Upgrading Unity VSA

Upgrading the software on Unity VSA is simple and I wanted to post this so you can be prepared for the steps involved.

Login and go to the top right of the page.  Click on the settings option.


Under the Software and Licenses section select the Software Upgrades option.  You can download the software from this page or just login to EMC Support directly and download the upgrade file.

The first thing you want to do is to perform a health check.


Verify that you want to Preform the Health Check. If the health check fails the errors will be listed and you need to contact EMC supprt to have these fixed before continuing.


Once the health check is clean you are good to start upgrading. Select Start Upgrade.


The Health Check option comes up in the first stage.  If you have not done a Health Check make sure you run it before continuing.


Upload the upgrade file


You will specify if you want to have the Storage Processors reboot automatically. A reboot will be required to finish the upgrade.


Finish the Wizard and let the upgrade begin


Below is a list of the steps that it takes and how long each one will take.


When it gets to the reboot phase you will get a Connection Lost message.  It took about 15 – 20 minutes before I was able to log back in.


Once you log back in, confirm Unity VSA is on the correct code version.


This completes the software upgrade!

New Features in Unity 4.1

DellEMC just released Unity 4.1. Listed below are the release notes on the New Features of Unity in the release of

Hardware enhancements

Data-in-Place conversions
Data-in-Place conversions are a procedure by which a storage processor assembly can be upgraded, while keeping all data and configurations in place. This procedure is offline, meaning data will be unavailable during the upgrade.

Reduced number of restarts when adding I/O modules
The system now restarts fewer times after adding I/O modules.

Reset and hold
A new state has been added, hold-and-reset, which allows for easier I/O module replacement. The system no longer needs to be completely powered down or placed in service mode.

Direct Current (DC) 15-slot DAE
A new 15-slot direct current disk array enclosure is now supported on Unity.

1Gbe SFP support
Unity now supports 1Gbe connections with a new Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP)[for CNA].

Long distance, single mode 16Gb FC SFP support
Unity now supports long distance, single mode 16Gb connections with a new Fibre Channel SFP.

Storage efficiency enhancements

This release introduces compression for thin LUNs in all-Flash pools. New data is compressed on the initial write from the host. Compression stops for new writes when sufficient resources are not available, and resumes automatically once enough resources are available. Data that cannot be compressed is detected, and is written uncompressed.

When you enable compression, only new data is compressed, not data that already exists on the LUN. In order to compress existing data, you must move the LUN’s data to a destination LUN that has compression enabled. Use the new Compress Now feature to move the data. In Unisphere, navigate to Block > LUNs, select the relevant LUN, and then select More Actions > Compress Now.

If you need to convert a pool to a hybrid pool (consisting of both Flash and non-Flash drives), any LUNs that use compression must be deleted or moved. Hybrid pools cannot have compression enabled, and you cannot create a compression-enabled LUN in a hybrid pool. An all-Flash pool can contain both compression-enabled and non-compression enabled LUNs.

LUN move
This release introduces the capability to move a LUN. The LUN move session feature lets you move existing LUNs in the system:

  • To a pool with faster drives.
  • Between pools for load balancing.
  • To take advantage of newly purchased spindles.
  • To enable compression (for either newly-written data or both newly-written data and existing data) on a thin LUN in an all-Flash pool. Note that if you choose to compress existing data, the LUN data is moved within the same pool.

You can move a member LUN in a Consistency Group. If it has associated snapshots, they will be deleted once the move completes successfully. You can also move a VMFS LUN. A maximum of 100 move sessions are allowed, with a maximum of 16 allowed to be in progress simultaneously. Any additional sessions are queued, up to the 100 maximum limit. While a LUN is being moved, you can view the status from the LUN Summary and LUN Properties windows. Once completed, the LUN move status can be viewed for up to 3 days from the same two windows.

Flash drive enhancements

  • Support for SAS Flash 4 drives in all Flash pools. SAS Flash 4 drives are one-write-per-day drives.
  • Support for a mixture of SAS Flash 2, SAS Flash 3, and SAS Flash 4 drives in the same Extreme Performance tier.
  • Support for SAS Flash 3 drives in a hybrid pool. (A hybrid pool consists of both Flash and non-Flash drives).

File enhancements

IP multi-tenancy
This release supports IP multi-tenancy (separate IP namespaces), which provides the ability to assign isolated, file-based storage partitions for NAS servers on a storage processor. Tenants are used to enable the cost-effective management of available resources, while at the same time ensuring that tenant visibility and management is restricted to assigned resources only. Each tenant will have their own VLAN domain, routing table, IP firewall, Domain Name Service (DNS), and network namespace.

Multiple IPs per NAS server and advanced static routing
You can now associate multiple IP addresses with each NAS server in the storage system. This enables you to connect the same NFS or SMB/CIFS share to different IP networks for different purposes. For example, you could use one IP network for testing and another IP network for replication sessions.

To support having multiple IPs per NAS server, Unity now offers advanced static routing. Earlier versions of Unity handled communication from a NAS server to external services, such as LDAP and DNS, through a default gateway. Now, you can configure specific routes between NAS servers and external services to support more complex network topologies.

Events Publishing
Events Publishing allows third-party applications to register to receive event notification and context from the storage system (NAS servers) when accessing file systems by using the SMB/CIFS or NFS protocols. The Events Publishing agent delivers to the application both event notification and associated context in one message. Context may consist of file metadata or directory metadata that is needed to decide business policy.

IP Packet Reflect
IP Packet Reflect functionality for NAS servers ensures that outbound (reply) packets always exit through the next hop gateway through which inbound (request) packets entered. Because the majority of network traffic on a NAS server (including all file system I/O) is client-initiated, the NAS server can use IP packet reflect to reply to client requests. IP packet reflect is disabled by default.

Multiprotocol enhancements
Multiprotocol now supports range locking, directory renaming, and local file support as an alternative to NIS or LDAP for UDS. Minimum allocated size for a thin file systems You can now set a minimum size for a file system. This will prevent a thin file system from shrinking below this size if auto-shrink is enabled.

Cloud Tiering Appliance (CTA) support through DHSM
CTA 11 now supports archiving from a source Unity system to CTA Cloud destinations for NFS and SMB clients using Distributed Hierarchical Storage Management (DHSM) offline file support over HTTP.

Protection and mobility enhancements

Data Import
The Data Import feature allows you to a migrate data from an existing VNX (source VNX1 or VNX2) storage system to a Unity (target) storage system. This feature provides a built-in capability for file-based imports with minimal or no disruption to clients. It also provides a built-in capability for block-based imports, but cutting over of a block import session will be disruptive.

You can manually import a virtual data mover (VDM) (including all its associated filebased storage, network, and configuration information) from a VNX storage system to a Unity storage system. For a VDM import, ensure that the VNX1 OE is or later or the VNX2 OE is 8.1.x or later.

You can manually import block LUNs, or a Consistency Group (CG) of LUNs, from a VNX storage system to a Unity system. Block import leverages the SANCopy feature on the VNX storage system to push data to the Unity system. For a LUN or CG of LUNs import, ensure that the VNX1 Block OE is 5.32.x or later or the VNX2 Block OE is 5.33.x or later.

The source and target systems involved in a data import use different file system types (UFS32 and UFS64). After an import completes successfully it is expected that the target system’s file system and related directory sizes may be different than those of the source.

Snapshots enhancements for LUNs
You can attach multiple snapshots of a LUN or LUN group to a host or group of hosts simultaneously. At the attach time, you define the set of hosts which should have access to the snapshot. When attaching a snapshot and specifying the list of hosts for I/O, you can define a read-only or read-write access type for each host. A snapshot refresh operation updates the snapshot to the current state of its base LUN or consistency group.

Interversion replication
Block and file replication are supported between Unity 4.0 and Unity 4.1 versions. A VDM can be migrated between a 4.1.x and 4.0.1 system, but cannot be migrated to a 4.0.0 system. Note that if some 4.1 file-related features are in use on the source system, replication to a 4.0 destination system is not allowed. After replication is configured between a Unity 4.0 destination and Unity 4.1 source system, some 4.1 features cannot be enabled on the source system. These features include support for CTA 11.0, Events Publishing, Multi-protocol enhancements, and IP Multi-tenancy.

Serviceability enhancements

Real-time metrics
This release supports the collection and analysis of real-time metrics for system resources, LUNs, file systems, Fibre Channel ports, Ethernet ports, iSCSI interfaces, and drives. Real-time metrics display data collected during the current session, over a maximum time range of 15 minutes.

With real-time metrics charts, you can compare changes in performance across multiple metrics, such as network traffic, bandwidth, and throughput. You can also analyze data at the aggregated level using line charts, to quickly determine whether there are any performance issues.

Quality of Service Enhancements
Several enhancements have been made to host I/O limits (as known as quality of service) settings.

  • Individual host I/O limit policies can be paused and resumed separately from the system-level setting, which applies to all policies globally.
  • Density-based I/O limits scale with the amount of storage that is allocated to the storage resources they are applied to.
  • An I/O limit policy can be configured to use burst control settings. This option allows traffic to exceed the base policy limit by a percentage of the base limit. User specified parameters determine the amount, duration, and frequency of the traffic burst.
  • Historical data for a shared I/O limits policy can be exported for external processing or analysis.

CloudIQ Link and Launch
This release adds a CloudIQ button in Unity Unisphere that automatically launches the CloudIQ dashboard.

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.

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!