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Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

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CaymanPort
Occasional Contributor

Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

I need to rebuild 2 nodes but I only have licenses for v11.x and would like to get the nodes to the latest release of 11.5.  How do I go about doing this as the CMC always wants to upgrade them all the way to 12.5?

6 REPLIES
oikjn
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

as far as I know, there is no version specific license.  If you have a licenese that is valid for v11, it is valid for v12 as well.  The only restriction is if your license is not perpetual then there is a date at wich it will expire, but that is also version agnostic.

CaymanPort
Occasional Contributor

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

Wow!  In this day and age, I never thought that a major version upgrade wouldn't require a purchase and a new key!  Went up to 12.5 with no problems.  Thanks for pointing this out!

oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

sure thing.

It is a bit of a rarity, but I've got your buz-kill for you...  perpetual licenese are no longer sold and everything new is now licensed on a subscription basis which IMO if more $$ than just paying for version upgrades...  2nd.  Upgrades might be free, but if you list out all the major features since v9.5 or even v8.5, there isn't a whole lot that someone would actually pay to upgrade for...  since v8.5 we get "official" support for multiple VCPUs (it worked before too), updated hypervisor support, and then the only two real features of any value...  storage Tiering (though its only two tiers) and UNMAP thin LUN space reclaimation.   Space reclaimation is definitely the largest value making it worth an upgrade, but unfortunately its been a long time since StoreVirtual has been a technology leader on the storage technology front.  Its still the cheapest way to get 99.99+% availability, but unfortunately the VSA technology from HP seems to have stagnated :(

HPEStorageGuy
HPE Blogger

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

I'm not involved in product management for StoreVirtual but obviously I have a direct line into the team.  @oikjn, what features are missing that you want to see? 

One point I'd make is the team that does the software also has to work on appliance integration.  I know "features" delivered in software are incrediblly important, but the team does a lot of work to update hardware.  And StoreVirtual has gone through lots of hardware rolls for the appliances.  For example, everything is supported on Gen9 today.  And StoreVirtual VSA is also the center piece for our Hyper-Converged solution.

There are other things that have been added to StoreVirtual software features that I'd add to your list:

  • Two node quorum (using NFS share) - no small feature in my mind unless you don't ever deploy 2 nodes.
  • Integration with Veeam Backup (see my blog with demo)
  • Intelligent Provisioning (simplifies firing up VSA on ProLiant when booting up your server). I have a blog with a demo of this too.
  • Integration with vCenter (via OneView for vCenter plug-in) to deploy StoreVirtual VSA directly from vCenter. And yes, a blog and demo of that.
  • Management integration with VMware vRealize Operations Manager (vROp), Microsoft SCOM and SVMM.  Here's a video that talks about it: https://youtu.be/4Fjc-pYa8sk
  • Support for VSA on KVM
  • Integration with OpenStack and HPE Helion; also now have VSA support for Docker
  • Application managed snapshots (e.g. VMware, Microsoft)
  • StoreVirtual Multipathing Extension Module (MEM) for VMware
  • REST API - Provision storage, create and modify storage pools using the all new web services based API

I'm sure there's more I'm missing. 

I will readily admit that as 3PAR was ramping up, we weren't enhancing StoreVirtual at the same pace. But I disagree with people who suggest that StoreVirtual has been ignored or put out to pasture.  StoreVirtual VSA is the center of our hyper-converged and software defined storage vision. None of us our every happy with the speed (or slow pace) of new features but StoreVirtual VSA is moving forward and getting its fair share of attention.

A couple of last things:

And consider me a direct line to the Dale and the product management team.  If you have suggested features you'd like to see, let me know.  I suggest emailing me - since moving to the HPE Community, I'm not getting email notifications of replies. Email me here.

oikjn
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

Calvin,

     I'm preface with stating that I"ve been using the VSA solution for a number of years (since v8.5) and when it comes down to it, my #1 mission is data integrity and availability and at the end of the day, this is still my best option to meet those goals, but I want to see the VSA solution continue and think the product has great potential.  I also think it was an innovative leader back when HP purchased Vefthand, but since then, there may have been some incramental improvements to the product, but it hasn't really been what I would call at the leading edge of the curve.

 

I appreciate that the team may be busy maintaining the hardware upgrade side, but at the core of the product is really the software and that seems to have suffered.  Yes, its nice to see the new management options and support for SCOM/SCVMM/Docker/OneView/Veeam/OpenStack, ect, but most of those have come either too late to the point where I think they aren't "features" as much as "basic requirements".  SCVMM 2012 R2 was released in something like October '14 if memory serves me correctly and it was available for developers much earlier than that...  It took something like 11 months+ after release for the StoreVirtual to finally support management through the latest system center.  In the tech world that is just too long.  In addition, I run the MS VSA version and I don't think I"ve ever Hyper-V not complain that the VSA is using an outdated integration version and outdated NIC drivers.  I know testing and reliability are critical, but those integration packs aren't upgraded that frequently that they really should be updated with a patch at some point.

 

2-node quorum using NFS is very nice, and I"m using a 2-node VSA cluster, but I've had a FOM for years already and switching to NFS share isn't really a compelling feature to me since I've already found the FOM host.  You know what would be a compelling feature?  an ultra-lightweight cloud based appliance to use as a witness site for multi-site failover or somehow manage to get rid of that requirement completely for multi-site clusters (I understand its need, but it would cervaily be leading-edge if there was a way around needing it!). 

Big corporations almost never move fast, and it is nice to hear that you guys do see the StoreVirtual VSA at the core of the hyper-convered storage vision.  It is definitely a solid core to build on, but someone needs to push to advance that core feature beyond simply maintaining basic compatability functions and standard hardware refreshes or it will be passed on as other companies come out with innovative features which will steal away customers.

For me, at some point integrated in-line dedupe and compression will become features which will get me to migrate from the VSA solution as those features are almost universally included elsewhere on systems which are now also starting to meet the availability and reliability requirements which for so long was only really available at the price/scale through the HP VSA solution.

Another feature which would be nice would be some better visualization of LUN activity to more easily identify and correct IO inefficency.  One major performance problem I"m always dealing with when setting up new LUNs is making sure the data cluster size and activity profile are appropriate.  It would be great to be able to more easily be able to visulaize that efficiency and warn or be able to see when it would be advisable to change the cluster size to maximize performance of the SAN.  As density goes up in the hyper-converged world, being able to see those areas of inefficiency can really help both prevent problems and also ensure that the systems respond well unstead of having to deal with tons of wasted overhead.  It might be a lot of bite off, but even having passive monitoring of basic stats and activity for the most common file sytem formats could help an admin more easily identify what LUNs really require some attention.  Finally, the 2019 feature would be to have the SAN sense all that and dynamically adjust the underlying storage strip/stripe structure of both the hardware raid and Network Raid to maximize performance.

HPEStorageGuy
HPE Blogger

Re: Upgrade VSA to 11.5 only

Thanks for taking the time to give the feedback.  I have passed it on to the product management team.  Thanks again - I personally really appreciate it.