VNXe3200 Managing Storage and Cache

The VNXe3200 is almost identical to both the previous VNXe’s as well as the VNX series of SAN’s in that it uses Unisphere for management. However, the version of Unisphere running on the 3200 is a very different once you take a closer look.

After you navigate away from the dashboard (which is pretty much the same as the older VNXe’s) the changes start to become evident.

The purpose of this post is to just look at managing the disks in the system. There are MANY menus and settings to look at on the 3200, just like any SAN, so the only want to make it manageable to talk about is to break it up. To find articles on other sections use the EMC-> VNXe menu at the top of my blog under the logo. Or at the bottom of this article there will be a related posts section.

Storage Tab

On the Storage tab there are only 4 sections; however this probably the most powerful tab you will use if your doing VMware block storage.

VNXe3200 Storage Tab
VNXe3200 Storage Tab

Storage Configuration is where you will want to start. Inside of this section is where you will configure FAST Cache, Storage Pools, and see what drives are spares.

Storage Configuration SubTab
Storage Configuration SubTab

Fast Cache configuration is very easy, simply click the create button and select which drives you want to use. After creating your FAST Cache you can also click on the Storage Pools icon and configure the disks in your systems into pools.

The main part of the storage pools tab is pretty similar to the older VNXe’s the awesome stuff is in the back end capabilities of what the storage pools can do on the 3200.

General storage pool details
General storage pool details

From the general details tab you can see the mix of drives in the VNXe’s storage pool. In this demo unit it was configured with a mix of 15k SAS drives and SSD drives. So in this pool I have a 4+1 RAID 5 configured on the 600GB drives and a RAID 1 on 2 of the 100GB Flash drives.

Storage pool FAST VP details
Storage pool FAST VP details

One of the things that I always like to keep an eye on is how much data moves around on the different tiers in a production environment. This helps you to know when you need to add more to one tier or which ones are working hard than the others.

Next if we move back up a level, back to the Storage tab, we can take a look at how you actually allocate storage to VMware. This assumes you have already configure your iSCSI or Fiber Channel settings.

VMware Datastores

Even though there is a LUN section, VMware datastores should be configure through the VMware section. The main advantage is simplicity and automation; because doing it through this area will automatically add the lun to your VMware servers after creating the LUN, it also formats the LUN and makes it ready to use.

VMware Datastores section
VMware Datastores section

If you go into the details of one of the datastores you can get a lot of great information; first you can see which SP owns the LUN… as well as change its default ownership… something you could not do on the older VNXe’s.

You can also check out the FAST VP tab and see where the data is in the pool, as well as change the default tiering methods.

VMware datastore FAST VP details
VMware datastore FAST VP details

Other things like host access, snapshots and a list of the virtual machines leveraging this datastore are all available as well.

File Systems

From the Storage tab, if you select File Systems you will be able to create file systems for use by CIFS and NFS servers. setup is pretty much the same as the previous VNXe systems. One thing that I haven’t been able to determine yet though is if you can share a file system via CIFS AND NFS at the same time. On previous VNXe systems you could not, but it would be pretty nice if you could on the 3200… I will look into that more and follow up as I plan to do a post dedicated to file services on the 3200.

 

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13 Responses to "VNXe3200 Managing Storage and Cache"

  1. Quote:
    One thing that I haven’t been able to determine yet though is if you can share a file system via CIFS AND NFS at the same time. On previous VNXe systems you could not, but it would be pretty nice if you could on the 3200…

    Sharing through NFS and CIFS was already possible in the old Celerra NS series; not quite sure if the VNXe has it in GUI but if not then it should be possible through the commandline I reckon.

  2. Michel,
    We don’t support multiprotocol (NFS and CIFS) access to the same filesystem at this point, although this is scheduled for a software update in December 2014. Although things can always change, this looks reasonably likely to happen.

    Thanks for your interest and let me know if you have any questions.
    Brian Henderson
    VNX/VNXe Product Marketing
    [email protected]

  3. This post is to just look at managing the disks in the system. There are MANY menus and settings to look at on the 3200, just like any SAN, so the only want to make it manageable to talk about is to break it up. To find articles on other sections use the same disk i get a lot of information frm it

  4. Question on the cache, I have 4 drives for Flash cache (100GB each) but it will not allow me to configure the cache says it does not have enough eligible Flash disks. what is the right # of drives?

  5. my default the system will also reserve one disk of each type as a hot spare…. so you would need 5 100 gig flash drives … four for the data… one as a hot spare. You might be able to turn it off but it would kick a warning about not having a hot spare then.

  6. hi ,

    nice one. would appreciate if you highlight something on snapreserve in VNXe3200 as I could see a default reserve on Storage Pool which can’t be modified per datastore basis. Although, we have the same flexibility in Netapp.

  7. Are there any guides on how to do an external backup of data if unable to access failed SP’s? Looking for a workaround not to reinitialize and backup the disks.

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