FlashArray: Installation preparation made even easier

[ NOTE: machine translation with the help of DeepL translator without additional proofreading and spell checking ]


Every eligible Pure Storage Partner-SE knows how easy it is to get the systems up and running. I myself have been able to reduce my time for installation preparations to a few minutes over time. As I developed a certain routine with the increasing number of installations and adopted a certain procedure and templates, I now only need around 30 minutes for the preparations.


In my blog "FlashArray: SAN Installation Documentation + Stencils MS Visio Template" from June 19th I mentioned with on-site storage installation times of 2 hours a - for Pure Storage "newbies" - for the time being unrealistic, not attainable value. However, it is definitely not a freely invented value!


" ... is possible with the right pre-planning, pre-work ... " - Marcel Düssil @ PUREFLASH.blog June 19, 2019

How I achieve these values and what preparations are made, I would like to show in this blog post and share in this course also - as already known - all my created / modified templates.

TIP: Partner SEs who are not yet authorized to perform independent installations (failure to complete the required shadow installations) SHOULD ALSO have these documents completed in advance and obtain all information! This will save avoidable waiting time during on-site installation.


The following steps should be initiated two weeks before installation begins.


Pre-Installation steps


  1. Installation Registration with Pure Storage

  2. Preparation of Pre-Install Worksheet and support contact information

  3. Submit Pre-Install Worksheet to customers


1. The installation registration with Pure Storage


Currently it is only possible to get the latest Pure Storage operating system "Purity" via the support. In addition - if not known - it is also exclusively reserved to Pure Storage Support to finally flag and activate the synchronous mirror (ActiveCluster). For this process, it is therefore imperative that support is briefly required during commissioning.

INFO: With older Purity versions, it was necessary to specify the original Purity version (running Purity version) in order to create the upgrade package. This is no longer necessary with the systems currently shipped from the factory!

Normally, the support can be contacted in several ways: by phone, by mail or a Pure1 ticket.


I personally prefer to open a Pure1 ticket via the portal.


As an appliance, you select "Other" here.


For the subject and the description I always do the same! Below is my corresponding text template. The text template can be used by copy and paste, only the placeholders {PLACEHOLDER} must be replaced accordingly.


The message template


Subject: Pre-Announcement: Scheduled {MODEL-(AC)} installation on-site @ {CUSTOMERNAME} on {DATE}

Hi there,


i have a Pure Storage FlashArray installation planned for 1st July at Customer Name, Street + Number, Postal code and City, Country. We are right now prepping everything.

The Pre-Install Checklist will be filled out by the customer with the corresponding required informations.

Array models that will be installed: {XMODELTYPE} in select:{Standalone/ActiveCluster}.

Could you send me the latest STABLE Purity ppkg?

I will send the boarding document with the support contact data on-site after the installation is completed.


* IF IT IS AN ACTIVECLUSTER INSTALLATION - additional: *


Please schedule an PSE-Supporter for ActiveCluster enablement on date round about 1/2pm german time (UTC+1 summertime).


Regards



That's it for step 1. The supporter will contact you and provide the Purity in the form of a download link (usually a box download). Normally, the ticket created by you will be closed directly after successful download. For the "ActiveCluster enablement" you will be contacted by an available/assigned supporter at the time of installation. This person will then create a new ticket.


2. Preparation of Pre-Install Worksheet and support contact information


Many companies have separate areas of responsibility and accountability, so storage administrators usually cannot access or define IP addresses directly/immediately. In some cases, these even have to be requested from the responsible department. To avoid possible delays during the on-site installation, it is mandatory that the customer fills out the Pre-Install Worksheet. This worksheet contains all the information required for configuration and can also be used to create documentation.



Optionally, I recommend to have the support contact sheet already filled out by the customer. This sheet is used by Pure Storage to link the installed systems with the customer access in Pure1 and is transmitted by the partner after installation. In addition, this information is stored in the customer master/salesforce @ Pure Storage, for example, to be able to send spare parts in the event of a hardware defect, so that no unnecessary time is lost.



3. Sending Pre-Install Worksheet to customer


The documents prepared in step 2 are sent to the customer with a short instruction "what to do and prepare" and have them filled out in advance.


That's it @ all for that moment!


A blog on installing a FlashArray and setting up ActiveCluster is still to come.

Download


The provided documents were created by Pure Storage and only by me adapted accordingly and tuned with various "features".


To download the files you have to register for free in the exclusive PUREFLASH.blog area. In the near future more features will be available and files will be shared here. So it's worth to register: to the exclusive area

More info - Links


All officially published setting options in the GUI but also CLI can be read via the "on-board" user guides of the Pure Storage systems.


Click on "Help" in the Purity main menu.


The User Guide is structured like the main menu and can be opened downwards. A search function is also integrated - within here you can also search for keywords.

WEB: Pure Storage (Pure1) support portal - Ticket system and support *(requires registered FlashSystems)

PHONE: Pure Storage phone support: GER - (+49) (0)800 7239467; INTERNATIONAL - (+1) 650 7294088

WEB: Pure Storage community

WEB: Pure Storage OFFICIAL blog

The blog lives from your questions, wishes and suggestions...every comment is welcome. I am very grateful for feedback.

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