SRA 9.1 and SRM 8.2 Windows support

The SRDF Storage Replication Adapter (SRDF SRA) version 9.1 is now available for download. This release, as you might guess from the version, is associated with our new PowerMax 5978.444.444 release. In addition to the requisite support for the new PowerMax release, the SRA has a couple of new features as well as new support.

Although we are posting the SRA 9.1 for download on our support site, it is not available on the VMware site. A last minute change to our code forced us to re-run the certification tests for VMware. Now while the code change had no bearing on the certification tests, this is a VMware requirement. Until that process is complete, it is correct to say we are not officially supported by VMware. I expect that will be done by the start of October. You should have no concern using the software, but if your business requires that certification to proceed, you will need to wait.

SRM 8.2

With this release we now support SRM 8.2 on the Windows platform. We do not support the SRM Photon-based appliance, however. That support will be coming next year and by its nature will not be an executable like the current SRA. And as I do get asked this frequently, I’m sorry there is no way it is coming sooner via enhancement request or otherwise. SRM 8.2, other than the move to the appliance, has some new features not reliant on the appliance such as:

  • Support for vSphere 6.7 U2
  • Enhancements to the HTML-5 user interface (e.g. SRM export/import tool, dark theme)
  • Enhancement to public API
  • Plug-ins for vROps and vRO version 8.2

VMware appears to be ending Windows support after the next release and focusing solely on the appliance. So you will have another version to transition if you are not ready to move off Windows when we support the appliance at the next SRM release.

SRDF SRA 9.1 New Features

New features and changes for 9.1 are as follows:

  • Support for Rapid TDEV Deallocation.
  • Support for Online Device Expansion for SRDF Metro Devices.
  • Support for secure communication through ViClient Security.

Let’s start with the ones that do not require any action on the user’s part.

Rapid TDEV deallocation and SRDF Metro online device expansion are new features of the array with PowerMax 5978.444.444 so there is nothing special in the SRA that must be set to enable them. Rapid TDEV deallocation is actually more about TDEV deletion. In the new PowerMaxOS release we no longer require the user to deallocate the extents of a device before deleting it. You can run the one deletion command (CLI or Unisphere) and we will do both (through rapid TDEV deallocation of course). So you might wonder where this helps in relation to the SRA? Well if you use the R2 directly for testing (not advised) or your own devices as snapshot targets, it doesn’t; however if you use auto target device creation, and let the SRA control the target device creation/deletion, then the new feature means the cleanup occurs more quickly if you choose to delete the devices after a test.

The second feature covering support of SRDF/Metro online device expansion, just means that the SRA understands when you expand devices/datastores for SRDF/Metro. Just one less thing to worry about.

The final feature in this list, however, is enabled in the global options file. The new parameter is ViClientIgnoreSecurityException. I’ll briefly explain it.

ViClientIgnoreSecurityException

SRA uses ViClient to connect with VCenter Server. This flag is used to Ignore Security
Exceptions while establishing a secure connection. Enable this flag to establish a secure
connection by using existing user verified truststore certificates, the value options are
YES and NO. By default, the value is set to Yes.

For example:

<ViClientIgnoreSecurityException>Yes</ViClientIgnoreSecurityException>

If you choose to set this to ‘No’, and your certificates are not in order, expect to fail discovery. The nice thing is this is optional, and there is always the fall-back of ignoring the certificates which basically reverts to pre-9.1 behavior. That would allow you to continue working while you sort out the certs.

Be sure to follow the Release Notes for upgrading. Recall you’ll have to upgrade Solutions Enabler (SE) first, and if it is a client/server or remote management servers (basically any setup other than a local SE with Gatekeepers) you’ll need to upgrade SE on the SRM server and also the remote SE or you will get version mismatch errors.

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