I wanted to share a SolidFire feature I thought was pretty cool, and a huge time saver for me in my lab environment. SolidFire has the ability to quickly do a bulk volume copy between systems. In my environment this is handy in that I can move my iSCSI boot from SAN volumes around between SolidFire clusters. Taking a look at the source system, there is a “Backup / Restore” selection available in the volume tasks menu. This option uses the bulk volume copy API call to copy data between compatible SolidFire volumes. In my case, I’m going to copy the “Boot-VDI-VH*” volume contents to another SolidFire cluster so I can reimage this one. Before doing a bulk volume copy there must be an available target volume on the target system to receive the copy. In this case I’ve pre-created the target volumes on the target system. For this example, I show the copy of the “BOOT-VDI-VH8” volume. On the target system, select the volume that will accept the copy and choose the option for “Restore / Receive from SolidFire”. The data format should default to “Native”. Clicking the “Start Backup / Restore” button will generate a bulk volume write key. Copy the key to the clipboard. On the source system, select the “Backup / Restore” option for the source volume, in this case “BOOT-VDI-VH8”. Select “Backup to SolidFire” in the operation drop down and fill in the target (remote) system information, including the bulk volume write key we created on the target system. Click the “Start Backup / Restore” button to kick off the copy and then head over to Reportin -> Running Tasks to see the backup running. To actually boot the UCS blades from the new SolidFire cluster you will need to edit the service profile to reflect the new iSCSI target interface as well as change the authentication profile to match the new SolidFire cluster hosting the volumes. Once that is done, the blade should reboot and the iSCSI target should be discovered followed by a successful boot 🙂 If you happen to get a “initialize error 1” during boot it means the iSCSI initiator couldn’t reach the target which can happen if you are changing VLANs when moving between systems. Make sure the iSCSI overlay NIC has the correct VLAN available and that the VLAN hosting the SolidFire iSCSI target is the native VLAN.