Veeam at Discover – what’s new?

I had the chance while I was at HPE Discover to catch up with Michael Cade from Veeam.  We had a chat about what new features were coming in Veeam Backup and Replication 9.5 and also how Veeam is going to integrate even more tightly with HPE Storage products. Check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel.

 

HPE Discover Wrap-up With Calvin Zito

That’s HPE Discover done for another year.  Just  before it ended I managed to catch legend in the storage game Calvin Zito to have a quick chat about the storage announcements and the show in general. I have more videos coming next week including the very cool 3PAR 3D cache so make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel so that you don’t miss it.

 

Storage announcements from HPE Discover

As per the previous Discover, HPE have pre announced all the major storage news before the event starts. I think this is quite good, as it gives people the opportunity to read and digest the news so they can then investigate the areas they wish to at Discover. There is no one mega product announcement but rather a number of announcements which taken as their sum are significant. The following is a summary of the announcements, I will aim to bring you more information on each as it is released during the course of the show.

I think it’s fair to say the theme of the announcements aims to compete with public cloud by providing flexibility, performance and automation. All traditional vendors such as HPE not only have to compete against their traditional competitors but also against the cloud. Whilst many organisations are not yet ready to move fully to the cloud they have seen what it offers, and want that flexibility in their data centre.

Flexible Ownership

The headline news is there are new options to how you own a 3PAR. Until now if you wanted a 3PAR you had to go ahead and buy it in a traditional manner paying upfront i.e. capex. Again cloud has pushed a move towards an opex model, this allows businesses to have predictable costs and flex up and down more easily in line with business needs.  The three options that now exist for owning a 3PAR are displayed below, the graphic is taken from a video Calvin Zito has done explaining the options. Ownership option one is the traditional outright purchase of kit. With option 2 pre-provisioning you have a preconfigured capacity on site but you only pay for as much as you use. Option 3 is the opex option, you don’t own the hardware and pay a monthly fee based on an average of how much was used during the month.

ownership-options

This flexible ownership option is part of what HPE are calling it’s 3PAR flash now initiative, this is where a number of components including flash storage, fabric, backup and services including a refresh program are bundled together to form a solution. Part of the initiative is in line with what some start-ups have been offering for some time now, a refresh option for the hardware after a number of years of ownership. The flexible ownership option is not unique to storage it is also available to servers and networking under the flexible capacity programme.

Faster & Smarter fabrics

Gen 6 fibre channel is now available. This comes under the HPE StoreFabric brand name and Gen 6 represents the next wave of fibre channel technology delivering 32 Gb performance. The bottleneck in the network, storage and compute stack has traditionally been storage. But flash has changed this dynamic, leaving the network as a potential bottleneck for demanding workloads. Gen 6 kit aims to meet the needs of these demanding workloads.

The StoreFabric Gen 6 range Support the Smart San functionality, this is HPE’s software defined solution to eliminate the complexity of zoning. It uses the concept of target based zoning which means when you create your host relationship the zones associated with it are automatically created for you. The functionality is currently CLI based but future plans are to integrate it into SSMC. Further future planned enhancements include support for iSCSI, plus displaying the fabric and reporting on health natively within SSMC.

Other announcements

Other 3PAR related news included 3 PAR 3D cache technology with Intel, more on this during the show. Further storage related news included closer working relationships with Veeam. Veeam are now part of what HPE are calling the HPE complete program which means that partners can deliver a complete solution including the ability to perform assessments of customers environments using the existing ninja tools.  Also announced was the ability to use Recovery Manager Central to protect SAP HANA workloads.

veeam-and-hpe

Stay tuned for more detail on all these announcements across the week, you can do this by connecting with me on LinkedIN, Twitter and don’t forget to subscribe to the new YouTube channel.

HPE Discover Top Tips

HPE Discover is HPE’s largest annual trade show where we get to hear about all the latest and greatest in new products plus news.  I am lucky to be going this year and to have gone for the past few years, so I decided to put all the top tips I have picked up over the past few years into a YouTube video.

This is the first video on my new YouTube channel, I’ve got lots of good stuff planned including screen recording tutorials and of course all the news from HPE Discover, make sure you subscribe to the channel!

Veeam Offer Free Office 365 Backups

I wrote about this on my partner blog dataON247.com which you can follow by e-mail.  But it’s such a good offer I thought it was worth telling twice. Veeam are offering current Veeam Backup & Replication Enterprise Plus customers two years of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 free, and customers with Standard or Enterprise edition will get one year free.  If you want to read more about the offer and to understand why you would want to backup Office 365 yourself read on here.

free

Ravello vCenter Setup

I have had this post sitting in drafts and thought I better get it published quick before it gets superseded with the release of vSphere 6.5. I have completed the setup of my vSphere 6 lab in Ravello and have written this post to help others who may do the same. The vCenter appliance version 6 is not yet supported in Ravello, in part because the format of the installation file has changed from OVF to ISO, so I went ahead and have based my lab around a Windows server based vCenter. If you do still want to work with the vCenter appliance check out this guide by Emad Younis who has managed to get it working. The advantage of using a windows vCenter is of course you can also use this server for VUM.

Prerequisites /Cool Stuff

When I first got started with Ravello I thought I would have to setup the infrastructure such as DNS and DHCP around my VMware lab, but you do not need to as this is all built into the Ravello. When you power on a VM it automatically gets an IP address from Ravello and DNS is also taken care of for you. You don’t see the infrastructure servers on your canvas but if you check the IP details of a VM you will see the DNS and DHCP server are one and the same and will by default have the IP address of your network segment dot one e.g. 10.0.0.1. DNS is dynamic so just create your VM’s and the DNS entries will be created automatically for you.

The other thing which is really neat is that internet access from the VM’s works out of the box with no config needed. This makes updates and other operations requiring external access easy.

You can view all the networking setup yourself by looking on the Networking tab of your canvas.

networking-tab

Long story short, you don’t need to configure DNS, DHCP or internet access.

Install Windows server 2012

ravello-import

  • Use Ravello import tool to upload Server 2012 ISO to you library
  • Choose create new VM from empty template. Size mem etc. appropriately to the size of environment you are building
  • Rename server
  • Attach Server 2012 ISO, power on and then use console to connect
  • Run through Windows Server 2012 setup
  • Select VM on canvas, disks, eject ISO
  • To enable RDP Select the VM on the canvas, choose services add supplied services and choose RDP port 3389. Choose to update application. Then open a console to the VM and enable RDP and disable the firewall.

services

  • While you are adding services also add the following ports which will allow you to access you environment remotely

 

  • If you then go back to your VM canvas select summary you will see a box titled VM is started. Within here if you scroll down to RDP and choose open it will create the RDP session file for you.

 

ip-address

  • RDP to vCenter
  • Rename server
  • Finalise config, run windows update etc

Install ESXi 6

  • Use Ravello import tool to upload ESXi 6 ISO to you library
  • Create new VM from empty ESX template. Size mem etc. appropriately to the size of environment you are building
  • Rename server
  • Attach ESXi 6 ISO power on and then use console to connect
  • Run through ESXi setup
  • Select VM on canvas, disks, eject ISO

esx-intsalling

vCenter

  • Download vCenter installer
  • Run vCenter installer
  • I chose embedded deployment. If you have large consider external deployment
  • Run through the rest of the wizard
  • Enable flash –  server manger add features, user interfaces, desktop experiences
  • Download chrome
  • Use chrome to connect to vCenter https://youvCenter/vsphere-client
  • Download the client integration plugin
  • Login with the vSphere local admin account administrator@vsphere.local
  • Complete vCentre setup, licence etc
  • Save vCenter. In the canvas view select more and save to library

ESX Setup

  • Add to vCentre
  • Licence

Accessing you lab remotely

This is where it gets sexy:

  • Your VM’s will be assigned public IP’s. You can see what the IP is by selecting the VM in your workspace then looking at the bottom right corner of the screen where you will see the IP displayed
  • If you have followed the steps above which included adding the services for access to each VM to RDP then simply open an RDP session from your computer and enter the public IP address
  • To connect to the vSphere web client open a web browser and enter https://public IP address/vSphere-client. You will also need to put an entry in your PC’s host files for the DNS name you gave your vCenter. This is required as once you enter your password it goes to this local DNS address. Remember your public IP address will change regularly so you will need to also update your hosts file.

Shutting Down a 3PAR

I recently did the power down of a datacentre containing a 3PAR and wanted to quickly cover off the steps that I followed to power off and then back on.

 

First of all I did a health check:

3PAR1% checkhealth
 Checking alert
 Checking cabling
 Checking cage
 Checking cert
 Checking dar
 Checking date
 Checking fs
 Checking host
 Checking ld
 Checking license
 Checking network
 Checking node
 Checking pd
 Checking port
 Checking rc
 Checking snmp
 Checking task
 Checking vlun
 Checking vv
 Component

All looked OK so I proceeded with the shutdown.  You have 3 methods to shutdown SPmaint, SPOCC or via CLI.  I would recommend using SPmaint, or SPOCC  if possible.

SPOCC

1 Connect via web GUI to your Service Processor

2 Select SPmaint on the left hand menu

3 Choose StoreServ Product Maintenance

7-spmaint1

4 Choose halt a storeServ cluster/node

8-halt

5 Choose to shutdown the cluster, not the separate nodes

6 Wait about 5 minutes, then follow the hardware steps later in the post

CLI

You will need to logon with a local admin account

To begin the shutdown:

3PAR1% shutdownsys halt

You will See the following prompt

-----System Information------
 System Name   : 3PAR1
 System Model  : HP_3PAR 7200c
 Serial Number : 1666666

------------------Partial List Of Hosts-------------------
 Id Name       Persona       -WWN/iSCSI_Name- Port  IP_addr
 ANY HOSTS STIL CONNECTED LISTED HERE

Shutting down this storage system will impact applications running on the hosts displayed above

Do you REALLY want to HALT this storage system? yes or no:




The system will HALT in 12 seconds

Press the enter key to stop...

 

No tasks can be running such as AO. Then follow the hardware steps in the following section.

Hardware Steps

1 Wait aprox 5 mins for shut down

2 Check the node Status LED is flashing green and the node hotplug LED is blue

3 Turn off the node PCM switches at the back of the controller nodes. (Diagram borrowed from HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 and 7000c Storage Service Guide)

4-rocker-switch

4 Turn off the node PCM switches at the back of the disk shelves

 

Power On

3PAR will automatically turn its self back on when power is detected so you will just need turn the PCM switches back on.  The order is the reverse of power off:

1 Turn on the node PCM switches at the back of the disk shelves

2 Turn on the node PCM switches at the back of the controller nodes

 

It would of course be sensible to do a check health after power up to check everything looked OK.

 

 

 

 

Setting FC Switch IP address via Onboard Administrator

hp-c7000

 

You can manually set the IP address of an FC switch or any other interconnect in a HPE blade chassis.

Just launch Putty connect to the active onboard administrator then enter:

connect interconnect interconnect position

connect interconnect 2

This is like connecting to the switch with a serial cable and will allow you to logon.

Then once logged on just set the IP address like normal:

View current IP address settings:

ipaddrshow
SWITCH
Ethernet IP Address: none
Ethernet Subnetmask: none
Gateway IP Address: none
DHCP: O

Set IP address:

ipaddrset

3PAR simulator publicly available

3PAR HPE

Intro

Firstly a quick announcement I’ve started a second blog called dataON27.com. This is talking about all the latest and greatest in the data protection arena. Please do take the time to follow along on Twitter and LinkedIN I am really excited about this project, there is lots of good stuff coming. HPE fans, yes this will include StoreOnce and RMC along with the rest of the portfolio.

Get on with it

Onto the main business of the 3PAR simulator. Getting hold of the 3PAR simulator has been shrouded in mystery and until now the most asked question to me on Twitter was how the #/@#!!! do I get the simulator? I can now finally reveal the wait is over, and it’s publicly available from the 3PAR software depot. To make it even easier for you here is the direct link.

Requirements

The previous simulator ran 3PAR OS 3.1.3, the public version of the simulator runs 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU2. You will require a VMware environment running vSphere 5.5 or Workstation 11 or above. The process will involve creating three VM’s, two of the VM’s will represent the two nodes of a 3PAR whilst the third VM will represent the drive cages. The resource requirements for each of the three VMs is identical and fairly light:

  • One CPU
  • Three vNIC
  • 2GB RAM
  • 50GB disk space

The 3PAR Simulator requires a minimum of VMware ESXi 5.5 or above, or VMware Workstation 11 or later

What can it do?

Once you are up and running the simulator supports the following features:

  • Adaptive Optimization (AO)
  • Dynamic Optimization (DO)
  • Snapshots
  • Exporting Virtual Volumes
  • Thin-Provisioning
  • Remote copy

You can manage the Sim though all the usual 3PAR tools you would in the real world, the 3PAR Managements console, SSMC, CLI and API. You can configure the VM that represents the cages to have up to 4 cages and these contain a mixture of SSD, SAS and NL.

Steps to install

To give you a feel for the high level steps to install the 3PAR Simulator are:

1 Install the two cluster node VMs

2 Install the enclosure node VM

3 Create the private network between VMs

4 Complete initial simulator config

 

Have fun with it, and remember to stay in touch for more 3PAR news and tips through connecting with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.