EMC UnityVSA : adding LDAP authentication

Here are the steps to setup LDAP authentication for EMC UnityVSA.

Login to Unisphere.
Select the cog in top right hand corner to open settings.
Select Users and Groups -> Directory Services
Enter LDAP server information

Click Apply
Click Verify Connection
If successful, Select Advanced
This is recommended since otherwise you will run into problems with assigned users and groups since a default user and group search path created for domain is “cn=Users,dc=domain,dc=com” which in most cases will not fit in your company’s AD structure.

Click Ok
Click Apply
Select Users and Groups -> User management
Click + Sign

Select User or Group type
Select LDAP User

Enter username.  Wish validation could have taken place for LDAP user or group at this point and not after entering all information.
Enter role
Click Finish

EMC UnityVSA installation and configuration

I am currently testing SRM and installed Nimble as my virtual storage array with Nimble SRA 3.0 but having to many problems with getting the array pairs working correct so decided to setup UnityVSA community addition which is available for free with up to 4TB of data.  At the bottom of the page I provided some useful links:

Installation:
first off lets review requirements:

  • vCenter 5.5 update and later.
  • ESXi 5.x and later
  • 12GB Memory
  • 2 vCPU
Deploy the OVA downloaded “UnityVSA-4.0.0.7329527.ova”.
I am not going to provide the steps to deploy and OVA since this is pretty straight forward and nothing really to configure except for management and data ports and management IP address.
After deployment is completed and VM powered on, open a browser and point to IP address specified during OVF deployment.
You will be presented with a login screen.
Type admin / Password123#
Wizard will appear for initial configuration.
Specify password to replace the default.
You need to request the license file by providing the System UUID to the following website: 
Download the license file and install it.
Enter DNS information
Enter NTP information
Pools can be configured here but you do you require a manually created VM disk.  If you have not added the new disk within vCenter for the VM then I would recommend just skipping this step for now.
Enter SMTP information
Create iSCSI network interface.  
This can also be performed later but I created this on the data network ports i specified during the OVF deployment.
Creating NAS server but this can be done at later time.
Initial setup is now completed, yay!

Setup Pool:
Next step is to setup your storage to used by the UnityVSA.  
This is very easily accomplished through vCenter server. 
Edit settings on the UnityVSA VM
Select new device “New Hard disk” and click Add
Create hard disk with following recommended settings:
  • SCSI controller 0 which is VMware Paravirtual
  • Thick provision eager zero
  • Max size of 4TB
  • Min size of 10GB
  • Connect up to maximum of 12 disks for user data
Wait 60 seconds for UnityVSA to recognize the new storage.
Now we can setup our Pool
Select Storage -> Pools
Select + to create new pool
Select the newly create disk, and make sure to select the storage tier.  After select the Storage tier, press either enter or anywhere else on screen to make the Next button available.
check box for storage tier
Select virtual disks
Create Capability profile.  This is a set of storage capabilities for VVol datastore.  The capabilities are derived from the underlying pools so best practices is to configure it during pool creation.  Capabilities needs to be created before you can create a VVol datastore.
Specify Tag.  Usage tags can be applied to capability profiles to designate them and their associated VVol datastores for a particular use
Setup initiators:
Select Access -> VMware
You have some options here to either directly connect and configure the ESXi hosts or connect directly to vCenter server and select which ever ESXi hosts within the environment you want to setup initiator access for.  I selected the latter since easier to connect to vCenter.
Enter vCenter information
Select the ESXi hosts.
Click Finish
To verify the added ESXi hosts you can select Access -> Initiators.  Here you can review your which will import both FC and iSCSI protocols if configured on hosts.
Setup LUN:
Enter name
Select the Pool previous created and size of LUN
Click + to Select initiators for access
Create snapshot schedule  (this is a very welcome addition since was lacking in VNX)
Setup replication.  I will be adding another blog shortly to setup replication between two UnityVSA and using VMware SRM.
Finish

Hopefully get some time here shortly to work on setting up SRM with Unity so stay tuned.

Links:

vCenter Server 6.0U1 & 6.0U2 – ESXi hosts disappear with installation of Netapp VSC plugin 6.1 or 6.2

Recently performed a vCenter Server upgrade from 5.1 to 6.0U2.

The Netapp VSC vCenter plugin was also being used for backups using the plugin through the VIC.
The greenfield installation went without a hitch for vCenter Server 6 environment and hosts were migrated over.
After I upgraded the hosts to ESXi 6.0U2 I had to perform the upgrade of Netapp VSC plugin.
The plugin upgrade process was pretty straight forward with moving the plugin to a new server and pointing to new vCenter server.
Netapp has a pretty good KB out on how to preserve existing repository information on app migration to new server – https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=1011871
Problem:
After VSC plugin upgrade I ran into a strange issue where ESXi hosts kept randomly disappearing from the vCenter Web client and nothing else getting affected.
Troubleshooting:
Restarted vCenter server and tested with different browsers with no affect.
Disabled the plugin and restarted browser which resolved the issue.
Uninstalled 6.2 and installed 6.1 which seems to have better experience and hosts do no disappear as frequently.
Netapp community has a couple of blog posts related to the issue with no real positive response from Netapp.
Fix:

Open a case with Netapp and was provide BUG ID 986313 related to issue with no estimate on fix.
The bug can be view on Netapp support -> Tools -> Bug Tools.
Workaround:

Workaround at this time seems to be downgrading or install VSC 6.0 which has the least amount of problems. 

SRM 5.8: Synchronize storage freezes at 90%

SRM 5.8 with storage array replication VNX mirrorview.

Scenario:
Run a recovery and once completed run reprotect.
During the reprotect the storage synchronization gets stuck at 90%.

No real information from SRM on the status or errors so had to do some digging.  

Solution:
On the storage array reviewed the replicated LUN for the specific recovery plan and found that the the secondary image was showing “waiting for administrator to start synchronization”.

By default SRM queries an ongoing synchronization every 30 seconds to report status so after selecting synchronization and its completion did the SRM status also update and completed.

This setting is adjustable in the SRM advanced settings per site:  storage.querySyncStatusPollingInterval.

"Boot from SAN" step by step with Windows 2012 R2 and Cisco UCS using Brocade and EMC VNX.

“Boot from SAN” step by step with Windows 2012 R2 and Cisco UCS using Brocade and EMC VNX.
UCS:
  • Create service profile for windows server.
  • Create “Boot from san” boot policy
    • Setup SAN primary and secondary target.
    • The WWN required are that of your VNX array ports.

Brocade:
  • Login to create an initial zone for one of the ports.
  • Create new Alias
    • Type in the Alias name and select the WWN from blade
  • Create zone
    • Select the blade Alias and VNX Storage processor
  • Add to Zone configurations
  • Activate

VNX:
  • Start EMC Unisphere
  • Create Initiator
    • WWN/IQN can be obtained from UCS director
      • Open properties window for service profile of server
      • Select storage tab
      • At top copy the World Wide Node Name  (this is the first part of WWN/IQN)
      • Under vHBAs copy the WWPN
    • Now combine the WWNN and WWPN and with “:” as separator paste into WWN/IQN
  • Select “New Host” radio button
    • Type in the server name and IP address
  • Create LUNs
  • Create Storage Group per server
    • Associate the hosts
    • Associate the LUNs
Server:
  • Start the server and boot from Windows disk
  • Load the UCS disk drivers when asked for during installation and selection of the installation disk.
  • Verify disks show up and select where it will be installed.
  • After installation is completed and Windows is up and running, go ahead and install EMC Powerpath!

VNX MnR: Not showing SAN data after upgrade

Recently ran the upgrade of VNX monitoring and reporting from version 1.2 to 2.0.

Upgrade completed successfully but after logging in and viewing the data we were unable to view the file storage information.

Resolution:

  • Verify NaviSECCLI path is correct in VNX MnR Config 

  • If the above is correctly configured, attempt updating NaviSecCLI to latest Version (Found on EMC Support Site under downloads if you search for NAVISECCLI)
  • Once Installed issue any command to accept the certificate from VNX This is only required if NAVICLI version is updated 
    • Open Cmd Prompt and issue any NAVI CLI Command to be prompted to accept certificate

Commvault – Backup Copy of snapshot for Exchange 2010

Been running into an interesting scenario with a backup process which I hope will help someone else.
I have an exchange backup of DAG with intellisnap which creates a snapshot of each of the exchange database volume on Netapp.  The snapshot is then mounted and copied via SAN transport on the backend fiber connection to the storage library on commvault agent.
This has a storage policy to perform a backup copy of the latest snap via SAN transport weekly on Thursdays.
With commvault I find that sometimes the snapshots are not copied to the commvault storage library, without any type of error.
In viewing the jobs for the primary copy of snaphost i just shows a status of “to be copied”, but no failure.
This however causes problems since if you do not pay attention you can sit with weeks of uncopied backup copies of the snapshots, and if you snapshots are set for retention of a few days then you loose all those copies and have to mark them bad! (not good!)
Have not find a way to resolve this, even with the help of Commvault support, but here are a few tips to make sure you are at least inform in more detail regarding this process:
  • A good indication that the backup copy is not taking place is when the snapshots on netapp volume is not being deleted.
  • Also make sure you setup a very detailed report for the day after the snapshot copy was to take place and make sure the backup copy detailed information is also included in this report.

If however you do run into this problem, and your snapshots have already been rotated on the volumes on storage you would have to perform the following tasks to continue the backup copy process.
(I recommend contacting Commvault support if you are not familiar with your storage, snapshots and intellisnap, the steps below are provided for use at your own risk, you will loose backup data with these steps)
  • Verify you oldest snapshot date which are still on volumes for databases
  • Select storage policy
  • Right click and primary copy and select view -> jobs
  • this will list all the backup copies and show the ones with status “to be copied”.
  • Select all jobs up to before the date you have for snapshots on Netapp volume.
  • Right click and select “Mark job bad” (i know not my favorite step)
  • Right click on the storage policy again and select All Tasks -> Run Backup copy.
  • This will start the backup copy of your latest snapshot which resides on backup storage volume
Another solution is to manually add snapshots taken during the week to be added for backup copies.

  • Right click on the storage policy again and select View -> Jobs
  • Right click on the snap you want to create backup copy off.
  • Select “Pick for backup copy”
  • As a note, you cannot create a backup copy of snapshot which is older than your latest backup copy. so make sure you backup your oldest snapshot first . 
Anybody else running into the same problem would love to hear from you.