May 7th, 2015 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

**Disclaimer: I am an EMC employee, this post was not sponsored or in any way required by my employer, it is my experience getting to know this particular product.**

There were two software related announcements at EMC World this week which I found very exciting. Building on the free for no production use of RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines from VMworld 2014, EMC announced the same for ScaleIO. ScaleIO allows you build your own Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution (HCI). This is the same software used in the new VxRack from VCE which was also announced at EMC World.

CoprHDIn addition to ScaleIO, EMC also announced CoprHD which is an open source version of EMC ViPR (@coprhd). ViPR (which is also free for non production use) is a solution that allows you to manage multiple arrays and present those as virtual volumes to hosts. In addition to managing the arrays, it also provides a self-service and automation at the storage layer. EMC ViPR also supports ScaleIO, assuming this carries over to CoprHD you could deploy a fully managed, and automated storage solution on commodity hardware for test/dev or QA (I hope they publish more specific guidelines on just what they mean by “non-production”).

Last, but not least, the community version of the VNXe which you can use to provide full block and file servers on commodity hardware. The vVNX will later come in a supported ROBO and cloud edition.

My hope is that CoprHD, ScaleIO, and the community edition of the vVNX will lead to more solutions being open sourced and offered in a free to use model. CoprHD should be available on GitHub by June, ScaleIO by the end of May, whereas the vVNX is available now for download.


New free software from EMC to build your own SDS solution

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April 23rd, 2015 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

*Disclaimer: I am an EMC employee, this post was not sponsored or in any way required by my employer, it is my experience getting to know this particular product.**

In my last ViPR SRM post, I introduced you to some of the features if you were not already aware of them. In this post, I will look at installing ViPR SRM 6.5.2. I downloaded ViPR SRM from; while I am an EMC employee, I logged into the support site with my personal email account to download the files. Once logged in, search for ViPR SRM and click on the downloads menu, as I mentioned I will be going with the vApp option versus a binary installation.


Once downloaded, extract the content of the zip file – you’ll have 2 OVF’s. One is the 4 VM vApp I mentioned in my last post, the other, a 1VM vApp useful for lab and evaluation purposes. Given I have limited resources in my home lab, I will be deploying the 1 VM vApp.


Important note here, you will need to deploy the OVF to vCenter, not a stand-alone ESXi host as some of the OVF properties will not be exposed properly, causing the deployment to fail.

Follow the OVF deployment wizard, when prompted select the All-In-One configuration:


By default, the VM deploys with 4 vCPU – adjust according to your lab, I have set mine to 2, 16GB RAM and removed the reservation (performance here would not be ideal obviously, but this is for lab purposes only). Once the OVF has been deployed, you should be able to log into http://:58080/APG. Login as admin/change me to access ViPR SRM.



By default, you are in the “User” interface, if you click on “Administration” in the upper right corner, you will go to the administration screen. Go ahead and click on Administration >> Centralized Management (on the left nav menu) >> License Management (also on the left nav menu). As you can see you have a 30 day trial license to test out ViPR SRM.


Close the license window/tab. Notice where the “Administration” menu was, you now see a “User Interface” menu, this will (like the administration link did) take you to the User interface (where you initially landed when you logged in.

In the next post, I will look at connecting ViPR SRM to vCenter and, in my case, XtremIO.

Installing ViPR SRM

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October 27th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

If you are running EMC ViPR SRM, and your license key expires you will no longer be able to log into the UI where you could have installed a new license key.  Instead you will need to update the license(s) via the command line.  The directions I had found had a mistake were unclear, so thought I’d publish the steps that worked for me here.

First and foemost, obtain your new license key by submitting a SR (Service Request) via and follow the steps below.

  1. Launch WinSCP or your file copy tool of choice
  2. Connect to your ViPR SRM front end server and login in as a user who can elevate privileges (Default root/Changeme1!)
  3. Navigate to /opt/APG/
  4. Upload the license key zip file (which may have multiple license files
    1. If not already, name the file – It gave me an error when it was  not named that
  5. SSH to your ViPR SRM FE server
  6. Login as  a user who can elevate privileges
  7. Run:

/opt/APG/bin/ install /opt/APG/

/opt/APG/bin/ service restart tomcat

You should now be able to log in

ViPR SRM Dashboard

ViPR SRM Dashboard

Update EMC ViPR SRM licenses after they have expired

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September 11th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

ViPR-logoI was setting up ViPR to use Active Directory to authenticate users and one option was a bit unclear. You use the Search Base and Search Scope options to define which AD users ViPR will authenticate.  The Search Scope option provides two choices:  One Level and Subtree.  I was a bit confused by One Level, would it search just the specified OU/CN or would it search up to one level below?

One Level will search JUST the specified base DN, so for example to allow only users in ou=corp,dc=domain,dc=local you would use that as the search base and set the search scope to one level.  If you wanted users in all OU’s under corp you would just set the search scope to Subtree.

There is another very useful option when setting up the Authentication Provider; Group Whitelist.  You can populate the Group Whitelist with only those groups (and thus group members that you want to be able to log in.  Say for example you wanted all users except sales to have access to log into ViPR, and sales was in an OU nested under corp.  If you set your search base to ou=corp,dc=domain,dc=local and search scope to subtree they could log in.  However, if you added/created in AD group that did NOT include sales and placed it in the group whitelist field those user accounts that were not in the group, in this case sales, would not be able to authenticate.


There you go, easy peasy AD integration in ViPR!

EMC ViPR Authentication Providers Search: One Level vs Subtree

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August 22nd, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Those nice folks over at VMware have released a web based VSAN sizing tool.  When VSAN was first announced, there was quite a bit of math involved in determine things like usable space, number of hosts needed etc…  Now you can use the VSAN Sizing tool at; here is a quick walk through.

  • When you first hit the site, click on the Start sizing button (all you anti-web client folks, don’t be scare away by the very web client look and feel)


  • First, enter the information about your virtual machines int he Virtual Machine Characteristics form on the left, for example I used 72 VMs with 1TB (1024GB) VMDKs, with 2 VMDKs per host each using 32GB of RAM.


  • Next click on Host Hardware Characteristics (honestly I dislike this part very much, I would have expected the calculator to help me identify the necessary host configuration, I shouldn’t have to tell it what hardware I am using – is that what a calculator is supposed to do?)
  • On the Host Hardware Characteristics page, enter the size of the disks in each hosts, the extra usable capacity (I am assuming GB but you may want to call that out), the number of magnetic (e.g. traditional hard drives) per host and the amount of memory, cores and VM density you would like each host to have.
  • Once that information is entered, the sizing tool will tell you how many hosts you’ll need, the size of flash based cache and other information like total memory in the cluster


  • In the example output above, I entered 1TB disks, with 100GB of additional usable space with each hosts having 7 disks, 16 cores and 128GB of RAM and a 2-to-1 VM to core over commitment ratio (this is to support a nested production environment – yes I support a nested production environment) so I kept my VM to core low as my 72 VMs are all ESXi.
  • I can see from the output I would need 22 hosts (nicely below the 32 host config maximum) which would provide me with 301TB of total capacity in the cluster.

All in all this is a handy tool, I would like to see a vCPU characteristic added to ensure the cluster size meets the demand of the VMs.  For example without asking how many vCPU my VM has, how can you identify a VM to core ratio which is asked on the Hardware Characteristics page? I would also like to see a host sizing tool, for example I have 72 VMs with 4x vCPU each, 1TB VMDKs and 32GB of memory, what size host do I need (VMware probably wants to avoid customers complaining about performance  if someone uses the tool incorrectly and builds a cluster based on the tools recommendations).

Originally announced at

ICYMI – VMware VSAN Sizing Tool now available

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