Volumes

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The ‘Volumes’ page located under the ‘Configure’ menu allows you to manage the storage volumes that are provisioned on the appliance for your initiators (servers). 

 

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The volumes page is shown below.

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A volume consists of a series of attributes:

  • Name – a descriptive name that must be unique, which will help you identify the volume more easily.  This name is also used in reports when filtering on a specific volume.
  • Cloud – specifies the cloud configuration that should be used for this volume.
  • Online – specifies whether or not the volume is visible to initiators (servers) that are allowed access to utilize the volume.
  • Capacity – specifies how large the volume is going to be, as perceived by the initiator (server).  Capacity specifies the total amount of data that can be stored by the initiator (server).  Volumes are thinly provisioned, and data is de-duplicated. This implies that your appliance doesn’t pre-allocate physical storage capacity internally or on the cloud according to configured volume capacity, rather, capacity is allocated and consumed on demand.
  • Access Type – specifies how the volume is going to be used, providing a helpful reminder when looking at the volume list.  The access type specifies whether or not initiators (servers) that are allowed to access the volume can only read data from the volume, or if they are able to perform both read and write operations.
  • Application - apprises the user as to which application is going to use the volume. Based on the application that is using a volume, the user can select from the following list:
    • Generic
    • SharePoint Database Volume
    • SharePoint Transaction Logs Volume
    • SharePoint BLOBS Volume
    • File Server Volume
    • Cluster Quorum Volume
    • Archive and Backup Volume
    • Virtual Machine Data Volume
    • Virtual Machine OS Volumes
    • Custom Volume
  • Access Control Records – specifies the initiators (servers) that are allowed access to this volume.  Initiators that are not members of an Access Control Record that is associated with the volume will not see the volume.

This page also details the common functions related to  'Volumes'  in the following sections -

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Creating a Volume

Perform the following steps to create a volume.
  • To create a volume, click the ‘Create Volume’ link found at the bottom of the tabular list view. 
  • This will open the volume properties page, where you can supply the volume parameters as described above. The user has to specify : General Settings and Security Settings, for a given volume.
General Settings

The 'General Settings' tab on the 'Create Volume' dialog is shown below.

 

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  • On this tab, specify the following parameters:
    • Provide a 'Name' for your volume. 
    • Under 'Type', specify the application that will be using the volume from the drop-down list. 
    • Select a 'Cloud Configuration' by specifying your Cloud Service Provide from a drop-down list.
    • Specify the 'Access Type' from 'Read-Write', 'Read Only'
    • Assign a 'Capacity' to the volume that you wish to create. Note that the capacity of the volume must be between 1 and 102,400GB, and that a cloud account must be selected. 
    • By default, the 'Online' field is checked. This field should be unchecked if the volume needs to be taken offline while the user is trying to delete a volume group or an associated volume.
    • Click the checkbox next to ‘Enable Monitoring’ if you wish to have reports that show data only from statistics collected against this individual volume. With this setting enabled, your appliance will collect statistics specific to this volume, allowing you to filter volume-related reports down to this individual volume.  Only 30 objects can be configured for ‘enabled monitoring’, including both volumes and cloud accounts.  Should you exceed this number, your appliance will not allow you to enable monitoring on another object until it is disabled on one where it is already configured.

 

Note.png Note: Clone Volumes that have been imported from DPC do not have monitoring enabled by default. To see the statistics specific to this volume in reports, the user has to enable monitoring prior to using these.

 

  • Check the 'Daily Cloud Snapshot' field if you wish to create a volume group and an associated policy that would execute daily and result in a Cloud Snapshot of all your data. Checking this field automatically creates a volume group '<volume>' and an associated Cloud Snapshot policy named  ‘<volume>-Auto-Daily-CloudSnapshot’.  

This daily policy is enabled by default and executes starting at 10:00pm on the day the volume was created. This policy retains upto seven backups and is set never to expire. The 'Daily CloudSnapshot' option is not available during editing of the volume properties. It is available only when the volume is created. Deletion of the volume will require manual deletion of the associated policies and groups.

Security Settings

When you have finished specifying general settings, click the ‘Security’ tab to assign Access Control Records, as shown below.

 

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Under this tab, two radio button options are presented to the user:

  • No Access - Choose this option if you do not wish any initiators to have access to this volume.

 

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  • Restricted Access - Choosing the 'Restricted Access' option and specifying an Access Control Record in the volume properties will explicitly allow any initiator (server) that matches the ACR configuration to have access to this volume. 

 

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Perform the following steps to assign this volume an Access Control Record.

  • Choose the Access Control Record you wish to assign to this volume from the drop-down list in the ‘Access Control Record’ column.  If you do not have an Access Control Record configured, please visit the Configure Security Settings Access Control Records page to do so. 
  • Choose a ‘Preferred LUN’ or leave it set to ‘No Preference’.  This setting is helpful when you wish to have your appliance try to provide this volume to the initiators in the Access Control Record using a specific Logical Unit Number (LUN).  If this LUN is unavailable, your appliance will use a different number.  However, if this LUN is available, your appliance will use the configured value.

 

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  • Click on 'Add New Record' if you would like to specify another ACR for this volume. It is important to note that assigning same volume to more than one ACRs would allow multiple hosts to connect to the same volume.

 

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When you have finished adding Access Control Records, click ‘Save’ to save the volume. The user is not allowed to create a volume without specifying an associated ACR. If you do not specify an ACR for a volume, an error message to this effect will be displayed to the user - 

 

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Choosing a volume type

When creating a volume, the user can select a volume type. The recommendation is to select a volume type that matches the intended use of the volume. For instance, if it is a File Server use case, select a 'File Server Volume' type. If there isn't an existing type that fits your use, choose a 'Generic' volume type.

The volume types are used to automatically figure out the most efficient way of moving data across the tiers. If the data is located on volumes that need a higher level of performance, such as Quorum disk or SharePoint database, then a corresponding volume type will ensure that the data is kept on the device, in the SSDs and HDDs. 

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Editing a Volume

To edit a volume that has already been configured, click the ‘Edit’ icon found on the left side of the tabular list on the same row as the volume you wish to edit. 

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This will display the volume properties pages as shown below. 

 

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All volume properties can be changed, aside from the cloud account associated with the volume.  Should you wish to move the data from one cloud account to another, you will need to create a separate volume, and use RAID-1 on the initiator between the two volumes, or another data migration tool.

To edit the ACR assigned to this volume, access the 'Security' tab.

 

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Click on 'Add a New Record' to edit the ACR. A popup is displayed to the user.

 

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Click 'OK' to continue.

 

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Click the ‘Save’ button when you have finished making any changes you wish to make, or ‘Cancel’ to discard the changes.

Changing the volume size

Often a user may need to expand a volume. The volume size can be changed by selecting the volume in question and then editing it from the volumes page.

In the 'Edit Volume' popup, set the volume capacity to the desired number and save the volume. After modifying the volume size, the user needs to modify the volume size on the host as well. Refer to your host OS instructions to change the volume size.

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Deleting a Volume

Deleting a volume destroys its data.  Use this operation only when you either no longer need the data or when you have an independent copy of the data elsewhere.

Volume deletion can be different depending upon whether the volume in question has an associated backup.

Deleting volumes with No Associated Backups

Perform the following steps to delete a volume that has no backups associated with it. This will include the volumes created with 'Daily Cloud Snapshot' enabled but with no associated backups. Note that the 'Daily Cloud Snapshot' policy will execute beginning 10:00 pm on the day the volume was created.  

  • Volumes can be deleted only if they are taken offline.  To take a volume offline, edit the volume properties and uncheck the box next to “Online”, and click ‘Save’. 
  • In the volume list view, click the ‘delete’ icon  on the left side of the row containing the volume you wish to delete. 
  • Your appliance will prompt you for confirmation, requiring you to type in the word ‘CONFIRM’. 

 

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  • The user can now delete the volume.
  • After the user confirms the deletion of a volume, a pop-up is presented to the user. The user is advised to manually delete all the associated volume groups and backups after the volume is deleted.
Deleting volumes with Associated Backups

A volume that has associated backups cannot be removed. Specifically, if the 'Daily Cloud Snapshot' was enabled, there will be backups associated with your volume. Delete all the backups that are associated with the volume in question. Now follow all the steps listed under "Deleting volumes with no associated Backups" to delete this volume.

Note.png Note: When you delete a volume, it may take some time for the capacity consumed by that volume on your appliance and on the cloud to be freed. You may notice that capacity consumption charts do not immediately reflect the capacity becoming available after deleting a volume.

 

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Creating a Custom Volume

Note.png Note: Please contact StorSimple support team if you intend to create a 'Custom Volume'.

A new 'Custom Volume' type is introduced for the users. To create a custom volume, specify the name of the Volume. Under the dropdown for 'Type', select 'Custom Volume'. When this volume type is selected, additional fields are presented to the user that need to be configured in conjunction with StorSimple Support team.

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Creating Volumes for Nirvanix

Note.png Note: Please engage your StorSimple support team while creating volumes if you use Nirvanix as your Cloud Service Provider.

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