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.**

One of the upcoming tools I will be working with is ViPR SRM. ViPR SRM is a storage management tool that allows for monitoring the end-to-end health of your environment. I know what you’re thinking, “C’mon now Frapp that sounds awfully marketingy” and you’re right – it does, BUT let me give you an example of why some of the tools in ViPR SRM interest me.

network-is-fineHave you ever went over to a friends cube to chat and they say the app it ain’t no good? The reports are slow, the app keeps crashing, and the chicken taste like wood. Okay, but seriously how many times has someone walked over and said “my application is slow/down/broken” with no further detail, leaving it up to you to isolate what is going on? It has happened to me often. Worse is when you are the personal responsible for storage and someone else responsible for networking does the Jedi hand wave and says the network is fine, it must be storage.


That is where ViPR SRM comes it, it can show you the relation from virtual machine, through the hypervisor, datastore, data path to the storage array hosting the virtual machine. Further, for heterogeneous it supports multiple types of applications, operating systems, hypervisors and storage arrays. Of course it supports more EMC products, since it is an EMC product but you don’t necessarily have to run an EMC array to leverage ViPR SRM.

Below are some of the systems supported by ViPR SRM, an updated list can always be found at


While getting ready for the installation, know that you can deploy as either a pre-packed vApp or install the application on 64-bit versions of RedHat, CentOS, SUSE, or Windows; during my post I will be deploying the vApp version which includes 4 virtual machines. The 4 virtual machines each have unique roles as a typical multi-tier application would – there is a web front end for UI and reporting, database backend for storing data, and collector for, well, collecting data. In large environments with multiple arrays you may deploy multiple collectors.


In my next few blog posts I’ll be reviewing the installation of ViPR SRM, and review some of the dashboards and how they might help you in the day to day monitoring, and troubleshooting of your environment. If you’d like to learn along with me check out the ViPR SRM free e-Learning on ECN.

Getting to know ViPR SRM

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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 two posts I touched on what ViPR SRM can do, and the quick installation.

With the ViPR SRM installation out of the way, it’s time to start adding Solution Packs. Solution Packs are use to connect to various systems, such as VMware vCenter, so ViPR SRM can collection information about virtual machines, ESXi hosts, datastores, and HBA’s. Additionally, you connect ViPR SRM to your switches and storage for, quite literally, an end to end view of your environment.

  • First, log into http://:58080/APG and click on Administration (upper right corner)
  • Once you are in the Administration interface, click on Centralized Management on the left navigation menu, a new window or tab will open
  • In the new window, click on Solution Pack Center (back in the upper right corner)


  • In the search box in the upper right corner, type vCenter to filer the results, and click on VMware vCenter
  • When the vCenter box opens, click on the install button.


  • Follow the wizard and review the options; it’s a basic wizard – next, next; if using PowerPath click Enable the Host PowerPath alerts for example and click next, next, next, next, and finally install. ViPR SRM will go through and install the selected components.


  • Click OK. Repeat the above steps for your environment. At the very least, the Storage Compliance pack is useful. Here is the EMC XtremIO solution pack which I will be installing to show examples from.


  • With the solution packs installed, we need to provide each some information. Expand Discovery Center in the left navigation menu, expand Devices Management and click on VMware vCenter
  • Click on the Add new device… button and fill in the information to connect to vCenter. I suggest using dedicated accounts for external services, so for example here is my app_viprsrm user account which has admin privileges in vCenter. Click the test button to confirm the account has access, and then click OK. Repeat for multiple vCenters or the storage in your environment you added a pack for.


Don’t forget to click the Save button!


vcenter-vipr-srm-credsDepending on your environment, you may also want to add your FC switches as well. Switch monitoring is done by adding a Solution pack for your switch, and connecting to it via SNMP. While logged in as admin go to http://:58080/device-discovery, click Collectors, click New Collector, and Save. This will add an SNMP collector to the local VM. Once the collector is added click on Devices, New Device, and fill in the appropriate information.


With all switches added, click the check box next to it, and click the magnifying glass icon under actions; this will discover the switch.

ViPR SRM will now start collecting data, to expidite the process click on Scheduled Tasks (left navigation menu), check box for the “import-properties-default” task, and click the Run Now button. If you return to the User Interface (back in the Administration page, click User Interface) and go to Explore >> Hosts you should see your vCenter hosts as well as virtual machines.


If you navigate to Explore >> Storage you should also see the storage devices you added.


With the configuration out of the way, I can now start to explore my environment with the various reports available, which I will do in the next post!

ViPR SRM Solution Packs for vCenter and XtremIO

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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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