On September 9th EMC released a new SR for Enginuity 5876.251. For the most part this is a variety of fixes and minor enhancements but there is one new hardware feature of note. VMAX has introduced support for 16 Gb FC I/O Modules. So if you have some hosts that are using 16 GB HBAs and want to make full use of them you are gonna want this Enginuity upgrade. Of course you will still have to purchase new front end ports for the VMAX as the current FC ports will not be the correct hardware to support 16 GB.
So I (Drew Tonnesen, @drewtonnesen) am guest blogging again here at Cody’s site. I’ll add my name now in the beginning to avoid the confusion (yes there has been) that this post isn’t from Cody but given the blog URL I suppose it is inevitable no matter what I do. And since I am not starting my own blog which would more likely contain hints on how to avoid going insane with kids (yes alcohol helps) I trust the readers can figure it out. On to the post…
I’ve been working on this new release for EMC Storage Analytics (ESA) 2.0 for what seems like ages now. The first two releases of ESA (1.0, 1.5) supported the VNX platforms. The 2.0 release is the first with VMAX support! As the Symmetrix engineering contact for the VMAX component of ESA, I have had first-hand input and testing of the product, along with putting together a good part of the documentation. This post jumps the gun a little as the product will be officially revealed next week at VMworld but what’s a little pre-announcement among friends? I’ll give a brief run-down of the release below.
As with most events, EMC goes all out. This years’ VMworld 2013 is no exception. Besides the myriad of sessions, meet-ups and parties, the EMC Booth has a lot in store for those who stop by.
I cannot disclose everything the EMC booth will offer (tons of great surprises and *cough* prizes *cough* might be planned) but here is a little sneak peak!
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, email@example.com) 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.