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