VPLEX Installation and Config Guide

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration Guide Products likely to be referred to on this exam include but are not limited...

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Welcome to VPLEX Installation and Configuration. Copyright © 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 EMC Corporation. All Rights Reserved. EMC believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice. THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION IS PROVIDED “AS IS.” EMC CORPORATION MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION, AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Use, copying, and distribution of any EMC software described in this publication requires an applicable software license. EMC2, EMC, Data Domain, RSA, EMC Centera, EMC ControlCenter, EMC LifeLine, EMC OnCourse, EMC Proven, EMC Snap, EMC SourceOne, EMC Storage Administrator, Acartus, Access Logix, AdvantEdge, AlphaStor, ApplicationXtender, ArchiveXtender, Atmos, Authentica, Authentic Problems, Automated Resource Manager, AutoStart, AutoSwap, AVALONidm, Avamar, Captiva, Catalog Solution, C-Clip, Celerra, Celerra Replicator, Centera, CenterStage, CentraStar, ClaimPack, ClaimsEditor, CLARiiON, ClientPak, Codebook Correlation Technology, Common Information Model, Configuration Intelligence, Configuresoft, Connectrix, CopyCross, CopyPoint, Dantz, DatabaseXtender, Direct Matrix Architecture, DiskXtender, DiskXtender 2000, Document Sciences, Documentum, elnput, E-Lab, EmailXaminer, EmailXtender, Enginuity, eRoom, Event Explorer, FarPoint, FirstPass, FLARE, FormWare, Geosynchrony, Global File Virtualization, Graphic Visualization, Greenplum, HighRoad, HomeBase, InfoMover, Infoscape, Infra, InputAccel, InputAccel Express, Invista, Ionix, ISIS, Max Retriever, MediaStor, MirrorView, Navisphere, NetWorker, nLayers, OnAlert, OpenScale, PixTools, Powerlink, PowerPath, PowerSnap, QuickScan, Rainfinity, RepliCare, RepliStor, ResourcePak, Retrospect, RSA, the RSA logo, SafeLine, SAN Advisor, SAN Copy, SAN Manager, Smarts, SnapImage, SnapSure, SnapView, SRDF, StorageScope, SupportMate, SymmAPI, SymmEnabler, Symmetrix, Symmetrix DMX, Symmetrix VMAX, TimeFinder, UltraFlex, UltraPoint, UltraScale, Unisphere, VMAX, Vblock, Viewlets, Virtual Matrix, Virtual Matrix Architecture, Virtual Provisioning, VisualSAN, VisualSRM, Voyence, VPLEX, VSAM-Assist, WebXtender, xPression, xPresso, YottaYotta, the EMC logo, and where information lives, are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. © Copyright 2012 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published in the USA.

Revision Date: October 2012 Revision Number: MR-1WN-VPXIC.5.1

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

1

This course covers how to perform VPLEX Cluster hardware installations. It is intended for anyone that will perform “rack and stack” of VPLEX Clusters. Also covered are, system initialization, Management IP configuration, pre -configuration upgrades, and setting up ESRS in the system. This course supports VPLEX GeoSynchrony 5.1. This course is intended for “rack and stack” and system initialization of VPLEX Clusters. The objectives for this course are shown here.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

2

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to perform a basic installation of a VPLEX Cluster.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

3

This module focuses on how to validate the components required for installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

4

VPLEX ships in a single rack regardless of configuration; “small, medium, or large”. To accommodate for potential future upgrades, the customer is not allowed to use the spare space in the EMC VPLEX rack. The directors and Management Server are shipped with VPLEX software pre-installed. All internal cabling and private IP network setup is completed at the factory before it get shipped to the customer. This facilitates rapid deployment on site.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

5

VPLEX release notes provide information on current documentation available with VPLEX. It also lists the documents in order that should be used to install and setup a new VPLEX. The release notes also display the current software versions that are installed with the product. It also displays the product interoperability with storage arrays, host operating systems and software, High-availability, and switches. The release notes also list known problems and limitations and configuration limits.

• The VPLEX Site Preparation guide describes the requirements and steps to prepare a customer site for installation of a VPLEX cluster.

• The VPLEX Pre-installation and Configuration worksheet displays information that should be gathered before installing an EMC VPLEX cluster.

• The EMC 40U-C Cabinet Unpacking and Setup guide is an illustrated guide that shows how to remove EMC’s 40U-C cabinet from the shipping pallet and prepare it for installation.

• The VPLEX Procedure Generator is a Windows program that can be run to generate the current Installation and Preparation Guide, the VPLEX NDU guide, and VPLEX Hardware replacement procedures.

• The Security Configuration guide list VPLEX user accounts. It also explains how to access a VPLEX cluster and where the VPLEX log files are located.

• The Installation and Preparation guide describes how to install and configure a VPLEX cluster and VPLEX Metro. It also displays basic diagrams of a small, medium, and large VPLEX configuration. It also provides a brief description of hardware components. Copyright © 2012 EMC Corporation. Do not copy - All Rights Reserved.

VPLEX Installation and Configuration

6

Listed here are the configuration tasks for a VPLEX Metro or Geo. These steps are also listed in the VPLEX Configuration Guide. It is very important to follow these tasks in order when configuring a VPLEX cluster. Configuration flow for a Local VPLEX is similar to the steps listed in Cluster 1. However, in this course, we will review the more complex VPLEX Metro configuration. Please note that the BE ports do not log into the switch until you start and progress through the EZ Setup wizard. This is important to understand since you would typically try to prestage the exposure of back-end storage. One way to get around this issue is to utilize the VPLEX WWN Calculator. This is covered later in this module. It is best practice to always refer to the VPLEX Configuration Guide for the latest installation information.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

7

The VPLEX Configuration worksheet identifies information that can be gathered before installing an EMC VPLEX Local or VPLEX Metro implementation. Availability of this information at the start of an installation helps to ensure smooth and efficient installation and setup procedures. This document is a supplement to the EMC Installation and Preparation Guide, and is provided in Microsoft Word format to provide the ability for anyone with Word to type the information into the tables. Complete the worksheet prior to starting the Installation and Preparation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

8

Listed here are the ESRS configuration requirements for VPLEX.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration

9

Shown here is a list of hardware and software that is useful when installing VPLEX.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 10

The VPLEX Procedure Generator provides a way to create various VPLEX procedures. Once the VPLEX PG is installed, it never needs to be updated. The VPLEX PG automatically downloads and installs new repositories when they are available.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 11

The VPLEX equipment needs time to become acclimated to a data center. Temperature and humidity values must ensure that condensation does not occur on any VPLEX components. The altitude and atmospheric pressure specs are referenced to a standard day at 57°F (14.8C). Maximum wet bulb is 82°F (28°C). If components are loose, the orange captive screws should be loosened, the part should be pushed firmly into the backplane and the thumb screws should be tightened. The required tools are listed in the EMC 40U-C Cabinet Unpacking and Setup guide.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 12

Listed here are general external cabling requirements for a VPLEX installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 13

This table shows the port layout of a VPLEX engine. This pictures also displays the way each director should be connected to the fabric. Here, front-end port A0-FC00 of Director A is connected to Fabric A and front-end port on Director B, B0-FC00 is also connected to Fabric A. The next two ports on each director, A0-FC01 and B0-FC01 are connected to Fabric B. Connecting VPLEX to the customer’s fabrics as shown helps to evenly distribute the paths between the directors. The front-end and back-end connections should also be spread across I/O modules. This prevents data unavailability if a single I/O module fails.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 14

If configuring a VPLEX Metro, each director in each cluster should be connected to the intercluster SAN as shown.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 15

If configuring a VPLEX Metro, each director in each cluster should be connected to the intercluster SAN as shown. This example shows a fully populated VPLEX Metro with four engines in each cluster.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 16

This table shows the port layout of a VPLEX engine. This pictures also displays the way each director should be connected to the fabric. Here front-end port A0-FC00 of Director A is connected to Fabric A and front-end port on Director B, B0-FC00 is also connected to Fabric A. The next two ports on each director, A0-FC01 and B0-FC01 are connected to Fabric B. Connecting VPLEX to the customer’s fabrics as shown helps to evenly distribute the paths between the directors. The front-end and back-end connections should also be spread across I/O modules. This prevents data unavailability if a single I/O module fails.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 17

If configuring a VPLEX Metro, each director in each cluster should be connected to the intercluster SAN as shown.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 18

If configuring a VPLEX Geo, each director in each cluster should be connected to the intercluster WAN as shown.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 19

The fabric cables should be routed horizontally to the sides of the cabinet as shown. This prevents blocking other components in the cabinet. The cables should be routed down the sides of the cabinet through the plastic cable holders. The cables should be secured with the Velcro straps that are attached to the cabinet frame.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 20

Verify the following: Verify that all necessary hardware has been received at the customer site(s), as documented in the purchase order and shipping list. Verify that four storage devices of at least 78 GB each are available for use as a VPLEX Metadata volume, a mirrored copy, and backups for the Metadata volume and mirror. The Metadata volume will contain RAID and virtual volume metadata. Unless only one back-end array is visible, the Metadata volume and its backup volume must be on separate arrays, and should be in separate failure domains. This requirement also applies to the mirror volume and its backup volume. Verify that redundant fabrics are available for connection to the VPLEX I/O ports. Each director should connect to both fabrics with both the front-end and back-end ports. Connecting the ports to mirrored fabrics prevents data unavailability if a single I/O module fails. Review the Implementation and Planning Best Practices for EMC VPLEX Technical Notes available on Powerlink. Ensure that you have an implementation design that is consistent with the recommended best practices for VPLEX. To successfully complete the setup, you should have reviewed best practices for zoning, high-availability requirements, performance considerations, and other topics for the specific arrays, hosts, or applications in your environment. Note: EMC recommends zoning to the port WWNs. Ensure that you understand the zoning requirements and recommendations of your SAN switch vendor. If necessary, consult with the appropriate storage administrator.

Review the EMC VPLEX Simple Support Matrix (available on Powerlink) for specific array requirements. Download and complete the VPLEX with GeoSynchrony 5.1 Pre-installation Configuration Worksheet, which is available with other VPLEX documentation on EMC Powerlink.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 21

Prior to installation there are several items that need to be verified or completed:

• That hardware has been received at the customer site(s). • That four storage devices of at least 78 GB each are available for use as a VPLEX Metadata volume, a mirrored copy, and backups.

• Redundant fabrics need to be in place for connection to the VPLEX I/O ports. Each director should connect to both fabrics with both the front-end and back-end ports.

• Review the Implementation and Planning Best Practices for EMC VPLEX Technical Notes.

• Review zoning requirements and procedures. • Review the EMC VPLEX Simple Support Matrix for specific array requirements. • Download and complete the VPLEX with GeoSynchrony 5.1 Pre-installation Configuration Worksheet, which is available with other VPLEX documentation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 22

The Management Server has four Ethernet ports. The diagram shows the location of the Service LAN port and the Public LAN port. The two other ports are shipped pre-cabled for internal connection to the directors. The service LAN port is always 128.221.252.2. Therefore, connecting a laptop to the service LAN port allows access to administer a VPLEX. To initially connect to the VPLEX, the user must use SSH utility and the protocol version must be set to 2. The user must also login using the service account. It is also important to disable any other network ports on your server laptop when connecting to the Management Server as it could cause issues. The public LAN port, “eth3” should be connected to the customer’s IP network. This IP address is set at a later time in the installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 23

After connecting to the Management Server, the VPlexcli process should be verified that it is running. The Management Server hostname can then be set using the command listed.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 24

To set the Management Server IP address, the user must login to the VPlexcli. Each time the VPLEX Management Console is started, a new set of firmware logs are created. Each log has the filename, firmware.log_x. This identifies the exact time the Management Console started. The Management Server should be configured with a public IP on the customer’s network. This allows the cluster to remotely manage VPLEX over the network.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 25

This module covered how to prepare for VPLEX installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 26

This module focuses on the Easy Setup process for VPLEX.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 27

This slide lists the high level steps for running the EZ-Setup Wizard. The EZ-Setup Wizard performs several tasks on a cluster.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 28

To begin the VPLEX installation, the EZ-Setup Wizard is used. This wizard is invoked by using the configuration system-setup command. Notice the wizard starts by asking you to read the VPLEX Installation Guide and Release Notes before you proceed with the installation. To continue with the configuration type Yes.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 29

The VPLEX Setup Wizard needs to be run to perform initial configuration of a VPLEX single cluster, VPLEX Metro, and Geo. The VPLEX Setup Wizard will take the installer through a series of questions about the VPLEX cluster. It will then automatically configure the system according to the answers supplied. Since we will be configuring a VPLEX metro, select option 2.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 30

The next option is to select the first or second cluster to configure. Option 1 must be selected. If for some reason the EZ-Setup Wizard fails, the manual installation procedures must be used to finish the VPLEX configuration.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 31

The number of engines in the system must be specified. This example shows a small configuration and therefore the number of engines specified is 1. VPLEX System Events and Reports can be configured to be sent to an ESRS Gateway during initial configuration of a VPLEX cluster.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 32

The next step is to configure the CA and host certificate. These certificates are used to configured the VPN between two Management Servers in a VPLEX Metro. They are also used for GUI web server access. By default, the host certificate is set to expire in two years and the CA certificate is set to expire in 5 years. These default values can be modified if required during these steps. The passphrases may be the same for all certificates in a VPLEX Metro configuration however for best security practice you should use the same CA passphrase in both clusters and unique Host passphrases in each cluster. After configuring the certificates, the VPLEX EZ-Setup Wizard will run through the rest of the configuration. It will set the directors names, configure the cluster ID, enable VPLEX back-end ports, commission the directors, and many other configuration tasks. At the end of the configuration, the automated configuration steps are done for a single cluster install.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 33

To zone storage to VPLEX, you need to know the port WWNs of the back-end VPLEX ports, which are the ports that connect to the storage arrays. The WWN calculator is installed. The installer also can create a desktop icon. The VPLEX Port WWN Calculator encodes the VPLEX seed number to WWPN's. All WWPN's and WWNN's can be reported in Microsoft Excel from the GUI. The VPLEX seed number can be located from the front of the cabinet by removing the engine’s bezel.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 34

Locate the Seed Number Location from the VPlexcli command displayed.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 35

Zone the storage to the VPLEX back-end ports, following the recommendations in the Implementation and Planning Best Practices for EMC VPLEX Technical Notes. Notice in this step, VPLEX has only been configured on one cluster, therefore only the director WWNs for that cluster will be visible from the switch. You can manually zone the second cluster but the VPLEX directors will not log in until you run the wizard.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 36

When the VPLEX back-end ports are zoned to the storage array, perform LUN Masking operations. When LUNs have been provisioned to the VPLEX, continue the setup. This part of the EZ-Setup finishes by re-discovering the back-end arrays. Wait several minutes for the rediscovery to complete before you proceed to the next task.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 37

Each VPLEX Engine requires 4 meta-data volumes where two work in a mirror and the other two are used for backup. When possible, it is recommended that the meta-data volumes are located in different storage arrays. It is required to have two 78 GB LUNs ready for the Metadata volume. These LUNs are used to create the Metadata volume. Two more volume are required for backup volumes.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 38

From the VPlexcli prompt, type the following command to list available storage volumes that meet the requirements for a Metadata volume that are 78 GB or larger and unclaimed. From the output, identify four volumes to be used for the Metadata volume, a mirror of the Metadata volume, and backups for both the Metadata volume and the mirror. Unless only one back-end array is visible, the Metadata volume and mirror must be on separate arrays, and should be in separate failure domains. This requirement also applies to the mirror volume and its backup volume.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 39

Once the meta-volume is created, verify it is active.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 40

You must backup the Metadata mirrored volume with two more devices, then schedule regular backups.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 41

You must register the cluster with EMC in order to receive service.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 42

Once the EMC Cluster is registered, enable the front-end ports. At this point, if you log into your fabric switch, you should see the front-end ports log in. We will zone the front-end ports to our hosts in the next modules.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 43

Establish a PuTTY session to the management server in cluster 2 and log in with username service and password [email protected] Enter the vplecli and log in with username service and password [email protected]

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 44

In a VPLEX Metro or Geo configuration, the second cluster synchronizes the time between the local management server and a remote management server using NTP. Use this command only on the second cluster to be configured in a VPLEX Metro configuration. Use this command before any set-up has been performed on the second cluster of a VPLEX Metro configuration. Use this command during initial system configuration before using the configuration system-setup command. Use this command only on the second cluster to be configured in a VPLEX Metro configuration. This command synchronizes Cluster 2 with Cluster 1 even if the time was correct on Cluster 2 but incorrect on Cluster 1. The command prompts for the public IP address of the first cluster's management server. The synchronization might cause your VPlexcli or shell session to end. If this happens, log in again and proceed.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 45

Since we will be connecting two VPLEX together in a cluster we need to verify they are both the same version. Additionally, check the cluster health to make sure it is capable to join with cluster 1.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 46

Connect to the second cluster with the VPlexcli. Since this is the second cluster configured, Option 2 must be selected. If for some reason the EZ-Setup Wizard fails, the manual installation procedures must be used to finish the VPLEX configuration.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 47

The configuration will guide you through the same steps as the previous cluster. You have the option of configuring authentication, EMC notification, and call home functionality. Once those parameters are configured the Certificate Authority must be configured. This will be used to connect to the first cluster. Notice it is recommended that the values for the CA should be the same on both clusters to establish a VPN connection.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 48

The next part of EZ-Setup will request the connectivity information of the first cluster. The setup asks for the IP address, service account password and a local certificate. After this is created, the EZ-Setup asks for the certificate key to establish the VPN connection with cluster 1. If the information is correct, the VPN connection will get configured and back-end ports will be enabled.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 49

From the VPlexcli prompt, type the displayed command to list all director port WWNs.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 50

Wait several minutes for array rediscovery to complete before you proceed to the next task.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 51

From the VPlexcli prompt, type the configuration show-meta-volume-candidates command to list available storage volumes that meet the requirements for a Metadata volume (78 GB or larger, and unclaimed). From the output, identify four volumes to be used for the Metadata volume, a mirror of the Metadata volume, and backups for both the Metadata volume and the mirror. Unless only one back-end array is visible, the Metadata volume and mirror must be on separate arrays, and should be in separate failure domains. This requirement also applies to the mirror volume and its backup volume.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 52

VPLEX creates two backup volumes, each named. Note that this process takes up to ten minutes.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 53

Several of the remaining tasks require moving back and forth between VPlexcli sessions to both clusters. You will find it easier to leave two sessions open.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 54

Once the EMC Cluster is registered, enable the front-end ports. At this point, if you log into your fabric switch, you should see the front-end ports log in. We will zone the front-end ports to our hosts in the next modules.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 55

The EZ-Setup Wizard completes and performs the following steps on the cluster:

• Enables the front-end ports • Connects to Cluster 1’s directors After the setup script has completed, the VPlexcli prompt appears.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 56

This module covered how to perform the Easy Setup for VPLEX.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 57

This module focuses on how configure a VPLEX Metro installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 58

Follow the recommendations in the Implementation and Planning Best Practices for EMC VPLEX Technical Note to zone the WAN COM ports. Each FC WAN port in each cluster will be zoned to the FC WAN ports on the same fabric at the remote site. This is roughly equivalent to one initiator zoned to multiple targets. (Although COM ports are both initiators and targets, COM ports will not log into each other using the WAN ports). This zoning provides additional fault tolerance and error isolation in the event of configuration error or a rogue fabric device (when compared to a single large zone).

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 59

EMC recommends single initiator zoning for the FC-WAN fabrics. On each fabric designate one of the clusters as having initiator ports. The other cluster would then have target ports on that WAN fabric. This configuration provides the best protection and fault isolation while minimizing the number of zones. Each WAN COM initiator port should have a logical path to the targets that it can see. Ports A4-FC02 and B4-FC02 should connect to fabric 1 and A4-FC03 and B4-FC03 should connect to fabric 2. Best practice state that inter-cluster Metro-Plex traffic should be isolated from other traffic using VSANs, VFs, or LSANs.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 60

Each FC WAN port in each cluster will be zoned to the FC WAN ports on the same fabric at the remote site. This is roughly equivalent to one initiator zoned to multiple targets. Although COM ports are both initiators and targets, COM ports will not log into each other using the WAN ports. This zoning provides additional fault tolerance and error isolation in the event of configuration error or a rogue fabric device (when compared to a single large zone). Though this requires more setup than a single zone, it is worth the effort and should not be considered out of the norm for a SAN administrator. There would be a maximum of 16 zones on each fabric for the large configuration. 32 zones in total must be created in a Quad Engine configuration. For the single fabric case, zoning should be maintained as if there were two fabrics (so only one corresponding port from each target director in each zone).

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 61

The EZ-Setup Wizard completes and performs the following steps on the cluster:

• Enables the front-end ports • Connects to Cluster 1’s directors After the setup script has completed, the VPlexcli prompt appears.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 62

From the VPlexcli prompt on management server 2, type the configuration joinclusters command, which verifies connectivity between cluster 1’s directors and cluster 2’s directors, and joins the directors into a unified configuration.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 63

A logging volume should be created on storage that is extremely fast because it demands high levels of performance during link outages and cluster failures. EMC also recommends mirroring the logging volume between two different storage arrays.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 64

The logging-volume create command has parameters to consider:

• • • •

is a name for the logging volume. is the RAID type: raid-0 or raid-1. identifies the name(s) of the extent(s) that make(s) up the logging volume. -d is required only if is raid-0. The stripe depth must be:  Greater than zero, but no greater than the number of blocks of the smallest element of the RAID 0 device being created  A multiple of 4000 bytes

A depth of 32 means that 128 K (32 x 4 K) is written to the first disk, the next 128 K is written to the next disk, and so on. Repeat these actions to create logging volumes for both clusters.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 65

In the output, confirm the following:

• • • •

Operational Status and Health State are ok. Operational Status and Health State of the Metadata volumes are ok. There are no unhealthy storage volumes. Each storage volume is visible from all directors and with at least two paths.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 66

This module covered how to configure a VPLEX Metro installation.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 67

This module focuses on how to install and configure the VPLEX Witness.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 68

For VPLEX Metro and Geo, an optional component called the VPLEX Witness can be deployed at a third location to improve data availability in the presence of cluster failures and intercluster communication loss. The VPLEX Witness is implemented as a virtual machine and requires a VMware ESX server for its operation. The customer host must be deployed in a separate failure domain from either VPLEX cluster to eliminate the possibility of a single fault affecting both a cluster and VPLEX Witness. VPLEX Witness connects to both VPLEX clusters over the management IP network. VPLEX Witness observes the state of the clusters, and thus can distinguish between a outage of the inter-cluster link and a cluster failure. VPLEX Witness uses this information to guide the clusters to either resume or suspend I/O. VPLEX Witness capabilities vary depending on whether the VPLEX is a Metro (synchronous consistency groups) or Geo (asynchronous consistency groups). In Metro systems, VPLEX Witness provides seamless zero RTO fail-over for storage volumes in synchronous consistency groups. In Geo systems, VPLEX Witness automates fail-over for asynchronous consistency groups and provides zero RTO and zero RPO fail-over in all cases that do not result in data rollback.

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VPLEX Installation and Configuration 69

VPLEX Witness consists of two components: Cluster Witness Server – a VM installed on a customer’s ESX server connected to both clusters in a VPLEX Metro or Geo configuration. Cluster Witness CLI – CLI commands to configure, manage, and diagnose VPLEX Witness and its functionality. VPLEX Witness is installed as a virtual machine (VM) operating in a customer’s ESX server deployed in a failure domain separate from either of the VPLEX clusters. This ensures that the VM is not affected by faults that impact the VPLEX clusters. A failure domain is a collection of entities affected by the same fault. If you are installing the VPLEX Witness on a configuration while running GeoSynchrony 5.1 or later, before deciding to install and enable VPLEX Witness, read the VPLEX Administration Guide to understand VPLEX Witness operation in a VPLEX Geo or VPLEX Metro environment. If you are installing the VPLEX Witness on a configuration running GeoSynchrony 5.0 through 5.0.x, before deciding to install and enable VPLEX Witness, read the VPLEX with GeoSynchrony 5.0 and Point Releases Product Guide to understand VPLEX Witness operation in a VPLEX Geo or VPLEX Metro environment. VPLEX Witness connects to both VPLEX clusters over a VPN tunnel over the IP management network. Low bandwidth health-check heartbeats are used to observe the status of both clusters. VPLEX Witness reconciles the status reported by the clusters with its own observations and provides guidance back to the clusters, if necessary. VPLEX Witness is applicable only to VPLEX Metro and VPLEX Geo configurations. Before the Cluster Witness Server VM is deployed, VPLEX software that supports the VPLEX Witness must be installed first. Ensure that you follow VPLEX installation instructions for Release 5.0 or later before deploying and configuring VPLEX Cluster Witness Server VM.

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These are the configuration tasks for a VPLEX Metro or Geo. These steps are also listed in the VPLEX Configuration Guide. It is very important to follow these tasks in order when configuring a VPLEX cluster. Configuration flow for a Local VPLEX is similar to the steps listed in Cluster 1. However in this course we will review the more complex VPLEX Metro configuration. Please note that the BE ports do not log into the switch until you start and progress through the EZ Setup wizard. This is important to understand since you would typically try to prestage the exposure of back-end storage. One way to get around this issue is to utilize the VPLEX WWN Calculator. This is covered later in this module. It is best practice to always refer to the VPLEX Configuration Guide for the latest installation information.

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The Cluster Witness Server VM must be deployed so any faults that may affect individual clusters do not affect the Cluster Witness Server VM. This includes possible faults related to physical location, power, and networking connectivity. If desired, the Cluster Witness Server VM can be deployed as a fault-tolerant (FT) VM in a VMware FT-enabled cluster. Currently this deployment is only supported with VMware-FT; it is not supported with VMware-HA. Refer to the Procedure Generator for specific requirements for the host, network ,and overall environment.

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You can deploy the Cluster Witness Server OVA from a vCenter or directly from an ESX host. Ensure that the target ESX Server is managed by the vCenter Server. If not, ask your vCenter administrator to add this ESX Server to the inventory of "Hosts and Clusters" managed by vCenter server. If you are logging in directly from a vSphere client into an ESX Server, ensure that the ESX Server is not managed by a vCenter server.

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From vSphere Client, deploy the ODF and configure where to save it on the ESX server and the network. There are two network connections required so disregard VMware’s recommendation and configure both connections on the same virtual network.

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Once the VM is deployed, verify the status of the deployment to make sure the VM is configured correctly. It is important to make sure the “Mac Address Change” option of the virtual switch where the VM is connected is set to Accept.

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From the ESXi Server, start the VM. The VM console is shown above, it gives the user the opportunity to accept the license terms, set the time zone, and configure the public IP. Through the console you can also access the witness CLI.

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Select configure network and set a public IP address for the console. The configuration is displayed here. Once you establish the configuration, verify your settings and if they are correct continue. When the configuration is accepted, wait at least ten minutes so the IP addresses can be set.

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In the vSphere client UI, in the Summary tab in the General section, the IP addresses field displays the configured public IP address of the VM. Other details of the VM are also included in that tab. Log into the management server for cluster 1 and run the command to configure a cluster witness VPN configuration. You will be prompted for a certificate authority passphrase and key. This should match your previous keys for the VPLEX.

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From Cluster 1, the management server will try to ping the second cluster to complete the VPN connection configuration. Once the connection is completed, wait 10 minutes for the VPN to be established before verifying connectivity.

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Once the VPN configuration is completed, verify VPN connectivity. Use the VPN status command for this. Notice the command output now includes a line for the Cluster Witness Server. If the command cannot contact the Cluster Witness Server, try again. If the problem persists, check your network configuration on the ESXi server.

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This module covered how to install the VPLEX Witness.

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This course covered VPLEX installation and initial configuration. The course also covered the steps to prepare a site for installation and what utilities to use during the installation. Backend ports were provisioned by the storage array. Front-End ports were connected to the hosts and then FC-WAN ports were used to connect two VPLEX clusters together into a Metro or Geo implementation. This course guided you through using VPLEX EZ-Setup Wizard for the installation and VPLEX witness installation.

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