removable medium M. With the use of these files, the server 600 performs the system assembly assisting procedure.

[0087]FIG. 12 is a block diagram showing the functional means of the server 600 when working as SAN system construction assisting apparatus.

[0088] The LAN connecting means 111F is accessible to the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B via the LAN 500 for data communication. The switch data obtaining means 111G obtains, from the FC switches of the SAN system, information relating to the connecting relation between the server and the storage. This information is about the WWPNs of the respective FC ports. The system structure checking means 111H checks, if the physically-built SAN system is properly constructed. The checking is performed with reference to the FC port WWPNs of the physically-built SAN system and the tentative FC port WWPNs of the virtual SAN system. The result of the check is displayed on the monitor of the server 600. The logical connection setting means 111I sets the access paths for the physically-built SAN system based on the access path data in the access path connection command files.

[0089] Referring to the flow chart of FIG. 13, the system assembly assisting procedure will be described below.

[0090] After the real SAN system (as shown in FIG. 11) has been built in accordance with the electronically prepared plan of the virtual SAN system, a “SAN system assembly checking request” is inputted into the SAN managing server 600 from the keyboard 12 (YES at Step 10). Upon receiving this request, the CPU 111 causes the SAN system structure files in the RAM 113 to be loaded to the work area of the RAM 113 (Step 11). Then, the CPU 111 obtains physical path data from the real SAN system via the LAN (Step 12). Then, the CPU 111 compares this obtained data with the physical path data of the virtual SAN system, so as to determine whether the real SAN system has been properly built in conformity to the electronically prepared plan (Step 13).

[0091] In detail, the above determination is performed by the steps shown in FIG. 14. First, at Step 21, the CPU 111 obtains FC port connection data from the FC switches 300A, 300B of the physically-built SAN system. Thereafter, Steps 22˜25 are performed. The FC port connection data obtained during the procedure of FIG. 14 is expressed in WWPNs of the FC ports of the server 100, storage 200 or FC switches 300A, 300B. As previously stated, the WWPNs each include a manufacturer-specific number. Based on these numbers, the CPU 111 identifies the manufacturers and device types of the server 100, storage 200 and FC switches 300A, 300B. After the identification, the CPU 111 checks if each of the components of the real SAN system is identical to the counterpart of the virtual SAN system. Also, the CPU 111 checks if the fiber channels 400 are properly connected between the designated FC ports. This checking is performed by referring o the WWPNs of the FC ports to which the FC ports 310310I, 320320I of the FC switches 300A, 300B are supposed to be connected.

[0092] The result of the check is visually presented by the display 13 (Step 14). As shown in FIG. 15, the structure of the real SAN system appears in the left half region of the monitor 13A, while the structure of the virtual SAN system appears in the right half region of the same monitor. In the illustrated example, the fiber channel 400 to be connected between the FC switch 300A and the FC switch 300B of the virtual SAN system is blinking. This indicates that the physically-built SAN system is missing the required cascade connection between the FC switch 300A and the FC switch 300B. Such on-screen indication is advantageous to prompting the system engineer to install the missing element. The way of error indication is not limited to the above example. As another way, the symbol of the missing fiber channel may be blinked in the left half region of the monitor 13A.

[0093] When the real SAN system is built without any defection, no blinking symbol appears on the monitor 13A. Thus, the system engineer can readily know that the physical structure of the SAN system is correct.

[0094] Thereafter, an “access path automatic setting request” is inputted from the keyboard 12 (YES at Step 15). Upon receiving this request, the CPU 111 causes the access path connection command files stored in the RAM 113 to be loaded to the work area of the RAM 113 (Step 16). Upon this, the CPU 111 replaces the virtual access paths specified by the tentative WWPNs (and stored in the access path connection command files) with the access paths specified by the actual WWPNs obtained from the real SAN system (Step 17). The access path connection command files (with the modified WWPNs) are stored in the RAM 113 (Step 18).

[0095] Then, the CPU 111 issues an access path connection command to the real SAN system so that the desired access paths are automatically set in the real SAN system (Step 19). Specifically, the CPU 111 sends zoning data to the FC switches 300A, 300B. In the example shown in FIG. 1, the zoning data relates to Zone A (WWPN 11, WWPN 21), Zone B (WWPN 11, WWPN 23), Zone C (WWPN 12, WWPN 22) and Zone D (WWPN 11, WWPN 23). Upon receiving the zoning data, the zoning mechanisms 311, 312 of the respective switches set zones to regulate the access of the server 100 to the storage 200. As a result, the real SAN system is provided with the same access paths as the ones set for the virtual SAN system, and the system assembly assisting procedure ends.

[0096] In the above-described system assembly assisting procedure, the structure check of the physically-built SAN system is performed electronically (i.e. by a computer). In this manner, it is possible to make a fast and reliable determination of whether the SAN system is built in conformity to the original plan. Further, since the result of the check is visually presented by the display 13, it is easy to recognize any structural discrepancy between the real SAN system and the original design plan.

[0097] Still further, the automatic access path setting is advantageous to enabling easy and reliable realization of the access paths of the real SAN system.

[0098] In the above-described example, use is made of a removable medium M for conveying the system assembly assisting program. Obviously, the present invention is not limited to this. Many kinds of networks, typically the Internet or LAN, may be used for conveying the program.

[0099] The present invention being thus described, it is, obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the present invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to those skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification370/389
International ClassificationH04L12/24, H04L29/06, H04L29/08, H04L12/46
Cooperative ClassificationH04L67/1097, H04L69/329, H04L41/145, H04L41/22, H04L41/0879, H04L29/06, H04L12/4641, H04L41/0889, H04L41/0883, H04L41/08, H04L41/0866
European ClassificationH04L29/06, H04L41/08, H04L41/22, H04L41/08D1, H04L12/46V, H04L29/08N9S
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 15, 2002ASAssignment
Owner name: FUJITSU LIMITED, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MATSUZAKI, NORIAKI;KISHIMOTO, YASUSHI;FUJIMOTO, FUMIKAZU;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:013390/0125
Effective date: 20020918