Tag Archives: Nimble

First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

Following on with the setup guide of the Nimble Secondary Flash Array, I am going to go through the deployment options, and the settings needed for implementation with Veeam Backup and Replication.

What will be covered in this blog post?

  • Quick overview of the SFA
  • Deployment Options
    • Utilizing features of Veeam with the SFA
    • Using a backup repository LUN
  • Best practices to use as backup repository
    • Veeam Proxy – Direct SAN Access
    • Creating your LUN on the SFA for use as a backup repository
    • Setting up your backup repository in Veeam
    • vPower NFS Service on the mount server
    • Backup Job settings
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Backup Job – Nimble Storage Primary Snapshot – Configure Secondary destinations for this job
    • Encryption – Don’t do it in Veeam!
  • Viewing data reduction savings on the Nimble Secondary Storage
  • Summary

My test lab looks similar to the below diagram provided by Veeam (Benefits of using Nimble SFA with Veeam).

Quick overview of the SFA

The SFA is essentially the same as the previous Nimble Storage devices before it, the same hardware and software. But with one key difference, the software has been optimized against data reduction and space-saving efficiencies, rather than for performance. Which means you would purchase the Nimble CS/AF range for production workloads, with high IOP performance and low latency. And the SFA would be used for your DR environment, backup solution, providing the same low latency to allow for high-speed recovery, and long-term archival of data.

Deployment options

With the deployment of an SFA, you are looking at roughly the same deployment options as the CS/AF array for use with Veeam (This blog, Veeam Blog). However with the high dedupe expectancy, you are able to store a hell of a lot more data!

So the options are as follows;

  1. iSCSI or FC LUN to your server as a Veeam Backup Repo.
    • Instant VM Recovery
    • Backup Repository
    • SureBackup / SureReplica
    • Virtual Labs
  2. Replication Target for an existing Nimble.
    • Utilizing Veeam Storage Integration
      • Backup VMs from Secondary Storage Snapshot
      • Control Nimble Storage Snapshot schedules and replication of volumes

If we take option one, we open up a few options directly with Veeam. You can use the high IOPs performance and low latency, for features such as Instant VM recovery, where by the Veeam Backup and Replication server hosts an NFS datastore to your virtual environment and spins up a running copy of your recovered virtual machine quickly with little fuss.

Continue reading First Look – Leveraging the Nimble Secondary Flash Array with Veeam – Setup guide

Setting up a Nimble Secondary Flash Array from scratch

Nimble Storage have released their newest addition in the line up, the SFA, or to give its full name, the Secondary Flash Array. And in this post, we are going to look at how to set one up from scratch.

Taken from the following datasheet;

The Nimble Secondary Flash Array represents a new type of secondary data storage optimized for both capacity and performance. It adds high-performance flash storage to a capacity-optimized architecture for a unique backup platform that lets you put your backup data to work.

The Nimble Secondary Flash Array is optimized for backup, disaster recovery and secondary data storage. By using Flash, it lets you put your backup data to work for Dev/Test, QA and analytics. Instantly backup and recover data from any primary storage system. And our integration with Veeam backup software simplifies data lifecycle management and provides a path to cloud archiving.
Before you get started

As you can imagine it’s as easy as setting up one of the existing Nimble Arrays, as I blogged about previous (Setup via GUI, via CLI). Actually the configuration via CLI is the exact same!

First things to note; the SFA ships with the NimOS 4.x, which is now HTML5 based, and there is extra port requirement for access if you have a firewall or a web proxy in the situ, TCP 5392, which is used for RESTapi access. In my testing, I found that the Sophos web filter that was setup in transparent mode, caused issues with my login page on the Nimble, when I removed it from the equation, I noticed my Firefox gave me a pop-up window as per the below.

How to setup the array – initial configuration
  • Launch the Nimble Setup Manager, this can be downloaded from https://infosight.nimblestorage.com

You’ll see below I actually used an older version, and it still worked fine discovering the array. When you click next, you’ll be presented a dialog box explaining that your default browser will be launched to continue the setup (as part of the new HTML5 interface).

 

 

  • Accept the certificate error, as the Nimble uses a self signed cert on the web interface

Continue reading Setting up a Nimble Secondary Flash Array from scratch

Deploy a Cisco UCS system – Part 1 – from scratch for VMware ESXi

First off, huge thanks to the following posts by Rene Van Den Bedem and his Cisco UCS installation guide.

My aim here is not to rip off his posts, but to detail the process myself and use my own screenshots, as along the way, the setup was slightly different to Rene’s, such as the configuration needed for the SD Cards, and the lack of boot from SAN configuration.

Covered in Part 1;

  • The hardware/software
  • Cabling diagram
  • Pre-Reqs
  • Understanding Cisco’s policy based management
  • Summary of Task List
  • Setting up Fabric Interconnects
  • Connecting to Cisco UCS Manager

The Hardware/Software Continue reading Deploy a Cisco UCS system – Part 1 – from scratch for VMware ESXi

Get-PowerShelling or Remove-JobRole

Coding, Scripting, Powershelling, etc etc, Dirty words in the mouth of Infrastructure guys across the globe.

When I was in college taking on my computer course, I had two options, Hardware and Networking, or Web Design. I went with my interests and skillsets, hardware and networking.

spongebob-school

Coding to me is something I wasn’t interesting in when I became a geek, I wanted to provide the platforms for you to build and run your apps on, not be the guy building the apps. It looks like I screwed up, Job Security wise and Pay wise.

5 Years ago when I was getting into the IT industry, it was taking a number of days to provision a server ready for application installation and deployment. Now, thanks to virtualisation, this has been reduced to minutes. Something I think I’ll blog about on another day, the changes in the industry as I see it.

Here’s two slides showing this, provided by Joe Baguley (CTO, VMware).

Slide1 Slide2

Continue reading Get-PowerShelling or Remove-JobRole

Nimble Storage – How to update an array

In keeping with the whole Nimble is really to use theme, updates are the same,

lets take a look;

1. Open up your web portal to the Nimble Array, click on Administration and then Software.

2014-09-16_12-37-33 Nimble

2. Click the download button, select the update needed, and the progress will be displayed.

2014-09-15_15-23-04-0014Nimble 2014-09-15_15-23-13-0013Nimble 2014-09-15_15-29-39-0010Nimble

3. Now click the update button, Accept the EULA.

  • a health check will be performed ensuring both controllers can get to the correct LAN segments first;
  • Once passed the update will begin, going through 7 stages (some of the screenshots show these stages as well).

2014-09-15_15-37-06-0009Nimble 2014-09-15_15-37-31-0008Nimble 2014-09-15_15-37-39-0007Nimble 2014-09-15_15-37-51-0006Nimble

2014-09-15_15-52-08-0001Nimble 2014-09-15_15-50-33-0002Nimble 2014-09-15_15-46-10-0003Nimble 2014-09-15_15-44-13-0004Nimble 2014-09-15_15-41-26-0005Nimble

5. Once completed you will see the below screen, listing the new firmware as current, and the old firmware as previous;

2014-09-15_15-37-06-0009Nimble

It’s that quick and simple we even do this for customers during business hours and touch wood we have yet to have an issue!

Dean