Dell EMC AppSync 3.9 is now Available, a MUST upgrade for the XtremIO & PowerMax Customers

We are proud to announce AppSync 3.9, if you are new to AppSync, I highly encourage you to start reading about it here

https://xtremio.me/2018/08/01/appsync-3-8-is-ga-heres-whats-new/

https://xtremio.me/2018/09/23/xtremio-6-2-part-5-the-xms-appsync-integration-is-now-ga/

Product Description

AppSync is a software that enables Integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM) with Dell EMC’s primary storage systems.

AppSync simplifies and automates the process of generating and consuming copies of production data. By abstracting the underlying storage and replication technologies, and through deep application integration, AppSync empowers application owners to satisfy copy demand for operational recovery and data repurposing on their own. In turn, storage administrators need only be concerned with initial setup and policy management, resulting in an agile, frictionless environment.

AppSync automatically discovers application databases, learns the database structure, and maps it through the Virtualization Layer to the underlying storage LUN. It then orchestrates all the activities required from copy creation and validation through mounting at the target host and launching or recovering the application. Supported workflows also include refresh, expire, and restore production.

AppSync supports the following applications and storage arrays:

l  Applications — Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Exchange, VMware VMFS datastores, VMware NFS datastores, and NFS File systems.

l  Storage — VMAX, VMAX 3, VMAX All Flash, PowerMax, VNX (Block and File), VNXe (Block and File), XtremIO, ViPR Controller, VPLEX, Dell SC, and Unity (Block and File).

l  Replication Technologies—VNX Advanced Snapshots, VNXe Unified Snapshot, TimeFinder Clone, TimeFinder VP Snap, SRDF, SnapVX, RecoverPoint Bookmarks, XtremIO Snapshot, XtremIO Bookmarks, Unity Unified Snapshot, Unity Thin Clone, DellSCSnap, and ViPR Snapshot.

The AppSync Support Matrix is the authoritative source of information on supported software and platforms.

Services Design, Technology, & Supportability Improvements

AppSync 3.9 includes the following new features and enhancements:

XtremIO Quality of Service (QoS)

·       Applying or modifying a QoS policy on the target device created by AppSync as part of copy creation.

·       Applying or modifying a QoS policy during AppSync on-demand/on job mounts.

AppSync 3.9 now has the ability to associate mounted copies to an XtremIO QoS policy

  • XtremIO arrays allow users to enable user-defined service levels for IOPS on array resources such as luns

This allows the end user more control of the array network and storage resources

  • You can define a template or QoS policy on the array with the following attributes:

The maximum IOPS limit or (maximum I/O size + maximum number of I/O’s) on the array

Burst percentage

Type (fixed or adaptive)

  • Once a QoS policy is configured on the array, AppSync can leverage it
  • AppSync sets QoS on the target devices created by AppSync, it can’t alter production lun QoS policies
  • AppSync can not leverage QoS policies for CG’s or IG’s
  • AppSync can only apply or change the QoS policy on fresh mounts. If you wish to modify it, you need to unmount and remount with a new desired policy

  • The update of QoS policies happens when rediscovering the array

This includes when new policies are created or deleted

  • The QoS policy is applied after adding the target LUNs to the initiator group
  • If the QoS operation fails, the mount operation will complete with a warning
  • QoS is always applied at the snapshot volume level

For Silver, the QoS policy is applied on the target CG of the replication session

  • If the QoS policy is renamed on the array, it doesn’t affect AppSync, as AppSync persists the policy by the UUID, and not the name
  • QoS objects will be removed from the AppSync database when an XtremIO array is removed from AppSync


XtremIO Native Replication Restore

·       Supports for restore of source volumes with remote XtremIO copies created using native replication. Supported only on XtremIO 6.2 and later.

  • Native replication remote restore is supported on XtremIO XMS 6.2+
  • In protection workflows (service plans), only the read-only copies are restored

Any changes made to a mounted copy (the RW copy) will be discarded

This is different from the local copy workflow

  • In repurposing workflows, either read-only
    or
    modified copies are supported

User will be able to select the option

There is no difference with the local vs. remote copy workflow

  • All prior XtremIO native bookmarks will be deleted as part of the remote restore process

The process consists of 4 Phases: Validation, Unmount, Restore, Mount

Validation Phase

  • NR restore fails if the session is in test-copy mode, error, or inconsistent state
  • NR restore fails if direction isn’t source-to-target
  • NR restore fails if all remote bookmarks captured together are not intact

Example: Bookmarks of Oracle data CG and log CG

  • If restore is from remote repurpose RW copy, AppSync validates the linked CG copy is valid
  • Source application is unmounted from source host and storage is detached
  • Source luns will not be unmapped from production host IG
  • Restore Phase
  • Check the states of the replication session and maintain its current state – fail if invalid
  • Failover using the target bookmark, after which the direction is target-to-source
  • Wait until failover completes
  • When restoring from the RW repurposed copy, AppSync first refreshes the target CG using the remote linked CG
  • Failback, then after, the replication session is returned to original direction
  • Wait until failback completes

Mount

  • Re-attach the luns on the production host
  • Mount and recover the application

Oracle enhancements:

·       Support for Oracle Container Databases (CDBs).

  • Supports discovering, mapping, protecting, and repurposing Oracle CDBs

Same workflows supported as standalone databases

RecoverPoint environments are not currently qualified/supported

  • PDBs are viewed by selecting the CDB, then clicking the Show PDBs
    button



  • Requirements:

AppSync requires that all PDBs of a CDB reside on the same storage array

All PDBs within a CDB
must be in Read-Write mode
for hot backup

  • This includes all PDB instances on all RAC nodes, otherwise no hot backup option can be utilized
  • PDB$SEED is the exception and is always protected – mandatory for recovery purposes
  • Effected entities:

AppSync detects effected entities at the CDB level, for example:

  • If pdb1 on CDB1 shares a filesystem with pdb2 on CDB2, then when AppSync attempts to restore CDB1, it will detect that the second CDB is an affected entity as well, requiring that it be shutdown [manually] before a restore
  • It is best to not share filesystems between different PDBs/CDBs
  • Limitations:

Workflows at the PDB granularity level are not supported

everything happens at the CDB layer

·       Support for Oracle FLEX ASM aware node selection.

  • AppSync now has the ability to discover FlexASM type instances
  • AppSync requires at least one available RAC node of an ASM instance in order to place the database in hot backup mode

If an ASM instance is down on one node, AppSync will detect another node for a running ASM
instance, and then set it for further processing

  • Limitations:

AppSync only supports creating copies on nodes where both the
database
and
ASM
instances are
available

Mount and recovery works only if the ASM instance is up and running

  • If standalone, ASM must be up and running on at least that one node
  • If using Grid, an ASM instance is able to run on any one of the RAC nodes so long as cluster services are online on all remote nodes – cluster services must be running on all nodes

Deselect any node during mount that does not have both database and ASM instances running

Deselect any node during mount that does not have both database and ASM instances running


Note: Only nodes with live database and ASM instances are supported.

·       Support for ASM 4KB sector disk drives.

  • AppSync supports logical volumes with an underlying 4K sector configuration with limitations…

Supported on
Linux with Oracle ASM
(filesystems are not supported)

Supported on
Dell SC
when creating 4K sectors in
emulation mode

Supported on
XtremIO
when application hosts are
physical, or
iSCSI
connected using
native mode

Supported only with
Oracle 12c R2+

  • There is a new event message warning of a potential mount failure in case of an

unsupported environment, such as when running Oracle 12.1 and 11gR2

AppSync detected ASM diskgroup sector size as 4096 for Oracle version
{VersionNumber}.
Mount of
the diskgroup might fail with inconsistent sector size error

TCE enhancements:

·       Provides an option to unlink a VMAX target device when a SnapVX snapshot is unmounted.

·       Provides an option to consolidate or delete old Postgres datastore.log files.

  • Delete old datastore.log files (SER:6630)

AppSync now removes
datastore.log
files when they are over a month old

  • Removed “A reboot of Exchange may be required after installation of the host plugin” from UI and documentation
    (SER:6620)

AppSync stops services that use certain dll files when installing/removing the AppSync plug-in on MS
Exchange hosts

Option to unlink VMAX target device when a SnapVX snapshot is unmounted – Service Plan Settings

  • Previously, the unlink operations only occurred during copy expiration
  • Only supported when copy is linked in no-copy mode (snapshot)

Not
applicable when copy is linked in
copy mode
(clone)

  • Option is presented in on-demand, service plan, and second gen repurpose
  • Not supported for 1st Gen
  • Does not allow restore of modified target devices

Warning is seen

 

Option to unlink VMAX target device when a SnapVX snapshot is unmounted – Repurposing 2nd Gen


The AppSync User and Administration Guide provides more information on the new features and enhancements.

The AppSync Support Matrix on https://elabnavigator.emc.com/eln/modernHomeDataProtection
is the authoritative source of information on supported software and platforms.

Upgrade Path to 3.9

Must be at least running version 3.7 to upgrade to 3.9.

  • Please reference the AppSync Installation and Configuration Guide for details on how to perform this type of upgrade…
  • 3.0.x 3.1 3.7 3.9
  • 3.5.x 3.7 3.9
  • 3.8 3.9

Recent Changes to the AppSync Support Matrix

Please ensure to validate the ESM at time of the release – these updates are NOT exhaustive!

  • Added support for:
  • Support 4k sector drives
  • Oracle 18c
  • Without required URM00116223 hotfix
  • MS Windows Server & Exchange 2019
  • Without required URM00138 hotfix
  • Depreciated OS/app support for:
  • RedHat Linux versions 5.5 through 5.10

SLES 11, 11 SP1 through SP3

  • Oracle database versions 11.2.0.1, 11.2.0.2 and
    Additional notes added:

    11.2.0.3

  • Removed array support for:
  • ViPR controller
  • VNX 2e storage platform
  • EMC Enginuity 5876: .82.57, .85.59, .159.102,

    .163.105, .229.145, .251.161,.268.174, .269.175,

    .272.177

  • DELL EMC HYPERMAX 5977: .497.471, .498.472,

    .596.583, .691.684, .811.784, (all these released in 2014)

  • DELL EMC VNXe OE: 3.1.1, 3.1.3, 3.1.5, 3.1.8 P0
  • XFS File Systems are not supported for FS-consistency (SER: 6623)
  • Require AppSync server and host plugin to have the same version
  • AppSync server installation on Physical, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines are supported

Support Links

You can download AppSync 3.9 by clicking the screenshot below



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