Appliance Release Notes v2.1.1 (2.1.1-249)

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Part no. - 765-0004-0300-A

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This document provides release notes identifying open issues with the software version installed on your appliance. The document is broken down into following sections:

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New Features Introduced in 2.1.1 (2.1.1-249)

The following are the new features included in version 2.1.1 (build 2.1.1-249).


1.    Performance and Scale Improvements

  • IO rate optimizations for random read/write workloads
  • Adaptive, content-aware compression. Increased throughput and reduced CPU load without reduction in compression savings.
  • Improved snapshot and cloud snapshot/clone performance
  • Optimize all-zero writes to reduce time for free space zeroing with sdelete and expedite Windows Server format operations.

2.    VMware vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI)

  • vStorage APIs for Array Integration provides hardware acceleration functionality to your VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 or later hypervisors. It enables your host to offload specific virtual machine and storage management operations to the appliance hardware. With the storage hardware assistance, your host performs these operations faster and consumes less CPU, memory, and storage fabric bandwidth.
  • With VMware VAAI support, StorSimple also introduces Cloud Reclaim functionality to further manage Cloud storage costs through automatic block-level space reclamation for files deleted inside VMware Virtual Machine Disks.

3.    Self-service, Non-disruptive Upgrade

  • Support Cloud Snap/Clone operations during upgrade
  • Single package upgrades - user uploads a single upgrade package. Upgrade is automated for both controllers and related components.
  • Pre-upgrade verification engine added to advise user of configuration or operational constraints and required remediation prior to starting upgrade.
  • Detailed upgrade progress status with ability to cancel and revert.

4.    Management  Updates

  • Volume access control management simplified. Enhancements implemented to avoid human errors in shared volume access.
  • Advanced performance and cost tuning options through Custom volume type definitions. Control block size, tiering priority and dedup algorithm.
  • Email alert layout updated and simplified for better usability.
  • Alert added on configuration changes to remind administrator to backup configuration.
  • Navigation usability enhancements for system settings, QoS, diagnostics, technical support package, etc.
  • Enhanced Connected Initiators view – list the online volumes seen by each initiator.
  • Added Web UI control to enable/disable SSH and HTTP connections for management access.
  • Report enhancements - added primary volume dedup estimates, report cloud capacity for primary and backup cloud accounts and report outstanding host IOs on latency chart.
  • Added support for Google Chrome browser, for Web UI access.
  • Simplified support package downloads through Technical Support page in Web UI.

5.    Cloud Provider Support

  • HP Cloud - support for new HP authentication enhancements.
  • Nirvanix - support for backup and archiving use cases (with 512KB fingerprints).
  • Added support for Amazon GovCloud
  • Added region configuration for Google Cloud

6.    Windows Dynamic Disks and Multi-partition Disks Support

  • Dynamic disks – added support for application-consistent backup of simple and mirrored sets.
    • Add StorSimple volume as a mirror to an existing SAN to provide data protection (for StorSimple supported workloads). 
    • Enables background, online migration from 3rd party SAN to StorSimple with non-disruptive cutoff.
    • Migrate across Cloud Providers or regions while taking application-consistent backups.
  • Mount and retrieve data from dynamic disk backups without impacting live mirror sets.
  • Added support for application-consistent backup of multi-partition disks.

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Issues Resolved in v2.1.1 (2.1.1-249)

The following issues have been addressed in version 2.1.1 (2.1.1–249).

 

ID

Summary

CSC-3714

Saving a backup policy may result in an error page displaying the message "Cannot use unspecified schedule".

CSC-3394 Data protection monthly schedules configured in the Web UI are saved a day in advance of the configured one.
CSC-3391 10GigE interfaces may not be detected when the system is powered up.
CSC-3358 A "Call Home" email is sent daily to StorSimple if the user selects "BCC StorSimple Support" for Alerts.
CSC- 3296 Cloud Snapshot Data in Dedup Ratio Chart is not calculated accurately.
CSC-3206 Web UI Operations that take extended periods of time to complete such as creating a package, downloading or displaying reports, may prevent accessing the Web UI until the operation is complete.
CSC-3174 Restoring a backup fails with error "Multiple appliance volumes with specified VSN are online".
CSC- 3152 Any shutdown or restart operation on the active controller may cause the session to get stuck on the login screen.

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Release Notes for v2.1.1 (2.1.1-249)

The following are the release notes for version 2.1.1 (2.1.1-249) for the StorSimple Storage Appliance. There are no issues reported in this specific version.  All the issues reported here have carried over from previous releases.

 

ID

Summary

Comments and/or Workarounds
CSC-4036* The configuration file sent in call home message is encrypted but not anonymized. Please leave the Call Home option disabled until this issue is resolved.
CSC-3892* The deletion of a volume group with very large number of associated backup runs could result in UI timeout issues.  As a workaround, please retry the volume group deletion.
CSC-3890* The Connected Initiators page may not be up-to-date after changing the Access Control Records and/or associated volumes. A refresh of the ‘Connected Initiators’ screen after about 30 seconds should display the up-to-date information.
CSC-3672* When the fingerprint type is altered for a custom type volume, the write and read performance can be impacted. The performance can be reduced because the data may need to be de-duplicated again based on the different type; such operation requires additional CPU cycles as well as extra reads and writes from storage. Once the entire volume content is fully rewritten, the write and read throughput will stabilize to the optimal value again.
CSC-3563* Printing reports in portrait orientation may overflow and not print correctly. Printing of reports is supported in only Landscape orientation.
CSC-3525* Upload of the upgrade package for version 2.0.3 may stop abruptly. This is generally seen when the upload reaches 35-40%, in particular when the system is operating under heavy load. This issue is addressed in build 2.0.2.88, therefore it is recommended to perform a patch upgrade to build 2.0.2.88 first and then again upgrade to version 2.0.3. 
CSC-3514* The cloud properties popup may not close properly when clicking on the X button on the top right hand corner. As a work-around, please refresh the whole page and reopen the pop up again.
CSC-3494* Invalid cloud configuration/credential settings may lead to the entire system becoming very slow connecting to the cloud for valid accounts. Please contact StorSimple support to help resolve the problem and bring the system back to its full functionality. This issue will be fully addressed in upcoming releases.
CSC-3390 When the appliance is powered off and quickly powered on, some drives show up as missing.  This issue has been observed very sporadically when forcing a quick power off/on through a managed APC that would cut the power to the appliance for less than 1 second.
As a work-around, please ensure that the power is applied again a few seconds after the power-off (what is usually called a "delayed power-on" in a managed APC).
CSC-3360 When shutting down the active controller, the standby is shutdown as well. This happens in very sporadic situations due to a known platform issue. If this happens, bring up the standby controller by unplugging it and pushing it back into the system.
CSC- 3296 Cloud Snapshot Data in Dedup Ratio Chart is not calculated accurately. Cloud Snapshot capacity is estimated based on the number of Cloud Snapshot and the current amount of volume data stored in the appliance.
CSC-3282 Appliance failover is observed when the data read from the cloud is incorrect due to transient network issues. This known issue is being actively investigated in conjunction with the cloud providers. The StorSimple system is able to detect and recover from such a situation by performing a failover and never returns any incorrect data to the iSCSI initiator.
CSC-3253 In rare instances, on resetting the active controller, the Host I/Os may get aborted. In some high load scenarios, host I/Os are aborted because the appliance takes more than 20 seconds before completing the operation. The issue subsides after the load reduces.
As a workaround, a reduction in host load, and/or a failover of the controller is recommended.
CSC-3238 Using invalid credentials for Web Proxy settings may result in a controller failover. If invalid credentials have been input in the Web Proxy Settings in Web UI, the active node will reboot and there will be a cluster failover. Ensure that valid credentials are applied for the Web Proxy settings.
CSC- 3224 In Firefox 3, while configuring QoS templates, the Save/View Timeline buttons may get disabled. This issue can be observed only in some specific sequences of operations involving deleting and creating multiple QoS templates. The issue can be overcome by refreshing the browser page and then attempting the configuration of the QoS template again.
CSC-3198 Web UI may render incorrectly on a restarted appliance. Accessing the Web UI on a new browser window will resolve the issue.
CSC-3196 A canceled Cloud Clone or Cloud Snapshot restore/clone job may resume after a controller failover. If the user cancels the restore/clone job, and then triggers a controller fail-over or the system fails over automatically for some other reason, then a canceled job will resume unless the cancel action has been completely processed by the system.
To work-around this issue, the user needs to cancel the job again and ensure no more fail-overs are triggered until the cancel action has been fully processed by the system.

CSC-3180

Under rare circumstances a disk failure may cause the system to go offline.

There are some corner case scenarios that may occur with a high stress read workload. When the StorSimple software detects a failure in a drive from which it cannot quickly and easily recover from, it intentionally brings down the system in order to protect the data integrity. Should such an event occur, please contact StorSimple support to address the issue and restore its full functionality.
CSC-3169 A different state may be displayed on the serial console when the system is in recovery mode.

In earlier releases, in the case of repeated controller fail-overs, the serial console on both controllers displayed the recovery console screen.
In this release, one controller may instead continue to display the management console screen, with the state shown as "OFFLINE".

CSC-3154

If one of the Web UI charts is kept open in Auto-refresh mode, the refresh may stop after some time.

Normally this issue can be overcome by opening a new browser session and select the same chart display page again with Auto-refresh mode.
If the Web application fails to open, i.e. the login page does not come up; the issue can be worked around by forcing an active controller reboot.

CSC-3042, CSC-3067

The appliance controller reboots when an I/O to the internal disks takes an abnormally long time to complete.

Under extremely rare circumstances, an I/O to a drive (SSD or HDD) may take an abnormally long time. The StorSimple software detects such an incomplete operation and forces a controller fail over to ensure that the system can continue serving I/Os without causing application timeouts. StorSimple will provide any necessary fix through a software patch, nonetheless should an unforeseen hardware glitch occur such a fail over is the best course of action.
CSC-3029 The appliance controller may decide to reboot or power off because it cannot monitor the battery status.

The internal communication channel used by the controllers to monitor the health and status of the batteries that provide NVRAM support may become oversubscribed. As a result, the polling status messages could be lost. If this happens a few times in a row, then the controller will reboot or power off to prevent having a system running without the necessary memory protection. This issue occurs only when the communication channel is put under severe stress.

CSC-2896 Different rate limiting values on multiple cloud configurations are not honored. When multiple cloud configurations are setup and rate limiting is enabled in more than one, the overall throughput towards the cloud will converge over time to the smallest rate limiting value configured (as opposed to the sum of the configured rates).
CSC-2826 The Cloud Capacity chart as well as other cloud charts are not displayed for a specific cloud configuration.

These charts can be displayed only if the "Enable Monitoring" checkbox has been checked for a specific cloud configuration. Please enable it and try again.

CSC-2782 In rare circumstances, when the active controller reboots, the entire system may become unresponsive for some time. Due to an issue in the configuration of the hardware chipset, the two controllers may not be able to communicate for some time; during this period of time the serial console will display messages indicating that correctable link errors are occurring. This issue typically self corrects after some time which may vary from few seconds to a few minutes. During this time access to the volumes will be lost.
A complete solution for this issue will be provided in the upcoming releases.
CSC-2719 Rebooting the controller from the shell results in a "500 Internal Server Error" in the Web UI. This issue is caused by a rare race condition when web requests coincide with the web service starting up. The problem can be worked around by forcing an additional controller reboot.
CS-2593 An existing iSCSI session remains active even after disabling the iSCSI checkbox in the UI. The "iSCSI Enabled" setting is effective only after a controller reboot/failover. The existing sessions are not altered, therefore:
• Existing iSCSI sessions from hosts remain active after disabling the checkbox
• New iSCSI sessions to a target are successful using the IP address of the interface which is unmarked as "iSCSI Enabled"
In order to overcome this issue, please reboot the active controller. The automatic failover will ensure that the desired configuration is applied correctly from that point onwards.
CSC-2573 Active Directory domain user is able to login with old password after the password is changed in the domain. This is due to the old password being cached by the Domain Controller server that has been configured. This password remains available when authentication occurs. Since the StorSimple application cannot force a flush of the old passwords, please connect to the Domain Controller server and perform the necessary flush operation.
CSC-2335 Using the 'Printer friendly version" link in Firefox for the charts will result in a printed page with an empty white area instead of the chart. This issue is due to a Firefox limitation that doesn't render the content of the HTML "object" element during printing.
In order to overcome this limitation, please use a supported IE version to print charts.
CSC-2321 Performing a configuration restore from a saved xml file on an appliance that has a different Management IP than the one saved in the configuration file, may result in a "No Route to host" error on the Audit Logs screen.

A controller failover would solve the issue.

CSC-2317

The ACR maps are lost when performing a configuration restore twice.

 

This issue occurs when:
1. A DR configuration restore is performed from a previously created configuration file (e.g. config1.xml)
2. A new configuration file is created after the appliance is working again (e.g. config2.xml)
3. A new DR configuration restore is performed using the new configuration file (config2.xml)
In order to work around this issue, the user could selectively import the ACRs from the original configuration file (config1.xml) or brand new ACRs could be configured after the second configuration restore.

CSC-2300 When a configuration restore/import fails, the same cloud account may be configured multiple times. Upon configuration restore or import failures, in few rare circumstances some portions of the configuration are restored/imported. In case the restore or import operation is repeated again, the same cloud account might be configured multiple times. In order to work around this issue, please check the configuration after the failure and delete any partially imported information, especially the cloud account portion.
CSC-2255 Microsoft MPIO doesn't work as expected when defaults are altered.

It is recommended to use default MPIO parameters for Microsoft MPIO DSM on a Windows host. To find the current parameters, traverse through Computer → Manage → Disk Management → Disk x → Properties → MPIO tab → Details (where "Disk x" is any of the StorSimple disks discovered by the host).
The default parameters are:
Path Verify Period = 30
Retry Count = 3
PDO Remove Period = 20
Retry Interval = 1
Path Verify Enabled = Unchecked
Note: To enable MPIO on StorSimple volumes, add the "SSIMPLE Model" keyword in MPIO properties (Control Panel → Administrative Tools → MPIO).

CSC-1677 Configuring a single data port that is not plugged in will result in error messages such as, 'Invalid Hostname' or 'Invalid Credentials', when verifying a Cloud Account.

In case of these error messages first check the validity of the credentials entered for Cloud Account. If valid, please verify on the Network Settings screen that the Data port configured is plugged in or configure and enable another data port that is plugged in. Once done with the Network Settings, reapply the Time Setting located on the same System Settings screen.

CSC-1644

In some rare circumstance, the appliance network interfaces may not be usable. While performing platform discovery, it has been seen in rare occasions that the MGMT and DATA interfaces are not detected properly during the power up sequence. Under such scenarios the Web UI and the iSCSI ports are not reachable. To restore the proper functionality in the appliance, reboot the appliance.
CSC-1549 Multiple failovers performed under heavy load may result in loss of iSCSI connection between the host and the appliance. Under heavy I/O, if there are failovers performed there is possibility of active controller reboot. This may result in loss of iSCSI connection between initiator and target. In order to restore the proper connectivity, reboot the appliance.
CSC-1538 In the Hardware Page the standby controller appears in a different state when it has been shut down or pulled out. This is a known issue in the underlying platform code that will be fixed in a future release. There are no negative side effects on the system behavior.
CSC-1492

The controller failover may exceed the application timeout.

Under certain failure scenarios, the failover to the standby controller may take longer than the application SCSI timeout. This is a sporadic event. Once the failover has occurred, normally the application will automatically re-establish the connection and continue operations. If that doesn't happen automatically, restart the application or the connection manually.
CSC-1334 Under stress testing of the system failover, the host may lose access to the appliance volumes. When performing stress testing of the system failover, inducing continuous failures (artificially), a Windows host may lose access to the volumes. StorSimple is actively working with Microsoft to analyze the issue which may be a problem on the host side. In order to restore the volume access, please force an iSCSI rediscovery of the target or power cycle the host.
CSC-867

Microsoft iSCSI initiator doesn't support LUN ID 255.

Use a LUN ID of 0 to 254.

 

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Contacting Technical Support

Should you encounter any issues with your appliance, please do not hesitate to contact StorSimple Technical Support at:

  • Telephone: 1-800-642-7676
  • Web: http://support.microsoft.com/gp/storsimple
    • In the page presented, click on plus icon to expand the 'Get Technical Support' node. In the expanded pane, click on 'Get Microsoft Technical Support'.

 

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