Talk VVol2.0 and VASA3 to me

Document created by mblumberg Employee on Nov 18, 2016Last modified by mblumberg Employee on Dec 9, 2016
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With the release of PowerCLI 6.5 one can now use few new commands to leverage vendors backend capabilities such replication and VVols, assuming your vendor supports it.

Nimble OS support VASA3 and VVol2.0 from version 3.6.0 (GA) and above, and happen to be one of the first 2 storage vendors that fully support it, from day one release of vSphere6.5 and VVol2.0.


vSphere6.5 introduced a new concept called "Replication Group" which is configured on the Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM), in the Nimble OS world it's simply translated to a volume collection.

You can now assign a storage profile and allow Nimble OS to create/reuse a replication groups.


With VASA3 exposing Storage vendors capabilities we can now use the replication groups (volume collections) tasks that we know and love in the Nimble OS such:

  • Failover
  • Planned
  • Forced
  • Test
  • Reverse (Switch replication in the other direction)


How to configure VVol on a Nimble OS with Replication Groups

Here is a set of steps on how to configure our integration from scratch.



On the Nimble OS UI


  • Register the vCenter integration
    • Administration menu >  VMware Integration > Add / Edit  vCenter server integration > Add the details >  Select the VASA Provider ( you can select web client if you want to) > Save
      •      Make sure that you can fully resolve the FQDN even if you enter IP, our plugin will query the vCenter name on the first API call and will use that.


  • Create a folder

A folder is the a container which is used as a VVol datastore on the vCenter, as a concept it is a gateway from the vCenter to create volumes for each VVol VM on the Nimble array.

    • Manage > Volumes > New Folder > Save
      • Values you need to add
        • Name, description (optional),pool (if you have multiple), limit (great for limiting VI admin usage), Management Type select VVOLs.
        • If you have multiple vCenters registered with our Plugin, be sure to select the correct one.  server that will be managing the virtual volumes and click Create.



On the the vSphere Web UI

    • Check that the storage provider is registered on the vSphere UI:
      • vSphere UI > Select vCenter > Configurations > Storage Providers
      •      The Nimble Storage array should appear at this point as Online and if you expend the tree you will see it marked as Active


    • Create a VVol Datastore:
      • Right Click vCenter > Storage > New Datastore > VVol type > select the folder you've just created on the Nimble UI (i.e container)


  • Creating Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM)
    • vSphere UI > home > Policies and Profiles > VM Storage Policies > Create New VM Storage Policy > name , description Next > Policy structure, next > leave 2.a - common rules unchecked, Next > 2.b Rule-set 1, tick the Use rule-set box > Storage Type: select the NimbleStorage vendor and add a rule > Protection schedules (hourly).
      • At this point you will need to edit the values you wish to use:
        • Start time, End time, Days, Snapshots to retain locally (that is the upstream array), Replication partner, Replication frequency,Delete replicas from partners ( when source VM is deleted).
    • You can add many rules to the SPBM.
    • You can create multiple policies.


    • In the same window:
      • Add component > Provider : NimbleStorage.Replication > add rule > VMware managed replication >  YES > Next > Review and finish.




  • Create a new VM and place it on the VVol datastore
    • Right click the Datacenter > New VM >  New VM > Select the location > in the storage step, be sure to select the VVol datastore. > finishh
      • It's worth noting that you can assign a SPBM on VM creation step, in the demo and these steps I will assign the policy later on to show how you can assign the new policy to your pre-configured VVol VMs.
  • Assign SPBM to a VVol VM
    • Right click VM > VM policies > Edit VM Storage Policies > VM storage policy menu > select the SPBM we've created > apply to all > Notice the new Replication groups not configured > click configure > Common replication group > Automatic > OK > OK.






    • In the VM summary, under storage policies, you will see the VM Storage Policies changed and the compliant check mark.


    • Note: Automatic will create a new volume collection on the Nimble array.
      • When you apply the SPBM to the VM, the Nimble array will create a new Volume collection and schedule to protect the VM, offloading this task from the storage admin and allowing the VI admin control of the protection.



So far

  • Configured Nimble array integration with vCenter.
  • Created Nimble folder.
  • Created VVol datastore
  • Created single SPBM with protection rule and replication component managed by VMware.
  • Created New VVol VM.
  • Applied the SPBM to the new VVol VM.



Use PowerCLI to failover from one site to anoter.


Levering PowerCLI for replication

With few native commands of PowerCLI you can now perform backend volume collection operation.

Our great Technical marketing guys wrote an awesome script to automate such operation (watch the end of the demo) using the commands below:

  • Get-SpbmFaultDomain
  • Get-SpbmReplicationGroup
  • Get-SpbmReplicationPair
  • Start-SpbmReplicationFailover
  • Start-SpbmReplicationPrepareFailover
  • Sync-SpbmReplicationGroup



replgroup = $(get-spbmreplicationgroup -server $siteA -VM $vm).name

preparetask = start-spbmreplicationpreparefailover -server $siteA -replicationgroup $replgroup


$sourcereplgroup = Get-SpbmReplicationGroup -name $replgroup | where state -eq "Source"$vmxfile = Start-SpbmReplicationFailover -server $siteB -ReplicationGroup $replgroup -SourceReplicationGroup $sourcereplgroup -warningaction silentlycontinueStart-Sleep -Seconds 30Write-Host "VMX File is $vmxfile"


Disclaimer: using the attached script is user responsibility, please review the script before testing.




Setup of VVol from scratch on a Nimble array and vSphere web client


VVol VM failover from one vCenter to another using Replication Groups SPBM






Great VVol On Nimble Blog

Download PowerCLI 6.5

PowerCLI Release notes and comments