ViPR 2.1 - ViPR support for VPLEX Local volume mirrors

Table of Contents

ViPR support for VPLEX Local volume mirrors

ViPR includes several services in the service catalog that allow you to manage VPLEX virtual volumes with mirrors. VPLEX Local volume mirrors enable synchronous writes to two 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 Local volume mirrors with ViPR, and describes how to build a volume with mirror protection.

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

ViPR also supports Detaching a mirror from its VPLEX Local virtual volume.

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Datacenter requirements

The following figure shows a simple datacenter configuration. It illustrates the ViPR 2.0 support for VPLEX Local volume mirrors.

This configuration includes a VPLEX Local configuration with two VMAX arrays as the back end physical storage arrays. Writes from the host are written to the physical storage device (ps1) on VMAX2 and the mirror device (M1) on VMAX1. With ViPR, the VPLEX local volume mirrors are always located on separate physical storage. This protects your data against data loss in the event 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 can be a VPLEX Local or a VPLEX Metro.
  • The VPLEX volume must be a VPLEX local virtual volume.
  • ViPR cannot create mirrors for VPLEX Metro distributed volumes.
  • The back end physical storage for the VPLEX can exist on ViPR-managed block storage such as a VNX or VMAX array.
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Discoveries

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

  • The hosts (or cluster) you want to access storage
  • The VPLEX that will contain the virtual volume
  • The block storage arrays on the VPLEX is using as its back end storage.
  • Any Brocade or CISCO switches required to connect the host to the VPLEX
  • Any Brocade or CISCO switches required to connect the physical storage 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.

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Supported virtual pool configurations

ViPR supports several virtual pool configurations for the creation of VPLEX volume mirrors.

A continuous copies virtual pool is a ViPR virtual pool that can optionally be used to set up VPLEX Local volume mirrors. The purpose of a continuous copies virtual pool is to give you control over where your mirror volume is created in your physical data center. If you do not choose to use a continuous copies virtual pool, ViPR will place the mirror volume on a different physical storage array from that of the physical back end storage volume used by the VPLEX virtual volume.

The supported virtual pool configurations are as follows:
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Configuration #1: No continuous copies virtual pool

The simplest ViPR configuration that supports VPLEX Local volume mirrors involves no continuous copies virtual pool.

This configuration includes these characteristics:
  • Only one virtual array.
  • The virtual array includes the VPLEX, and two or more physical arrays.
  • One virtual pool.
  • The Data Protection panel of the virtual pool would be set as follows:

Note that there is no Continuous Copies Virtual Pool specified in this screen. ViPR will place the physical back end storage for the VPLEX Local virtual volume and the mirror volume on different arrays in the virtual pool.

This is a simple configuration, but you are reliant on ViPR for volume placement.

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Configuration #2: Using a continuous copies virtual pool within a single virtual array

In this configuration, you define two virtual pools, including a continuous copies virtual pool. The virtual pools are assigned to a single virtual array.

Before you begin

To build this configuration 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 create.
  • Your physical datacenter must meet all of the requirements described in the section Datacenter requirements.
  • From ViPR, you must discover the physical infrastructure listed as described in the section entitled Discoveries.

Procedure

  1. Create a project to hold your volume.
  2. Create a virtual array.
  3. Build connectivity between the hosts, switches, the VPLEX and the two back end storage arrays. You can add networks to the virtual array, or you can add network ports that enable the physical connectivity. The result should be a virtual array containing a VPLEX and at least two physical arrays.
  4. Create the Continuous Copies virtual pool with these settings:
    • Assign the pool to the virtual array you built in Step 2.
    • Under Hardware, disable the expandable option.
    • In the High Availability panel, set the High Availability option to VPLEX Local.
  5. Create the virtual pool for the VPLEX Local virtual volume with these settings:
    • Assign this pool to the virtual array created in step 2.
    • In the High Availability panel, set the High Availability option to VPLEX Local.
    • In the Data Protection Panel, Maximum continuous copies is set to 1.
    • Set to the Continuous Copies virtual pool to the pool you built in this step 4.
  6. Run Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume to build a VPLEX Local volume using the virtual pool created in step 5.
  7. Run Block Protection Services > Create Continuous Copies from the service catalog.
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Configuration #3 - Using separate virtual arrays for the virtual volume and mirror

The sequence in this section shows how to set up your ViPR virtual data center with two virtual arrays. One virtual array holds the backing volume for the VPLEX local volume. The other virtual array holds the backing volume for the mirror. This approach gives the data center administrator the most control over the physical location of the data.

Before you begin

The Create Continuous Copies service creates a mirror for a VPLEX virtual volume. To run Create Continuous Copies, 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 create.
  • Your physical datacenter must meet all of the requirements described in the section Datacenter requirements.
  • From ViPR, you must discover the physical infrastructure listed as described in the section entitled Discoveries.

Procedure

  1. Create a project to hold your volume.
  2. Build two virtual arrays. The first will include the VPLEX and the physical storage array that holds the primary data. The second will include the VPLEX and the physical array that holds the mirror.
  3. Build connectivity between the hosts, switches, the VPLEX and the back end storage for each virtual array. You can add networks to the virtual array, or you can add network ports that enable the physical connectivity.
  4. Create the Continuous Copies virtual pool with these settings:
    • Assign the pool to the mirror virtual array.
    • Under Hardware, disable the expandable option.
    • In the High Availability panel, set the High Availability option to VPLEX Local.
  5. Create the Primary Storage virtual pool. The Primary Storage virtual pool has these settings:
    • Assign this pool to both the mirror virtual array and the physical storage virtual array.
    • In the High Availability panel, set the High Availability option to VPLEX Local.
    • In the Data Protection Panel, Maximum continuous copies is set to 1.
    • Continuous Copies Virtual Pool set to the Continuous Copies virtual pool you built in this step 4.
  6. Run Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume to build a VPLEX Local volume using the physical storage virtual pool.
  7. Run Block Protection Services > Create Continuous Copies from the service catalog.
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Create a ViPR Project

A project is required when you create a volume.

From the ViPR user interface, create a project:

Procedure

  1. Select User Mode.
  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.
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Step 2 - Create two virtual arrays

From the user interface, create two virtual arrays - one for the VPLEX Local volume's physical storage. The second is for the VPLEX Local volume mirror.

Procedure

  1. Complete the discoveries described in the section entitled Discoveries.
  2. From the Administrator Mode, select Virtual Assets > Virtual Array.
  3. Click Add. The Create Virtual Array dialog appears.
  4. Enter the name of the virtual array (varray_primary in this example), and click Save.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 to create a second virtual array called varray_mirror.
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Step 3 - Add networks to the physical storage virtual array

From the user interface, add networks or ports to your virtual array.

Procedure

  1. From Admin mode, choose Virtual Assets > Virtual Arrays and edit the Physical Storage virtual array you created in Step 2. The Edit Virtual Array configuration screen appears.
  2. Use the links and buttons in the Block and File Storage box to build a list of ports for your virtual array. In this example, you want to enable connectivity between the VPLEX and the physical storage array where your physical storage device will reside.

    The ports added must connect the VPLEX to the physical storage array.

  3. Click Edit Virtual Array in the breadcrumb at the top of the screen to navigate back to the Edit Virtual Array screen. The VPLEX and the physical storage systems should display in the Storage Systems list.

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Add networks to the mirror virtual array

From the user interface, add networks or ports to your mirror virtual array.

Procedure

  1. From Admin mode, choose Virtual Assets > Virtual Arrays and edit the mirror virtual array you created in Step 2. The Edit Virtual Array configuration screen appears.
  2. Use the links and buttons in the Block and File Storage box to build a list of ports for your virtual array. In this example, you want to enable connectivity between the VPLEX and the physical storage array where your mirror storage device will reside.

    The ports added must connect the VPLEX to the mirror storage array.

  3. Click Edit Virtual Array in the breadcrumb at the top of the screen to navigate back to the Edit Virtual Array screen. The VPLEX and the mirror storage systems should display in the Storage Systems list.

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Step 4 - Create a virtual pool for your mirror virtual array

You must create two virtual pools, one for each virtual array. The pools are configured differently.

Procedure

  1. Choose Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools. The list of block virtual pools on your systems appears.
  2. Click Add. The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  3. Enter a string name for the virtual pool.
  4. Enter a string describing the virtual pool. This could include any site-specific information about the purpose of the pool.
  5. Choose the virtual array that contains your mirror physical arrays and your VPLEX.
  6. Expand the Hardware panel, and disable the Expandable option.
  7. Expand High Availability section and choose VPLEX Local from the options list.
  8. Be sure that the number of physical pools meeting your criteria is greater than 0.
  9. Click Save.

Example

Edit the mirror virtual array you built in step 2. The virtual pool should appear in the list of virtual pools at the bottom of the screen.

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Step 5 - Create a virtual pool for the physical storage virtual array

This virtual pool contains the continuous copy settings. It requires the mirror virtual pool.

Procedure

  1. Choose Virtual Assets > Block Virtual Pools. The list of block virtual pools on your systems appears.
  2. Click Add. The Create Virtual Pool screen appears.
  3. Enter a string name for the physical storage virtual pool.
  4. Enter a string describing the virtual pool. This could include any site-specific information about the purpose of the pool.
  5. Choose both virtual arrays you built in step 2 of this procedure.
  6. Expand the Hardware panel, and disable the Expandable option.
  7. Expand the High Availability section and choose VPLEX Local from the options list.
  8. Expand the Data Protection panel.
  9. Set Maximum Continuous Copies to 1.
  10. Set the Continuous Copies Virtual Pool to varray_mirror.
  11. Be sure that the number of physical pools meeting your criteria is greater than 0.
  12. Click Save.
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Step 6 - Create a VPLEX Local Block Volume

Once the virtual arrays and virtual pools are configured, you can call the Create Block Volume service. This service will create the VPLEX virtual volume, the physical device that is used as backing storage.

Procedure

  1. Choose User Mode.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Create Block Volume from the service catalog.
  3. Choose a virtual array that contains the VPLEX and the Physical Arrays.
  4. Choose the virtual pool that includes the VPLEX Local High Availability setting.
  5. Choose the project you built.
  6. Give a string description to the block volume.
  7. Leave the consistency group setting at the default.
  8. Set the number of volumes to 1 or more.
  9. Set the volume size in gigabytes.
  10. Click Order.
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Step 7 - Create Continuous Copies

The last step is to create the mirror for the VPLEX Local volume.

Procedure

  1. Choose User Mode.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Create Continuous Copy from the service catalog.
  3. Choose the project that holds your VPLEX Local virtual volume.
  4. Choose the volume you created in Step 6.
  5. Enter a text description of the mirror volume.
  6. Set the number of copies to 1. You can enter a larger number, but ViPR will only create 1 mirror volume.
  7. Click Order.
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Remove Continuous Copies

Once you successfully create a VPLEX Local 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.

Procedure

  1. Choose User Mode.
  2. Run Block Storage Services > Remove Continuous Copy from the service catalog.
  3. Choose the project that holds your VPLEX Local virtual volume.
  4. Choose the volume whose mirror you want to delete.
  5. Click the check box next to the volume mirror in the Continuous Copies field.
  6. Click Order.
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Detaching a mirror from its VPLEX Local virtual volume and converting it to an independent VPLEX Local 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.

Procedure

  1. From User Mode, 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 Local virtual volume. A new volume appears in the volume list - this is the volume formerly used as a mirror.
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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 Local virtual volume.

  1. Follow the steps described in Detaching a mirror from its VPLEX Local virtual volume and converting it to an independent VPLEX Local 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.

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