ViPR 2.1 - ViPR Support for FAST Policies

Table of Contents

ViPR support for fully automated storage tiering for a volume

The ViPR service Change Virtual Pool enables you to change the fully automated storage tiering (FAST) policy on a volume with the operation Change Auto-tiering Policy or Host IO Limits.

A VMAX array typically has several types of storage, and that storage supports a number of RAID types. Most VMAX arrays support the following drive types:
  • Flash drives
  • Enterprise hard disk drives (10K and 15K rpm)
  • High-capacity SATA disk drives

The performance of your array partially depends on the placement of frequently-accessed data on high-speed disks such as Flash, and infrequently-accessed data on slower storage, such as SATA drives.

VMAX moves data among drive types in order to optimize your array performance. This feature is called VMAX FAST VP.

Note Image
ViPR does not support FAST DP.

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FAST settings in virtual pools

The following table describes the fields in the virtual pool configuration panels that relate to Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) policies.

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Notes on unique policy names

Some planning is required to use unique FAST policy names in your virtual pool.

On a VMAX, you build unique FAST policy names with Unisphere. If you enable the Unique Auto-tiering Policy Names check box, ViPR displays the FAST policy names that you built on the VMAX array.

Unisphere enforces uniqueness in auto-tiering policy names on the VMAX array, but ViPR can include more than one VMAX in a virtual pool. This situation presents a complication for the ViPR administrator, because if two policies on two VMAX arrays have the same name, the FAST policies may not be identical. In this scenario, the ViPR user interface displays only one instance of the name, and ViPR chooses which FAST policy to apply to volumes in that virtual pool.

If you build a virtual pool that includes multiple VMAX arrays, and you want to use unique auto-tiering policy names, verify that the FAST policy names on the VMAX arrays are unique to all VMAX arrays in the virtual pool. If you are not sure of this, do not enable unique auto-tiering policy names.

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ViPR and FAST policies: Notes and limitations

ViPR handles FAST policy management according to the following guidelines:

  • You cannot build FAST policies in ViPR. Storage array administrators build FAST policies with Unisphere or another interface.
  • When you change a FAST policy for a volume, ViPR changes the FAST policy for the entire storage group. Therefore, all volumes part of a VMAX storage group must be specified for the operation to be successful.
  • To determine the storage groups in which your volumes reside, run Unisphere or use the Solutions Enabler CLI.
  • You cannot change the FAST policy of a VPLEX virtual volume that has back-end physical storage on a VMAX.
  • In Unisphere, you apply FAST policies to volumes when you add the volume to a storage group on the array. In ViPR, you can add a volume to a storage group by exporting the volume to a host. ViPR adds the volume to a storage group on the VMAX, and applies the FAST policy.
  • An unexported volume can reside in a virtual pool that has a FAST policy defined. However, the FAST policy is not in effect for that volume until you export the volume to a host or cluster.
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ViPR and FAST Policies on VNX

VNX arrays also support FAST policies. The VMAX and VNX arrays handle FAST policies differently.

With VNX, you can change the FAST policies for exported and un-exported volumes.

On a VNX, a FAST policy is directly associated with the volume.

All volumes provisioned on a VNX are assigned to the Auto Tier. If you set the virtual pool auto-tiering field to None, VNX assigns volumes provisioned using that virtual pool to the Auto Tier.

You can change the FAST policy of a VNX volume to one of the other tiering options that VNX offers.

VNX does not have the storage group limitation. The storage group limitation is exclusively on VMAX arrays.

The physical storage pool in which the volume resides must be available in both the original and target virtual pools. Check both the source and target virtual pools to ensure that the physical storage pool in which your volume resides matches both virtual pools.

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Change FAST policies on an unexported block volume

You can use ViPR to change the FAST policy on any volume in ViPR. Changing the FAST policy on an exported block volume is more complicated than changing the FAST policy on an unexported volume.

The reason for this is that an unexported volume is not assigned to a storage group. If the volume has no storage group assignment, you can build the target virtual pool, then change the FAST policy for the volume using Change Virtual Pool.

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Change the FAST policy for an exported volume

ViPR has a limitation on changing the FAST policy on a VMAX volume that has been exported to a host.

When you use a ViPR service to export a volume to a host, the VMAX array adds that volume to a storage group as part of the service orchestration. To apply (or change) the FAST policy for a volume in a storage group, change the FAST policy for all volumes in the storage group, or the ViPR Change Virtual Pool service will fail.

You need the following information to run Change Virtual Pool on an exported VMAX volume.
  • The storage groups to which your volume belongs.
  • The names of the other volumes that share a storage group with your volume.
  • The name of the physical storage pool that contains your volume.

This information is available in Unisphere.

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Has my volume been exported?

Each volume created in ViPR has a list of exports. The following procedure shows how to determine if a volume has been exported.

Before you begin

Create the volume from ViPR using the Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume service, or an equivalent service.

Procedure

  1. Log in to ViPR as a system administrator.
  2. Select Resources > Volumes.
  3. Click the volume that you want to examine.

Results

If the volume has been exported, the exports are listed below the volume description, as shown in the following figure.
Volume with exports

Volume with Exports

If your volume has been exported, you must identify the other volumes in the storage group on the VMAX, as described in Get the list of volumes that share a storage group with your volume.

If the volume has not been exported, the exports list is empty.
Volume with no exports

Volume with no exports

If your volume has not been exported, you can run the Change Virtual Pool service to change the FAST policy. See Change FAST policies on an unexported block volume.

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Get the list of volumes that share a storage group with your volume

Once you determine that your volume has been exported, you know that your volume resides in a storage group on your VMAX. In order to change the FAST policy, you must compile a list of all volumes in the storage group. This list will be required when you run the Change Virtual Pool service.

Before you begin

You must have a volume that was created by ViPR.

The volume must have exports.

Procedure

  1. Log in to Unisphere.
  2. Click the array on which you built your volume.
  3. Select Storage > Volumes.
  4. Open the Virtual Volume list, and then double-click TDEV.

    volume dashboard

    The Thin Volumes list opens.

  5. Find the volume you created by using the Advanced Filtering feature of Unisphere. Enter the name of the volume that you created in the Volume Identifier Name field, and then click OK.
    advanced filter dialog
    The volume list displays your volume.
  6. Double-click the volume to view the volume properties.
    The Volume properties provide a Storage Groups link in the Related Objects box.
  7. Click Storage Groups.
    Unisphere displays the Storage Groups to which your volume belongs.

    storage groups list

  8. Double-click the parent storage group.
    Unisphere displays the storage group properties. This screen includes a Related Objects list.

    related objects

  9. Click Volumes in the Related Objects list. Unisphere displays the complete list of storage groups to which the volume belongs.

Example

storage groups list

Storage Groups List

You can use this list of volumes to run Change Virtual Pool to change a FAST policy.

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Get the physical storage pool for your volume

Learn how to identify the physical storage pool that contains your volume.

Before you begin

Create the volume from ViPR by using the service Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume or an equivalent service.

Procedure

  1. To log in to Unisphere and migrate to the Volume Properties page for your volume, follow steps 1 through 6 in Get the list of volumes that share a storage group with your volume.
    The Volume Properties provide a Bound Pool Info link in the Related Objects box.
  2. Click the Bound Pool Info link.
    Unisphere displays the storage pool in which your volume resides.
  3. Record the pool name. You will need it to assure that your source and target virtual pools will support the Change Auto-tiering operation.
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Duplicate a virtual pool

To change the FAST policy of a volume from ViPR, move the volume from its current virtual pool to another virtual pool that has the new FAST policy applied.

Before you begin

The virtual pool that contains the volume and the virtual pool into which you move the volume must be identical, except for the FAST policies. If any other virtual pool settings differ between the source and target virtual pools, the Change Virtual Pool operation will fail.

This procedure shows how to create the target virtual pool.

Procedure

  1. Log in to ViPR as a system administrator.
  2. Choose Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools.
  3. Select the virtual pool to duplicate by enabling the check box next to the virtual pool.
  4. Click Duplicate.
    ViPR creates a new virtual pool from the name of your source virtual pool. For example, if your virtual pool is called MyPool, ViPR creates a virtual pool called MyPool_copy and then opens the Create Virtual Pool panel so that you can edit its parameters.
  5. Change the Auto-tiering policy setting.
  6. Click Save.
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Check the duplicate virtual pool for your physical storage pool

To run Change Virtual Pool to change the FAST policy for a volume, the volume must reside in a physical storage pool that matches both the source and target virtual pools.

Before you begin

To check to see which physical storage pool contains your volume, see Get the physical storage pool for your volume.

After you determine which physical storage pool contains your volume, check both the source and target virtual pools for your physical storage pool. This is to assure that the FAST policy change in the target virtual pool did not filter out the physical storage pool that contains your volume.

Procedure

  1. Log in to ViPR as an administrator.
  2. Select Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools.
  3. Click the target virtual pool in the Block Virtual Pools list.
  4. Expand the Storage Pools list.
    Storage Pools

    Storage Pools

Results

The physical storage pool that contains your volume must appear on this list. If it does not, you will not be able to assign your volume to this virtual pool.

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Add a FAST policy to a volume

This procedure describes how to apply a FAST policy to a volume by moving that volume to a virtual pool that has an auto-tiering policy.

Before you begin

Build a volume from ViPR by running the service Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume or an equivalent service.

When you create the volume, the virtual pool that you specify must have the auto-tiering policy field set to None.

Procedure

  1. To duplicate the virtual pool to which the volume currently belongs, follow the instructions in Duplicate a virtual pool. In the target virtual pool, set the Auto-Tiering policy field to to the name of the FAST policy that you want to apply to the volume. The source and target virtual pools must differ only in the auto-tiering policy field. If there are other differences, the Change Virtual Pool service will fail.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Change Virtual Pool.
  3. Set the fields in the Change Virtual Pool dialog as shown in the following table.
  4. Click Order.
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Change the FAST policy for a volume

This procedure explains how to change the volume's FAST policy by moving that volume to a virtual pool that has another auto-tiering policy.

Before you begin

Build a volume from ViPR by running the service Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume or an equivalent service.

When you create the volume, the virtual pool that you specify must have the auto-tiering policy field set.

Procedure

  1. Follow the instructions in Duplicate a virtual pool to duplicate the virtual pool to which the volume currently belongs. In the target virtual pool, change the Auto-Tiering policy field to the name of the FAST policy that you want to apply to the volume. The source and target virtual pools must differ only in the auto-tiering policy field. If there are other differences, the Change Virtual Pool service will fail.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Change Virtual Pool
  3. Set the fields in the Change Virtual Pool dialog box as shown in the following table.
  4. Click Order.
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Remove the FAST policy from a volume

This procedure explains how to remove the FAST policy from the volume by moving that volume to a virtual pool that has no auto-tiering policy.

Before you begin

Build a volume from ViPR by running the service Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume or an equivalent service.

When you create the volume, the virtual pool that you specify must have the auto-tiering policy field set.

Procedure

  1. To duplicate the virtual pool to which the volume currently belongs, follow the instructions in Duplicate a virtual pool. In the target virtual pool, set the Auto-Tiering policy field to None. The source and target virtual pools must differ only in the auto-tiering policy field. If there are other differences, the Change Virtual Pool service will fail.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Change Virtual Pool.
  3. Set the fields in the Change Virtual Pool dialog box as shown in the following table.
  4. Click Order.
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