3.2 EMC Storage Analytics – eNAS, SRDF, et al.

ESA 3.2 (3.2.1 is the build) is available today for download offering many new features for the VMAX®/VMAX3™ and XtremeIO platforms, as well as adding ScaleIO support.  ESA 3.2 is supported on vRealize Operations Manager version 6.0.2 which is the latest patched release available from VMware.  For VMAX3 it requires SMI-S version 8.0.3.  You can find it here on support.emc.com:

EMC Storage Analytics

As usual, I’ll focus on the VMAX/VMAX3 features.  Here is the high-level overview of the additions:

  • Application registration for SMI-S tracking
  • View VMAX and VMAX3 resources in the inventory tree
  • View EMC SRDF® relationships across sites
  • VMAX3 embedded network attached storage (eNAS)

All of these features are new to the ESA product for VMAX, though technically eNAS is simply the evolution of the VNX Gateway product into the VMAX3 platform.  Let me briefly explain each one and then follow that with a demo.

SMI-S Tracking

This ability is one that is already available in the VSI 6.5 product.  I’ve covered the general purpose of the tracking in this post: VSI 6.5 – vSphere 6, VPLEX, PP/VE and more.  The functionality is basically the same in ESA; however unlike VSI, ESA will insert a registry entry for every VMAX/VMAX3 adapter instance that is added to the ESA product.  In the example below I have (2) VMAX3 arrays registered.  Note the Usage Count column which indicates how many registered arrays I have on that particular SMI-S Provider.  It is the same value for every entry.

smi-s_registrationClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

Inventory Trees

An Inventory Tree is an environmental component within vROps that provides quick access to a group of objects.  Most of the ESA supported arrays are represented in some way there.  For VMAX/VMAX3, there are 3 inventory trees dedicated to the platforms.  They are VMAX SRDF Groups and Directors, VMAX SRP Pools, and VMAX Thin Pools.  Some of the other trees also have VMAX objects such as EMC LUNs.

inventory_tree_1Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

The benefit of the trees is being able to access the object type you desire more quickly.  So say you wanted to see what SLO is associated with a particular storage group.  You can expand VMAX SRP Pools, then the desired storage group and see the SLO.  Furthermore, by highlighting an object, in this case a device, you have detailed tabs on the right with other environmental information.

inventory_tree_2Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

SRDF Groupings

This new feature makes it much easier to see SRDF relationships when you have 2 VMAX adapters configured in ESA.  On the R1 side we group the devices by replication identity- in this release R1 and R2.  By drilling down into each sub-group of the SRDF group (12), you can view the devices on each array paired with the other array.  Here is an example using the VMAX Topology dashboard where I’ve drilled down into the R1 grouping.

srdf_groupsClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

As I’ve also shown above, there is an Inventory Tree for SRDF which is an easy way to move through the topology.  Here I’ve highlighted the same group as above, but used the R2 instead:

srdf_groups2Click to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

A few caveats about the first release of this feature:

  • The grouping functionality only works properly from the R1 array, not the R2.
  • You must have both arrays added as adapter instances or we cannot make the pairings.
  • There is only 2-site support.  Cascaded, Concurrent, Star, etc. will not work properly.

eNAS Support

As I noted in the beginning of the blog, eNAS support is essentially the capability we previously had with VMAX in ESA for the VNX Gateway product.  Of course since eNAS is embedded into the VMAX3, it was not the same from a coding standpoint hence why eNAS was not immediately supported when we released ESA 3.1.  With eNAS we have added a new adapter Connection Type which will take the Control Station IP as input with the nasadmin user.  We do not require a license for eNAS as it is covered with the VMAX3 license.

enas_connectionClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

There are 2 dashboards available for eNAS, but to avoid too much clutter in the vROps interface, we posted them on the Dashboard XChange here:  eNAS Dashboards.  If you import them, they will reside with the other VMAX dashboards.

enas_dashboardClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

With both the VMAX3 and eNAS adapter instances configured, you can drill-down from eNAS objects to VMAX3 objects.

eNAS_topologyClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

With that here is a 6 min (no audio) demo going through some of the new features.  I use some call-outs but generally I am just navigating through the various screens to give a high-level view.  It is high resolution so you may have to go to full screen.


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