EMC – VNX Pool LUN Allocation vs Default Owner

I had a question about this come up this week and thought I’d already posted something about it. Seems I was lazy and didn’t. If you have access, have a look at Primus article emc311319 on EMC’s support site. If you don’t, here’s the rough guide to what it’s all about.

When a Storage Pool is created, a large number of private LUNs are bound on all the Pool drives and these are divided up between SP A and B. When a Pool LUN is created, it uses the allocation owner to determine which SP private LUNs should be used to store the Pool LUN slices. If the default and current owner are not the same as the allocation owner, the I/O will have to be passed over the CMI bus between SP, to reach the Pool Private FLARE LUNs. This is a bad thing, and can lead to higher response times and general I/O bottlenecks.

OMG, I might have this issue, what should I do? You can change the default owner of a LUN by accessing the LUN properties in Unisphere. You can also change the default owner of a LUN thusly.

naviseccli -h <SP A or B> chglun -l <metalun> -d owner <0|1>


-d owner 0 = SP A
-d owner 1 = SP B

But what if you have too many LUNs where the allocation owner sits on one SP? And when did I start writing blog posts in the form of a series of questions? I don’t know the answer to the latter question. But for the first, the simplest remedy is to create a LUN on the alternate SP and use EMC’s LUN migration tool to get the LUN to the other SP. Finally, to match the current owner of a LUN to the default owner, simply trespass the LUN to the default owner SP.

Note that this is a problem from CX4 arrays through to VNX2 arrays. It does not apply to traditional RAID Group FLARE LUNs though, only Pool LUNs.

EMC announces new VNXe

EMC World is just around the corner and, as is their wont, EMC are kicking off early with a few cheeky product announcements. I don’t have a lot to say about the VNXe, as I don’t do much in that space, but a lot of people might find this recent announcement of interest. If press releases aren’t your thing, here is a marketing slide you might enjoy instead.


The cool thing about this is that the baby is getting the features of the bigger model, namely the FAST Suite, thin provisioning, file dedupe and MCx. Additionally, a processor speed improvement will help with the overall performance of the device. There’s a demo simulator you can check out here.

EMC also announced a new feature for VNX called [email protected], or Data-At-Rest-Encryption. This should be available as an NDU in Q3 2014. I hope to have more info on that in the future.

Finally, Project Liberty was announced. This is basically EMC’s virtualised VNX, and I’ll have more on that in the near future.

And if half-arsed blog posts aren’t your thing, I urge you to check out Jason Gaudreau’s post covering the same announcement. It’s a lot more coherent and useful.

EMC – VNX: Splash Screen weirdness or How I spent my recent public holiday in a DC

Here’s a picture you don’t see every day.



I spent a recent public holiday assisting a client move some VNX5500s between racks in their data centre. Not terribly exciting, but it helped them out of a spot. Something that was done as part of the shift was a change in SP IP addresses. There’s an article on support.emc.com that refers to Primus ID emc274335 and some Java misconfiguration. I’m not entirely convinced though, because we observed that Unisphere would (eventually) come good, without us making any changes to the client settings. In any case, I thought it was something interesting. The arrays were running VNX OE R31 and R32.

EMC – VNX: USM reports an error “Assistance needed for upgrade”

If you’re trying to do an OE upgrade on a VNX you might get the following error after you’ve run through the “Prepare for Installation” phase.


Turns out you just need to upgrade USM to the latest version. You can do this manually or via USM. Further information on this error can be found on support.emc.com by searching for the following Primus ID: emc321171.

Incidentally, I’d just like to congratulate EMC on how much simpler it is upgrade FLARE / VNX OE nowadays than it was when I first started on FC and CX arrays. Sooo much nicer …



EMC – VNX / CX4 LUN Allocation Owner and Default Owner

Mat’s been doing some useful scripting again. This time it’s a small PERL script that identifies the allocation owner and default owner of a pool LUN on a CX4 or VNX and lets you know whether the LUN is “non-optimal” or not. For those of you playing along at home, I found the following information on this (but can’t remember where I found it). “Allocation owner of a pool LUN is the SP that owns and maintains the metadata for that LUN. It is not advised to trespass the LUNs to an SP that is not the allocation owner. This introduces lag. The SP that provides the best performance for the pool LUN. The allocation owner SP is set by the system to match the default SP owner when you create the LUN. You cannot change the allocation owner after the LUN is created. If you change the default owner for the LUN, the software will display a warning that a performance penalty will occur if you continue.”

There’s a useful article by Jithin Nadukandathil on the ECN site, as well as a most excellent writeup by fellow EMC Elect member Jon Klaus here. In short, if you identify NonOptimal LUN ownership, your best option is to create a new LUN and migrate the data to that LUN via the LUN Migration tool. You can download a copy of the script here. Feel free to look at the other scripts that are on offer as well. Here’s what the output looks like.




Stormons Professional Edition Available

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Stormons, and I’ve not been compensated for this post. I just think it’s a cool product that is worth checking out.

Didier from Stormons recently got in touch to let me know there’s now a Professional version of the software available now as part of a subscription deal. I’ve previously covered Stormons here and here and think it’s pretty good stuff – and definitely worth checking out – particularly if you have a large environment to work with. Apparently EMC in Bangalore are heavy users of the product as well. The Professional Edition is offered on a subscription basis, and they’re running a discounted rate until May to celebrate the release. Find out more about it here. You can also still access the free edition from the downloads page.

EMC – Some new scripts

Mat has come up with a few new scripts – FlipFASTTiering and ReplicationCapacity. They’re PERL scripts that you can use to list / modify FAST Tiering scheduling and report on MirrorView replication data respectively. Hopefully you’ll find them of some use. Further information can be found on the Utilities page.

EMC – Using naviseccli to report on a LUN’s FAST status

Ever wondered what tier a LUN was sitting on in a FAST VP pool? Wonder no more, naviseccli is here to help.

C:\>naviseccli -user username -scope 0 -password password -h lun -list -l 24 -userCap -consumedCap -tieringPolicy -initialTier -tiers
Name: LUN_0024
User Capacity (Blocks): 4294967296
User Capacity (GBs): 2048.000
Consumed Capacity (Blocks): 4379120640
Consumed Capacity (GBs): 2088.127
Tiering Policy: Auto Tier
Initial Tier: Optimize Pool
Tier Distribution:
FC: 93.87%
SATA: 6.13%

Also, you can see this information via Unisphere. Those of you who are challenged at the thought of typing something won’t be left out.





EMC – Using naviseccli to expand a pool

I haven’t banged on about how much I like naviseccli in a little while. I was reading a white paper on FAST VP in the new VNX series recently, and came across the storage pool -expand command. This isn’t so exciting, but the -skipRules option was intriguing. It seems you would use this if you didn’t want to follow all of the rules associated with a normal pool expansion. I inferred from the white paper that by default a FAST VP pool will automatically redistribute its LUNs across the new disks. This may be non-optimal if you’re in the middle of a busy period on the array, and if you don’t want this to happen, you should use the skipRules option.  Note that this is for Release 5.33. If I’ve misunderstood this I’m happy to be corrected.

In any case, here’s an example of how to expand a pool using naviseccli.

storagepool -expand -id poolID| -name poolName-disks disksList [-rtype raidType[-rdrivecountdrivecount]][-initialverify yes|no][-skipRules] [-o]

The RAID types you can select are r_5, r_6 and r_10. This is important if you already have disks of a certain tier type in the pool. The capacity tier (NL-SAS drives) uses RAID 6, the performance tier (SAS drives) uses RAID 5, and the extreme performance tier (Flash drives) is RAID 1/0.

naviseccli -h SP_IPaddress storagepool -expand -id 10 -rtype r_6 -disks 0_2_0 0_2_1 0_2_2 0_2_3 0_2_4 0_2_5 0_2_6 0_2_7 –o

EMC – New VNX OE available

I’m a bit behind on my news, but just a quick note to say that FLARE 33 for the next-generation VNX (Block) has received an update to version The release notes are here. Notably, a fix related to ETA 175619 is included. This is a good thing. As always, go to EMC’s Support site for more info, and talk to your local EMC people about whether it’s appropriate to upgrade.