I’m so happy this release is finally out, during the 3 years since XtremIO went GA (time passed by so fast..) we got many customers who wanted to leverage XtremIO with VPLEX, there are many reasons to do so but i would say that at least my favorite one is an Active/ Active virtualized data center based on VPLEX, as such, customers wanted to have the full feature set of XtremIO such as UNMAP and the ease of management, aka VIAS, happy to report these (and more) are now in!
VAAI UNMAP ENHANCEMENTS
Thin provisioning awareness for mirrors
– Enables host-based storage reclamation for local and distributed mirrors using UNMAP
–Enables UNMAP during Thin-> Thin migration
– Restricted to XtremIO and VMware ESXi (same as SP1)
NEW/CHANGED CUSTOMER USE CASES
. Reclaiming storage from the host using UNMAP to mirrored volumes
. Creating thin-provisioned mirrored virtual volumes
. Migrating thin-provisioned storage
. Noticing soft threshold crossing
. Handling out-of-space condition on thin mirrors
CREATING THIN MIRRORED VOLUMES
• Device must be thin-capable
– 1:1 device geometry
– local and distributed RAID-1 mirrors are now supported
– underlying storage volumes must all come from XtremIO
• Virtual volume must still be thin-enabled
• NEW: The virtual-volume provision –thin command can now be
used to create thin-enabled virtual volumes:
– provisions XtremIO storage volumes
– claims these storage volumes in VPLEX
– creates extents and devices atop the storage volumes
– creates virtual volumes and makes them thin-enabled
3. MIGRATING THIN-PROVISIONED STORAGE
• VPLEX uses a temporary mirror during migration
• thin-enabled setting from source volume is
transferred to the target volume when the migration
• UNMAP is supported during and after migration when:
– the source and target are both thin-capable (XtremIO), and
– the source is thin-enabled
4. NOTICING SOFT THRESHOLD CROSSING
• If an XtremIO array crosses its configured resource
utilization soft threshold, it raises a Unit Attention:
– THIN PROVISIONING SOFT THRESHOLD REACHED (38/07h)
• In SP2, VPLEX notices this Unit Attention and emits a call-home (limited to every 24 hours):
– scsi/170 WARNING: Thin Provisioning Soft Threshold
reached – vol <volName>
• This Unit Attention is not propagated to hosts on the
5. HANDLING OUT-OF-SPACE ON MIRRORS
• When an out-of-space error is seen on the last healthy mirror
leg of a RAID1, VPLEX propagates the failure to the host
• When an out-of-space error is seen on a mirror leg while there
are other healthy mirror legs, VPLEX:
– Marks the affected mirror leg dead
– Prevents the affected mirror leg from being automatically
– Decreases RAID-1 redundancy, but host is unaffected
• After resolving resource exhaustion on XtremIO, admin must
manually resurrect the affected devices in VPLEX
USABILITY: DEVICE RESURRECTION
• A new convenience command can be used to trigger
resurrection of dead storage volumes:
device resurrect-dead-storage-volumes –devices 
USABILITY: THIN-ENABLED PROPERTY OF VV
• The virtual volume listing contains a thin-enabled
property that was a true/false boolean in SP1
• In SP2, this property has three possible states:
– disabled (thin-capable but not enabled)
– unavailable (not thin-capable)
USABILITY: UNMAP MONITORS
• Two new statistics:
• Each applicable to the following targets:
– host-init (I)
– fe-prt (T)
– fe-lu (L)
– fe-director (in the default monitors)
USABILITY: REVERT THIN-REBUILD DEFAULT
• In SP1, thin-capable storage volumes were
automatically configured to use thin-rebuild
– i.e. skip the write to a rebuild target if the source and
target both hold zero data
• In SP2, this behavior has been reverted
– for XtremIO, normal rebuild gives better performance
VPLEX DATA PATH – UNMAP HANDLING
• In SP1, UNMAP was converted into a WRITE SAME 16
(identical semantics for XtremIO)
• In SP2 the VPLEX I/O is tagged internally as an
UNMAP, and we initiate an UNMAP to the XtremIO
VPLEX / XtremIO, VIAS SUPPORT
• VIAS now supports registering an XMS as an AMP managing multiple XtremIO arrays.
– No longer have to create one REST AMP per array as in VPLEX 5.5 and 5.5.1.
• During the REST AMP registration, it is no longer required to select the array. VIAS will automatically discover all the arrays.
• Under the cover, VIAS will either use the XtremIO REST API v1 or v2 based on the XMS version for provisioning.
Select the AMP to see the Managed Arrays on the right side.
Once the new REST AMP has been created,
managing virtual volumes with VIAS stays the same.
– There is no impact anywhere else in either the VPLEX GUI or CLI.
GUI Support for Thin Virtual Volume
A new attribute “Thin Enabled” was added to the virtual volume type.
It can be seen in the ‘Virtual Volumes’ view and the property dialog.
– The value can be unavailable, enabled or disabled.
– Currently only virtual volumes created from XtremIO storage
volumes can currently be Thin Enabled.
– A new attribute “Thin Capable” (Yes/No for value) was added to the
following object types:
– Storage Volume
2. Changes in the GUI
Storage Volumes Views
2. Property dialogs
A “Create thin virtual volumes” options was added to the “Create
Virtual Volumes” dialog. If the virtual volumes can’t be created as thin,
the operation will succeed but it will be thick instead.
In the Provision from Pools/Storage Volumes, if all selected arrays are XtremIO, the user will have the option to create the virtual volumes as thin enabled with the addition of this new page in the wizard
Below you can see a recorded demo of the new UNMAP functionality