Unity VSA NAS Replication

We will cover the replication of a NAS Server within a UnityVSA Deployment.  Listed below are the prereqs:

  • Unity VSA deployed as a source and a target
  • Storage Pools created at Source and Target
  • NAS server deployed at Source

Creating a Replication Interface

The first step in the process is creating replication interfaces at both the Source and Target Unity VSA systems.

Go to the Data Protection section and select Replication.  Under the Interface tab, create a new interface.


Specify your replication interface, IP address, Subnet, Gateway and VLAN ID if necessary


The replication interface will then be created


Verify the Replication Interface.  Create the Replication Interface at the Source and Target


Replication Connections

One you have created your Replication Interfaces you should create the Replication Connection to your Target Unity VSA. Go to the Connections tab under Data Protection, Replication and create the connection.


Put in your information of your target system.  Management IP, User Name, Password, Local System admin password and connection Mode.


The connection process will begin


Once the connection has showed up you may have to Verify and Update


Once the Connection is successful you will have a green check.


Replicating NAS Servers

Once you have created your Replication Connection to your target it’s now time to replicate your NAS Servers

Go to Storage, File and select the NAS Servers Tab.  Select the Properties of the NAS Server you need to replicate.


Go to the Replication tab and Configure Replication


Provide the Replication Mode and RPO


Configure the Destination NAS Server. Specify Name, Storage Pool, and SP.  The associated File Systems will show up as they will be replicated as well.


Summary of the replication


Replication session will be created.


Verify successful Session Creation


The Replication Tab will now show the active Replication status of the NAS Server.


Under the session tab the status of the NAS Server as well as the File System will be listed.


The next blog in this series will cover NAS Server failover.

New Beginnings at RoundTower Technologies!

On 8/8 I took the position of Senior Systems Engineer at RoundTower Technologies.  I will continue implementing storage solutions as well as adding new skills involving Isilon, Data Protection, and getting into the full Data Center stack.

I look forward to what RoundTower has to bring in the area that I have grown my career, The Carolina’s.  On this day EMC is referring to “A New Dawn” I wanted to share this information.

My blog will pick back up with more Unity as well as some new categories like Unisphere Central and Isilon.  I will also be attending Dell World in October and look forward to sharing my thoughts there as well.

Unity VSA Storage Pool Creation

Once you have deployed Unity VSA, as covered in the previous blog, you will need to create a storage pool if you want to serve out any storage.  I have listed the steps below.

Under the Storage Pool Section go to Pools. Select the + to start the “Create Pool Wizard”


Name the Pool


Assign a Tier to each Virtual Disk attached to the VSA. You have Extreme, Performance and Capacity.


Select the Tiers you want in the Pool


Select the Virtual Disk you want to add that are in the tiers you selected


Specify if you want to create a VMware Capability Profile for the Pool. This is needed for VVOLS.




The results of the pool creation will be displayed


Summary of the Pool Created


I will cover creating a NAS Server in my next post and then go into NFS creation and replication.

Unity VSA Deployment

Unity VSA Deployment

EMC released the new mid-range storage array “Unity” at EMC World this year.  There are 3 different options: Unity All Flash, Unity Hybrid Flash and UnityVSA.  The Unity VSA platform can scale up to 50TB and can be fully unified.  The UnityVSA Community edition allows up to 4TB of capacity for free!  Below are the step on how to deploy Unity VSA:

System Requirements:

  • vCenter 5.5 update and later.
  • ESXi 5.x and later
  • 12GB Memory
  • 2 vCPU
  • 4TB Usable Capacity for the Community edition
  • UnityVSA OVA can be downloaded from the EMC Support site

Deploying UnityVSA OVF

Right Click on the host you want VSA to run on and select “Deploy OVF Template”


Select the OVA you downloaded



Review the details and “Accept extra configuration options”


Name the VSA and select a folder


Specify the Storage.


Setup the networks. There will be a management port and Data Network Ports


Customize the template. Specify the System Name, IPv4 Management and IPv6.  Leave the IPs blank if you want to use DHCP.


Review and Deploy


Once the OVA is deployed add some VMDKs that you want to use for storage in the VSA by editing the settings.  Once you power on it can take up to 15 minutes for UnityVSA to be up and running.


Initial Configuration Wizard

Once the VSA is up and running start the Initial Configuration by going to the Management IP and using the default admin credentials


Accept the Copyright


Set the new admin and service account passwords. They can be set to the same.


License the VSA by using the System UUID identified


Go to the following site and use the System UUID to create the license


Once you have the license browse to it and upload


Verify License installed






You have the options of creating Pools or doing this at another time


Setup Email and SMTP


Create any iSCSI Network interfaces. This can be done later


Create any NAS Servers. This can be done later.


At this Point the Initial Configuration is complete!


Go forth and enjoy UnityVSA!!


I plan on doing several more blogs on UnityVSA including NAS Servers, NFS Shares and replication.  Stay tuned!

Unity: Next Generation NAS & File Capabilities

True Unification

  • No separate hardware for File and Block
  • Built in 10GbT IP Ports (2 per SP)
  • Flexible multi-tenant virtual file serving technology
  • Provides SMB and/or NFS
  • No separate CIFS server

Unified storage pool architecture

  • Create a Storage Pool, then a NAS server, then the file system
    • Private LUN will be created in the pool
    • Then slices will be created
  • Pools can be snapped with Both Block and File on them

High Availability

  • Start with LACP
  • Create NAS Server. They can support 10 different IPs and different gateways
  • A SP will own the NAS Server, balance NAS across the SPs
  • NAS will failover in the event of an SP failover. Automatic failback one SP is fixed


  • 64TB File System
  • 128 NAS servers
  • 1500 file systems
  • 3PB Total NAS Capacity

Space Reclaim

  • Shrink, extend and space reclaim
  • Maual shrink/extend
    • Ability to change the capacity of file systems
  • Auto-shrink/extend for thin file systems
    • Tries to maintain 70%-75% capacity

Unity Data Services

  • Shrink and Reclaim
  • Quotas
    • User quota per file system
    • Tree quotas on new or existing directories
    • Per file system quota policy
  • NDMP for backups
  • Snapshots and replication
    • Fully unified, uses the same ROW
    • Schedulable
  • Fast Cache and Fast VP
  • Encryption
    • DARE

Application Integration

  • VMware NFS Datastores
    • Automatically mounted to vSphere after creation
    • Configure host I/O size to match intended application


I am currently at EMC World and being part of EMC Elect I was able to take a tour of SUPERNAP in Las Vegas.  I have been in a lot of datacenters in my career and I have to admit that this is the most impressive facility I have ever seen.  Below are some of the highlights;


  • Dual 200-mph rated roofing system.
  • Designed in mind that roofs need maintenance. So you can work on one of them and not affect the other.

Switch T-SCIF

  • A cabinet that contains the heat dissipation from all of the hardware. It separates the hot and cold air and lets the hot air rise and moves it out of the building

Switch WDMD

  • This allows 100% power uptime
  • Each facility is divided into three separate N + 2 power systems.
  • Each customer gets 2 circuits which comes with two completely separate N + 2 power systems
  • This allows maintenance without any interruptions

Switch TSC 1000 ROTOFLY

  • Multi-node HVAC platform that site entirely outside and does not eat the floor space.
  • The ROTOFLY supports refrigeration and temperature controls during a power outage
  • Ties in with the LIVING DATA CENTER software automating the process


  • LDC is a proprietary automatic building adjustment management system developed by SUPERNAP
  • Uses real-time monitoring to react and make adjustments
  • This makes these data centers the most efficient


  • Steel Infrastructure matrix that radiates cold to maintain temps.
  • All the weight is transferred to the 22 inch concrete slab that can hold 4,500 pounds per square inch.

They also have a highly trained security staff which guarantees there security and safety  of the equipment on-site.  One huge advantage is the Fiber network in place.  They have 50+ telecom providers and over 4,000 fibers.  They are connected by a SUPERLOOP which is 7ms to the Bay area and LA Metro.  One small bit of info that you may find interesting is that they have never had an outage. I would say that is the most impressive fact of all.  Check out https://www.supernap.com to find out more info.

In conclusion if I am running a datacenter I want it in SUPERNAP.

VMAX: Behind The White Light Of The All Flash VMAX 450F/FX & 850F/FX

Summary of the VMAX All Flash Session

  • 4M IOPS
  • 8TB SSD
  • Simple, Simple, Simple
  • 2 models, VMAX 450 and VMAX 850
  • 4PBu
  • FC, FICON and iSCSI
  • Scales up to 192 ports
  • V-BRICK = 2 DAEs
  • Raid 5 (7+1) and Raid 6 (14+2)
  • Engine connections are thru infiniband
  • Participates in the Xpect More program
  • Software licensed based on the Hardware
  • Cache acceleration
  • 100% writes are cached
  • ~50% of reads are cached
  • Writes stay in cache for minutes to help deal with re-writes
  • Cache and disks trace at 128k
  • AES-256, chips on the backend, Embedded RSA encryption key manager
  • SnapVX can do up to 256 snaps