ESA 7.1

This post is one of the rare ones where I can cover both PowerFlex and PowerMax together since I’ll be discussing Enterprise Storage Analytics (ESA) release 7.1. ESA 7.1 is not a major release, and yet is an important one for PowerFlex. There are three major features, or rather new support in this release:

  • vRealize Operations version 8.10
  • OpenJDK 11
  • PowerFlex version 4.0

vROps 8.10 and OpenJDK 11

vROps 8.10 is the latest release from VMware. Once again, VMware has decided to skip versions, if only to confuse us 🙂 The last release was 8.6, which skipped 8.5, but 8.7, 8.8, and 8.9 are also defunct now. There is obviously some method to the madness but not something we need be concerned with.

The OpenJDK 11 might seem a strange addition for support, but it is tied to vROps 8.10 as VMware updated the OpenJDK 8 to 11 in 8.10 so we needed to support it.

PowerFlex 4.0

The big feature for us (or those who read the blog) in ESA 7.1 is support for PowerFlex 4.0. The first thing to know, is that although the directions for adding a PowerFlex instance do not specify a difference between 3.x and 4.x, that being to use the PowerFlex Gateway IP and port, there actually is no separate Gateway in version 4.0. PowerFlex 4.0 combines the previous functionality of a Presentation Server and Gateway Server into a single management interface called PowerFlex Manager. Therefore, just use the IP of the PowerFlex Manager when adding an instance. Here you’ll see both my PowerFlex 3.x and 4.x and PowerMax instances.

All three of my systems are shown in the dashboard. You’ll note the middle system, which is the PowerFlex 4.0 instance, is named “tb1” or tiebreaker1. This is due to a bug explained below.

Known Issue – System name

One final quirk I found while testing with PowerFlex is that if I deployed a cluster and left the system name as the default (generated id), ESA got confused and would set the system name to one of the MDMs (e.g. mdm1 or tb1). Once you update the system name, it’s fine. I doubt customers leave the system default name, but thought I’d mention it.

NVMe/TCP

Although this is not called out in the Release Notes for ESA 7.1, there is no support for NVMe/TCP on the PowerFlex. Currently ESA only supports NVMe/TCP on the PowerMax platform. From a practical standpoint, this just means ESA cannot make the topology connection from a NVMe/TCP presented volume, to the datastore. You will still see the VMware objects for NVMe/TCP collected as well as the PowerFlex objects. It’s just the association that is not present.

PowerMax SLO to SL

This one was just a minor update I asked development to make concerning Service Levels on the PowerMax. When we first introduced Service Levels on the platform they were known as Service Levels Objectives. Over the years, however, we changed the name to just Service Levels. ESA has been updated to reflect this. An example is shown here in the Metrics:

and Alerts:

The upgrade process is the same as it has been, simply upload the new .pak file and VMware will do the rest.

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