New Features and Changes in XtremIO Ver. 4.0.2-65

New Features and Changes in Ver. 4.0.2-65

This section describes the following new features and changes that are introduced in this software version.

They include:

  • Hardware Enhancements
  • Non-Disruptive Online Cluster Expansion
  • New Volume Access Levels
  • GUI and Usability Enhancements
  • Disable Encryption and Non-Encrypted Models

Hardware Enhancements

  • New cluster configuration
    • Customers can deploy up to 6 and 8 X-Bricks in a cluster for the 40TB X-Brick type.
  • New Field Replaceable Units (FRU)
    • This version allows field replacement of the InfiniBand Switches’ PSU and fan in by a certified technician

Non-Disruptive Online Cluster Expansion

  • An XtremIO cluster can be expanded non-disruptively from a single X-Brick to dual X-Brick, while the cluster is online and serving data, adding agility to the data center.
  • An XtremIO Storage Array can grow both in capacity and performance as more workload is consolidated into the system. This enables customers to start with a smaller cluster and expand it according to the workload growth.
  • The added capacity and performance is available for consumption during the expansion process.

New Volume Access Levels

In order to prevent unauthorized access to Volumes, especially in disaster recovery (DR) scenarios, the user may want to limit the hosts on the DR site from writing to the DR Volumes before there is an actual failover, but still keep the hosts mapped to the Volume.

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • A Volume is created with Write access rights. A Snapshot can be created as either read-only or writable. Starting from version 4.0.2, after creating Volumes and Snapshots, the user can modify them and change their access level.
  • A Volume/Snapshot with write access can have one of the following access levels:
    • No access – With this access level, all SCSI commands for accessing data on the Volume (read and write commands) fail, and all SCSI discovery commands (i.e. inquiries on Volume characteristics without accessing the data on the Volume) succeed.
    • Read access – With this access level, all SCSI write commands fail, and all SCSI read and discovery commands succeed.
    • Write access – With this access level, the host is authorized to write to the Volume and all commands succeed.

GUI and Usability Enhancements

This version adds new maintenance functionality to the Graphical User Interface that allows shutting down or starting/stopping a cluster.

Note: After a cluster has been shut down remotely, physical access to the cluster is required to turn it on.

Disable Encryption and Non-Encrypted Models

This version allows disabling the Data at Rest Encryption (DARE), if desired. Disabling and Enabling is done when the cluster is stopped.

For countries that do not allow import of encrypted products, a special part number has been created with which encryption is disabled and cannot be enabled.

Creating Volumes, Initiator Groups and Mapping them in XtremIO 4.0

EMC has recently released XtremIO 4.0 and with that comes an interface change under the configuration tab.  This blog will show you the new look interface and how to create Volumes, Initiator Groups, and how to map them together.

Configuration Tab

As you can see the Configuration Layout has changed.  This new look provides more detail when it comes to Volumes, Consistency Groups, Snapshots, Initiator Groups, Initiators and Schedules.

screenshot.26

Creating a Volume

You have 2 ways to create a volume shown below.  Either right-click Volumes or use the Create Volume button.

screenshot.24

Specify the Volume parameters such as size, Logical Blocks, IO Alerts and VAAI Alerts (Recommended).  You can also add multiple volumes at the same time by select “Add Multiple” on the right side.

screenshot.3

Specify Number of Volumes, Name, Start Index, Size, Logical Blocks, IO Alerts and VAAI Alerts

screenshot.4

Manage the Volume Tags by either selecting an existing one or creating one by selecting “Create Tag” at the end

screenshot.6

Give the Tag a name and decide what object the Tag should be defined under

screenshot.7

Once you have selected your tag click “Finish”.  The Volume will now show up under the Volume Tab

screenshot.8

Initiator Group Creation

You have 2 ways to create an Initiator Group shown below.  Either right-click Initiator Groups or use the Create Initiator Group button.

screenshot.12

Specify Initiator Group Name then select “Add” to add the initiator.

screenshot.13

Add the Initiators for the Initiator Group.  Name each initiator and specify OS Type

screenshot.14

Create and apply any Initiator Group Tags if needed

screenshot.16

The Initiator Group will now show up.  Verify Zoning and Connectivity by going to the Targets Tab and looking at the FC1 and FC2 connections for green check marks.

screenshot.17

screenshot.22

Mapping Volumes to Initiators

Go to the Volumes Section and select the Volumes you want to Map. You can Right Click the Volumes or select “Create/Modify Mapping”

screenshot.18

Select the Initiator Groups that you want to map

screenshot.19

Specify a Volume ID and then Finish

screenshot.21

Select the Mapping Tab to see what Volumes are mapped to the Initiator Group

screenshot.23

At this point you can add your storage to your hosts.

XtremIO 4.0 New Features and Changes!!

XtremIO 4.0 has been released as of 6/30 and I wanted to share the New Features and Changes that are stated in the release notes.  I will be doing several blogs on XtremIO including the new interface and RecoverPoint Integration!!

New Features and Changes in Ver. 4.0.0-64

This section describes the following new features and changes that are introduced in this software version.

They include:

  • Hardware Enhancements
  • Replication – Native RecoverPoint Integration
  • Non-Disruptive Online Cluster Expansion
  • Snapshots
  • Multiple Cluster Support
  • GUI Enhancements
  • Tags
  • Improved Data Collection and Reporting
  • RESTful API Enhancements
  • OpenStack
  • Enhanced Microsoft® Support
  • Serviceability Features
  • Improved Resiliency
  • Security Enhancements

Hardware Enhancements

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • 40TB, double-density X-Bricks: The system incorporates stronger hardware (CPU and RAM), providing the equivalent performance on larger X-Bricks.
  • New cluster configuration: Customers can deploy up to 8 X-Bricks in a cluster (20TB clusters in current version, 40TB cluster will support 8 X-Brick configuration in Q3)

Replication – Native RecoverPoint Integration

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • RecoverPoint for XtremIO provides the best RPO in the All-Flash market (60 seconds using pre-defined RPO).
  • RecoverPoint can scale, according to the number of X-Bricks, by adding more RPAs.
  • The solution uses an innovative unique replication technique that leverages snapshot shipping and utilizes external CPUs for replication. It provides:
    • A better design to support the high performance I/O characteristic of all-flash arrays.
    • More resources are allocated for BW reduction and efficient transfer of snapshots (SCSI DIFF), resulting in more savings in BW costs. They include:
      • Compression
      • Deduplication
    • Further data saving is enabled on the snapshots stored at the target site. Any snapshot is deduplicated and compressed inline while data is written at the target snapshot.
    • Snapshot shipping enables immediate RTO at the target site and offers hundreds of point-in-time copies for recovery. It allows multiple tries for the administrators to select the best copy for a failover.

Non-Disruptive Online Cluster Expansion

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • An XtremIO cluster can be expanded non-disruptively, while the cluster is online and serving data, adding agility to the data center. An XtremIO Storage Array can grow both in capacity and performance as more workload is consolidated into the system. This enables customers to start with a smaller cluster and expand it according to the workloads growth.
  • The added capacity and performance is available for consumption during the expansion process.
  • The following table shows the available expansion paths. (6 and 8 X-Brick clusters are supported only with the 20TB X- Brick type.) 

XIO 4 Release

 

 

 

 

Snapshots

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • XtremIO offers unrestrictive immediate refresh capabilities. Any Snapshot can be refreshed with any Snapshot, allowing unlimited flexibility.
  • XtremIO supports read-only Snapshots for immutable point-in-time copies.
  • Coupled with the ability to retain large numbers of high-performance, space efficient Snapshots, administrators gain the agility to leverage Snapshots for improving business and administrative operations.
  • Application integration XtremIO:
    • Provides better protection for applications using Consistency Groups to enable application consistency:
      • Supports crash consistent snapshotting for applications.
      • Support application aware Snapshots using VSS, UNIX Scripts or AppSync.
    • Allows restore and refresh of the entire Consistency Group.
  • Local protection, using the XtremIO Scheduler XtremIO:
    • Allows setting local protection policies to protect from logical data corruption.
    • Allows a short RPO for crash consistent Snapshots.
    • Enables the user to set retention policies for copies.
    • Allows immediate Recovery Time Objective in case of a logical corruption.

Typical use cases include:

  • Protection against logical corruption
  • Backup
  • Off-host processing – near-real-time analytic, BI and DW
  • Test and Dev

Multiple Cluster Support

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • The system allows monitoring and configuration of up to 8 clusters, using a single XMS.
  • Clusters can be seamlessly added to an XMS or removed from it.
  • Multiple-X-Brick support:
    • Improves the ease of management of a large scale XtremIO deployment.
    • Provides a single aggregated view of all managed clusters, including performance information and cluster health status and easy navigation to individual clusters.
    • Enables programmatic access to multiple clusters.

GUI Enhancements

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • Full support for all of the newly-added features
  • New GUI layout for multi-cluster support
  • A new configuration module and flows to support:
    • Object tagging
    • Writable and Read-only Snapshots
    • Consistency Groups management
    • Snapshot Scheduler
    • Snapshots Refresh and Restore capabilities
  • New Inventory management, allowing the user to view and manage the cluster hardware and different components
  • GUI bundle to allow working with local version of Java, in case of compatibility issues and for Mac OS

Tags

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • A new object, to group a set of objects together, for ease of management
  • Support of all of existing and new objects of the XtremIO system such as Volumes and Initiators
  • Ability for any object to be a member of more than a single tag
  • Reporting and filtering on the Tag level, providing accurate aggregated information and statistics and easier operation on a large environment
  • Better alignment of the operation with business (for operation and reporting)
  • Supporting hierarchy, name and color coding

Improved Data Collection and Reporting

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • XtremIO provides a better visibility of cluster performance and capacity usage over time.
  • Data is retained for up to two years and has variable granularity, according to the data age. The lowest sample granularity is 5 seconds.
  • The system is very simple to use. Performance and capacity analysis can be carried out via the XtremIO GUI, and there is no requirement for additional/external tools for analysis.
  • Reporting can be enabled at any desired level, including:
    • Objects (Initiator, IG, Volumes, etc.)
    • A set of objects
    • Cluster or a set of cluster reports
  • Users can choose and define their desired level of aggregation, based on business needs, using Tags. Metrics are also tracked per Tag.
  • The system provides both real time and historical numbers:
    • Enabling users the ability to compare current performance with historical data
    • Providing full flexibility of the time horizon of analysis
  • Information can be consumed at any form:
    • Data can be analyzed and presented by XtremIO GUI.
    • Data can be freely exported and consumed in CSV format.
    • External programs can consume data via XtremIO APIs (RESTful API and CLI).
  • Reports can be enabled for a user, or made publicly available for all cluster users.
  • With the newly-introduced user-generated customized templates feature, users can create report template and share them with other users.

RESTful API Enhancements

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • The new (Ver. 2.0) RESTful API supports the new functionalities of XtremIO Ver. 4.0 (e.g. Tags, new Snapshot operations, etc.)
  • XtremIO RESTful API Ver. 2.0 has full backward computability with Ver. 1.0.
  • The RESTful API enables full automation, orchestration and monitoring of XtremIO cluster or clusters.

OpenStack

This version supports the OpenStack KILO release.

Enhanced Microsoft® Support

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • VSS
    • XtremIO supports Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service on Windows® 2012 and Windows® 2008.
    • XtremIO enables administrators to create application aware Snapshots on Windows environment with supported VSS writers such as SQL, SharePoint and Exchange.
  • Microsoft ODX
    • Offload copy operation to the XtremIO array in Microsoft environment, enables accelerating copy operations compared to host-based copy operations.
    • The system leverages XtremIO’s in-memory copy technology to establish faster ODX copies.
    • The system Expedites Windows 2012 in-guest or Hypervisor level copy

Supported use cases include:

  • Any manual copy operation
  • Database cloning for Test and Dev
  • Database backups to alternate systems
  • Deployments from templates
  • VM copying/cloning for Hyper-V cloud deployments

Serviceability Features

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • New WWN (WWPN/WWNN) format for newly-installed systems
    • Encoded PSNT (Cluster serial ID) information
    • Using XtremIO unique vendor specific ID (OUI)
    • Enabling forecasting of the WWN before deployment, based on the PSNT (available in the order), and therefore allowing pre-zoning even before the cluster is deployed
  • Improved installation and upgrade flows
    • Configuring the whole cluster through a single Storage Controller
    • Connectivity validation and health checks, such as BBU connectivity test
    • Support for fresh install for XMS only
  • GUI Support tab
    • Enabling one-click easy access to EMC Global Support resources, applicable for the specific cluster configuration and version

Improved Resiliency

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • Two simultaneous SSD failure support
  • Dual SAS connectivity (Active/Passive connection from each Storage Controller to the DAE)
  • Protective power-off
    • Allows powering off the Storage Controller if it does not impose any risk to cluster service.
    • Prevents users from interrupting cluster service by mistake.
    • Allows power-off of a cluster only when the cluster is not servicing I/Os.
  • Emergency Shutdown
    • Pressing the Power buttons of any two Storage Controllers in a cluster for 5 seconds shuts down the cluster.
    • Blinking DAE LEDs indicate that it is safe to turn off the PDU.
  • Improved Performance during HA events

Security Enhancements

This version provides the following new features and changes:

  • The Inactivity Timeout feature logs the user out of the cluster management (from CLI and GUI) when the Inactivity Timeout threshold is reached.
  • Users can log out from GUI sessions without closing the XtremIO application.
  • The login banner (available for GUI or CLI sessions) can be configured with customized login message to comply with enterprise policy.
  • Login audit events.
  • iSCSI VLAN support.
  • IPV6 support.
  • SNMPv3 encryption and authentication for SNMP traps support.

XtremIO 3.0.3-11 Release

XtremIO 3.0.3-11 was just released and below is a list of the fixes. These can be found in the release notes for 3.0.3-11.

General Fixed Issues

  • SSD status check has a wrong timeout and may, in some rare cases of SSD failure, cause an unexpected service stop.
    • XIO-11168
  • In some rare cases, resetting a new SSD in the DAE causes an unexpected service stop.
    • XIO-10703
  • SSD insertion is detected by only one Storage Controller, and in some rare cases causes an unexpected service stop.
    • XIO-10667
  • Deleting a high number of snapshots or creating and deleting a snapshot of the same volume at the same time may cause an internal module restart that does not cause any high availability event.
    • XIO-10550
  • The System Manager module fails and restarts when the add-initiator command is sent to a non-existing Initiator Group.
    • XIO-10650
  • OpenSSL has been upgraded to openssl-1.0.1e-30.
  • OpenSSH has been upgraded to openssh-5.3p1-104.
  • HTTP TRACE method is disabled.
    • XIO-9196
  • Replacing an SSD without following the correct procedure causes the SSD replacement to fail with “SSD not initialized” and “SSD is not configured in any XDP group” alerts. The replaced SSD is not cleared from the repository.
    • XIO-9079
  • Fabric WWN is displayed as an initiator.
    • XIO-11050
    • XIO-5579
    • XIO-2912
  • In some rare cases a high volume of deletion I/O causes an increase in the latency.
    • XIO-10527
  • SCSI registration preempt with type change can cause an unexpected module restart.
    • XIO-11089
  • A “sense data” response is sent during registration conflict, even when the SCSI status is not “Check Condition”, which causes Emulex HBA to ignore the registration conflict.
    • XIO-10692

Upgrade and Cluster Hardware Upgrade Fixed Issues

  •  The create-snapshot command may receive a busy response if the cluster is going through OS upgrade.
    • XIO-10245
  • In some rare cases, issuing the read-reservation SCSI command after NDU to a registered path that was registered before the NDU, can cause the cluster’s state to appear as “unknown”. The cluster automatically recovers with no user intervention.
    • XIO-12127
  • SCSI reservations that are made during NDU cannot be released.
    • XIO-11722

High Availability Fixed Issues

  • In some rare cases, losing power on one InfiniBand Switch causes an unexpected service stop.
    • XIO-10252

UI and XMS Fixed Issues

  • XtremIO SNMP trap OID contains two redundant digits.
    • XIO-12530
  • Entering unsupported characters while modifying a password may cause the password to be unusable.
    • XIO-10800
  • SSH key based users are removed during the cluster maintenance.
    • XIO-11202
  • The severity of sys_ud_ssd_space_very_limited alert (Cluster capacity at 90%) has been changed to “Major” severity.
    • XIO-11262
  • The thresholds for free physical space alerts have been changed to:
  • Limited Free Space threshold : 15% (85% used)
  • Very Limited Free space: 10% (90% used)
  • No free space: 3% (97% used)
    • XIO-9387
  • Using RESTful API with External User (LDAP) can cause XMS unavailability. Using a local account for RESTful API prevents the issue.
    • XIO-9589
  • XMS recovery fails when the configuration has SSH key based users with public key longer than 2048 bytes.
    • XIO-8891
  • OpenLDAP authentication fails when “uniquememeber” is used as part of the group membership search.
    • XIO-9074
  • RESTful API requests to /api/json do not receive a proper response and time out.
    • XIO-11406
  • LDAP authentication fails when the user name contains special characters.
    • XIO-11015

Enhancements

  • Added the NAA identifier to the show-volumes command.
    • XIO-9071
  • The modify-cluster-passwords have been changed to allow changing the “xinstall” password. For changing the cluster’s passwords, refer to EMC KB 183472.
    • XIO-10119
  • Added command to clear SCSI reservations.
    • XIO-10338
  • Added a warning message and confirmation request to the clear-volumereservation command.
    • XIO-10706
  • A warning message and additional confirmation were added to the freshinstall command to prevent the installation of an existing cluster.
    • XIO-11815
  • Warning messages were added to the stop-cluster command.
    • XIO-11743

XtremIO 3.0.2-14 Release

XtremIO 3.0.2-14 was just released and below is a list of the fixes. These can be found in the release notes for 3.0.2-14. General Fixed Issues

  • In some rare scenarios network issues cause unexpected cluster shutdown.
    • XIO-10189
    • XIO-9606
    • XIO-9524
  • In some cases Fiber Channel Ports fail to start after a cluster restart.
    • XIO-10062
    • XIO-9938
  • In very rare cases running a specific debug command causes an unexpected Storage Controller restart.
    • XIO-9863
    • XIO-10392

Upgrade and Cluster Hardware Upgrade Fixed Issues 

  • NDU fails when there are more than 22 SCSI-3 reservations
    • XIO-9855
  • In some rare cases NDU OS upgrade fails without rolling back, causing an unexpected service interruption.
    • XIO-7072
    • XIO-9991
  • In some rare cases firmware upgrade fails during NDU.
    • XIO-9454

UI and XMS Fixed Issues

  • Using RESTful API with External User (LDAP) can cause XMS unavailability.
    • XIO-5355
  • SNMPv2C trap OID is not correct.
    • XIO-5635
  • XtremIO GUI does not start with Java8u25 and Java7u71.
    • XIO-8470

Creating Volumes, Initiator Groups and Mapping them in XtremIO

The past 2 weeks I have been able to get my hands on XtremIO. Overall I am very impressed to say the least. I am going to do a series of posts to show you guys how a Storage Array with so much power can be so simple. I am going to start with how To Create LUN’s, Initiator Groups and then Map them together. Enjoy!

Step 1

Login to XtremIO and go to the Configuration Tab. Your Volumes will be on the left and your Initiator Groups show up on the right

Capture1

Step 2

On the Volumes tab select Add

Capture2

Step 3

Several settings here so I will go over the not so obvious ones.

Size. When you put in the size option you have a few choices. 1m will give you 1 MB, 1g will give you 1GB and 1t will give you 1TB.

Type. You have the option of selecting the LB size and offset. Most of the time you will select Normal (512LBs) because, well Windows can be a little messy

Small IO Alerts. You can be alerted if the IO size is less the 4kb

Unaligned IO Alerts. You can be alerted when IOs are out of alignment

VAAI TP Alerts. Alert can be triggered in VMware when the storage array has met its Storage Capacity. I recommend setting this to Enabled.

Capture3

Step 4

You have the option to add multiple Volumes. Let’s be realistic, who adds just 1 Volume?

Capture4

Step 5

Options are pictured below. The Start Index is the number it will start with that will be appended to the end of the volume name

Capture5

Step 6

Create Your Volumes

Capture6

Step 7

The volumes you created now show up under the Volumes Tab

Capture7

Step 8

No that you Volume’s are created lets add some Initiator Groups. On the Initiator Groups Tab select Add

Capture8

Step 9

Name Your Initiator Group and Add each Initiator. I like to setup 1 host per Initiator Group. Name each Initiator and select the correct port address

Capture9

Step 10

Finish!

Capture10

Step 11

Your Initiator Groups Tab now shows your new group

Capture11

Step 12

Now it’s time to map your Volumes to your Initiator Groups. You can change the Volume ID and it will mirror that number on the Initiator Group. Hit Apply.

Capture12

Step 13

You have successfully created Volumes and initiator groups and mapped them. Your hosts should now be able to access the storage.

Capture13