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Storage Foundation Basic

Created: 13 Jun 2013 • Updated: 14 Jun 2013 | 5 comments
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We have a temporary requirement to transfer large files in a short space of time between HP-UX and Windows.  We have gigabit between the servers, but the transfer times are too long for a migration period we have.  So I'm looking to see whether I can do something clever using VxFS.

VxFS is the standard filesystem for HP-UX (but not VxVM - we use LVM).  What I'd like to do, if possible is as follows: -

  * Create a VxFS filesystem on a HP-UX 11.31 server, using layout 7 which is supported by HP-UX and also I believe in VxFS 6.X.

  * Populate the filesystem

  * Unmount and unpublish the SAN lun, and re-publish to a Windows server

  * Mount the filesystem

  * Unmount and unpublish the SAN lun, and re-publish to the HP-UX server

Because Storage Foundation Basic doesn't support LVM, we would create the filesystem to use the entire LUN.  The question is, will Storage Foundation Basic be able to mount this filesystem direct from a complete SAN lun?  HP-UX doesn't support MBR partitions etc, nor do we have VxVM, so whole-disk is the only solution.  What I don't know is whether Windows will try and "stamp" on the disk because it's got no partition table, or whether Storage Foundation will be able to mount it.

I did download Storage Foundation Basic, but the download is for version 6.0.2 which only supports Windows 2012.  If there's any chance of this working, I need to get hold of 6.0.1 which I understand supports 2008.  Is there a link for this somewhere?



Operating Systems:

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mikebounds's picture

There are at least 3 issues to overcome:

  1. Logical Volume Management
    You say HP-ux does not recognise MBR partitions and Windows does not recognise HP-ux partitions, so you will need to have Storage Foundation on BOTH systems (Basic or full version - as I believe HP-ux has an option to install SF as part of install) and then you will need to create a diskgroup which you can import and deport between HP-ux and Windows
  2. Filesystem:
    Storage Foundation for Windows does not come with vxfs because Microsoft will not support vxfs, so you will need to create a filesystem that both HP-ux and Windows support like FAT32 or NTFS
  3. Endianess:
    Windows running on x64 has little Endian, but I think HP-ux probably has Big Endian so you will probably have to convert from one to the other

You can find more detailed information in which discusses migration between Windows and Linux so this is similar


UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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Wally_Heim's picture

This will not work.  The diskgroup configuration between HP-UX and Windows versions of Storage Foundation are not compatible with each other. 

The best solution at this point would be to increase the network bandwidth to the point that the copy can complete within the timeframe needed.


mikebounds's picture

I did wonder if diskgroup were compatible between Linux/UNIX and Windows, but I thought the IBM redbook referenced in my last post was migration between Linux and Windows, but it is between Linux and UNIX.

I don't know why diskgroups are not compatible as I thought diskgroups on both UNIX and Windows consisted of a private region at the beginning of the disk followed by contiguous pieces of disks which are the subdisks that make up the volumes described in the private region, so I thought it just need the pricate region to be the same format, but perhaps it is more complicated than this.

Why do you need to do this - could you use network storage, so share from one of the two systems (or a 3rd SAN connected system) and CIFS mount on the other system.


UK Symantec Consultant in VCS, GCO, SF, VVR, VxAT on Solaris, AIX, HP-ux, Linux & Windows

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szhargrave's picture

Many thanks both.  That kinda scuppers that, but makes perfect sense.

Plan-B is to access the files over the network via CIFS - it's just that loading a large amount of data from a local filesystem is a lot more comfortable than doing the same from a network share.  I guess we'll just have to make sure that they make the load process properly re-runnable in the case of a network outage so it can pick up from where it left off.

Iteresting point of having SF on HP-UX though - I thought it was separately licensed, but it looks like the VxVM Base is included, it's only the Full product that's separately licensed.

Wally_Heim's picture

Hi Mike,

The private regions are pretty similar for the most part.  They contain the same basic sections and details.  However, the contain several switches (bits) that mean different things from Windows and Unix/Linux versions.  As such, the different platforms will recongize that the private region is from a different OS and will show the diskgroup as "Foreign" and will not allow it to be imported.

There are also some major differences in supported sizes.  Windows only supports private regions of 1 MB.  Unix/Linux I beleive support private region sizes up to 32 MB??? 

For Windows on MBR disks, the private region is always the last 1 MB of the drive. I'm not sure where Unix/Linux put the private region on MBR disks.

For Windows on GPT disk, the private region is in the first 64-128MB region of the disk.  While GPT reserves a 2 MB section for our private region, Windows only uses 1 MB of that space at this time.  Again, I'm not sure how Unix/Linux handles its private region on GPT disks.

Thank you,