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EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

 
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JohnOfTranscomm
Frequent Visitor

EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Hi,

 

I've seen many, many posts asking similiar questions, but very few answers, there is precious little documentation on this in the EVA material that I recieved with our EVA 4400.

 

Our EVA4400 starter kit has a fully populated disk shelf, I have two VDISKS presented via Fibre Channel to two ESX Vmware 4.1 hosts.

 

One is a small 90GB presented VDISK used to store ISO images, this VDISK is still about 50% empty and is not an issue

The other is a 1.3TB presented VDISK used to store all of the vmware files used by our ESX cluster.

 

I'm down to about 313GB on the VM and I need to deploy some more VM's for database use (low I/O intensity, but will eat up a fair bit of the available space, about 100GB worth).

 

I am using thin provisioning in VCentre but want to make sure i'm not setting myself up for problems down the road.

 

Here's what I want to do.

 

I want to increase the 1.3TB presented VDISK to 2TB, I want to be able to do this without completely screwing up or destroying my production environment.

 

Calls to the HP Call centre have proven (once again) to be completely hopeless.

 

Is it just a case of simply opening up Command View, selecting the VDISK and typing in a bigger number ?

 

Some essential stats:

 

I have 5300GB of total capacity, the EVA is reporting that 33% of this capacity has been allocated to VDISKS.

 

VRAID 6 is used by the 1.3TB presented VDISK.

Thin provisioning from the EVA4400 is not enabled for this VDISK (as this is being done at the VMWare level)

 

Can I just type into the 'Capacity Requested' field and overwrite the 1200GB value with a 1800GB value and click

'Save Changes'?

 

Need an absolute answer on this as I don't want to destroy my VMware environment.

 

-John

 

 

 

 

8 REPLIES 8
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

The simple/short answer to all of your questions is "yes".

 

The questions I have though are:

 

1.  What XCS version do you have running?

2.  How many existing VM's currently on the existing disk?

 

 

Once you expand the disk, you need to go to one of the servers and rescan your HBA's.. then click the datastore and select properties... from there you'll be able to increase the size... adding the new space.

 

Any reason why you don;t just create a second datastore?

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage, Servers, and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5, vSphere 6.x)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
JohnOfTranscomm
Frequent Visitor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Thanks, much appreciated.

 

I have always been told that it  was not a good idea to create lots of new VDISKS. Because you then need to go and present them to each of your hosts, key in wwn's etc.  There are a toal of 15 virtual machines at present, this will increase to 20 by years end.  

 

I do not have the version number here with the moment but I think it is version 10.Something.

 

So far the EVA 4400 is coping surprisingly well, rarely if ever see latency on storage over 2ms.

 

I will update the VDISK size this weekend ;)

 

 

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Well we're certainly not breaking the bank on the number of vDisks here.

 

If you have 1... and you add 1 more... it is not going to cause the world to end.

 

While I certainly would not create 20 smaller vDisks and store 1 VM on them each, that would just be management nightmare...  I would certainly create 2 or 3 fairly large vDisks that can hold 6 to 10 vm's each with enough overhead for snapshot operations.

 

In fact, the HP best practice for the EVA is to size your LUN's so that you can fit up to 8 VM's per datastore... and only present that lun to up to 8 hosts.

 

Since you have a small environment, it probably doesn't matter too much, but at some point... I bet you'll start getting a performance hit.  You're probably taking a hit now and don't even now/feel it.

 

It is not hard to present a new vDisk to a host.  In fact... it is very easy.  Also, you can present the disk to all of the hosts that need access... at the same time... nothing to "key in".

 

I am going to assume you have 12 Fibre HDD's (since no combo of FATA drives will give you 5.3TB).  600GB Drives? 600GB drives would give you @5.5TB usable with single protection.

 

In the ideal world, you should have approximately 75 to 125 iops available in the disk group... per vm... in order to sustain a healthy environment.

 

A DG with 12 fibre disks can only provide up to @1500 iops for vRAID1 vDisks or up to @1000 iops for vRAID5 vDisks (for 15k drives).. the numbers are even lower for vRAID6..  Assuming you have 20 vm's... 1000 / 20 = @50 iops per vm... low compared to the "healthy" range... and as you add more... the environment becomes less and less healthy.

 

Again, small environment so it might not "appear" that there are problems, but the potential is there and/or will become more apparent in time as you expand.

 

 

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage, Servers, and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5, vSphere 6.x)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Hello, very nice post Steven.

We have 4 datastores and ~50 VM's on them, all on EVA6000 (some of them in synchro mirror via Falconstor). At the begining of new year, we plan mayor upgrade of storage, possibly with some ssd'd on board.

All I/O demanding VM's have they own RDM luns for data (Exchange, MS SQL, Oracle), everything from different gisk group.

 

Jan

JohnOfTranscomm
Frequent Visitor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Thanks for your replies.  Even if they were a bit patronizing, obviously you're an experienced systems engineer dealing with yet another seemingly dumb question, that's ok I get it all the time.

 

We had a company that was helping us with our EVA environment and i've been trying to get hold of them to come in and help me with these things, but it sees that they've joined the long list of DOA or MIA HP re-sellers in the local marketplace.

 

You make it sound easy, but I'd rather get a HP certified person to do these changes to the EVA, I'm not really much of a hardware guy, i'm more of a software/systems, designer and project management person in the banking space, I normally get a proper technician into handle these things, in fact i'd rather have nothing to do with this hardware stuff at all but in this case i've not got a lot of choice at present with so many outsourcers and partners vanishing into the hands of administrators / recievers... 

 

To me this thing is no different to the air conditioner or some other piece of sophisticated equipment, i'm happy to use it but if stuff needs doing to it i'd rather call in an expert who knows what the heck they're doing.

 

Only problem is that despite being on fully paid support to HP I can't get HP to help me with this task and i'm having trouble finding a local HP partner who's still in business to help me as well.

 

Did you know I can't find anyone here in Melbourne Australia who knows anythign about getting HP SIM 7.1 to identify and communicate with an EVA4400?! That's a different story :(

 

I'll try to create another VDISK and hope to God I don't wreck my environment... because frankly I don't know what the hell I'd do if I did break something.  Panic? Run around screaming?

 

HP's telephone support is just awful these days...

 

HP do have an operations capability, but unless you're an AUD $Billion dollar company, they don't want to know you :(

 

Is there a manual I can read somewhere on how to do this business of creating new VDISKS?

 

-John

Jan Soska
Honored Contributor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Hello John,

don't panic. Please believe me EVA management is absolutelly simplest amoung all midrange storage arrays I have ever seen...

First of all check this page: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DocumentIndex.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&contentType=SupportManual&prodTypeId=12169&prodSeriesId=3664763 - EVA 4400 manuals, especially user guide at http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01883144/c01883144.pdf .

at the end, don't forget to read EVA + Vmware best practices at: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/hp-enterprise-virtual-array-family-vsphere-configuration.pdf .

 

in worst scenario, I'll make trip from Slovakia to Austrialia... :)

 

Jan

Sheldon Smith
HPE Pro

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

It is easy. As Steven said earlier, "The simple/short answer to all of your questions is "yes"."

You're not adding disks or new disk shelves, you're making a virtual disk (VDISK) bigger; it really is 'all software'. It's a two-step process:

  1. Simply open up Command View, select the VDISK and type in a bigger number. Click 'Save Changes'. Then you will see the allocated size number start to grow to the requested size. Sit back and let it.
  2. Go in to vCenter, find the storage, and do whatever is needed (just a rescan of storage and datastores?) for it to recognize the expanded storage volume.

You have 5300 GB of total capacity (raw (unRAID'ed) storage), of which you are using around a third, so somewhere around 3400 GB raw available. You want to increase a RAID6 volume that's 1.3 TB to 2.0 TB. 700 GB RAID6 is 700*1.5 is 1050 GB raw - plenty of space.

At the http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DocumentIndex.jsp?contentType=SupportManual&lang=en&cc=us&docIndexId=64179&taskId=101&prodTypeId=12169&prodSeriesId=3664763 page are various manuals for EVA4400. In the "HP 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array User Guide (5697-1908, June 2012)" http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01883144/c01883144.pdf, see chapter 3, "Configuring application servers", and the section "Creating and presenting virtual disks".

 

Hope this helps


Note: While I am an HPE Employee, all of my comments (whether noted or not), are my own and are not any official representation of the company

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JohnOfTranscomm
Frequent Visitor

Re: EVA4400 Need to expand VDISK, how do I do this safely in a production environment?

Thanks guys,

 

Downloading the manuals now.  I rang HP.. but our Australian tech support line is now fully 'voice prompted', I spent thirtly minutes trying to explain myself to a stupid voice response system and having it tell me in a very pert female voice 'sorry, I didn't quite get that, did you say 'Printers'?

 

You no longer even get a choice of using the keypad to pick menu options... After ten goes at trying to log a support ticket I gave up...

 

Anyway i'll add KUDOS and go grab the doco's.

 

Thanks! :)

 

-John