HYPERMAX OS 5977 Q1 2016 SR – VVol GA, SRDF/Metro enhancements

Today EMC released our HYPERMAX OS 5977 Q1 2016 Service Release (Product Documentation).  This release is focused heavily around Mainframe which is great news for many of our customers; but there are some features not specific to Mainframe that impact topics I usually write about in my posts.

**All the features I will include here apply to both the VMAX3 and VMAX All Flash (VMAX AFA) arrays

  • Mobility Safe ID is a new format of device identifier that we now support.  It enables a universally unique virtual volume identifier.  It also increases the number of devices that can be supported (though there is no increase to the 64k limit in this release) and makes migration easier across an environment.  Right now, the only devices in the VMware space that will use this ID by default is the Protocol Endpoint (PE) – a component of VVols – and VVols themselves (though they aren’t presented to ESXi hosts like the PE).  While the Mobility ID can be enabled when you create a device, currently we do not see a benefit in doing so in a VMware environment, particularly because SRDF/Metro is not supporting it in the initial release.  It will, however, become more important when SRDF/Metro adds support since it will allow the use of ALUA (Asymmetrical Logical Unit Access).  ALUA will permit uniform vMSC configurations (vMSC detail) without an RPQ.  Below is an example of a traditional WWN format and the new Mobility Safe ID (Identifier row).

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

  • In the SRDF/Metro space we now support all VAAI primitives except XCOPY – so in addition to ATS which was available with the first release of Metro, we add UNMAP and Block Zero (Write Same).  XCOPY will be added in a future release.
  • On the management software side, we offer a new Unisphere called Unisphere 360.  Unisphere 360 in its initial release can display all enrolled Unisphere instances in a single location and provide some high-level performance metrics.  The future of Unisphere 360 will encompass all existing features of Unisphere so customers with multiple arrays can have a single pane of glass to manage all their arrays.

The last feature I will cover requires more than a simple bullet-point.  With this service release, VMware Virtual Volumes – VVols – is now GA.  We have had VVols in a direct availability release since last year, but now anyone with this release of HYPERMAX OS can deploy and use VVols.  In conjunction with the release I have written a whitepaper on using VVols with VMAX3 and VMAX AFA.  The paper is designed as a best practice/deployment guide.  You can find it here:

VVol Whitepaper

vvol_wp

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

The paper discusses VVols both at a high level through roles, features, etc. and also at a practical level by walking through VASA 2 installation and configuration, Unisphere implementation, and providing an example of using VVols with Oracle 12c.  It is not meant, however, as a substitute for the product documentation which will include both VASA 2 and Unisphere for VMAX.  I think it is most useful as a companion guide to the product docs.  I’d love to talk more about it but it would be so much easier if you just look at the paper 🙂

If you are completely new to VVols, I have a number of previous posts which can be reviewed.  There are also demos in the posts if you want to see what VVols look like in action:

VVols on VMAX3 preview

VVol official launch

VVol Certification

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