As some of you are aware, myself and my colleague Drew Tonnesen (@drewtonnesen) write and update an EMC document called Using EMC Symmetrix Storage in VMware vSphere Environments. This document is what we call a “TechBook”. Essentially a very detailed explanation of the best practices of using VMware with Symmetrix storage as well as overviews of integration points. If you are using Symmetrix and VMware this is a document you should use/know.
Hey all! So as many of you have heard we (EMC) has released the latest version of the Virtual Storage Integrator today (September 16th 2013). There are plenty of blogs/posts that go into all of the details of the new release so I will not regurgitate all of that here. But for those of you who have not seen these posts check them out at these links:
UPDATE: See a full video demo by Drew Tonnesen (@drewtonnesen) here:
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.
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 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:
Migrating a virtual machine that uses 100% virtual disks is a simple task due to VMware Storage vMotion but migrating a VM that uses Raw Device Mappings from one array to another is somewhat trickier. There are options to convert a RDM into a virtual disk but that might not be feasible for applications that still require RDMs to be supported. Other options are host based mechanisms/in-guest mechanisms to copy the data from one device to another. That option sometimes can be complex and requires special drivers or even possibly downtime to fully finish the transition. To solve this issue for physical hosts, EMC introduced for the Symmetrix a feature called Federated Live Migration.
Federated Live Migration (FLM) allows the migration of a device from one Symmetrix array to another Symmetrix array without any downtime to the host and also does not affect the SCSI inquiry information of the original source device. Therefore, even though the device is now residing on a completely different Symmetrix array the host is none the wiser. FLM leverages Open Replicator functionality to migrate the data so it has some SAN requirements–the source array must be zoned to the target array. A FLM setup looks like the image below:
One of the products or maybe rather solutions that I work a lot with is integrating Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) with VMware’s vCenter Site Recovery Manager. For some shameless self-promotion (I suppose can probably drop that phrase when writing on this blog because by definition a blog is inherently self-promotion, but I digress) of the implementation guide I write it can be found here: