Detecting SAN configuration problems: Logical disks

When configuring a SAN, system administrators often experience problems involving logical disk partitions.

A logical disk is part of a physical disk drive that has been partitioned and allocated as an independent unit, so that it functions as a separate drive. One physical drive can be partitioned into different logical drives. It's also possible to create a single logical disk by aggregating multiple physical disk drives.

If you are configuring a SAN and multiple servers are able to access the same logical disks, the SAN is not properly configured. If this happens, try using Windows Explorer from multiple hosts to access the logical disks on the SAN. If you try to access a logical disk and receive an error message such as "Access Denied" or "Device Not Ready," another server may have access to the logical disk you are attempting to use.

A related configuration problem occurs when you add or configure logical disks and notice that multiple servers report that they've found new hardware. If either of these problems occur, you can try reconfiguring the SAN or turn to your hardware vendor for assistance. The hardware vendor of the SAN is the best source of information about the proper configuration.

About the author: Rahul Shah currently works at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experiences deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.

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This was first published in October 2006

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