The Celerra VSA : It Just Keeps Getting Better
When I started using the Celerra VSA in its earlier versions my main need was to have a test environment for VMware’s SRM. As you will recall Site Recovery Manager requires the use of a Vendor supplied Storage Replication Adapter (SRA) so not just any Openfiler or other open source storage appliance will do here.
The Celerra VSA Uber came through and didn’t disappoint, albeit it did require a good set of hardware. My SRM lab would require two virtual center servers, 2 virtual esx(i) servers, and 2 Celerra VSA servers. It was not nearly possible to run this on any workstation grade computer I had, even loaded with 8 GB of ram and an SSD as it would quickly slow to a crawl with version 2 of the Uber VSA.
This was no real big surprise, we are talking about a lot of memory and process utilization on a single workstation. As result I created this virtual lab on a Cisco UCS and you would never know you weren’t on a real Celerra based on the performance I received.
In comes the Celerra Uber VSA 3
Three words on the 3rd edition of the Celerra Uber VSA:
I installed and loaded a new SRM lab this weekend, but instead tried this again on my workstation. As noted above I previously was not able to accomplish this due to resource issues on my workstation. What I found was I was able to create the same lab on my workstation thanks to the increased performance of V3. Although I could now give each of these Celerra’s 8 GB of ram with the new 64 bit base O/S I chose to continue giving them each 2 GB which seems more then plenty for my usage.
Additionally the setup process could not have been easier. If you remember back to the earlier days just getting the appliance setup was a bit of a learning curve. Everything in recent versions also now automagically works. If you need to add storage, just add another virtual drive. In earlier days this was not automatic and required me to reference this guide a few times to get it right.
A nice surprise at the end was my first hands on experience with Unisphere, EMC’s next generation of storage management. It is a lot more user friendly then Navisphere and seems to be a lot snappier as well. I quickly browsed around and figured out where everything I needed was located.
The new Uber VSA has been so easy to use and performance has been so good that I’ve also now gotten rid of my virtual machine running Openfiler. I had previously set this up due to its low memory requirements for usage with by nested vritual machines in my virtual VMware lab.
The new Celerra VSA is available in OVF format and a version for VMware workstation here. According to what I’ve read a manual will be available sometime early next month, although as you’ll read above the ease of setup is remarkable.
If you are looking for more information on setting up SRM, Mike Laverick wrote a great guide that you can purchase for just 10$ in digital format here. This is a great step by step guide that covers all types of storage and although the interface has now changed from Websphere to Unisphere, the setup process is nearly the same.