• Setting up a host to use Unity VMware VMFS FC datastores

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    Setting up a host to use Unity VMware VMFS FC datastores

    Requirements for setting up a host to use Unity VMware VMFS datastores with FC

    Before you set up a host to use Unity VMware VMFS datastores, the Unity system and host and network requirements in described this section must be met.

    Unity automatically detects VMware ESXi hosts on the SAN. It is possible to add ESXi hosts manually, but letting the storage system detect ESXi hosts automatically provides the highest level of functionality.

    SAN requirements

    For a host to connect to FC LUNs or VMware VMFS and Block VVol datastores on the Unity system, the host must be in a SAN environment with the storage system, and zoned so that the host and the storage system are visible to each other over the SAN. For a multi-pathing environment, each Unity FC LUN for the host must have two paths associated with it. These two paths should be on different switches to ensure high availability.

    Path management SAN requirements

    When implementing a highly-available SAN between a host and the Unity system, keep in mind that:

    • A LUN or VMware VMFS datastore is visible to both SPs.
    • You can configure multiple paths for a LUN. These paths should be associated with separate physical ports on the same SP.
    • Each LUN must present the same LUN ID to all hosts.
    Note:  Directly attaching a host to a storage system is supported if the host connects to both SPs and has the required multipath software.

    Using multi-path management software with ESXi hosts

    Multi-path management software manages the connections (paths) between the host and the Unity system to provide access to the Unity storage should one of the paths fail. The following types of multi-path management software are available for an ESXi host connected to a Unity system:

    • ESXi native failover on any ESXi host
    • EMC PowerPath/VE software on an ESXi 5.x or later host

    For the supported versions of the PowerPath/VE software, refer to the Unity Support Matrix on the support website.

    Setting up a Unity system for multi-path management software

    For a Unity system to operate with hosts running multi-path management software, each FC LUN on the Unity system should be associated with multiple paths.

    Installing PowerPath

    Procedure
    1. On the host or virtual machine, download the latest PowerPath version from the PowerPath software downloads section on the Online Support website.
    2. Install PowerPath as described in the appropriate PowerPath installation and administration guide for the host’s or virtual machine’s operating system.
      This guide is available on Online Support. If the host or virtual machine is running the most recent version and a patch exists for this version, install it, as described in the readme file that accompanies the patch.
    3. When the installation is complete, reboot the host or virtual machine.
    4. When the host or virtual machine is back up, verify that the PowerPath service has started.

    Configuring ESXi host native failover

    ESXi hosts include native failover for managing the I/O paths between the server and storage system. Native failover provides multiple paths from the server to the storage system. To use ESXi host native failover with your storage system, you must implement one of the failover policies listed below. For more information about these policies, refer to VMware ESXi configuration documentation.

    • Round Robin (default)
    • Fixed with failover mode
    • Most Recently Used (MRU)

    Configuring the native failover policy for FC connections

    Procedure
    1. Log into VMware vSphere client as administrator.
    2. From the Inventory panel, select the server, and click the Configuration tab.
    3. Under Hardware, click Storage and select the datastore (LUN).
    4. Click Properties.
    5. In the Properties page, click Manage Paths.
    6. In the Manage Paths page, under Policy, verify that the policy is one you want:
      • Fixed (VMware) for fixed native failover policy
      • Round Robin (VMware) for Round Robin native failover policy
      • Most Recently Used (VMware) for MRU native failover policy
      If the policy is not set to the desired policy, in the policy selection dialog, select the correct policy.
    7. If you selected the Fixed (VMware) policy, under Paths, select the preferred path.
      You can statically balance the load using the fixed policy by selecting different paths for each datastore. To designate a different path as preferred, right click on the path and click preferred.
    8. Click Close.
    After you finish

    You are now ready to either migrate a virtual machine to the VMFS datastore or create a virtual machine on the VMFS datastore. To migrate a virtual disk to the VMFS datastore, see the section on Migrating VMware Virtual Machines to the Unity System. For information about creating a virtual machine on the VMFS datastore, refer to the VMware documentation.

    For FC connections, if you receive a connection error when the host is trying to log into an FC LUN, or you cannot see the datastores on the target, you may be having problems with the SAN connection between the host and the storage system. This problem may occur because:

    • The Fibre Channel SAN is zoned incorrectly.
    • A physical hardware issue is disrupting the SAN connectivity.

    A rescan of the storage is required after any change is made to the SAN.

    Configuring the Unity VMware VMFS datastores for the host

    Procedure
    1. Use Unisphere UI or CLI to:
      1. Discover VMware ESXi hosts.
      2. Create Unity VMFS datastores.
      For more information about completing these tasks, refer to the Unisphere online help or the Unisphere CLI User Guide.
      Note:  When you create Unity VMFS datastores for discovered VMware ESXi hosts, the system automatically configures the hosts to use the datastores. If you select multiple discovered hosts for the datastores, all the selected hosts are configured automatically. The VMware VMFS datastores are presented directly to the ESXi hosts and not to the hosts’ virtual machines. If an ESXi host cannot see the VMFS datastore after you create the datastore, manually configure the connection to the VMFS datastore.
    2. [Generic host objects only] Rescan for the VMFS datastores:
      1. From the Hosts and Clusters panel, select the server.
      2. Select Manage.
      3. Under Storage, select Storage Adapters.
        1. Right click on the FC HBA and then click Rescan.
        2. In the Rescan dialog box, select the FC HBA, and then click Rescan.
      4. Under Storage, select Storage Devices.
      5. Select the Rescan icon.

      If the host can see the VMFS datastore, you must set up the host to use the datastore, as described in the next section.

      If the host cannot see the VMFS datastore, there may be a problem with SAN connection between the host and the FC LUN (FC connection), in which case you need to manually configure this connection.

    Manually setting up the host connection to a Unity FC VMFS datastore

    Procedure
    1. Log in to the vSphere client as an administrator
    2. Rescan for new storage devices:
      1. From the Inventory panel, select the server, and click the Configuration tab.
      2. Under Hardware, click Storage Adapters.
        1. In the list of adapters, select the FC HBA, and then click Rescan.
        2. In the Rescan dialog box, select the FC HBA, and then click Rescan.
      3. In the Rescan dialog box, select both Scan for New Storage Devices and Scan for New VMFS Volumes, and click OK.
    3. Add each VMFS datastore to the ESXi host:
      1. From the Inventory panel, select the host and click the Configuration tab.
      2. Under Hardware, click Storage, and click Add Storage.
      3. On the Select Disk/LUN page, select the Unity VMFS datastore that you want to use for the datastore, and click Next.
      4. On the Current Disk Layout page, review the current virtual disk layout, and click Next.
      5. On the Disk/LUN-Properties page, enter the exact same name that was used to create the datastore on the storage system.
        You can find this name using Unisphere.
      6. On the Disk/LUN-Formatting page, if needed, adjust the file system values and the capacity for the datastore, and click Next.
      7. On the Ready to Complete page, review the datastore information, and click Finish
    Results
    The datastore (VMFS volume) is created on the Unity VMFS datastore for the ESXi host.