StorSimple pre-installation validation script

In order to deploy StorSimple arrays (virtual or physical, there are certain requirements and pre-requisites that need to be in order. These are defined on the Azure.com documentation site and mostly pertain to having sufficient external connectivity to Azure & internet endpoints.

To simplify the process of ascertaining whether or not an environment is suitable for StorSimple, I have devised a little script that can be run on a Windows 8+ machine and checks network services & outbound connectivity to certain hosts/endpoints over the required ports.

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A script to remotely connect to a StorSimple 8000 series device

The article here on the Azure Documentation site describes the process to connect to a StorSimple device using remote PowerShell.

If, however, you’d rather just run a cheeky little script and have it do everything for you, here you go!

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Cloning StorSimple volumes to a central host every day

From time to time, one may come across a scenario whereby there’s a requirement to mount snapshot backups from a single (or set of) volume(s) on a central host server, perhaps for data validation, verification, consistency checking, assessment, analysis etc.

We can satisfy this requirement easily using Azure PowerShell, utilising the below code in a script to run on a schedule (either via Windows Scheduler, or probably more preferable, using runbooks & Azure Automation). Please ensure that the initial steps (Add-AzureAccount, Select-AzureSubscription, Select-StorSimpleResource etc.) are done prior to executing the below code, otherwise you might error out.

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List all StorSimple volumes that are mapped to a specific host, using Azure PowerShell

Using the Azure Management Portal, we can easily cycle through Volume Containers to see which volumes are mapped to host servers. The only downside is that the portal view on shows volumes within a Volume Container.

This article will show how we can use Azure PowerShell to retrieve volume details, and then filter to show only those mapped to a specific host server.

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Clone all volumes from a StorSimple backup set using PowerShell

As a wise man once said:

GUIs make simple tasks easier to do, but complex tasks almost impossible.

This is often true in many scenarios. Consider that we have a StorSimple 8000 device, with 12 volumes that all form part of a Linux LVM or Windows Storage Pool which are backed up into the Cloud together in a single backup policy. To recover data using the StorSimple hardware snapshots (whilst keeping the original volume set online), we’ll need to clone these volumes and present them back to a host server, which could the original host, or an alternate host.

But, won’t cloning 12 volumes from the GUI be a pretty tedious process? You bet. So let’s have a look at how we can do this easily using PowerShell:

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List all storage volumes on a StorSimple device using Azure PowerShell

We can view our StorSimple storage volumes on the Azure portal, but can only do this on a per Volume Container basis. On the dashboard view, we can show the total number of volumes that we have created.

But what if we want to list all volumes on a device? Here’s how, using the StorSimple cmdlets in the Azure PowerShell SDK:

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How to find MAC addresses for StorSimple 8000 series interfaces

Knowing MAC addresses can be useful for network teams for a number of reasons, no less being able to accurately identify a device’s existence on a network, and perform tracing.

You can find the MAC addresses of StorSimple interfaces by doing the following from either serial or remote PowerShell:

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Reviewing StorSimple 8000 series log files

All good storage subsystems log informational detail, events & statistics to assist support representatives in investigating and resolving issues or smoothing out wrinkles.

The Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8000 series has a publicly available PowerShell module that allows administrators & systems engineers to also review log data from a device in Event Viewer (on Windows systems).

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Data restore methods with StorSimple 8000

There are various restore methods using the Microsoft Azure StorSimple storage platform, and these are based on the inbuilt snapshot technology. StorSimple Cloud Snapshots underpin a lot of the restore scenarios, and allow you to present datasets through any of your surviving StorSimple devices.

With regards to restoring data from backups on a StorSimple 8000 device (to the same device), you have 2 options:

a.)     Restore the entire backup set (aka a rollback of all volumes in the backup set)

b.)    Clone a volume from a backup set

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