When Something Is Simple It Must Be Simple To Prove
Provisioning high-performance storage has always been a chore. Care and concern over spindle count, RAID type, RAID attributes, number of controller arms involved and a long list of other complexities have burdened storage administrators. Some of these troubles were mitigated by the advent of Automatic Storage Management–but not entirely.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the complexity of storage provisioning could be boiled down to but a single factor? Wouldn’t it be nice if that single factor was, simply, capacity? With EMC XtremIO the only factor storage administrators need to bear in mind when provisioning storage is, indeed, capacity.
With EMC XtremIO a storage administrator hears there is a need for, say, one terabyte of storage and that is the entirety of information needed. No more questions about the I/O pattern (e.g., large sequential writes ala redo logging, etc). The Database Administrator simply asks for capacity with a very short sentence and the Storage Administrator clicks 3 buttons in the XtremIO GUI and that’s all there is to it.
Pictures Speak Thousands of Words
I too enjoy the simplicity of XtremIO in my engineering work. Just the other day I ran short on space in a tablespace while testing Oracle Database 12c intra-node parallel query. I was studying a two-node Real Application Clusters setup attached to an EMC XtremIO array via 8 paths of 8GFC Fibre Channel. The task at hand was a single parallel CTAS (Create Table As Select) but the command failed because my ASM disk group ran out of space when Oracle Database tried to extend the BIGFILE tablespace.
Since I had to add some space I thought I’d take a few screen shots to show readers of this blog how simple it is to perform the full cycle of tasks required to add space to an active cluster with ASM in an XtremIO environment.
The following screen shot shows the error I was reacting to:
Since the following example shows host configuration steps please note the Linux distribution (Oracle Linux) and kernel version (UEK) I was using:
The following screenshot shows the XtremIO GUI configuration tab. I selected “Add” and then typed a name and size (1TB) of the volume I wanted to create:
NOTE: Right click the embedded images for greater clarity
The following screenshot shows how I then selected the initiators (think hosts) from the right-hand column that I wanted to see the new volume:
After I clicked “apply” I could see my new volume in my “12C” folder. With the folder construct I can do things like create zero-overhead, immediate, writable snapshots with a single mouse click. As the following screenshot shows, I highlighted “data5” so I could get details about the volume in advance of performing tasks on the host. The properties tab shows me the only information I need to proceed–the NAA Identifier. Once I had the NAA Identifier I moved on to the task of discovering the new volume on the hosts.
Host discovery consists of three simple steps:
- Multipath discovery
- Updating the udev rules file with a text editor
- Updating udev state with udevadm commands
On both nodes of the cluster I executed the following series of commands. This series of commands generates a lot of terminal output so I won’t show that in this blog post.
# multipath -F ;service multipathd restart ; rescan-scsi-bus.sh -r
After executing the multipath related commands I was able to see the new volume (0002a) on both nodes of the cluster. Notice how the volume has different multipath names (mpathab, mpathai) on the hosts. This is not an issue since the volumes will be controlled by udev:
Updating Udev Rules File and Udev State
After verifying the volumes were visible under DM-MPIO I moved on to the udev actions. The following screenshot shows how I added an ACTION line in the udev rules file and copied it to the other RAC host and then executed the udev update commands on both RAC hosts:
I then could see “/dev/asmdisk6” on both RAC hosts:
Adding The New XtremIO Volume As An ASM Disk
The next task was to use ASMCA (ASM Configuration Assistant) to add the XtremIO volume to the ASM disk group called “DATA”:
As the following screenshot shows the volume is visible as /dev/asmdisk6:
I selected asmdisk6 and the task was complete:
I then saw evidence of ASM rebalancing in the XtremIO GUI Performance tab:
With EMC XtremIO you provision capacity and that allows you to speak in very short sentences with the application owners that share space in the array.
It doesn’t get any easier than this.