Lights, Camera, Replication : UBER SRM Video Guide

3 weeks is a long time to work on something. I think that is longer than any Celerra VSA revision, tool, or project I have worked on since EMCWorld. It is funny really. Doing this video helped me find two different bugs with the Celerra UBER VSA (see here & here) and a discover a bug with the Celerra Replicator SRA (here). The results are though are worth it.

Below you will find a video on how to build a complete UBER VSA 3.2 / SRM 4.1 lab using VMware Workstation. This tutorial will walk you through the install of the VSA’s, SRM, plug-ins, networking, storage configuration, mounting to ESXi, configuring SRM with the Celerra Replicator SRA, and finally testing and running a live failover. This includes both NFS and iSCSI configurations and the final test shows you how to setup SRM to failover both NFS and iSCSI datastores within the same configuration.

I am not kidding when I say this was a lot of work. And I have taken a different approach to making a technical tutorial video than most. My goal was to make this somewhat interesting and as short as possible given the amount of config. Hopefully I will make you crack a smile. Even with cutting out loading screens and how fast I talk, this still weighs in at a pretty long length (1 hour 13+ min.). I am pretty sure I can build this in my sleep now and as great as both products are, I am going to do something else for a while to remember why I like being a geek πŸ™‚

This is a video tutorial on how to configure a lab using the EMC Celerra UBER VSA (virtual storage appliance) and VMware’s SRM (Site Recovery Manager). This will show you how to configure all aspects including networking, ESX, VCenter, SRM, replication, NFS, iSCSI, and more.

Hopefully this guide helps those that would like to setup SRM in their own labs and will show them how to use the free Celerra UBER VSA to do this easily. Great tool for the VMware SRM-curious.

This is the first effort of this type I have attempted so feedback is appreciated. I am sure I made mistakes in my play-by-play so forgiveness is cool too πŸ™‚

Comments = possible free beers later. And I will see some of you peeps next week at VMworld Europe!

Thanks,

.nick

Celerra VSA Videos

25 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Hi Nick, I just watched the entire video, it was great !
    I really respect the effort and work you’ve put into this !
    Just one little comment, the SRA installation was not in the video,
    was this by design ?
    Loved to watch it very much, keep up the good work

    • Thanks man, I can’t believe I forgot to drop the SRA install piece in!. I am re-rendering with it now and will update tonight.

      nice catch!

      • No problem πŸ™‚
        Does this mean a free beer ? πŸ˜‰
        It will be a vBeer because unfortunately, I won’t be at VMworld Europe 😦
        Greetz

  2. Hi Nick,

    Thanks very much, I really appreciate this. I was just installing Uber v3.1 and trying to decipher Bernie’s note on EMC Celerra VSA & VMware SRM (Revision 3.0.0, April 2) but his note relates mainly to the older version of Celerra so I had to find my way around the interface. Luckily the previous lab Lesson 6: EMC Unisphere from previous VMworld gave me some very useful tip on using the GUI.

    I’ll give it a go and watch your tutorial video. Is it worth upgrading to Uber v3.2 or should I stick to Uber v3.1 for testing? Many thanks.

    I was also hoping I could get EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) but unfortunately I don’t have powerlink.

    Regards,
    Chakrit

  3. Hey Nick, I seem to get an error when attempting to set the time zone (invalid parameters). This happens when i use the web interface or using the server_date server_2 timezone cmd. Any thoughts? Thanks, this VSA is awesome!

  4. Im not sure what i am doing wrong, but i get terrible performance whenever i play around with VSA. When doing svmotion or IOmeter test from a VM running on the VSA, i get no more then 1-2MB/s no matter the block size and/or operation.
    I know the VSA is not for production and performance testing, but 2 MB/s max? I run the same setup as you mention in the video, and the VSA is placed on a SSD disk.
    Anything i might be missing? Tried with both NFS and iSCSI exports – same results 😦

    • I get much better than that with my SSD but yes, this is stuff made to run on hardware running in software without dedicated cache and all kinds of things it is used to.

      It won’t perform as well.

  5. Great video Nick. I only have to cry foul on one thing, obviously when you went to create the video, you had an early release of the updated Celerra SRA as you weren’t getting the “discoverLuns” error related to the iSCSI SRM setup. No fair 😦 That’s the only piece I couldn’t finish, of course, but no worries, the NFS SRM configuration is working flawlessly.

    Also, I am using the latest Celerra VSA v3.2 and whenever I restart them (I power down at night), the peer Replication CNS passwords for both VSA’s is blank and I need to reenter it. Very minor, but wanted to bring it up as it was also an issue in the 5.6.48 VSA’s and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time on such a minor issue. It is reproducible at will:

    1) Stop all replication sessions (I try to gracefully bringing my environment down)

    2) Shutdown the VSA’s (I use “shutdown -hy 0”, but as I write this, I’m wondering if the graceful way would be to issue: “/nas/sbin/nas_halt server_2 now” first and then a “shutdown” of the CS)

    3) Then power on VSA’s

    4) Attempt to restart replication and it will give error which despite not explicitly stating as such, implies that password for the peer CNS on both Celerra’s need to be reentered as it is now blank.

    Thanks for listening and thanks for an awesome blog and great software (and now how-to videos).

    • The SRA is now out.

      And yes there is still a bug with the VSA with regard to session state. This goes back to the dev build and there is an open ticket.

      One fix is to add the commands to reenter to the rc.local files so each reboot reenters it.

  6. Hey Nick,
    All these VM’s were not nested from what I could tell by how the networking portion was layed out. Was this to minimize the complexity of the setup? I know there are some VM running nested just not the key components like VC, and SRMs. Even so its a great post but I dont think I have enough resources to run this setup without lowering memory requirements and doing a little more nesting in the ESXi host. I think may end up running the VC or SRM Vm’s nested. Your thoughts?

    • If you look at the beginning of the video it shows how everything is nested visually.

      I run 12Gb RAM to do this demo and 1 OCZ RevoDrive for storage.

    • One way to minimize the resources, instead of running two separate images just for the SRM servers, I chose to install it in on my vCenter Servers since this is of course a test environment. What I did was:

      1) Downloaded SQL Server 2005 Management Studio Express

      2) This allows you to create a database for the SRM tables. I simply called it VIM_SRM

      3) Create the 32-bit System DSN
      Needs to be created from the 32-bit ODBC Data Source Administrator Utility (SRM is a 32-bit application), but of course your vCenter Server is 64-bit so if you were to fire it up from the Administrators Tools, the default is the 64-bit version. You will have to dig a bit to find the 32-bit version: Odbcad32.exe which can be found in the following path:

      %systemdrive%WindowsSysWoW64

      4) Install SRM selecting the DSN created above

  7. Just wanted to mention, I only recently got around to installing the updated Celerra Replicator SRA which is version 4.0.22 as of this post. Where I was previously reproducing the “discoverLuns” error related to the iSCSI SRM setup earlier (had been running 4.0.19), the latest has resolved it for me.

  8. Great video, thanks. Perhaps it would alsoΒ be worth to show how the failback process works.

  9. What ever happen to the 2nd virtual disk (16GB) that you added during the installation/configuration of the uber VSA.Β  How do I get uber VSA to see the 2nd virtual disk?

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