October 3, 2012

EMC VMAX Auto-Provisioning



Auto-provisioning is a new feature which is supported from release of VMAX. Auto-provisioning is used to mask storage. Auto-Provisioning is creating Storage Group, Port Group and Initiators Group and associate these groups into a Masking View. This will simplify the process of storage allocation for server on VMAX frames and easy to manage Storage, Initiators, Ports can be dynamically added or removed from the respective groups. To use auto provisioning groups on Symmetrix VMAX the ACLX flag must be enabled on the port.

Auto-Provisioning has below steps:-

1)      Create a Storage Group.
2)      Create a Port Group (follow rule of 17).
3)      Create an Initiator Group.
4)      Associate the groups in a Masking View.
5)      Refresh Masking database.

Storage Group:
  • Storage group will have the group of devices which needs to be presented to the host.
  • Storage group contain Symmetrix devices (Symmetrix Logical Volumes).
  • The maximum number of storage group allowed per array is 8192. 
  • Each storage group can contain up to 4096 devices.
  • Each Symmetrix device can belong to more than one storage group.
Command to create storage group and add devices:-

symaccess –sid -type storage –name create devs

Port Group:  
  • Port group is the grouping of the front–end ports.
  • A port can belong to more than one port group.
  • Ports must have access-logix bit enabled.
  • May contain any number of valid front end ports
  • Only Fibre and Gig-E ports on front end directors allowed
  • A port can belong to multiple port groups. Before a port can be added to a Port group the ACLX flag must enabled on the port.
Command to create port group and add ports:-

symaccess –sid -type port –name create –dir:port

Initiator Group:
  • In Initiator group the server initiators are grouped together.
  • Contains HBA WWNs
  • The maximum number of initiator groups allowed per Symmetrix array is 8000.
  • An initiator group can contain up to 32 initiators Initiator groups.
  • An initiator can belong to only one group.
  • 256 initiators can be masked to 1 FA port in VMAX.
  • May contain a Combination of up to 32 Fibre Channel initiators or 8, iSCSI names or a combination of both.
  • Once the initiator is in a group, the group can be a member in another initiator group. It can be grouped within a group. This feature is called cascaded initiator groups, and is only allowed to a cascaded level of one.
Command to create initiator group and add initiators:-

symaccess –sid -type Initiator –name create -WWN

To add Initiator to the existing initiator group:-

symaccess –sid -type Initiator –name add -WWN

Masking view:
  • Masking view is associating Storage Group, Port Group and Initiator Group of the server.
  • Device will be mapped automatically to selected port group and masked to selected initiator groups.
Command to create masking view and associate the respective groups:-

symaccess –sid create view –name -sg -pg -ig


Click below for a quick demo regarding Auto-provisioning:-

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