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Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

 
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Patrick Neuner
Regular Advisor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

You should check the post from 

 

Patrick

Bart_Heungens
Honored Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

@a_o

 

where do you see the advertisement of peer motion between 3PAR and Lefthand (easier to type compared to StoreServ and StoreVirtual) ;-)

 

I know there is peer motion between all (old, new, physical, virtual) Lefthand nodes and there is peer motion between 3PAR SAN's (old, new, big, small)... It would be great that there would be also between 3PAR and Lefthand, however I never saw an official announcement on it?

 

Other remark: if everyone thinks that Lefthand is a stepchild, why would they put it in the new Gen9 servers? With those servers you can deploy in the box with Intelligent Provisioning the VSA on your server.

Further if it would be a stepchild why they would give it away for free (at least the 1TB version) with any server equiped with Intel v3 processors? If there would be no future for it don't promote it imho

 

And to answer (partially) your question on iSCSI, I am using my 3PAR in my lab/datacenter with FC direct attach and iSCSI, both work like I would expect no issues so far. I did not have the time however to do some performance testing so far...

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oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

@bart,

     list the big feature changes since v9.5.  If you remove "improvements to..." or "enchanced..."  or "increase....", or "now supports XXX latest OS", there have been very few if any important NEW features since version 9.5 which was released in in2011!   v10-11 were released in 2012-13 and included AO support for the VSA, but that pretty much ended the new features since the rest are of marginal increases at best...the "Rest API"  and support for SCOM only and 50TB licenses are more improvelements over novel features such as Unmap, dedupe, compression... whatever.  

 

Updating the software to support the latest operating systems or putting the existing software onto new hardware is at best a minimum requirement for mantaining the software and not really an indication that it is getting actively developed.  In 2009 you could say without reservation that lefthand was an industry leader for VSAs, can you really say that now?  They haven't done anything since then to lead new features that others might emulate. 

HPEStorageGuy
Neighborhood Admin

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

@oikjn  Would love to hear from you what StoreVirtual VSA doesn't do that in your mind means it has fallen behind.  And obviously I know you (and I) aren't happy with the delay in getting UNMAP support but I'd like to know what other features it's missing. 

 

Personally, I think AO is huge. I don't think there's another VSA type product out there that can do sub-LUN tiering.

 

Also, curious what others have done (as you said, remove "improvements to..." or "enchanced..."  or "increase....", or "now supports XXX latest OS") that make those other solutions so much more compelling than StoreVirtual VSA.

 

I'm asking this in all sincerity - I'd like to understand where you're coming from and feed that directly back to the product team.

oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

I don't know what's the next leading new feature that everybody is going to want to copy, but for sure others are already including things such as in-line dedupe and compression, ram-read cache, not to mention universal SMI-S support and UNMAP and features like VAAI, ODX, and VCAI are also becoming more and more main-stream.  In 2015, those are features to expect in a SAN not exotic bells and whistles that are left to the domain of the tier-1 systems.

 

Just spitballing, but a future idea I haven't seen, and maybe this really gets more into a file-level system and isn't appropriate at the san level, but some sort of smart integrated defrag for the common file systems to either eliminate or minimize long-term file fragmentation like an integration with something like a program from condusiv would be a nice added feature that would help keep performance on a LUN at optimal levels by reducing unneeded inefficient IO.  Another pie in the sky feature might be some sort of DSM compression for increasing on-the-wire throughput which would be helpful for both WAN links and those limited by 1Gb local links.

a_o
Valued Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

@Bart_Heungens,

I stand corrected. I went back and looked at my notes, and from what I wrote down in late 2012,  Peer-motion is between similar systems only. It's just that I assumed that it was also possible between LH and 3PAR, as they were announced around the same time frame. The name "Storage Federation" is also tricky, as it connotes something between dissimilar systems.
As you said, it would be something nice to have  - especially when migrating (upgrading) from LH to 3PAR.

As it is, I use Veeam, so this hould not be much of an issue.

 

@Storage_guy,

Since you asked, I'll give you  my own take. Personally, in 2011, I evaluated Lefthand, Starwind and Dell. The Finalists were LH and Starwind - VSAs obviously. I went with LH for a wide variety of reasons. I still think it's the better product.


But since 2011, Starwind has added or significantly enhanced the following features to (or in) their VSAN product.

1, Unmap/Trim

2, Automated Storage Tiering

3, In-line Deduplication (plus IO blender)

4, On-The-Fly and at rest Compression
5, SMI-S provider  - better SCVMM 2012 support.

6, Target based Auto Defrag.

 

And there are thngs that it seems LH will never have, or are difficult to do without rebuliding the VSA like,

a, Scale Out - i.e. add capacity to existing nodes, not just adding nodes.

b, Built-in VTL  - i.e. not just snapshot

Bart_Heungens
Honored Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

@a_o

 

on your last point scale-out: you can now already grow your VSA with new disks online without rebuilding or so... As long as your license covers the storage underneath, I did already online upgrades of storage on the VSA in production environments...

 

And I sell always a self-build 'converged system' to my customers including StoreVirtual VSA for SAN (on SAS disks) and StoreOnce VSA (on MDL SAS disks) for backup-target with dedupe. 2 VSA's are fine for me since it gives more flexibility, don't see the adfvantage (yet today) to combine...

 

Have many installations like that, with happy customers...

 

 

Bart

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a_o
Valued Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

I also have gone mostly VSA . I started with NSMs (have 8 of them as a 4 cluster NR1 config), then went with VSA after I saw that they were more flexible and were more performant than my P4K G2s.  I've got 6 VSAs running as pure tier 0  (SAS SSDs/ BLC IO accelerators). This was before AO came into being. So, I know what you're talking about. This is in addition to SSD/SATA AO enabled VSAs.

 

I brought up the VTL feature because at 50% cluster space utilization, I had to turn off Snapshotting that I was using as the source for remote snapshotting/copying to another cluster. The cluster would be become over provisoned as a result of trying to 'back' it up. Now, if the LUNs were a de-duped and UNMAPed...I digress.

I wonder how some here handle some of these real-world short comings of SAN I/Q.

 

Am I missing something here? How do you expand a VSA's capacity without 'Re-Configuring RAID'?
I've done that a few times. Essentially, one puts the node in a faux 'maintainance' mode by temporary having it's RAID not intialized, add the storage, 'Re-Configuring RAID' and re-stripe the Network RAID, Rinse and repeat on the other nodes in the cluster.

 

 

Bart_Heungens
Honored Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

There is no need for a complete re-stripe/rebuild of the VSA node...

 

Or you put the server in 'maintenance mode' (where the other VSA + a FOM keeps the volume online), and during reboot you enter the SSA (Smart Storage Administrator or also known as the ACU Array Configuration Utility) where you can grow the logical drive on RAID level. After that in VMware itself you can grow the datastore...

 

What works also is accessing the SSA through CLI when ESXi is running... Of course you must have the HP version of ESXi installed and verify that you have SSA as well in it.

 

VMware is not that easy, on a Windows server I can grow volumes completely online through the GUI...

 

Regarding your dedupe issue: you put it on the same VSA's on a remote site with also SAS/SSD drives? Wouldn't it be better to have MDL SAS drives? Much cheaper per GB for backups...

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a_o
Valued Contributor

Re: Reclaiming Space from a thin provisioned netword raid-5 volume

I think we're on the same page, but are looking at it from two different POVs.

I'm not saying the VSA node needs to be re-installed per se.

Since I run mostly (90%) on Hyper V  (I have two ESXi hosts running LH VSAs), I'll delineate the steps I've previously used to expand an existing VSA. I might be missing a step.

1,  In Hyper-V Manager, I shut down the VSA VM and present additonal storage to the VM. This usually takes the form of adding one or more VHDx file(s), or I expand the original  'Data' VHDx file to use the additional underlying storage. The 'configuration' VHDx file remains untouched.

2,  Reboot the VM. Now, the new storage is recognized by the LH's underlying Linux OS.

3,  In CMC,  login and "Reconfigure RAID". This usually destroys the data, as it's essentially creating a new raid set in the LH's underlying Linux OS.

4,   Restripe occurs as necessary.

 

Ideally,  there should be a RMC menu option in CMC that says something like 'Extend Storage...' 

Regarding  the backup scenario, the  destination MG is running on a couple of BL460s, each with a couple of 400GB SSD drives in Raid1 as boot drives.  The blades are each connected to a D2700 with 12 x 3TB SATA drives in a Raid5 config.
Each VSA is AO configured as  200GB Tier 0 (SSD on the boot drive) and 10TB SATA Tier 1 on the D2700.