Author Name: Lakshmi Saroja Nalam
Dell PowerEdge Servers, Dell EMC Storage, Dell EqualLogic, Fibre Channel Switches, Tape Libraries, MD
Storage, Diagnostic, Systems Management and Troubleshooting
STORAGE AREA NETWORK MAINTENANCE USING DELL LASSO
By Lakshmi Nalam
Dell Lasso is a standalone SAN inventory collection utility that includes troubleshooting capabilities to
help SAN administrators verify the SAN environment, troubleshoot problems and perform repair
validation. By automating and consolidating all pertinent Hardware and Software configuration details
into a single collection, Dell Lasso can help troubleshooting, and expedite the Storage Area Network
maintenance process by accelerating the problem resolution for target SAN attached servers, Dell EMC
Storage Arrays, Fibre Channel Switches, Fibre Channel Tape Libraries and direct attached SAS storage.
Enterprise IT environments often combine complex systems and shrinking budgets for IT management
with requirements for high levels of availability and rapid problem resolution, presenting myriad
challenges to SAN administrators. IT departments have traditionally relied on a variety of tools to help
resolve problems, but gathering relevant information from different sources can be time-consuming
even before troubleshooting begins.
Dell Lasso is a free-standing ‘discovery’ tool that collects all pertinent HW and SW configuration and
problem details from the target SAN attached servers, Dell EMC Storage, Dell EqualLogic, Fibre Channel
Switches, and Fibre Channel Tape Libraries, including array chassis hardware, BIOS/firmware levels,
direct-attached SAS Storage, detailed operating system configuration and various software and
hardware log files. SAN administrators and support technicians can use the information that Dell Lasso
collects to view the current SAN configuration, to design the smoothest installation of new hardware/
software to SAN and help troubleshoot problems quickly and accurately.
Dell Wrangler (standalone application) or the Device Configuration Viewer (DCV) (web browser
interface) provides Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Tech Support to view the information collected
using Dell Lasso. Dell Wrangler provides an option to the user to save the current SAN configuration in
the form of .san object/XML which can be used for future reference.
Dell Lasso is designed to provide information on more than 100 attributes of each Storage Array, Fabric
Switch, attached Host, Tape Library. Dell Lasso extended the support in collecting the information from
Sun-Solaris, HPUX, IBM AIX other than Dell PowerEdge Servers, then generate compressed zip file which
will be uploaded to Dell https site. This data is used by Dell Technical Support to determine hardware,
software, and firmware versions for purposes of compatibility and upgradeability of existing equipment,
and logs are reviewed when appropriate as part of Dell’s Systems Maintenance Service (SMS). Dell
Wrangler & Data Collection Viewer (DCV) provides Graphical User Interface (GUI) to view Dell Lasso
Dell Lasso application itself is a compact 50MB, and can be executed only on a 32 bit Windows operating
system. Dell Lasso can be installed only by a user with administrator privileges but can be run by any
user logged in the system. In addition, Dell Lasso has a flexible GUI and command-line interface (CLI)
List of devices that Dell Lasso supports
Storage Arrays Dell EMC NX4, Dell EqualLogic, MD Series(MD3000 & MD3000i), CX Series and AX
Series (FC and iSCSI)
Fibre Switches Brocade, McData, McDataBlade and Cisco
Tape Libraries PV132T, PV136T, TL2000 and TL4000
Attached Hosts Sun-Solaris, IBM AIX, HPUX, VMware (ESX and ESXi), Linux and Windows
COMPREHENSIVE COLLECTION FEATURES:
Access to the current SAN configuration information available at the time of a service call helps
streamline the troubleshooting process. Support technicians can use Dell Lasso to obtain configuration
information for target SAN when they need it.
Dell Lasso provides several comprehensive features that fit broadly into one of the categories:
Automatic Discovery of Hosts attached to Dell EMC Array:
After user discovers Dell EMC Arrays in his/her SAN and provides their IP Address and credential details,
Dell Lasso uses this data, and automatically discovers all the Hosts attached to the Dell EMC Array.
Generally, in a Storage Area Network, large numbers of Hosts are attached to EMC Array. Irrespective of
the number of Hosts attached to the Dell EMC Array, Dell Lasso takes same time to discover them. As
Dell Lasso discovers the IPAddress of the Hosts attached to Dell EMC Array eventhough the hosts are not
reachable, user not only gets to know about the Hosts attached to Dell EMC Array but also their current
status(reachable or not). This feature enhances customer experience by pro-actively helping the user to
discover array attached hosts. (see Figure 1)
Figure 1: Automatic Discovery of Hosts attached to Dell EMC Storage
Automatic Authentication of Windows Hosts attached to Dell EMC Arrays:
After user discovers all Hosts attached to Dell EMC Array, Dell Lasso make use of the Local Host
(Windows Host on which Dell Lasso is installed and running) credentials to authenticate the discovered
Windows Hosts. In a typical Storage Area Network where all Windows Hosts will share a common
Administrator logon credentials, Dell Lasso use Local Host Cached Credentials and successfully
authenticates all discovered Windows Hosts. Irrespective of the number of Windows Hosts attached to
EMC Array, Dell Lasso takes same time to authenticate them.
DELL LASSO INSTALLATION:
Dell Lasso can be installed only on a 32 bit version of Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 2003/2008, and
should be installed on a Host that is not part of Storage Area Network. (see Figure 2)
Figure 2: First screen of Lasso Installation
USER INTERACTION WITH DELL LASSO:
Customer configuration file: XML file created by Lasso which contains the company, contact and
customer SAN configuration information. User can import this file during re-run of Lasso unless there is
no change in SAN. If there is any change in SAN, user can always edit the file and save it.
- Provides an option to user either to load the previously saved customer configuration file or
start with a new configuration. (see Figure 3)
Figure 3: Welcome screen of Lasso GUI
- Prompts the user to enter the company and contact information of the user.
- Provides an option to user to choose the devices in their Environment. (see Figure 4)
Figure 4: List of devices Lasso supports
- Prompts the user for the mandatory information needed to establish a connection with device
and to collect information from the device. For example, in case of Dell EMC NX4, Dell Lasso
prompts for Control Station IP Address and credentials of the root user.
- Lists down all the devices entered by user and starts collecting the information from the devices.
(see Figure 5)
Figure 5: Collection page of Lasso GUI
- Provides an option to the user to upload the collection saved by Dell Lasso either automatically
or manually to Dell Https site, and to save the information entered by user from the start of the
application for future use/ re-run.
- Provides an option to the user to view their SAN’s configuration in HTML document.
COMMAND AND PARAMETERS FOR INVENTORY DATA COLLECTION USING DELL LASSO VIA
Command Parameter Detail
java –jar Lasso.jar -Q quiet mode; no GUI
-F <Filename> customer configuration XML file
-P <Password> required to unlock password
-S# security level 0 - Device
Configuration and Credentials
security level 1 - Device
security level 2 - Device
Configuration and User Ids saved
security level 3 - Device
Configuration and Credentials
-IP Internet Protocol, IP Should be
IP1,IP2 where IP2 is Optional
-UN Device UserName
-PD Device Password
-UX Upload XML collection
Figure 6. Command and parameters of collection using Dell Lasso CLI
Lakshmi Saroja Nalam is a PG Software Development Senior Analyst at Dell Bangalore Development
Center working on Dell Lasso project. She is also responsible for handling the customer issues of Lasso
Support Mailbox. She has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology
and Science, Pilani.