Creating Virtual Volumes using EMC vVNX Community Edition

In one or the earlier post I covered the process of deploying and configuring vVNX Community Edition. In this post we will be discussing how we can create VMware Virtual Volumes ( vVOLs) running EMC vVNX as backend storage. Virtual volumes (VVols) are a new storage integration and management framework supported in VMware vSphere 6.0 and later.

Creating virtual volumes involves several steps in Unisphere. This prepares the storage system for the deployment of virtual volumes from the ESXi host.

steps-to-perform-vvols-vvnxIn this post we will be covering the steps to create Virtual Volumes. In case you are looking for more details on Virtual Volumes than you can refer great article of Cormac Hogan post covering details on Virtual Volumes.

Step 1 : Create a Storage Pool

Login to EMC Unisphere and click on Pools under Storage. Click on the highlighted option to create a new storage pool.

ScreenshotGive an appropriate name to the storage pool.Screenshot-1Choose the appropriate storage tier from the drop down menu. In my lab I choosed capacity tier for testing purpose.Screenshot-2Select the available Tier and click on Next.Screenshot-3

Assign a capability profile to the pool. A capability profile is a set of storage capabilities for a VVol datastore. The VVol datastore will show as
compatible storage in vCenter or the vSphere Web Client.

Screenshot-4Assign a tag to the storage pool.Screenshot-5Click on Finish and wait for some time till process gets completed.Screenshot-6

Step 2 : Create a NAS Server

Next we are required to create a NAS Server. To create NAS Server click on File under Storage and then NAS Server. 

Click on ” + ” sign to create a new NAS Server.


Give the Server Name. Select the Storage Pool this NAS Server will be presenting to the clients.


Assign the IP Address to the NAS server.


Select the sharing protocol.


Enable Unix Directory Service, if you are using any Directory services. As in LAB I am not using any directory services I kept it default. Click Next to proceed further.


Enabled DNS if you want to configure any.


Click on Finish if all looks good in summary page.


Click Close once all task are completed.


Step 3 : Connect vCenter / ESXi host

Next step is to Add vCenter / ESX host. Click the highlighted ” + ” sign to add new vCenter / ESX Server.


Provide the vCenter details. Click Next.


Click on Finish.





Step 4 : Create a Protocol End Point

NAS Protocol Endpoints are access points for ESX/ESXi host communication to the storage system. These endpoints establish a data path on-demand for virtual machines and their respective VVol datastores. I/O from VMs is communicated through the PE to the VVol datastore on the storage system. When a virtual volume is created in vSphere and assigned to a VVol datastore, it is automatically bound to the associated protocol endpoint.


Give the name for the Protocol End point. Click Next.


Select the ESX Host.


Click Finish.


Step 5 : Create a Virtual Volume Datastore

VVols also known as storage containers resides in VVol datastores , which are comprised of storage allocations from one or more capability profiles. You can create VVol datastores based on one or more capability profiles and then allocate a specific amount of space from the capability profile to the VVol datastore. When you create a virtual volume in vSphere, it is assigned to a storage policy profile. Only VVol datastores with capability profiles that support the storage policy profile defined for that VVol will be exposed from the storage system to vSphere as an available VVol datastore for that virtual volume.

To create VVOL Datastore under Storage, select VMware > Datastores.  Click Add.


Choose VVOL and click Next.


Give the name to new datastore.


Choose the Capability profile from the list.


Click Finish to create the VVOL Datastore.


Step 6 : Add a storage provider in vSphere

Storage Provider acts as a storage Awareness Service for vSphere and establish communication between vCenter and a storage system.To add storage provider, Select vCenter –> Manage –> Storage Providers. Click on ” + ” to add a new storage provider.


Provide the URL of the storage provider. It will be https://ip_address_storage_provider:443/vasa/version.xml


Accept the certificate.


You will see storage provider as active once process completes.


Step 7 : Create a VVOL in vSphere

Virtual Volumes are stored in storage system connected through block or file protocols. Select New Datastore on the host to create a new VVOL on the host.


Select the VVOL Datastore create on the storage from the list.


Click Finish to create VVOL.


Screenshot-41Now you can create a new policy based on the capability profiles created in storage and assign them to existing existing or new virtual machine. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for reading !!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it.