Simplified storage configuration on the EMC VPLEX

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EMC VPLEXWhen managing storage on an EMC VPLEX, there are a few different storage elements that must be built before LUNs from storage arrays connected to back-end ports can be mapped to hosts on the other end. To handle this entire process step-by-step means executing commands to claim LUNs, create extents on storage volumes, create local devices from those extents, virtual volumes from those local devices, and finally mapping the virtual volumes to storage views. However, there are two commands, one for creation and another for removal, which can greatly simplify this process for most cases.

Storage-tool compose

This command can be used to create virtual volumes and optionally map them to a storage view, building all the elements in between from LUN to virtual volume. Among the many parameters for this command, there are a few required which help to define each storage element involved.

–name = The name of the virtual volume
–geometry = the raid type for local devices
–storage-volumes = a comma seperated list of storage volumes that will be used for virtual volume creation
–storage-views = an optional comma seperated list of storage views where the virtual volumes can be mapped

An example of this command would be:

storage-tool compose –name virtualVolume1 –storage-volumes storageVolume1, storageVolume2 –geometry raid-c –storage-views storageView1, storageView2


Which would result in the creation of virtualVolume1, and local devices and extents built off the storageVolume1 and storageVolume2 to support virtualVolume1. Then, because –storage-views was specified, virtualVolume1 would be mapped to both storageView1 and storageView2.

If this virtual volume is no longer needed at a future point in time, rather than removing each element that was created, a single command can be used for removal. But first, the virtual volume will need to be removed from storage views.

For each storage view, we can remove the virtual volume using “export storage-view removevirtualvolume”

The following parameters are required:

–view = the name of the storage view we are removing from
–virtual-volumes = a comma seperated list of virtual volumes which we will be removing
–force = allows this operation to proceed without confirmation. This is required for use with the RESTful API.

So, for our case, we would remove virtualVolume1 via two calls with this command.

export storage-view removevirtualvolume –view storageView1 –virtual-volumes virtualVolume1 –force
export storage-view removevirtualvolume –view storageView2 –virtual-volumes virtualVolume1 –force


Advadm dismantle

This command will remove all storage elements associated with a virtual volume, and can optionally unclaim the storage volumes afterwards. Again, a few parameters are required here.

–virtual-volumes = a comma seperated list of the virtual volumes you wish to remove
–unclaim-storage-devices = an optional command to unclaim storage devices after all other elements are removed
–force = allows this operation to proceed without confirmation. This is required for use with the RESTful API.

Building off of our example earlier, we can remove virtualVolume1 via

advadm dismantle –virtual-volumes virtualVolume1 –unclaim-storage-devices –force


And that will result in all of the storage elements related to virtualVolume1 being removed. Once that is done, the LUNs used by virtualVolume1 are ready for removal from the back-end storage mapping.

Using the advadm dismantle command is quite convenient since it reduces the amount of work involved in removing storage elements. Storage-tool compose likewise reduces the amount of work involved, but here you do not get the flexibility to determine how many extents to create on a storage volume, how many extents to use for a local device, or the name of the local device. If that is not something that matters for your storage environment, definitely try out the storage-tool compose command. Between the two of these commands, managing storage on the VPLEX is fast and easy.

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