ViPR 2.2 - ViPR Support for VPLEX Distributed Volume Mirrors

Table of Contents

ViPR support for VPLEX distributed volume mirrors

ViPR includes several services in the service catalog that allow you to manage VPLEX virtual volumes with mirrors. VPLEX distributed volume mirrors enable synchronous writes to four separate physical storage devices on any write to the VPLEX virtual volume.

To run these services successfully, your datacenter must meet certain physical configuration requirements, and elements in your datacenter must be registered and discovered by ViPR. This article describes the data center requirements for implementing VPLEX distributed volume mirrors with ViPR, and describes how to build a volume with mirror protection for both legs of a VPLEX Metro.

The services that allow you to manage VPLEX distributed virtual volumes with mirrored protection are:
  • Block Protection Services > Create Continuous Copy
  • Block Protection Services > Remove Continuous Copy
Back to Top

Datacenter requirements

The following figure shows a simple datacenter configuration. It illustrates the ViPR support for VPLEX distributed volume mirrors.

VPLEX Distributed Volume Mirrors

VPLEX Distributed Volume Mirrors

This configuration includes a VPLEX Metro configuration with two VMAX arrays (Block Array 1 and Block Array 4) as the back end physical storage arrays. Writes from the hosts to the distributed virtual volume are written to the physical storage devices on the back end storage, and to the mirror devices on Block Array 2 and Block Array 3. With ViPR, the VPLEX distributed volume mirrors are always located on physical storage that is separate from the back end storage used by the VPLEX Metro. This protects your data against data loss in the event that one of the physical arrays fails.

The data center requirements are as follows:
  • There must be physical connectivity between all the relevant components in your datacenter. The networks and ports added to the ViPR virtual array must contain all the endpoints necessary to provision the back end array volumes to the VPLEX , and provision the virtual volumes from the VPLEX to a host.
  • The VPLEX must be a VPLEX Metro.
  • The VPLEX volume must be a VPLEX distributed virtual volume.
  • The back end physical storage for the VPLEX can exist on ViPR-managed block storage such as a VNX or VMAX array.
  • Only one mirror is supported for each leg of the VPLEX Metro.
  • ViPR does support ingestion of VPLEX volumes that have mirrors already established. However, only the volumes are ingested. The mirrors are not.
Back to Top

Discoveries

From ViPR, you must discover all of the following to run the Create Continuous Copies service.

  • The hosts (or clusters) you want to access storage
  • The VPLEX Metro that will contain the distributed virtual volume
  • Two block storage arrays - one on each leg of the VPLEX Metro. The VPLEX uses these as the back end storage for the virtual volume.
  • Two block storage arrays - one on each leg of the VPLEX Metro. The VPLEX uses these to contain the mirror volumes.
    Note Image
    Four physical block storage arrays are required for this configuration.

  • Any Brocade or CISCO switches required to connect the hosts to the VPLEX
  • Any Brocade or CISCO switches required to connect the physical storage arrays to the VPLEX
Note that the entire route from the host to the physical storage must be discovered by ViPR before you can successfully run the VPLEX-related services.
Back to Top

Virtual array and virtual pool configuration

This article describes how to build a simple VPLEX Metro setup with the following ViPR virtual objects:

  • Two virtual arrays - one virtual array for each VPLEX Metro cluster.
  • Four virtual pools - one for each cluster of the VPLEX Metro, and one continuous copy virtual pool for each mirror.

In the configuration described in this article, mirrors are created for both legs of the VPLEX Metro. Alternatively, you could configure a single continuous copy virtual pool for one leg of the VPLEX. In this case, only one side of the VPLEX would have a mirror volume. This is a supported configuration.

Back to Top

Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume

The Create Block Volume service creates a distributed VPLEX virtual volume. It also creates physical storage devices on the back end arrays. Using the virtual pools described in this procedure, you can create mirror volumes on both legs of the VPLEX Metro. Create Block Volume does not export the volume to the host or create the mirrors. To create the mirrors on each leg of the VPLEX, call Create Continuous Copies.

Before you begin

To run this service, your environment must meet all of the following requirements:
  • You must log in to ViPR as a tenant administrator, or as a user with access to the project that contains the volume you want to export.
  • Your physical data center must meet the requirements described in Datacenter requirements.
  • From ViPR, you must discover the physical infrastructure in Discoveries.

Procedure

  1. Create a ViPR project.
  2. Create two virtual arrays: one for the VPLEX source volume and one for the VPLEX High Availability target where the source volume will be replicated.
  3. Add networks to the VPLEX source virtual array to enable physical connectivity between all the hardware required by the source VPLEX cluster - the hosts, the switches, VPLEX, and the back end storage. You can also add specific ports to the virtual array by using ViPR's Storage Ports dialog.
  4. Add networks to the VPLEX high availability virtual array to enable physical connectivity between all the hardware required by the VPLEX High Availability cluster - the switches, the VPLEX and the back end storage. Alternatively, you can add specific ports to the virtual array by using ViPR's Storage Ports dialog.
  5. Create two continuous copy virtual pools. Both the VPLEX Source and VPLEX Target virtual pools reference a continuous copies virtual pool that enables connectivity with the physical storage arrays that hold the mirror volumes.
  6. Create the VPLEX High Availability virtual pool.
  7. Create the VPLEX Source virtual pool.
  8. Run Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume from the service catalog to create the distributed VPLEX virtual volume with mirrors.
  9. Run Block Protection Services > Create Continuous Copies to create the mirrors on each leg of the VPLEX Metro.
Back to Top

Create a ViPR Project

A project is required when you create a volume.

From the ViPR user interface, create a project:

Procedure

  1. Log in as a user with Tenant Admin rights.
  2. Select Tenant Settings > Projects.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Enter a project name in the Name field.
  5. Click Add ACL. Add the names of any users or groups that will be using the project.
  6. Click Save.
Back to Top

Create Two Virtual Arrays

In the data center described in this article, the VPLEX Metro environment has two physical data centers, each with its own VPLEX cluster. Create two virtual arrays - one for each data center.

Before you begin

  • Log in to ViPR as a system administrator.
  • Complete the discoveries described in Discoveries.

Procedure

  1. From Administrator Mode, select Virtual Assets > Virtual Array.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Type the name of the virtual array.
  4. Select Automatic SAN Zoning.
  5. Click Save to add the new virtual array to the list of virtual arrays.
  6. Click Add a second time. Follow steps 3 through 5 to create a second virtual array. You need both virtual arrays to set up a VPLEX distributed volume with mirrors.
Back to Top

Enable connectivity by adding ports

To enable connectivity between the elements in your virtual arrays, you must add ports to the virtual array.

You can add ports to your virtual array in two ways:
  • Add networks (fabrics and VSANs) to your virtual array
  • Add storage ports to the virtual array

When you have completed adding ports to the two virtual arrays, both virtual arrays should display a VPLEX with two physical storage arrays. In each virtual array, one physical array is the VPLEX back end storage, and one is the physical array that holds the mirror volume. The following figures show the source and high availability virtual arrays used in this article.

Cluster1

Storage arrays for cluster 1

Cluster2

Storage arrays for cluster 2

Back to Top

Add networks to a virtual array

The fastest and simplest way to enable communication among resources in your virtual data center is to add networks to your virtual arrays.

Before you begin

Use ViPR to discover fabric managers.

Networks are collections of ports. You use software provided by your switch vendor to define networks.

Procedure

  1. Edit a virtual array. The Edit Virtual Array configuration page opens.
  2. Click Networks. The Networks page opens.
  3. Click Add Existing. The Add Network dialog box opens and displays a list of fabrics or VSANs.
  4. Select the check box next to each fabric or VSAN you want to add to your virtual array.
    The networks that you add must provide connectivity between the VPLEX and the physical storage arrays.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for each virtual array in your configuration.

Results

Click the name of the virtual array in the breadcrumb bar at the top of the screen to navigate back to the Edit Virtual Array page. You should see the VPLEX and the two physical storage systems in the Associated Storage Systems list.
Add Networks

Associated storage systems after adding networks

Back to Top

Add Ports

Another way to enable connectivity in your virtual array is to add ports.

Before you begin

Before adding ports to your virtual array, complete all required discoveries for your datacenter.

Adding specific ports to your virtual array gives you a level of granular control over which ports you use to communicate with specific resources in your data center. For example, you can set aside certain ports on your VMAX to communicate with VPLEX .

It is very important for VPLEX to isolate the ports for cluster1 in a varray and cluster2 in a separate virtual array. You cannot mix VPLEX ports from both clusters in the same virtual array. This will result in errors during service execution.

Procedure

  1. Edit a virtual array.
    The Edit Virtual Array screen appears.
  2. Click Storage Ports. The Storage Ports page opens.
  3. Click Add. The Add Storage Ports dialog box opens.
  4. Type a string that filters the ports list in the Search field. For example, if you enter fa-8 in the Search field, the Storage Ports list displays only the ports on arrays whose names matches that string.
    filtered storage ports list
  5. Select the check boxes next to each port that you want to add to the virtual array.
  6. Click Add.
    ViPR adds the storage ports you selected to the virtual array.
Back to Top

Create two continuous copies virtual pools

Build two virtual pools. These continuous copy virtual pools must exist before you can build the Source virtual pool or the High Availability virtual pool.

Before you begin

Complete all the discoveries described in Discoveries.

Build the virtual arrays described in Create Two Virtual Arrays.

Enable connectivity between the elements within the virtual arrays, as described in Eable connectivity by adding ports.

Procedure

  1. Select Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools . The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  2. Enter the information in Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX Source Mirror.
  3. Ensure that the number of physical pools that meet your virtual pool criteria is 1 or greater.
  4. Click Save.
  5. Select Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools . The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  6. Enter the information in Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX High Availability Mirror.
  7. Ensure that the number of physical pools that meet your virtual pool criteria is 1 or greater.
  8. Click Save.
Back to Top

Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX Source Mirror

The following table shows example settings for the VPLEX Source Mirror virtual pool.

This virtual pool is referenced as a Continuous Copies virtual pool by the VPLEX Source virtual pool.

Back to Top

Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX High Availability Mirror

The following table shows example settings for the VPLEX High Availability Mirror virtual pool.

This virtual pool is referenced as a Continuous Copies virtual pool by the VPLEX High Availability virtual pool.

Back to Top

Create the VPLEX High Availability virtual pool

Build a virtual pool for the high availability cluster of the VPLEX Metro. This virtual pool uses the VPLEX-HA-Mirror-vp as a continuous copy virtual pool. The VPLEX High Availability virtual pool must exist before you can build the VPLEX Source virtual pool.

Before you begin

Complete all the discoveries described in Discoveries.

Build the virtual arrays described in Create Two Virtual Arrays.

Enable connectivity between the elements within the virtual arrays, as described in Enable connectivity by adding ports.

Procedure

  1. Select Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools . The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  2. Enter the information in Virtual pool configuration: High Availability.
  3. Ensure that the number of physical pools that meet your virtual pool criteria is 1 or greater.
  4. Click Save.
Back to Top

Virtual pool configuration: High Availability

The following table shows example setting for the VPLEX High Availability virtual pool.

Back to Top

Create the VPLEX Source virtual pool

Build a virtual pool for the source cluster of the VPLEX Metro. This virtual pool uses the VPLEX-Source-Mirror-vp as a continuous copy virtual pool.

Before you begin

Complete all the discoveries described in Discoveries.

Build the virtual arrays described in Create Two Virtual Arrays.

Enable connectivity between the elements within the virtual arrays, as described in Enable connectivity by adding ports.

Procedure

  1. Select Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools . The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  2. Enter the information in Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX Source.
  3. Ensure that the number of physical pools that meet your virtual pool criteria is 1 or greater.
  4. Click Save.
Back to Top

Virtual pool configuration: VPLEX Source

The following table shows example setting for the VPLEX Source virtual pool.

This virtual pool uses Vplex-Source-Mirror-VP as a continuous copies virtual pool. It also sets the High Availability setting to VPLEX Distributed.

Back to Top

Create a VPLEX Distributed Block Volume.

Create a VPLEX Distributed block volume.

You create the volume in the source virtual array with the source virtual pool. The service creates all of the following:

  • The VPLEX Distributed virtual volume
  • Backing storage volumes on the physical storage arrays in both physical data centers.

Procedure

  1. Run Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume from the service catalog.
  2. Select the source virtual array (Vplex-Cluster-1) in the Virtual Array field.
  3. Select the source virtual pool (Vplex-Source-VP) in the Virtual Pool field.
  4. Select the project that you built.
  5. Type a string description for the block volume.
  6. Leave the consistency group setting at the default. ViPR does not support the creation of mirrors for volumes in a consistency group.
  7. Set the number of volumes to 1 or more.
  8. Set the size of the volume in gigabytes.
  9. Click Order.
Back to Top

Create Continuous Copies

The last step is to create the mirrors for the VPLEX Distributed volume.

Before you begin

You must log in as a user with write access to the project that holds the VPLEX Distributed volume.

Procedure

  1. Run Block Protection Services > Create Continuous Copy from the service catalog.
  2. Choose the project that holds your VPLEX Distributed virtual volume.
  3. Choose the volume you created.
  4. Enter a text description of the mirror volume.
  5. Set the number of copies to 1.
  6. Click Order.
Back to Top

Remove Continuous Copies

Once you successfully create a VPLEX volume mirror, you may want to remove the mirror. The Remove Continuous Copy service deletes the mirror, but leaves the VPLEX virtual volume and the underlying physical back end storage device intact.

Before you begin

Login as a user with write access to the project that holds your VPLEX virtual volume.

Procedure

  1. Run Block Protection Services > Remove Continuous Copy from the service catalog.
  2. Choose the project that holds your VPLEX virtual volume.
  3. Choose the volume whose mirror you want to delete.
  4. Click the check box next to the volume mirror in the Continuous Copies field.
  5. Click Order.
Back to Top

Detaching a mirror from its VPLEX virtual volume and converting it to an independent VPLEX virtual volume

Once you have created a VPLEX virtual volume mirror, you have the option of detaching the mirror from the virtual volume. After detachment, the mirror becomes a VPLEX Local virtual volume, and you can perform any operations on that volume that you choose.

Before you begin

To perform the following procedure, you must have a VPLEX virtual volume with a mirror.

You must log in as a user with write access to the project that contains your volume.

Procedure

  1. Choose Resources > Volumes. The Volumes screen appears.
  2. Click the volume in the list that has the mirror.
  3. Expand the Continuous Copies panel.
  4. Click Stop.
    This detaches the mirror from the VPLEX virtual volume. A new volume appears in the volume list - this is the volume formerly used as a mirror.
Back to Top

A second way to stop continuous copies

There is a second location in the user interface that allows you to detach a mirror from a VPLEX virtual volume.

  1. Follow the steps described in Detaching a mirror from its VPLEX virtual volume and converting it to an independent VPLEX virtual volume.
  2. When you expand the Continuous Copies panel, you should see the continuous copies name in a link, as shown in the following figure.

  3. If you click the link to see more details about the continuous copy, there is a Stop Continuous Copy option, as shown in the following figure.

Back to Top