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.

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

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Assign the IP Address to the NAS server.

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Select the sharing protocol.

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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.

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Enabled DNS if you want to configure any.

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Click on Finish if all looks good in summary page.

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Click Close once all task are completed.

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Step 3 : Connect vCenter / ESXi host

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

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Provide the vCenter details. Click Next.

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Click on Finish.

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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.

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

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Select the ESX Host.

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Click Finish.

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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.

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Choose VVOL and click Next.

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Give the name to new datastore.

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Choose the Capability profile from the list.

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Click Finish to create the VVOL Datastore.

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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.

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

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Accept the certificate.

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You will see storage provider as active once process completes.

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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.

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

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Click Finish to create VVOL.

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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.

 

 

Deploying EMC vVNX Community Edition

Virtual VNX (vVNX) is a software stack that provides many VNX features. vVNX Community Edition is a freely downloadable  virtual storage appliance (VSA), that can be downloaded onto ESX 5 or 6 servers, to run a software-defined unified VNX array. Once installed, you can leverage the vVNX vApp to provide storage services and apply VMware-based availability and protection tools to maintain it. It delivers unified block and file data services on general purpose server hardware, converting the server’s internal storage into a rich, shared storage environment with advanced data services.

Environmental requirements:

  • VMware infrastructure: VMware vCenter and ESXi Server, release 5.5 or later
  • Network infrastructure: 2x 1 GbE OR 2x 10 GbE
  • Battery-backed Hardware RAID controller required (512MB NV Cache recommended)

Virtual appliance configuration options:

  • 2 vCPUs at 2GHz+ and 12 GB RAM
  • Up to 4 TB Storage

During deployment of vVNX, deployment wizard will create three disk. Do not modify the existing disk. For capacity you should be adding additional disk. Don’t add any additional disk till the time appliance boots up completely first time. First boot of vVNX appliance will take a longer time. It took around 35 min in my lab first time. Subsequent boot won’t take longer time.

Deployment process

Login to vSphere Web Client and choose the host or cluster you want to deploy OVA.

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Accept extra configuration and click next.

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Accept the license agreement and click NEXT.

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Choose the disk format. It is recommended to use Thick. As I am running the appliance in LAB, I configured disk format as Thin.

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Choose the appropriate port group.

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Provide the management interface IP Address.

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Select Power on the VM and click on Finish. Do not add any disk till the time appliance boots up completely once.

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Login to EMC Unisphere accessing MGMT IP Address using Internet browser. Login using default username / password i.e. admin/Password123#

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Once logged in you will see configuration wizard for post deployment configuration.

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Accept the License agreement and click on NEXT.

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Change the admin password.

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Wizard will give you the System UUID which is required for registering the product.

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Login to EMC portal to download the License file. Provide the System UUID to generate license file.

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Download the license file.

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Import the license file in the appliance.

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Choose the license file and click Finish.

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Click Next post importing License to the appliance.

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Provide the DNS Server IP address.

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Provide the NTP Server IP Address and click Next.

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Now it is required to create Storage pool. I have added additional disk to the appliance. Click on Create Storage Pools.

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Give the name and description for the Storage pool.Screenshot-25

Click on the Highlighted icon to choose whether you want to use the Storage Tier for Capacity or Performance. Screenshot-26

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Click Next Screenshot-28

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Define the Capability profile. This is required if you want to use the Storage Tier for VMware VVols based storage provisioning.

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Add the additional Tags if needed.

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Click Finish to create Storage Pool.

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Next you can configure iSCSI network interface to make device accessible to SCSI Clients. Provide the networking details for iSCSI interface.

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Next we can configure the appliance as NAS Server. Click on highlighted icon to configure the appliance as NAS Server.

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Type in the server name and the storage pool to be made available to NAS Clients.

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Choose the interface and provide the network details for the interface.Screenshot-39

Choose appropriate sharing protocols.

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Configure Directory Service if needed.Screenshot-41

Enable DNS for NSX Server.Screenshot-42

Click Finish to configure NAS Server.

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Click Next to finish the configuration wizard. Screenshot-46

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In this post we covered the process to deploy vVNX appliance and configure it as iSCSI and NAS Server. I hope this is informative for you. Thanks for reading !!!. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it.