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Pure Storage – FlashBlade

Pure Storage are just after running their first community event, Pure //Accelerate, and by any measure it can be classed as a success. Pure made a number of announcements about new products in their portfolio but the one that caused the most excitement was the announcement about their new FlashBlade product. More on that in just a moment. Pure made announcements about a new baby flash array, the //M10, to bring flash storage to the masses at under $50k and more details about their collaboration with Cisco on the UCS based FlashStack. Both of these announcements by themselves are substantial enough for most storage vendors but Pure stepped it up a notch with the FlashBlade.

Pure FlashBlade

 

I’m not going to go into the components of the FlashBlade, more information on that can be found on the Pure Press Release, a run-down by Alex Galbraith or Enrico Signoretti’s blog post. As with just about every other storage geek out there I got extremely excited when I heard the announcement and imagining the use-cases for the FlashBlade pretty much made my head explode. After a bit of time letting it sink in over a coffee and digesting the cost per GB on the FlashBlade, the scalability and the form factor size I decided that I hadn’t over-reacted in my excitement.  Read More

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How To: End-to-End SnapProtect Storage Policy Creation

The example I’m going to give here is for an environment that is already configured but has storage controllers that are not configured as NAS iData Agents for backup or any volumes on those controllers. In this environment the controller I’m enabling backups on is the secondary storage tier which is already a snapvault destination so it is in the Array Manager for SnapProtect. This environment requires new NetApp aggregates to be added as resource pools as new volumes and data have been assigned to the aggregates. The process involves working with SnapProtect, NetApp Management Console (DFM) and the NetApp storage controllers.

Enable backups on a controller within SnapProtect:

Enable Accounts

Before you begin log onto the controller and ensure the login account you require has access to the controller. To do this open a SSH session to the controller and use the following command:

#useradmin user list

If the account used by SnapProtect doesn’t exist then you’ll need to add it as an administrator. Below is a snapshot from a controller where it is added and also a controller where it’s not.

SnapProtect End to End Step 1

SnapProtect End to End Step 2

You can add the account via the command line or via the web console. In this instance I added the account via the console. In System Manager go to Configuration -> Local Users and Groups -> Users and click Create. Enter the required details and click Create.

SnapProtect End to End Step 3

Once completed you can re-run the command from the CLI to ensure that the account appears Read More

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How To: Remove a volume from NAS backup in Simpana 10

I have an issue recently where I had to remove a volume from within a NAS client subclient so that I could move it to another location within our environment. Due to the limitations within Simpana10/SnapProtect v10 it’s not possible to select the volume and delete the related snapshots to clean up the subclient. The backup jobs need to be deleted to remove the snapshots. As there are multiple volumes within the same subclient deleting the jobs would delete the snapshots for all volumes, not just the one I need to clean up. Given this, there is only one option and that’s to break the relationships in DFM and clean up the volume manually.

Step 1: Go the the OnCommand server and run dfpm dataset list

C:Usersderek>dfpm dataset list

Id         Name                        Protection Policy           Provisioning Policy Application Policy          Storage Service


2927 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-45 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-66

3072 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-46 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-66

2935 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-39 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-70

7011 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-42 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-70

41601 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-72 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-70

2811 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-7  SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-74

20149 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-68 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-102

25497 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-83 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-110

26575 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-102 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-124

26094 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-98 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-124

31037 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-122 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-128

31650 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-41 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-130

31654 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-72 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-130

42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 SnapProtect Mirror, then back up                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-136

45647 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-128 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-145

46010 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-127 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-147

46084 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-43 SnapProtect Back up, then mirror                                                 CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-151

59566 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-4  SnapProtect Back up                                                         CC-SnapProtect-XX_Copy-159

 

Step 2: Pick the dataset you want to manage and display the relationships in DFM suing the dataset list -m command

C:Usersderek>dfpm dataset list -m  42833

Id         Node Name            Dataset Id Dataset Name         Member Type                                        Name

43325 Primary data              42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 qtree                                              primary_controller:/users/-

2244 Primary data              42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 qtree                                             primary_controller:/backup/-

3165 Primary data              42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 qtree                                             primary_controller:/ctx/-

42965 Mirror                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             local_aux_controller:/SP_ctx

51886 Mirror                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             local_aux_controller:/SP_users

42968 Mirror                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             local_aux_controller:/SP_backup

52126 Backup                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             remote_aux_controller:/SP_users

43084 Backup                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             remote_aux_controller:/SP_ctx

43087 Backup                    42833 CC-SnapProtect-XX_SC-59 volume                                             remote_aux_controller:/SP_backup

 

Step 3: DFM Backup and CommServe DB Backup

dfm backup create backup_file_name

Run a DR backup in SnapProtect/Commvault

You can also capture a snapshot in vCenter also just to be sure

 

Step 4: Run dfpm dataset relinquish <id of secondary resource you want to remove> to break the relationships in DFM.

dfpm dataset relinquish 43087

dfpm dataset relinquish 42968

 

Step 5: Then, edit the dataset and remove the secondary resource if it is still part of the dataset via the Management Console

 

Step 6: In SnapProtect remove the volume from the subclient so that it’s no longer backed up.

And that’s that. You can now use the volume in other storage policies without it impacting another configuration

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How to: Present iSCSI storage from a NetApp vfiler (7-Mode)

As part of a recent data migration I had to enable a vfiler to allow iSCSI traffic as a number of virtual machines in the environment require block storage for clustering reasons. The vfiler already presents via NFS and iSCSI. As this is a test environment I’ve decided to put iSCSI on the same link as the NFS and CIFS. I know this is not normal best practice but given that the vLANs are already in place and that this is a test environment I decided to use the same IP address range. The servers accessing the iSCSI LUNs don’t have access to CIFS or to any NFS mounts already so there should be no traffic cross-over. So onto the steps to set it up:

Step 1: Allow iscsi protocol and RSH on vfiler (at vfiler0)

Check the status of the vfiler using the command

vfiler status -a tenant_vfiler
tenant_vfiler running
 ipspace: tenant_vfiler_NFS_CIFS
 IP address: 192.168.2.1 [a1a-107]
 IP address: 192.168.2.2 [a1a-107]
 Path: /vol/tenant_vfiler_vol0 [/etc]
 Path: /vol/nfs03
 Path: /vol/nfs04
 Path: /vol/nfs02
 Path: /vol/nfs01
 Path: /vol/cifs01
 Path: /vol/iso01
 Path: /vol/iscsi_test
 UUID: 93c62e36-4e76-11e4-8721-123478563412
 Protocols allowed: 7
Disallowed: proto=rsh
 Allowed: proto=ssh
 Allowed: proto=nfs
 Allowed: proto=cifs
Disallowed: proto=iscsi
 Allowed: proto=ftp
 Allowed: proto=http
 Protocols disallowed: 2

Next run the command:

vfiler allow tenant_vfiler proto=iscsi
vfiler allow tenant_vfiler proto=rsh

Step 2: Start iSCSI protocol on vfiler (at apaubmwvfi01)

vfiler context tenant_vfiler
iscsi start

Step 3: Create a new volume at vfiler0

vfiler context vfiler0
vol create iscsi_test_vol -s 20g

Step 4: Migrate the volume to apaubmwvfi01 and log into the vfielr to check the volume status

vfiler add tenant_vfiler /vol/iscsi_test
vfiler context tenant_vfiler
vol status

Step 5: Set priv advanced and modify the exports to the correct settings as below

To modify the exports read the current /exports and write it back. Once done run the exportsfs -av command to push the changes out

rdfile /vol/tenant_vfiler_vol0/etc/exports
/vol/nfs01 -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
/vol/nfs02 -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
/vol/nfs03 -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
/vol/nfs04 -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
/vol/iso01 -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
/vol/iscsi_test -sec=sys,rw=192.168.1.0/24,anon=0
vfiler run tenant_vfiler exportfs -av

Step 6: Create a lun from the volume (iscsi_test)

vfiler run tenant_vfiler lun create -s 10g -t windows2008 /vol/iscsi_test/iscsi_lun

Step 7: Change filer and run lun show

lun_show

Step 8: Verify iSCSI network within VMware has been assigned to the VM
iSCSI network
Step 9: Enable iSCSI Initiator – grab the iqn

iSCSI initiator iqn

Step 10: Create an igroup with the iqn of the server

igroup create -t Windows2008 ds_iscsi 
igroup add ds_iscsi iqn.1991-05.com.microsoft:microsoft:server.domain.com

Step 11: map the lun to the group name

map_lun_to_group

Step 12: run lun show -m to check the mapping

lun_show_mapping

Step 13: Run a quick connect to the IP address of the controller

iscsi_quick_connect

And now your disk should appear in the disk manager on the server. It’s not too different to setting up a normal iSCSI connection but RSH must be enabled otherwise it can’t tunnel the iSCSI  request to the vfiler iqn target.

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Cisco HyperFlex – Welcome to the HCI Party!

Cisco has finally decided to bring the vodka to spike the punch at the Hyper-Converged Infrastructure party. And it tastes pretty damn good. There have been rumours for a while now that Cisco was working with Springpath and as a major third round investor it’s not surprising to hear about their entrance into the HCI arena. The Register’s Chris Mellor reported about Something bubbling up at Springpath back in early December.  So what is the offspring of Cisco and Springpath called? Cisco HyperFlex!!

hyperflex systems

The Play:

Hyper-converged systems so far have delivered on simplicity and scale but there’s been a massive gap in  the lack of network integration in existing solutions. Yes you can use top of rack fast switches. In some cases customers use Cumulus on whitebox top-of-rack switches for software defined networking but networking is not a built in feature of the two leading hyper-converged solutions, Nutanix and Simplivity.

HyperFlex joins the comprehensive DC portfolio along with UCS, MDS and Nexus. It means that Cisco now has a play in traditional component based infrastructure, converge infrastructure and now hyper-converged infrastructure. Cisco is adding HyperFlex to provide it with another string to its software defined infrastructure. It will now have:

  • UCS – compute (service profiles, APIs etc.)
  • ACI – for software defined network
  • HyperFlex- software defined storage, compute and network

hyperflex systems overview

On the initial release Cisco HyperFlex will support file storage and VMware. There are a number of other storage types, such as block and object, and hypervisors on the roadmap.  There’s also going to be container support. Given that Springpath was hypervisor agnostic I’d expect a quick ramp up from Cisco and fast feature release cycle.

The Potential:

Like pretty much every other hyper-converged solution Cisco sees its expected use-cases to be:

  • VDI
  • Server virtualisation
  • Test and development
  • Large remote branch offices

UCS Manager is already familiar to multiple thousands of customers worldwide and the server and network deployment settings in HyperFlex come from pre-configured Service Profiles. Service Profiles are well and truly familiar to anyone that has worked with Cisco UCS.  Given that customer base and the familiarity with existing management tools there’s massive potential for Cisco HyperFlex here. There are some well developed existing incumbents in the hyper-converged market with Nutanix leading the way and HyperFlex will allow Cisco to gain a foothold in that rapidly growing market.

The Deep-dive: Read More

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Melbourne VMUG Review

Once again the Melbourne VMUG UserCon was a massive success and had some great speakers and sessions. Given that there were such IT heavy hitters as Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Chris Wahl (@chriswahl) and Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor) as well as a number of local IT stars such as Frank Fan (@frankfan7), Anthony Burke (@pandom_), Anthony Spiteri (@anthonyspiteri) and Craig Waters (@cswaters1) it’s not surprising that it was a great event

One of my goals for the day was to attend a number of the community sessions. I found the vBrownBag sessions conducted by Alastair Cooke (@demitassenz) to be the most informative and entertaining sessions of the day, along with those of Chris Wahl. The award for the funniest session of the day went to Simon Sharwood (@ssharwood) from the Register as part of the vBrownBag session. It wasn’t just entertaining but a great insight into how content is derived for the site.

I missed one of the sessions I had intended on getting to but here’s a break down of the sessions I did attend.

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Melbourne VMUG – Preview

userConn

 

The annual Melbourne VMUG UserCon takes place this Thursday, 25th February. It’s also an important day for me as it’s my wedding anniversary. I know which one my wife is more interested in! But, for the IT community in Melbourne all eyes will be on the VMUG. This years event has moved location from the old Hilton on the Park to Crown on Southbank. I think this is a good move and makes the VMUG even more accessible than in previous years. Last years guest speakers were excellent with Chad Sakac, Vaughan Stewart and John Troyer and this year it’s been lifted another notch again. This year the enterprise IT giants include Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor), Brad Tompkins (@VMUG_CEO) and my own personal IT hero Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl). There’s also going to be vBrownBag sessions being hosted by Alastair Cooke (@demitassenz). If you’ve been following twitter you’ll have seen that Scott’s been having issues with flights and has had United basically crap all over his plans. Hopefully things work out for him and he can make it on time to the Sydney VMUG on Tuesday 23rd but it looks like it’ll be a close call. I wish him safe travels from here on.

VMUGs are all about the community. It’s the primary reason it exists and we’re incredibly fortunate to have the organisers volunteer their time to put on such a great event. Melbourne has some of the finest at its helm and that has been recognised globally. If you haven’t attended before I’d highly recommend fitting it into your calendar. You’ll be glad you did and your employer will be glad you did too. It’s really worth getting to the keynotes at the UserCon as unlike keynotes at other events they are not strictly vendor focused and they can provide some real insight into your industry as a whole and even your career path. But the main focus should be the community speeches. Hearing from others out in the field about the trials and tribulations they’ve had with specific technology is where the real learning takes place. These contribute a shorter part of the agenda and it’s something I’d like to see more of in future events but I also appreciate that it’s hard to get speakers for such sessions. For me this year that’ll be my focus outside of the keynotes. There are a number of vendor based sessions as well throughout the day that delve into new technology .

There’s a lot of information and knowledge to be gleaned from this event. I’d also recommend working out your agenda before attending and have a ponder over what you’d like to get out of the event. The sessions I’m planning on attending are:

Unfortunately the community sessions clash in times but if they didn’t I’d attend the following. As I can only be in one place at one time I’ll be at the Chris Wahl session.

Read More

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UCS Director 5.4 – Post upgrade NetApp storage connection issue

After a recent upgrade to UCS Director 5.4 I noticed that my storage connections were showing a status of failed on the dashboard. I went to Administration -> Physical Accounts -> Physical Accounts. All of my NetApp controllers were offline.
Netapp connection fail UCS Director
I went to edit settings and re-entered my password to make sure that it had been picked up correctly.


Netapp UCSD Edit settingsAll the settings were fine so I saved them and tested the connection to the controllers again.
NetApp UCSD Test Connection

The connection failed with the following error:

500 Connection has been shutdown: javax.net.ssl.SSLHandsakeException:

Server chose SSLv3, but that protocol version is not enabled or not supported by the client.

Read More

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How To: UCS Director 5.4 Patch 1 update

After the recent upgrade to 5.4 I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to 5.4.1. Go to the download software portal for Cisco. Download the 5.4.1.zip patch file. I had a number of issue with the download as the checksum didn’t match. I had to take a number of attempts to get the file in-tact. I believe the issue was the ISA that acts as our internet proxy. Death to the ISA!!!!

Once the file has been downloaded copy it to your FTP server. Now it’s time to apply the patch. log onto UCS Director via either the console or SSH using the shelladmin account. Select option 3 to stop all the services.

UCSD upgrade step 1

Read More

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How To: Cisco UCS Director – 5.3 to 5.4 Upgrade

Cisco announced their release of UCS Director 5.4 back in November. As I’m currently running 5.3 and ran into an issue with a workflow Cisco support recommended upgrading to 5.4. I had a look over the Cisco UCS Director 5.4 Release Notes and there’s a new version of Java and the CentOS operating system are newer in the latest version. Due to this the upgrade procedure for 5.4 is different from previous version. In earlier versions it was possible to upload a patch via shelladmin and it would upgrade the software and database schema in place. 5.4 however requires new appliances to be deployed and a migration of database files etc. to be done between the 5.3 and 5.4 versions.

I really think that Cisco needs to look at using a HTML 5 console in the future as this upgrade path is overly complicated. Considering a lot of companies want you to be on the latest version when opening support calls, including Cisco, it would make sense for them to make it easier to perform the required upgrades.

The primary changes that have caused the modification to the upgrade path are:

  • CentOS version 5.4 to version 6.6
  • Java version 1.6 to version 1.8

Another thing to note is that version 5.54 requires 12GB RAM.

Cisco recommend standing up  the new appliances beside your current UCS Director and Bare-Metal Appliances and performing a migration. In my case there’s a few firewall rule etc already been created for the existing environment so I wanted to keep the same IP addresses and machine names. I changed the IP addresses of the current appliances to be something else within the same subnet and gave the new appliances temporary names but the existing IP addresses. Once everything had been migrated and the changes confirmed I was able to rename the appliances to be the existing ones and removed the older appliances from the infrastructure. Before commencing the upgrade I also had a sold read over the UCS Director Upgrade 5.4 Guide and the UCS Director Bare-Metal Agent 5.4 Upgrade Guide

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