This article is the second part of "Erasing storage systems" article series. Remember to read the first article before this one.

The disk controller part in the storage system is typically the biggest challenge. For the controller may not allow direct access to the physical disks. If the controller can't be bypassed, the only possibility is to erase the disks on a logical level by or removing the disks or erasing them in an expansion enclosure. Below is an example setup used successfully to erase a storage system.

IBM DS8100

Direct connection to the DS8100 physical drives in the disk arrays should be possible with for example:
• HP DL380 G5 boot server
• Blancco Drive Eraser (Server) and Blancco 4.12.2 Data Center Edition
• Qlogic QLE2560 8Gb PCIe Fiber Channel HBA (with removable SFP module). Also known as HP StorageWorks 81Q PCIe Fiber Channel HBA (Part number AK344).
• SFP Fiber cable for connection to the first disk array enclosure in the storage system. The disk array enclosures can be looped/daisy chained together so that all drives (up to 256) are detected at once.

The Disk Array Enclosures should be first disconnected from the IBM storage processor enclosure (if the DS8100 SAN is still in its original configuration). If it is possible to present the physical drives on the DAEs to the HBA, also Blancco should be able to see them.

In case the direct access to the physical drives through Fiber Channel is not possible, there is an option to erase the drive as LUNs on logical level. In some cases LUN level erasure may be the preferred option. For example if the disks are erased on physical level, the possible metadata or disk formatting information will be erased, and the system cannot re-use the disks before the drives are re-formatted and the data is re-written. This may require special service thru serial console connection which may be only available for the OEM service personnel. With Blancco LUN it is possible to erase the drives on logical level using the original fiber channel or iSCSI connections. Blancco LUN is designed to erase individual Logical drives/units (LUNs) in an active storage environment (while the storage is still in production use). Blancco LUN can be run on a Windows or Unix based host, which has access to the dedicated LUNs. More information about Blancco LUN Eraser can be found from here: https://www.blancco.com/products/lun-eraser/

For more information, read the following articles:

  1. Erasing storage systems part 1: Storage System/Array/SAN Erasure
  2. Erasing storage systems part 3: Troubleshooting
  3. Erasing servers with Blancco Drive Eraser