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Appendix A. Red Hat Customer Portal Labs Relevant to Storage Administration

Red Hat Customer Portal Labs are tools designed to help you improve performance, troubleshoot issues, identify security problems, and optimize configuration. This appendix provides an overview of Red Hat Customer Portal Labs relevant to storage administration. All Red Hat Customer Portal Labs are available at

SCSI decoder

The SCSI decoder is designed to decode SCSI error messages in the /log/* files or log file snippets, as these error messages can be hard to understand for the user.
Use the SCSI decoder to individually diagnose each SCSI error message and get solutions to resolve problems efficiently.

File System Layout Calculator

The File System Layout Calculator determines the optimal parameters for creating ext3, ext4, and xfs file systems, after you provide storage options that describe your current or planned storage. Move the cursor over the question mark ("?") for a brief explanation of a particular option, or scroll down to read a summary of all options.
Use the File System Layout Calculator to generate a command that creates a file system with provided parameters on the specified RAID storage. Copy the generated command and execute it as root to create the required file system.

LVM RAID Calculator

The LVM RAID Calculator determines the optimal parameters for creating logical volumes (LVMs) on a given RAID storage after you specify storage options. Move the cursor over the question mark ("?") for a brief explanation of a particular option, or scroll down to read a summary of all options.
The LVM RAID Calculator generates a sequence of commands that create LVMs on a given RAID storage. Copy and execute the generated commands one by one as root to create the required LVMs.

iSCSI Helper

The iSCSI Helper provides a block-level storage over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, and enables the use of storage pools within server virtualization.
Use the iSCSI Helper to generate a script that prepares the system for its role of an iSCSI target (server) or an iSCSI initiator (client) configured according to the settings that you provide.

Samba Configuration Helper

The Samba Configuration Helper creates a configuration that provides basic file and printer sharing through Samba:
  • Click Server to specify basic server settings.
  • Click Shares to add the directories that you want to share
  • Click Server to add attached printers individually.

Multipath Helper

The Multipath Helper creates an optimal configuration for multipath devices on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, 6, and 7. By following the steps, you can create advanced multipath configurations, such as custom aliases or device blacklists.
The Multipath Helper also provides the multipath.conf file for a review. When you achieve the required configuration, download the installation script to run on your server.

NFS Helper

The NFS Helper simplifies configuring a new NFS server or client. Follow the steps to specify the export and mount options. Then, generate a downloadable NFS configuration script.

Multipath Configuration Visualizer

The Multipath Configuration Visualizer analyzes files in a sosreport and provides a diagram that visualizes the multipath configuration. Use the Multipath Configuration Visualizer to display:
  • Hosts components including Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), local devices, and iSCSI devices on the server side
  • Storage components on the storage side
  • Fabric or Ethernet components between the server and the storage
  • Paths to all mentioned components
You can either upload a sosreport compressed in the .xz, .gz, or .bz2 format, or extract a sosreport in a directory that you then select as the source for a client-side analysis.

RHEL Backup and Restore Assistant

The RHEL Backup and Restore Assistant provides information on back-up and restore tools, and common scenarios of Linux usage.
Described tools:
  • dump and restore: for backing up the ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems.
  • tar and cpio: for archiving or restoring files and folders, especially when backing up the tape drives.
  • rsync: for performing back-up operations and synchronizing files and directories between locations.
  • dd: for copying files from a source to a destination block by block independently of the file systems or operating systems involved.
Described scenarios:
  • Disaster recovery
  • Hardware migration
  • Partition table backup
  • Important folder backup
  • Incremental backup
  • Differential backup