March 18, 2012

Managing Storage Domains in Unisphere

What is a storage domain? EMC defines a domain as a collection of storage systems that can be centrally managed and monitored. What this means for us is simply that we can login to one Unisphere session to manage all our arrays. No more multiple logins for each array that we want to manage! 

So which Unisphere should you use for managing your storage domains?

Unisphere 1.0 was first introduced in FLARE 30 and DART 6.0 as a unified management GUI for Clariion and Celerra arrays.  

It supports Clariions with FLARE 19 onwards. Celerras must have a minimum of DART 6.0 onwards for Unisphere management. Arrays with older DART versions can be added, but Unisphere will launch Celerra Manager for management operations. 

It should also be noted that at least one Clariion array is required to create a domain and act as domain master. Celerras cannot be domain master.

Unisphere 1.1 was released for VNX arrays but was not backward compatible and could not manage Clariions and Celerras. It also did not support multiple VNXs in a single domain, or multi domains.

This caused a headache for storage admins whom wanted the flexibility to manage all their EMC storage arrays within the same Unisphere session. 

Unisphere 1.1.25 was launched to address the problems in Unisphere 1.1. It is able to support Clariions with FLARE 23 onwards. Celerra and DART requirements remains the same as Unisphere 1.0.

Note that when I said Unisphere 1.1.25 addressed problems in Unisphere 1.1, it does not mean you can add all your arrays into a single domain. If you tried to add a Celerra or Clariion into a VNX Domain, you will get the error below:

This is because adding "legacy systems" i.e. Clariion and Celerra into a VNX domain is not supported. A VNX domain can only contain VNX arrays running Unisphere 1.1.25 onwards. In addition, a VNX cannot be added into a legacy domain.

It is also interesting to point out a fact that you may have missed from the previous paragraph. A VNX array running Unisphere 1.1 also cannot be added into a VNX domain. Only VNX arrays with Unisphere 1.1.25 can exist in a VNX domain! 

So how can we use a single management interface to manage our Clariions, Celerras, mixture of VNXs with Unisphere 1.1 and 1.125? The solution as discussed earlier, comes in the form of multi domains.

A multi domain is a group of domains that can be viewed and managed from a single management session. Each domain can have one or more array but each array can only exist in one domain. By creating the same global accounts (to be discussed in another post) across all domains, you will be able to use this as a "single sign-on" to view and manage all the arrays in all the domains within one Unisphere session.

So how do we go about creating multi domains? In the example below, I am adding a "Legacy Domain" that consists of Clariion and Celerra. The steps are same for adding any type of domain.
  1. Login to the storage array through Unisphere.
  2. Domains > Manage Multi-Domain Configuration.

  3. Enter the IP address of the master node and name of domain being added. Click the right-pointing arrow.

  4. The domain should appear under "Selected Domains". Click "OK".

  5. The new domain will appear under the list of domains. You may have to click on the "Refresh" icon to update the page view.

  6. If the domain is "greyed" out, it is because the credentials you used to login to Unisphere does not exist on the newly added domain. You can click on "Login" and use another set of credentials that exist on the domain.
  7. You should be able to see the arrays from your newly added domain under "System List" now.

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