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A lengthy title but the following is long overdue for our customers. In the most recent releases of vSphere 6.7 and vSphere 6.5, VMware has now included default multipathing claim rules for Hitachi VSP Storage.

 

As a refresher, most customers had to manually add the following SATP rules when configuring multipathing (specifically path selection (PSP) and path failover (SATP) rules for Hitachi devices) on every ESXi host. Now these rules are included out of the box in vSphere 6.7U1 and vSphere 6.5 P03 (GA today, Nov 30th 2018) builds or later. This further reduces the time to production usage when deploying new vSphere ESXi hosts/clusters connected Hitachi Storage or as part of Hitachi UCP converged offering. The rules will handle devices configured with or without ALUA with ALUA typically being used for active-active (GAD) configurations.

 

The following are the recommended rules and what is now baked into vSphere builds

 

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -V HITACHI  -P VMW_PSP_RR -s VMW_SATP_ALUA -c tpgs_on -e "Hitachi VSP Storage with ALUA enabled"

esxcli storage nmp satp rule add --satp "VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA" -V HITACHI -P "VMW_PSP_RR" -e "Hitachi VSP Storage"

 

We kept the IO Operations Limit to the default of 1000 as every site has some uniqueness. This may differ from other vendors recommendations (some who recommend 1) but that low a value would spoil the sequential detection handling within the VSP array and you might lose some performance from increases in random port behavior. More tests in this area to follow but wouldn't go below value of 20 if you do want to tweak where you have smaller number of LUNs and a high number of paths based on some initial informal testing.

 

Here is the typical output you should see on fresh install.  Note rules are "system" and no longer "user"

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[root@localhost:~] esxcli storage nmp satp rule list |grep -i Hitachi

VMW_SATP_ALUA                        HITACHI   OPEN-V   system      tpgs_on                  VMW_PSP_RR            Hitachi VSP Storage with ALUA enabled                              

VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA          HITACHI                     system      inq_data[128]={0x44 0x46 0x30 0x30}  VMW_PSP_RR                                                                                

VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA          HITACHI   OPEN-V    system      tpgs_off                 VMW_PSP_RR             Hitachi VSP Storage                                                      

VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA          HITACHI                     system           

 

If you want to check what SATP/PSP is being claimed by a device (datastore LUN),  use the following command

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[root@localhost:~] esxcli storage nmp device list

naa.60060e800727200000302720000002aa

   Device Display Name: HITACHI Fibre Channel Disk (naa.60060e800727200000302720000002aa)

   Storage Array Type: VMW_SATP_ALUA

   Storage Array Type Device Config: {implicit_support=on; explicit_support=off; explicit_allow=on; alua_followover=on; action_OnRetryErrors=off; {TPG_id=7,TPG_state=AO}{TPG_id=4101,TPG_state=AO}}

  Path Selection Policy: VMW_PSP_RR

   Path Selection Policy Device Config: {policy=rr,iops=1000,bytes=10485760,useANO=0; lastPathIndex=1: NumIOsPending=0,numBytesPending=0}

   Path Selection Policy Device Custom Config:

   Working Paths: vmhba3:C0:T0:L0, vmhba2:C0:T0:L0

 

if you want to check the paths, [root@localhost:~] esxcli storage core path list

   Runtime Name: vmhba3:C0:T0:L1

   Device Display Name: HITACHI Fibre Channel Disk (naa.60060e800727200000302720000002ab)

   Adapter: vmhba3

   Channel: 0

   Target: 0

   LUN: 1

<truncated>

   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So another step to improve time to value and out of box best practice reliability in your VMware ecosystems with Hitachi Infrastructure. As parting thought and for upcoming blog, did you know latest release of UCP Advisor can perform that ESXi deployment from scratch (on supported compute) to take this time to value to the next level..

 

[update] If you want more information on claimrules, I found the following VMware online document useful

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.7/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-9B19EF2E-DA5A-43D2-B41F-8E7C112D2E00.html

 

https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-vSphere/6.5/rn/esxi650-201811002.html

On we roll to the final part 3 blog on UCP Advisor v1.2. I jest with the part "Tree" as I was reminded that those unaccustomed to listening to the Irish accent don't know we tend to drop the "h" which sends my kids into hysterics when I say "3".

At least UCP Advisor is generating the right sort of hysterics.....tt.png

In part 2 , I covered the essential networking mgmt, some of the day 0-90 administration aspects and integrated data protection management features. I am going to conclude and cover firmware management, some of the bare metal support, integrated operational analysis with Log Insight content pack and close on some of the cloud automation integration aspects using Powershell and vRO.

 

When it comes to software firmware management, it's one of those areas that normally infuses dread into administrators. We all share the same apprehension when deciding to update some frequently used software package on our tablet/streaming TV that we tend to rely on after poor previous experience. The planning and execution to successfully navigate software upgrades in an enterprise environment of inter-dependent infrastructure components running production workloads, with the mandate to keep the business online, takes it to another time consuming level. Part of the issue is the passage of time between each upgrade requiring generalist admins to re-research and figure out the esoteric operations for each of the individual components based on latest best practices/software versions. With UCP Advisor, we tackled the problem of ensuring the software could update administrators when a suitable collection of firmware was available, give administrators a simple menu of to select where and what could be deployed. This includes BMC, BIOS and BMC firmware upgrades on the compute nodes supporting hyper converged UCP HC and converged UCP 2000 and also the network switches providing either FC and Ethernet services. UCP Advisor will apply the software updates carefully across the range of infrastructure components while ensuring non-impact to services that UCP is serving. It ensures, for example, firmware updates are completed on side A of FC fabric/spine-leaf infrastructure before doing side B, it ensures each or a set of compute nodes is back and operational before progressing to next one. In version 1.2, you can optionally add additional capacity before doing upgrades to ensure sufficient capacity to handle workloads during upgrade cycle. Click the visual below to get some some indication of the administration process.

firmware mgmt.gif

 

I mentioned bare-metal. Essentially, UCP Advisor is not restricted to providing infrastructure services to ESXi hosts. With right credentials, UCP Advisor exposes physical infrastructure management so Advisor administrator could automate the creation and hostgroup presentation of iSCSI LUNs to a RedHat physical node. Other areas covered include storage pools and subset of replication pair management

bm.gif

 

When it comes to operational insight, VMware's log insight (vRLI) provides a intuitive real time log analysis toolset to provide real time answers and insights to problems or potential operational problems related to systems and services on UCP platform. UCP Advisor comes with integrated content pack which provides the connection to logs from compute, network and storage. In a previous blog, I covered some examples of how a version of this content pack can be leveraged including automatic alerts based on unknown intrusions into infrastructure management domain from suspect IP addresses based purely on real time log analysis. Huge potential to exploit this for many different use cases. Click visual to get a perspective on this. I'm really interested to hear how you are exploiting the log insight content packs.

loginsight.gif

 

Finally, UCP and UCP Advisor can be integrated into cloud automation management toolset and processes such as vRealize Automation or similar products like Hitachi Enterprise Cloud. UCP Advisor comes with extended PowerCLI cmdlets and vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) workflows for the majority of the tasks that I've mentioned previously. There is a mixture of foundational workflows and high level workflows that are provided, whether for example its to allow service catalog based creation/deployment of ESXi/datastore infrastructure resources or allow self service VM recovery for tenant users.

vro.gif

 

To borrow from my "tree" opening, I highly recommend evaluating the infrastructure automation simplicity that UCP Advisor (download) brings to your virtualization/private cloud infrastructure projects so you can manage the forest and not have to climb each and every tree. Stay tuned as team is busy working on next-gen UCP Advisor with even more automation brilliance.

 

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