A common recommendation from storage vendors is to change the default IOPS setting for VMwares’ Native Multi-Pathing (NMP) Path Selection Policy (PSP) Round Robin. The IOPS setting controls how many I/Os are sent down a single logical path before switching to the next path. By default this number is 1,000 I/Os. The VMAX recommendation is to set this to 1. The purpose of this blog post is not to debate the setting, but to help those who want to use it. Regardless, I have seen many customers benefit from this recommendation. Once they see a benefit they want to know–can I make this setting a default?
This is a topic that I get asked about a lot and a recent internal email thread prompted me to write a post about it. On a Symmetrix array if you want a volume larger than 240 GB you need to create a metavolume. When creating a metavolume you have two configuration choices; concatenated or striped. There are many benefits to striped over concatenated (all of them performance-related) but one disadvantage. Due to their nature striped metavolumes are harder to expand. Until a few years ago thin striped metas couldn’t even be expanded online. So the decision was easy–do you think you will need to expand or not. In Enginuity 5875 and Solutions Enabler online expansion of striped metavolumes was allowed.
Today (August 14th 2013) EMC released the latest version of the EMC Storage Integrator, version 3.0. I blogged about ESI a few weeks back and the PowerShell cmdlets that it offered:
This release fills in some of the gaps that were present in earlier versions–especially when it comes to VMAX storage provisioning. The flagship features of this release though are:
- Mailbox provisioning for Microsoft Exchange
- Database Availability Group (DAG) support with native or EMC RecoverPoint replication
- Storage control activities for Microsoft System Center Orchestrator.
Well, as I (Drew Tonnesen, firstname.lastname@example.org) mentioned I would soon be publishing a VMAX Content Pack for Log Insight and I have. It can be found here in the VMware Cloud Marketplace:
All the information that you need to use the VMAX content pack is included in the download so I’ll keep this blog entry short. There is also a demo you can view to get an overview of the capabilities of the content pack.
As you may or may not be aware, I am the sole author of the SRDF Storage Replication Adapter for VMware Site Recovery Manager Techbook. The Techbook for those of you who haven’t used it or aren’t aware of EMC Techbooks is a implementation guide for SRDF with SRM. Best practices, how-to, hints, etc.
Cody recently posted an entry that discussed how Solutions Enabler can be configured to send logs to VMware vCenter Log Insight (https://www.codyhosterman.com/2013/07/10/using-vmwares-vcenter-log-insight-with-symmetrix-vmax/). He mentioned that in order for Unisphere for VMAX to send its information, additional configuration was required. So here is that additional information.
EMC offers a variety of tools to manage/enhance your virtual or physical environments–some free, some licensed. In most cases when you think of EMC tools for VMware one conjures up the free Virtual Storage Integrator which is more commonly referred to as VSI.
VSI is a great tool and continues to be improved through each version and allows you to provision storage, manage pathing, configure SRM etc. The one thing it does not have is a way to automate these tasks through an API or CLI. This is where another product comes in–one that many do not associate with VMware. The EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) is a lot of times seen as the Microsoft version of VSI–but that isn’t really true at all. While it might have started out that way and does indeed support Hyper-V and has a ton of Microsoft-specific features it is really the heterogeneous storage integrator. Importantly it has a very handy and powerful feature–PowerShell cmdlets.
Today I’ll be filling in for Cody on his blog since I couldn’t find time for one if I tried and he has been gracious enough to let me post when topics come up. My name is Drew Tonnesen (@drewtonnesen) and I’m a systems engineer in the ESD organization at EMC (basically the engineering side of the house). I work on the integration of virtualization technologies (mostly VMware) with the Symmetrix platform but also focus on VPLEX and RecoverPoint. Cody and I have worked together for many years now and though we get moved around a bit and re-organized, we both continue to work on VMware/Symmetrix integration like our TechBook (yes, shameless plug: http://www.emc.com/collateral/hardware/solution-overview/h2529-vmware-esx-svr-w-symmetrix-wp-ldv.pdf).
So since I mentioned I work on Symmetrix, VPLEX, and RecoverPoint I thought what better post than one on all those – and Oracle Extended RAC to boot. I’ve recently updated my white paper on this topic and it can be found here:
A bit of a long one here. At some point this might turn into a white paper (update: it is now). But for now…
Check out my post on the Pure Storage integration with Log Insight here!
UPDATE: We have released a content pack that automatically configures dashboards and fields for the VMAX, it will save you a lot of work and the pack is free! Read about it here:
And updated here:
Earlier this summer VMware announced a new product called vCenter Log Insight which just went GA today. You can download it and try it out from here:
One of the documents that my colleague Drew Tonnesen (@drewtonnesen) and I maintain is a white paper that explains the how, what, why, when, etc. of using VMware’s VAAI block primitives (WRITE SAME, XCOPY, ATS and UNMAP) with Symmetrix VMAX storage systems. We update this document around twice a year or as needed to take into account new Enginuity releases or VMware releases. We just posted the latest update this weekend on EMC’s website: