3PAR HP NetApp Storage Veeam Virtualization VMWare

The Value of Veeam and Storage Array Integration

Time and time again, I get asked by partners and customers what is the value prop behind Veeam Backup and replication integrating with the various storage arrays for offload operations.   Why is there value there? I usually respond by stating that Veeam integrates with specific SAN arrays to let them perform the “heavy-lifting” when creating a backup job resulting in a lot faster backup and restore operations? By why is having quicker backup and restore options that important?

At Veeam, we speak about the 3 C’s of Backup challenges, Cost, Complexity and Capabilities.  Inherent to backup architecture and environments that is considered “legacy” do these challenges exist – Why?  The obvious reason is no doubt that these environments have grown organically and have never really been designed for the type of workloads that we are seeing in todays world. What is troubling is that customers simply get use to these environments and subsequently “accept” the pitfalls of having technology that has been retrofitted for newer trends and workloads – particularly for customers that are new to virtualisation, backup could be an issue that they don‘t realise they need to address.

For example, if a customer wants to restore a single virtual machine, how would they go about that with a conventional backup solution? With Veeam Backup and Replication it is extremely simple. Veeam has great momentum in the market and when you position it with primary storage arrays such as HP 3PAR or NetApp FAS systems  with their unique integration points. These represent the “heavy-lifter” I mentioned earlier in this post, getting a more suitable device to handle specific tasks – for those who are familiar with virtualisation, think vStorage APIs for Array Integration or VAAI – certain storage operations that get offloaded to compliant storage arrays is very similar.

How do we do it?  Veeam Software is an innovative provider of data protection solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments, and offers integration with HP 3PAR InformOS and NetApp ONTAP based arrays as of version 8 of our backup and replication platform. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots enables IT administrators to recover whole virtual machines and application data directly from SAN snapshots, including HP 3PAR snapshots and NetApp SAN snapshots. This capability enables administrators to quickly restore any or all of a Virtual Machine directly from SAN snapshots, which can be taken throughout the day with very little impact on production systems. This enables short recovery point objectives (RPO) for the most common recovery scenarios: users accidentally deleting data, users deleting emails,  and system updates gone wrong. This in turn provides a better return on investment in both your backup infrastructure as well as your storage infrastructure as its hardware utilisation increases making sure you get maximum use out of your investment, and reducing costs by not having to fork out for more CPU power to handle backup jobs.

Here are the key capability points for Veeam and Storage Array integration: It is fast –  customers will be able to recover an entire VM or individual items in 2 minutes or less. It is flexible – Storage Administrators can restore exactly what they need -quickly and easily: a full Virtual Machine, individual guest files, individual Microsoft Exchange items, Microsoft Active Directory objects. In addition, it is also agent-free; there are absolutely no agents to deploy on virtual hosts or within Virtual Machines so upgrading the software in the future is straight forward. By having this architecture and ease of use, IT administrators can see a reduction in complexity and management of their backups.

So more aggressive RPO’s using compliant SAN based snapshots mean that quicker restore options and lower RTO’s are achievable using Veeam.

Note: Veeam currently supports HP 3PAR and HP StoreVirtual for snapshot integration, NetApp FAS systems will be supported in version 8.0 which is due out in the next month or so.

 

3PAR Best Practices Virtualization VMWare

New setting in HP 3PAR and VMware vSphere 5 Best Practices document.

Small change in the updated whitepaper from HP and VMware vSphere 5 when using Round Robin multi-pathing policy (which is the recommended best practice. )

The old recommendation was to use IOPS=100, which has now changed to IOPS=1.

Make sure host persona 11 is selected!

Issue the following command on your ESXi host(s) that are being served storage from the 3PAR.

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s "VMW_SATP_ALUA" -P "VMW_PSP_RR" -O iops=1 -c "tpgs_on" -V "3PARdata" -M "VV" -e "HP3PAR Custom iSCSI/FC/FCoE ALUA Rule"
3PAR Conference HP Storage Veeam

#Veeam at the #HP Storage Summit, Macau 25/26th June 2014 #Veeam_APAC #HPStorage

This week, I had the privilege of attending HP’s storage summit in Macau, China.   The event focused on enterprise storage market trends, product announcements from HP Discover and where HP Storage are heading in terms of their  infrastructure stack and strategy. The event hosted approximately 350 customers and I felt it was received extremely well by all. I got to catch up with old friends and have some great chats over dinners and drinks which was an added bonus.

Veeam APJ at the Summit

This year, Veeam Asia-Pacific and Japan was Gold sponsor of this event, Veeam Backup and Replication v7 has  great product integration and support for HP 3PAR StoreServ snapshots as well as HP StoreVirtual snapshot support giving customers the ability to tap into and leverage array based snapshots through the Veeam GUI.  Myself and Don Williams, VP of Asia Pacific and Japan, Veeam Software each did an video interview talking about the HP and Veeam Alliance and where the value of working with both HP and Veeam is.  UPDATE: Video  added – >

IMG_0171 IMG_0170 IMG_0169 IMG_0146

Highlights for me

  • For me, the networking with the HP Storage staff was invaluable. Having worked with a lot of these folk in my last role it made me realise even more how passionate and enthusiastic they were about where HP Storage is going and the Converged Infrastructure Stack story.
  • Speaking to a lot of customers as well and had some really fruitful discussions, this was another highlight for me as the usual question I got is “What does Veeam do”.  Meeting these questions with a great conversation around Veeam, Virtualisation and HP was simply outstanding.
  • Trying to speak and discuss the value of Veeam and HP Integration to non-English speaking customers was a challenge. Makes me think I should probably learn a new language! Thankfully, we had two technical resources on board that spoke Japanese and Chinese to aid in this area.
  • Keynotes – As ever, its very unique to hear from Global leaders of a particular company, and was good to see David Scott, SVP of HP Storage as well as my good friend Dale Degan, WW Product Marketing Manager for Software Defined Storage make the trip down to present.

In closing

A fun week, lots of information and a successful first outing in my new role, I can’t wait for the next one!

3PAR BURA Conference CxO HP Storage Veeam

HP Storage Summit – Macau, China June 25-26

Next week HP is holding a two-day event that offers focused storage solution sessions in Macau starting on June 25th, HP is a very special Alliance partner for Veeam and I am honored to be attending and representing the Veeam/HP partnership. This will be my first event as the new Veeam Alliances Manager for Asia-Pacific & Japan so am really excited to be attending.

Join HP partners and customers to hear from various HP Technical Experts and Leadership as they speak about the recent announcements from last weeks HP Discover event held in Vegas.

Veeam APAC is also proud to be a Gold sponsor of this event, and will have a booth on-site that has the latest and greatest information on our software suite and its integration with HP Storage Products. If you are heading to this event, and wish to catch up. Please get in contact -> andre.carpenter@veeam.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!
For more information->

http://www8.hp.com/sg/en/events/storage-summit-2014/overview.html

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control Storage Module for #VMware vCenter, v.7.3.1 now available

 

HP Insight control plugin for vCenter is the go-forward VMware vCenter management integration plug-in for HP Storage. In addition to managing all HP block storage arrays, this vCenter plug-in also manages HP servers and virtual connect networking with the Server module. HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server integrates with both VMware vSphere Client and VMware’s new vSphere Web Client.

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter enables the VMware administrator to quickly obtain contextual information about HP storage directly from vCenter. Available as a no-charge download, this functionality provides the VMware administrator the ability to easily see and manage how virtual machines relate to data stores and individual disk volumes.

By providing the ability to clearly view and directly manage these relationships between virtual machines, data stores and HP Storage, the VMware administrator’s productivity increases, as does the ability to ensure quality of service.

Features and Benefits

  • Fully compatible with the latest version of VMware, vSphere 5.5
  • Monitor and manage the physical / virtual relationships between VMware Virtual Machines, ESX servers and HP Storage
    • Map the VMware virtual environment to HP storage and provide detailed contextual storage information
    • Create / expand / delete VMware data stores
    • Create virtual machines from a template
    • Clone virtual machines from an existing virtual machine
    • Delete an unassigned volume
    • Integrated with vSphere Client and the new vSphere Web Client
    • Visualize complex relationships between VMs and storage.
    • Easily manage peer persistence for HP 3PAR StoreServ

What’s New in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter

  • HP Insight Control Storage Module for VMware vCenter v.7.3.1 April 2014
    • Support for the new MSA 1040
    • Support for HP 3PAR Inform OS 3.1.3
    • Bug fixes

Download here: SW Depot.

Note: Licensing for the storage module is enabled as part of the download and installation sequence. The server module requires Insight Control licenses.

3PAR HP Hyper-V Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for vSphere 2.5 and Hyper-V 2.0 #VMware #Microsoft

What are they?

HP 3PAR Application Suite of solutions eases administration by providing rapid, efficient online backup and recovery of application specific databases. These software packages enhances the functionality of HP 3PAR Virtual Copy software to allow dozens of VMware VM, Hyper-V VM, Exchange, SQL or Oracle  snapshots to kept online economically allowing for extended or frequent recovery points. Using an easy-to-use graphical user interface these snapshots can then be used to quickly restore Exchange, SQL or Oracle  instances or databases, or to non-disruptively back them up to tape for near-continuous data protection.

HP have just announced the availability of the following Recovery Manager Application suites for 3PAR (Along with Oracle, SQL and Exchange releases):

  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware vSphere (2.5.0)
  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for Microsoft Hyper-V (2.0.0)

 

What’s new in these two particular product releases?

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware v2.5

•       Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for VMware ESXi 5.1u1, 5.5

•      Integrated with Insight Control for VMware vCenter – No more standalone RMV package

•       RM for VMware is a part of ICV4C plug-ins which also includes Server component, Storage component

•       New web client support for IC4VC Plugin integration – supports all new features

•       Host Explorer for VMware is no longer a part for RMV package

•       Standalone VI client – still supported

•       Updated Documentation – Linking objects through hyperlinks in the UI. Users can jump easily between objects.

•       Support for RM Diagnostics Tool

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V v2.0

Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for Windows Server 2012 R2

•       Support for 3PAR VSS HWP 2.3

•       Enhanced restore of Virtual Machines using repository backups

•       Ability to take snapshot on remote array using 3PAR Remote Replication

•       Replication modes supported – Synchronous and Periodic Asynchronous

•       RMHV (International version) now supports Japanese local environment (localised Windows versions)

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5335618

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5335618

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Software Suite

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for Hyper-V links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5386539

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5386539

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control for #VMware vCenter Server 7.3 Now Available! Includes HP OneView support!

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server, which is available as a single download, seamlessly integrates the manageability features of HP ProLiant, HP BladeSystem, HP Virtual Connect and HP Storage into the VMware vCenter console.

By integrating HP Converged Infrastructure management features directly into VMware vCenter, administrators gain insight and control of their HP infrastructure supporting their virtualized infrastructure  —reducing the time it takes to make important change decisions, manage planned and unplanned downtime and do lifecycle management.

Today HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3 with support for HP OneView is available!

HP Insight Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3?

  • HP OneView support: HP OneView and HP Insight Control licensed hosts are managed under one single VMware  plug-in: HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3. All previous features are now available for HP OneView managed hosts.
  • Grow a cluster consistently and reliably with HP OneView profiles/HP OneView reference host in 5 easy steps. When engaged, the process fully automates the application of an HP OneView profile on selected servers, server provisioning is then used to deploy the selected ESXi build and the VMware host networking configuration is applied at the end to match the server Virtual Connect profile configuration.
  • Coordinated and schedulable firmware deployment.  Now uses HP OneView or HP SUM to deploy a firmware baseline.  The process can be scheduled and host VM’s are evacuated and returned to the normal state using VMware maintenance mode to maximize availability
  • Cluster level host networking configuration.  Host networking configuration (introduced in 7.2) mitigates networking configuration differences between the host and Virtual Connect profiles, this feature is now expanded so that simple click yields the same effect at a VMware cluster level
  • New HP Enclosure view delivers greater simplification in understanding the relationship between the physical and virtual
  • Simplified initial configuration of the plug-in credentials aiming at reducing initial configuration errors 
  • Enhanced Storage Management
    • Full HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Integration
    • HP 3PAR StoreServ Peer Persistence management
    • Enhanced provisioning wizard for volumes
  • Simplified Configuration Management
    • Visualization of  peer persistence configuration
    • Graphical relationship representation between VMs and volumes

*As a reminder, VMware is moving away from the classic application based client to the a new web client, as such, new features are only implemented in the new web client.

Web Resources (updates will be live on Feb 18th, download available today!)

  •  HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server web page and download information

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release)

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release.

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter/docs

 

Enjoy folks, this is really cool stuff – I can’t wait to run it up in my home lab!

3PAR HP VMWare

NEW HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager available now!

What is it?

The HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager, an adapter for vCenter Operations Manager from VMware, relates virtual machines and datastores to volumes from HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems. Administrators using HP StoreFront Analytics are able to visualize and analyze data from their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage array directly within vCenter Operations Manager.

What does it do?

HP StoreFront Analytics reports detailed health, capacity, and performance metrics for HP 3PAR StoreServ components including volumes, CPGs, storage systems, controllers, drive cages, disk drives, ports, and fans.  It is distributed as a management pack that installs directly in VMware vCenter Operations.

Why is it full of goodness?

StoreFront Analytics includes preconfigured dashboards enabling the vSphere administrator to quickly get started monitoring, troubleshooting, and optimizing their HP 3PAR StoreServ storage systems from within vCenter Operations Manager. These dashboards clearly show relationships between virtual machines, datastores, and the underlying HP storage. This visibility increases the VMware administrator’s productivity and ability to deliver improved quality of service.

Licensing?

Ahh licensing, I always forget to write licensing considerations and end up getting emailed lots about it.  HP StoreFront Analytics includes a 60 day instant-on evaluation license. After 60 days the product will provide basic array health information at no charge, but requires a license for capacity and performance metrics.

Where can I get it?

Download from HP Software Depot

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=vCOPS

For more information

HP StoreFront Analytics for VMware vCenter Operations Manager web page

www.hp.com/go/vcops

 

 

3PAR HP Storage

Removing a 3PAR Virtual Volume from within a VVSET

When using 3PAR VVSet, 3PAR InForm OS does not allow the removal of a Single Active VLUN if the VLUN template is created with a VV set originally. For those who arent familiar,  a VVSet is generally used for cluster configurations when a set of hosts all need to see the same VLUNS.

Using the IMC or CLI, removing a VLUN from a VLUN template created a VV set will result in all active VLUNs created by the template being removed which is not a desired result.
But alas, there is a work around as explained here.

 

Work Around:

Remove a single VV from the vvset. This will leave all the VV through the VV set VLUN template exported except the VV that is removed from the VV set.

 

Let’s jump into the CLI:

CLI%   removevvset  vvsetname volume_name

To find the setname, please run the showvvset command.

 

You can use the 3PAR InForm Management Console (IMC) interface for this as well. Please make sure you are using the latest 3PAR GUI (IMC) which you can download @ http://www.hp.com/go/hpsoftwareupdatesupport

 

The High-level GUI steps are:

 1)      Click on provision

2)      Click on vvset to edit

3)      Right click on the vvset

4)      Remove

 

HP 3PAR InForm OS 3.1.2 Command Line Interface:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03618134&hsid=53975427&sz=3369226

 

HP 3PAR VMware ESX Implementation Guide:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03290624&hsid=53975481&sz=4151286

3PAR HA HP Storage

#HP #3PAR Persistent Ports #HPStorage

My writeup on HP 3PAR Persistent Ports is now live on the HP Official Website!

Have a read! Thanks to my pal Calvin Zito @HPStorageGuy for publishing on his blog.

http://t.co/FzJr4lgerE

 

3PAR Best Practices DR

HP 3PAR Remote Copy topologies and Maximum Latencies

This came up in an internal email and thought it might be of use to some customers. It depicts the maximum latency that HP supports when choosing your flavour of HP 3PAR Remote Copy replication (Remember to think about RTO). Note: This is latency, and has no hard distance, it all comes down to the link but as a rule of thumb fibre links have 0.005ms per km. May the force be with you!

image001

3PAR EVA HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module vCenter Plug-in 7.2.3

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module for vCenter is plug-in for vCenter Server that allows HP storage arrays to be managed from a single pane of glass that is integrated into the vSphere client.

Available at no cost from HP, the plug-in can be installed once for the entire vCenter environment using a single, all-inclusive installer.

Let’s take a look at the storage component of this plugin, some of the key features as part of this component are:

  • Monitoring the status and health of HP storage arrays
  • Automated provisioning of datastores and VMs– Adding, removing, and expanding datastores on the fly
  • Creating VM from templates on new datastores
  • Using array-based snapshot and snap clone technologies to clone VMs, tapping into VAAI primitives essentially which speeds up operational tasks
  • Common provisioning and removal tasks.
  • Datastore mapping information

And yes, its supported with VMware vSphere 5.1 and from a storage stand point the following HP arrays:

  • HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage
  • HP MSA Storage
  • HP StoreVirtual Storage including the Virtual SAN Appliance
  • HP EVA Storage
  • HP XP Storage
  • HP StoreOnce Backup appliance

So what it gives you is true and fruitful information on your server farm. I was going to add some screenshots of the GUI here but my lab has temporarily taken a holiday so unable to run it up right now.

The good thing is, these two modules (server and storage) is bundled in one installation package and is very easy to install,  for customers running HP BladeSystem and any of our major storage arrays (3PAR, StoreVirtual VSA/Appliance, MSA, EVA and XP) .

Available @ https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=HPICE

3PAR Cloud Flash HP Performance Storage

This crazy thing called Flash

The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450

 

Earlier this year (I actually wrote this post to co-incide with the announcement but it has sat in my draft box ever since – my bad…), we announced the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 – A purpose built flash optimised 3PAR array designed for the environments wheres things can get a little ….. crazy.     Crazy in the sense where the application is demanding up and above the “usual” performance requirements architects typically see with other workloads – File serving, VMware (which is mixed and sometimes unpredictable)-even SQL and Exchange environments are part of the “usual” suspects when it comes to architecting for IOPs.  We also announced a number of other enhancements throughout this launch including QOS and Recovery Manager for Hyper-V environments.

The need for lower latency and faster response.

Not all applications and subsuquently IO’s are created equal, flash is purposefully design for the applications which require sub-millisecond and high-end IOPS for performance intensive environments.  the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 clocks in approximately 550,000 IOPS with a latency of under .7ms. And the 7450 uses an 8-core Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge processor running at 2.3Ghz, compared to the previous 6-core 1.8Ghz model

Flash Virtual Environments “Flirtual” 🙂

Virtual powers cloud, Cloud powers Services, and providing services are all about meeting SLA’s.  Delivering a service is one thing, delivering a service well and quickly with a guaranteed satisfaction level is another.

3PAR Family

Cloud-hosting services may benefit from 3PAR 7450 for their customers who require those latency times and IOPS I mentioned earlier in this post.  However I must stress that the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 is NOT a one size fits all, consider the following graphic on where it sits within the 3pAR family. Additionally, check out my post on the other 3PAR 7000 members here.

The purpose of me making this emphasis is that there is one family,  and subsequently one operating system, so a multi-3PAR environment means you can shift workloads between the different arrays using HP 3PAR Peer Motion – or as we call it Storage Federation – check out this brief on Peer Motion covering the requirements and supported O/S . Note: Tiering at the cache and hard-drive levels only occur within the one array, meaning Dynamic Optimisation\Adaptive Optimisation cant (yet) identify a suitable tier on a separate 3PAR to place a particular volume.
But back to the 3PAR 7450 specifically.

All cached up – Cache Handling and Cache Offload on 3PAR

The software on the HP 3PAR 7450 uses a page size of 16K for cache, what that means is that it can handle up to 16K of read and\or write IO’s for serving data from cache. So without flash,  if we had a read operation of 8KB, we check to see if we can serve out of cache, if it is not there – we retrieve the data from  back-end disk to serve the request and then store it in cache for future use. This can result in a slightly higher latency if spinning disk is used.

But we are talking flash here!!!  Let’s take a look how an all flash array may do this same request. Same example, a 8K read request comes through, if it is not in cache, again 3PAR software looks to the backend storage to serve the request but as there are no spinning drives or concept of disk heads aligning. So from Flash to Cache, we call this Adaptive Reads –  8K of data is read from the flash drives back into cache at super speeds. More granular examples such as 4K result in even less data being read (but still the right amount), only 4K of data gets transported enabling even higher backend throughput making it super efficient.

The same goodness extends to write operations but altered slightly to allow fragmented writes,  for IO’s smaller than 16K, such as 8K – we would only write 8K to the flash drives, we don’t flush the whole 16K.  If we did, we would see the flash drives getting hit more than what is required . Flash has a limited lifetime, writing as little data as possible is best for this reason.

But wait theres more………Just as HP 3PAR Dynamic and Adaptive Optimisation provides policy driven “autonomic” movement of data blocks based on utilisation levels at the CPG level. We extend these ideas into the cache and flash tiers on the 7450. So

To be flash is to be expensive

But Flash storage is traditionally expensive and comes in different flavours SLC and MLC – one more reliable and expensive than the other (I’ll save this discussion for a separate post), Why would a CIO splash out thousands of dollars without proper justification as to why a certain response time is required – in fact I still see situations where Infrastructure architects are speccing flash with capacity in mind, flash is NOT about capacity given the price points  so it should not be treated as such. IOPs per GB is the wrong way to look at it given the tiering solutions there are out there these days that assist in storage efficiencies. IOPS per IO is a suggested followed by meeting capacity requirements.

For more information on HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450, please visit http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/disk-storage/product-detail.html?oid=5386547#!tab=features

 

3PAR Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage Module 7.2.1/7.2.2 and VMWare vCenter

Uh oh!! a bug in HP Insight Control 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 Storage Plugins with 3PAR environments.

Confirmed with both IC4VC 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 storage plugins with 3PAR 3.1.2 MU2

If using the plugin to perform a “New Datastore” action at the Cluster level, when the volume is presented to all hosts in a cluster in one go, Inserv will take the WWNs of the other hosts in the cluster and strip them from that host entry and apply them to the first host entry in the cluster.

This results in an immediate halt of any VMs running on the subsequent members of the cluster and the ESXi hypervisor itself, assuming boot-from-san, having its rug pulled out from under it – PSODing.

This will be fixed with 7.2.3 of the plugin,due out very soon

Update:

7.2.3 available now!

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do%3FproductNumber%3DHPVPR

3PAR Best Practices HP Performance Storage Virtualization VMWare

Technical White Paper – HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices – June 2013, Rev.3 released


Quick note – The latest revision of this technical white paper has been released – although a minor release I still recommend  if you are running VMware vSphere 5 on a 3PAR StoreServ array – do yourself a favour a take a read!  And please if you havr any feedback, contact me so I can look at including in the next release.

You can download this whitepaper at the following link http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA4-3286ENW.pdf

 

About the Technical White Paper 

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.  This white paper outlines best practices on how to set up HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage with VMware vSphere 5.1 as well as how to take advantage of HP 3PAR StoreServ’s unique features such as vSphere integration, HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning technologies, Dynamic and Adaptive Optimization, and Recovery Manager for VMware to create a world class virtualized IT and application infrastructure

 

3PAR DR HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP 3PAR peer persistence v1: peering into the persisting world of 3PAR

 

Time for a technical deep dive – As you may or may not know, HP 3PAR boasts a sexy array-based software feature set. You’ve probably heard me rave on about it in other posts and podcasts I have done.  I’ve worn this fan-boy cap for a while now and spoken about our leading thin suite.

 

Some 3PAR software features perhaps don’t get as much limelight as our thinning capability or wide striping but they are extremely supportive and tell a great benefit story, especially in the area of High Availability (HA) or Business Continuity (BC). These features are array based and are called peer persistence, peer motion, persistent ports and persistent cache.

 

The names appear similar but they mean different solutions so let’s take a look at some of these concepts and how they work particularly with the vSphere platform—starting with peer persistence.

 

Spotlight on HP 3PAR Peer Persistence

Another way to look at peer persistence is to tie it back to something that has been around for a while in the virtual world – VMware vMotion technology.

 

So what vMotion does for local site workloads, peer persistence does for geographically disparate data centres, meaning it offers transparent site switchover without the application knowing it has happened. It provides a HA configuration between these sites in a metro-cluster configuration.

 

Peer persistence allows you to extend this coverage across two sites, enabling use of your environment and load balancing your virtual machines (VMs) across disparate arrays. Truly a new way to think of a federated data center in this context IMO.  Note, this implies an active\active configuration at the array level but not at the volume level, which is active\passive which infers hosts paths to the primary volume and secondary volume

 

Transparent switchover and Zero RPO/RTO

What does it mean to offer “transparent site failover”? In the context of 3PAR peer persistence, it simply means that workloads residing in a VMware cluster can shift from site 1 to  site 2 without downtime. This makes aggressive RPO\RTOs an achievable reality.

This is particular fit for mission-critical applications or services that may have this RTO/RPO of 0.

PeerPersistenceSetup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: I mention VMware for this as this particular technology only currently supports VMware hosts (vSphere 5.0+) and not vMSC.

 

How does it do it?

Peer persistence leverages HP 3PAR remote copy synchronous to manage the transfer of the remote from local site to remote site and gain acknowledgement back to the host operating system (vSphere in this instance). Today the switchover is a manual process executed via the 3PAR CLI (the automated process is coming later this year).

 

Working with VMware vSphere, this allows your ESXi cluster to virtually span across data centers. So in the above figure VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage A and other VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage B  but all are existing in the same VMware data center.  Moving VMs between sites would typically need a reset, but peer persistence removes this limitation by continuous copying or shadowing the VM on the remote volume via RC and switching over the volumes logically.

 

I’ll write the high level process with the above figure 1 in mind without any pretty pictures:

 

  • Host can logically see both HP StoreServ Storage arrays by means of stretch fabric.
  • VM resides in Site 1, on Volume A. Volume A’s partner (Volume B) is being presented to Host B in Site 2 and can be considered active but not primary.
  • The primary and secondary volumes are exported using different Target Port Groups supported by persona 11 (VMware).

 

This presentation is possible via Asymmetric Logical Unit Access or ALUA allowing a SCSI device (Volume A in this instance) to be masked with same traits (Source WWN).

 

Provided this configuration exists, the process is:

  1. Controlled switchover is initiated by user manually via CLI on primary array. Using ‘setrcopygroup switchover <groupname>’
  2. IO from the host to the primary array is blocked and in flight IO is allowed to drain.
  3. The remote copy group is stopped and snapshots are taken on the primary array.
  4. The primary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  5. The primary array sends a remote failover request to the secondary array.
  6. The secondary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  7. The secondary array takes a recovery point snapshot.
  8. The secondary array remote copy group changes state to become primary-reversed (pri-rev).  At this point the secondary volume will become read/write.
  9. The secondary target port group is changed to active state.
  10. The secondary array returns a failover complete message to the primary array.
  11. From here, The primary array target port group is changed to standby state and any blocked IO is returned to the host with the following sense error: “NOT READY, LOGICAL UNIT NOT ACCESSIBLE, TARGET PORT IN STANDBY STATE”
  12. The host will perform SCSI inquiry requests to detect what target port groups have changed and which paths are now active.  Getting your host multipathing configuration is very important here!
  13. Volume B is now marked primary and hosts continues to access the volume via the same WWN as before. Host IO will now be serviced on the active path to the secondary array without the host application even knowing what happened!

 

What you need

Here’s your list:

  • A WAN link between your two data centers should not have more than 2.6ms latency. This is important as remote copy synchronous needs to be able to send the write and wait for an acknowledgement within a given time frame.
  • One thing to note is that previously, vMotion used to be supported only on networks with round-trip (RTT) time latencies of up to 5 ms but with VMware vSphere 5 introduced a new latency-aware Metro vMotion feature that increases the round-trip latency limit for vMotion networks from 5 ms to 10ms.  The requirement for 5ms seems to be a thing of the past moving forward allowance cool things like spanned virtual data centres in this regard.
  • The ESXi hosts must be configured using 3PAR host Persona 11.
  • Host timeouts need to be less than 30 seconds. This time does not include the subsequent recover and reverse operations so leave some headroom.
  • The WWNs of the volumes being replicated have to be the same. Therefore, ALUA is also a requirement
  • From a 3PAR-licensing point of view, you need 3PAR remote copy synchronous, and Peer persistence of course which is licensed on a per array basis as well.

 

Peer persistence supportability

For now, HP 3PAR Peer persistence is only available for VMware clusters:  vSphere 5.x and up. More platforms to be supported in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Closing

So Peer Persistency is a HA solution that removes barriers traditionally found in physical data centers .  This is not the single entity defining a virtual data centres, but simply acting as just one of the pillars supporting it allowing virtualization and storage to not be constrained by physical elements anymore like in the past.  To this end, achieving a more aggressive BC plan is becoming more realistic.

 

For more on Peer persistence, please check out this service brief: HP 3PAR Peer Persistence—Achieve high availability in your multisite federated environment

3PAR HP Virtualization VMWare

VMware vVol and HP 3PAR

Last year,  Calvin Zito did a good overview on VMware Virtual Volumes or vVols.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKVui0W3NT0

 

This is game changing in my opinion, this essentially means the virtual machines will be able to leverage the 3PAR for ANY operation – when you throw an ASIC in the mix and our wide striping and you will have a solution that will simply leave the competition for dead in my opinion. Cloud Computing and time to market to provision or to complete day-to-day tasks will become unreal.

At the moment, this is still in development mode so I am limited to what I am allowed to share, but stay tuned folks – seriously this is going to rock.

NOTE:  This is a techology preview and doesn’t represent a commitment from VMware nor HP to deliver anything shown in this video

 

3PAR Best Practices HP Storage VMWare

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices whitepaper

 

When supported with the correct underlying storage platform, server virtualization delivers greater consolidation, administrative efficiency, business continuity and cost savings. As a result, server virtualization is not only transforming the data center, but also the businesses that those data centers fuel. However, these transformative results depend on enterprise class storage to deliver the performance, availability, and flexibility to keep up with the dynamic and consolidated nature of virtualized server environments.

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage is the next generation of federated Tier 1 storage and was built from the ground up to exceed the economic and operational requirements of virtual data centers and cloud computing environments by providing the SAN performance, scalability, availability and simplified management that clients need. It does this through an innovative system architecture that offers storage federation, secure multi-tenancy, built-in thin processing capabilities, and autonomic management and storage tiering features that are unique in the industry.

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.

 

Download here

 

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