VSI 6.9 – SMI-S 8.2, 6.0 U2

This week EMC released VSI 6.9.  This release is actually 1 of 2 for version 6.9, with the second one scheduled for the end of this month.  The reason for the second release has to do with the timing of new storage code for some platforms; so rather than pushing the changes to the next quarter, the developers were able to get them into a point release.  In any case here are the features in this first 6.9 release:

This release includes the following new features and changes:

* Support for current VSI functionality for EMC RecoverPoint and VMware Site Recovery Manager on multiple linked VMware vCenters.
* Support for the following functionality on EMC Unity™ and UnityVSA™ on multiple linked VMware vCenters:
  • Provision NFS and VMFS datastores and RDM disks
  • View properties of Unity datastores and RDM disks

You can find the software and documentation here:  VSI Web Client

As you can see above, on the VMAX side there is nothing for us in this release in terms of features, but we do have 2 important support changes.  The first is that 6.9 is the first VSI release to support the HYPERMAX 5977 2016 Q1 SR release (5977.811.784) and Solutions Enabler 8.2 (aka SMI-S Provider 8.2).  (In a previous VSI post I incorrectly updated it to include SE 8.2 so I pulled it from there and put it here where it belongs.)  The second change is support for vCenter 6.0 U2.  We strongly recommend this version so that is also good news.

Support for the SMI-S Provider version 8.2, however, does bring a new twist which I will now cover…

When you register a new VMAX array in VSI, you must provide an SMI-S Provider address.  The screen looks like this:

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

When VSI connects to the SMI-S Provider it uses the non-secure port of 5988.  This is hard coded and unfortunately there is no ability to specify a different port (e.g. the default secure port of 5989).  Many of our customers certainly would like to use the secure port and that capability will be included in part 2 of VSI 6.9 later this month, but for now 5988 is it.  Prior to SMI-S Provider release 8.2, a default installation would listen on both the secure port of 5989 and the non-secure port of 5988.  Starting with SMI-S Provider 8.2, however, some of our security conscious customers insisted we do not listen on 5988 by default.  What can I say?  We listen to our customers.  So if you now were to attempt to use a default SMI-S Provider 8.2 installation for VSI you would get this error:

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

Note that error does cover more than a port problem, but all things being equal it would be the first thing to look at.  Fortunately it is not difficult to enable listening on port 5988 but it does require modifying a file.

I’m going to use Linux in this example, but the process is the same for Windows.  Start by stopping the ECOM process.  On Linux navigate to:  /opt/emc/ECIM/ECOM/bin and run ./emc_ecom.sh stop.

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

Now we need to modify the Port_settings.xml file located in the /opt/emc/ECIM/ECOM/conf directory.  Use vi to open the file and move to the bottom.  You should see entries like this which list the 3 ports being used:  5989, 5986, and 5994:

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

What we need to do is add another stanza that contains the 5988 port.  So right before that last line of </ECOMSettings>, paste the following:

<ECOMSetting Name=”Port3″>
       <port>5988</port>
      <secure>false</secure>
      <slp>true</slp>
 </ECOMSetting>

The updated file will look like this:

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

Save the file and restart ECOM running the same script used to stop it:

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

If you want to check if it worked, run a netstat to see if it is listening on port 5988:

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

And that’s it you are good to go.  The VSI Product Guide includes this limitation.

Two important final notes about SMI-S Provider 8.2:

  • A reminder for our customers who use VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) with VMAX3/VMAX All Flash.  If you deployed VVols you also deployed the VASA Provider 8.2.  Note this virtual appliance does NOT support the SMI-S Provider 8.2.  I bring this up because an ECOM process runs on the VASA Provider but you cannot use it for VSI.
  • We do not support the use of the SMI-S Provider on the eManagement GuestOS on the VMAX3/VMAX All Flash array because of the ECOM port limitation.  Again, this will change in the second release of 6.9.
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