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Easy FC-NVMe Provisioning in Ops Center Administrator 10.9.3

By Prasenjit Chatterjee posted 11-30-2023 13:41



Easy FC-NVMe Provisioning in Ops Center Administrator 10.9.3


Ops Center Administrator v10.9.3 includes a new feature for managing FC-NVMe resources and FC-NVMe provisioning. Usually, the NVMe concept comes with many things like subsystem, namespace, NQN, and so on, which can cause confusion. However, Administrator does its magic by hiding these internal complexities from end users by managing them internally. In this blog, we’ll discuss how easily a storage administrator can provision volumes to an FC-NVMe resource by using Ops Center Administrator v10.9.3.


This blog consists of the following sections:


·       NVMe architecture in Administrator

·       Prerequisites

·       Provisioning volumes to an FC-NVMe host

·       Detaching volumes or namespaces from the FC-NVMe host



NVMe Architecture in Ops Center Administrator


The following diagram shows how Ops Center Administrator manages NVMe:

Simplified depiction: NVMe architecture in Ops Center Administrator

To hide the complexity of FC-NVMe provisioning from the end users, Administrator performs the following steps internally:


1.     Create an NVM subsystem.

2.     Add a Namespace to the NVM Subsystem.

3.     Add a port to the NVM subsystem.

4.     Add the Host NQN to the NVM subsystem.

5.     Create a Namespace for the Host NQN path.




Here are the prerequisites:


·       An FC-NVMe port

·       An FC-NVMe host


For this testing, we used a VSP E1090 storage system with microcode version 93-07-21-80/00.


To change the mode of an FC port from SCSI to NVMe, complete the following steps:


1.     From Administrator, navigate to Ports and select the port for which you want to change the mode. In this scenario, we used FC port CL4-A.


The port mode is SCSI before changing to NVMe:


2.     Click the Edit Ports icon.


3.     Select NVMe Mode and Disable Security, and then click OK.

Note: For VSP 5000 series storage systems, you must select NVMe Mode, Disable Security, and Target. Administrator requires the “Disable Security” option to use the FC-NVMe function.


4.     Verify whether the Port mode changed to NVMe.


As you can see, port CL4-A is displayed in the NVMe section in Administrator. So, it’s confirmed that the port mode has changed to NVMe.



Next, add an NVMe host to Administrator by completing the following steps:


1.     Obtain the host NQN. In this scenario, we used an ESXi host as the NVMe host.

2.     Log in to the ESXi host with root privilege and run the following command:


esxcli nvme info get

Note: This command is only appliable for an ESXi NVMe host. If you’re using a non-ESXi server as the NVMe host, see the associated documentation for the correct command.

3.     Navigate to Servers > Add Servers and add an NVMe host by using the host NQN.



Under FC-NVMe Servers, click the “+” icon and enter all the mandatory information such as server name, OS type, and Host NQN. 



As you can see, the NVMe server is successfully added to Administrator.



The NVMe server details are shown in the Server Summary page:

Note: Zoning has also been performed between NVMe port CL4-A and the FC-NVMe adaptor of the server. Because most storage users understand this action, we haven’t mentioned the details.


Provisioning volumes to an FC-NVMe host


Provisioning volumes to an FC-NVMe host is similar to SCSI provisioning. To provision volumes to an FC-NVMe host, complete the following steps:


  1. From Servers, select the FC-NVMe server and then select Actions > Attach Volumes > Create, Attach and Protect Volumes with Local Replication.


Note: Provisioning using the “Create, Attach and Protect Volumes with High Availability” wizard is not supported in v10.9.3.


2.     Enter the volume details and then click Next.


Note: In the storage system box, only those storage systems that have a supported microcode and a supported model are displayed. Volume Label is applicable for both volume name and namespace.

3.     Select a port through which you want to attach volumes to the host NQN and click Next. In this scenario, we used port CL4-A.


Note: Administrator doesn’t support local replication for namespace in v10.9.3; however, it will be supported in the future. At this stage, you can either submit the job or go to the next step to see the details of the operation plan. In this scenario, we clicked Next to see the details of the operation plan.


4.     Review the operation plan and click Submit to start the operation.






5.     Verify the volume count of the NVMe server. In this scenario, five volumes are successfully attached to the server.

Volumes from the Server Summary page:

 In the storage system, one NVM subsystem was created automatically.



To view details about the NVM subsystem, click the NVM Subsystems tab from the storage detail page.

NVM Subsystem detail page with subsystems ports and subsystem ID:





Subsystem host NQN details:


Subsystem namespace details:

7.     Cross-verify volumes, namespaces, and paths at the NVMe host level to check whether volumes are successfully attached to the host.

A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated

Note: This blog only discusses provisioning of volumes through the “Create, Attach and Protect Volumes with Local Replication” wizard. However, you can also provision or attach volumes to an FC-NVMe host using the “Volumes Inventory” and “Attach Existing Volumes” wizard of the server inventory.


Detaching volumes and namespaces from the NVMe host


Before proceeding, verify that all connections from the server to the FC-NVMe resource are disconnected. We carried out this demonstration on an ESXi NVMe host. So, we ran the following command to disconnect the NVM subsystem from the NVM host:


esxcli nvme fabrics disconnect -a <adaptor_name> -n <controller_number>


Note: For a list of NVMe specific commands for an ESXi server, see:


1.     From the Servers detail page of the NVMe server, select all the volumes you want to detach and then select Actions > Detach Volumes.


2.     To start the detach process, click OK in the Detach Volumes Confirmation page. A screenshot of a computer error

Description automatically generated


Volumes are successfully detached from the NVMe host:


3.     Verify that the volumes or namespaces are detached from the NVMe host level.





We found that provisioning to an FC-NVMe resource is easier in Ops Center Administrator v10.9.3, and end users can easily follow the steps provided in their environment. For more detailed information, see the Ops Center Administrator User Guide.