Dell EMC AppSync 4.x With PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, And VMAX3

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Best PracticesDell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAXAll Flash, and VMAX3AbstractThis document provides best-practices guidelines for managing Dell EMC PowerMax , VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 storage systems for copymanagement with Dell EMC AppSync . AppSync 4.0 and later versions use theUnisphere for PowerMax REST API with these systems.June 2020H18341

RevisionsRevisionsDateDescriptionJune 2020Initial releaseAcknowledgmentsAuthor: Andrew Sirpis, Balasundaram Govindan, Roopashree ShanmukhamThis document may contain certain words that are not consistent with Dell's current language guidelines. Dell plans to update the document oversubsequent future releases to revise these words accordingly.This document may contain language from third party content that is not under Dell's control and is not consistent with Dell's current guidelines for Dell'sown content. When such third party content is updated by the relevant third parties, this document will be revised accordingly.The information in this publication is provided “as is.” Dell Inc. makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the information in thispublication, and specifically disclaims implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.Use, copying, and distribution of any software described in this publication requires an applicable software license.Copyright 2021 Dell Inc. or its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved. Dell Technologies, Dell, EMC, Dell EMC and other trademarks are trademarks of DellInc. or its subsidiaries. Other trademarks may be trademarks of their respective owners. [2/18/2021] [Best Practices] [H18341]2Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Table of contentsTable of contentsRevisions.2Acknowledgments .2Table of contents .3Executive summary .5Audience .512Introduction .61.1Using this document .61.2Terminology .6Storage considerations .82.1Advanced features .82.1.1 U4P REST API .82.1.2 SRDF/Metro .82.1.3 Storage-group-level snapshots .82.1.4 Storage group specification per service plan .92.1.5 AppSync Gold service plan .92.1.6 VPLEX .92.1.7 eNAS .92.1.8 Online device expansion .934Array discovery and configuration .103.1Modifying credentials .123.2Provider reference .123.3Preventing automatic display of arrays.123.4Removing arrays from AppSync .12Storage management .144.1User-configured storage groups .144.1.1 Configuring storage groups for copy target devices .154.1.2 Modifying storage groups .164.2AppSync provisioned devices.184.2.1 AppSync internal storage group .184.3563Dynamic movement .19Advanced copy device management .205.1Reset device In-Use flag .215.2Remove device from AppSync .21Delete device in array .23Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Table of contents6.17Application copy info .23SnapVX configuration details .247.1SnapVX linking .247.1.1 SnapVX linking FAQ .267.28SnapVX relinking .27Protecting applications using AppSync service plans .288.1Application discovery phase .298.2Application-mapping phase .298.2.1 Affinitization rules.298.3Create copy phase .308.3.1 Special handling for Oracle applications .318.3.2 Expiring copies .318.3.3 Mount copy phase .318.3.4 Mount host storage group rules .328.3.5 Mounting with the required SLO .338.3.6 Changes to a mounted copy.349Repurposing workflows .359.1SnapVX linking rules with repurposing workflows .359.2Repurposing use case .369.2.1 Example first-generation repurposing workflow process flow .3610 Troubleshooting tips .3811 Conclusion .43ATechnical support and resources .44A.14Related resources.44Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Executive summaryExecutive summaryThis document provides best practices for integrating Dell EMC AppSync versions 4.0 and later with DellEMC PowerMax , VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 storage systems. It includes many environmentalcaveats that should be considered during implementation.AudienceThis white paper is intended for Dell EMC customers who plan to use AppSync for copy management. It isalso intended for Dell EMC internal field personnel and partners who assist customers with AppSyncdeployment.5Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Introduction1IntroductionDell EMC AppSync is software that enables integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM) with Dell EMCprimary storage systems. It simplifies and automates the process of generating copies of production data,abstracting the underlying storage and replication technologies. AppSync discovers applications, understandstheir layout structure, and maps them to the underlying storage device. It fully orchestrates all activitiesrequired, including copy creation and validation, mounting, recovering, and bringing the application online.Application owners now have the means to satisfy their own copy management needs. AppSync provides anend-to-end copy management workflow solution.1.1Using this documentThe best-practices guidelines in this document result from the combined efforts of AppSync technicalmarketing, engineering, and development groups. This information is supplemental to the primary AppSyncdocumentation on Dell Support. These documents include the AppSync User and Administration Guide, theAppSync Installation and Configuration Guide, the AppSync Security and Configuration Guide, and theAppSync Release Notes.AppSync console UI1.2TerminologyThe following terms are used in this document:Expire: A process flow of removing copies from within the AppSync UI and on the array, such as unlinkingand expiring copies.Mount host: The host where the copies are mounted. This can be an alternate host or the same host as thesource.Mount point: A location used by the mount operation that uses an existing mounted file system to attach, asa directory tree, the copied volume. The mount point appears as a new directory to an existing file systemstructure. This is the default AppSync mount location.Object: A database, filesystem, application, or VMware datastore that AppSync manages. Objects aresubscribed to service plans or repurposed.Recover: The process of extending the copy and mount operation by starting the application when it ismounted. Example: Bringing a copy of a Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database online on a mount host.6Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

IntroductionRepurposing workflow: A copy-management workflow process, similar to a service plan, that provides amultigeneration copy process.Restore: The process of overwriting a source volume with the contents of a previously created copy.Service plan: A copy-management workflow process for protecting applications.Subscribe: Associating an object with a service plan.Unsubscribe: Disassociating an object from a service plan.7Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage considerations2Storage considerationsAppSync supports creating and managing copies of application data on PowerMax and similar arrays usingSnapVX replication technology. AppSync also supports remote copy management for block-based storagewith SRDF, and replicating file-based (eNAS) environments using File Replicator.AppSync supports SnapVX using the default storage resource pool. AppSync does not support Multiple SRPs.AppSync can create both local and remote copies (Gold Service Plan) while using SRDF/S.SRDF/A and Metro are limited to either local or remote copies.AppSync is not able to create remote SRDF/A copies for Microsoft applications (local copies only).AppSync does not support RecoverPoint with PowerMax.AppSync does not support restoring remote copies over SRDF.Only the local repurposing workflow is supported for SRDF/Metro. AppSync provides the option toselect the leg to create the copy on in the local repurposing workflow. Other SRDF/Metro functionalityis expected in future releases. Check the AppSync support matrix for the latest supported use cases.2.1Advanced features2.1.1U4P REST APIA minimum version of Unisphere for PowerMax (U4P) is required. Review the latest AppSync Support Matrixfor details. SMI-S is no longer supported for VMAX3 and newer arrays on AppSync 4.0 . VMAX2 arraysare still supported with SMI-S.2.1.2SRDF/MetroAppSync 4.0 supports SRDF/Metro using the U4P REST API protocol. The following points outline AppSyncsupport and limitations. Other SRDF/Metro support is expected in future releases as mentioned above. Checkthe support matrix for the latest information. 2.1.3Each leg of an SRDF/Metro environment can be selected individually but not simultaneously;AppSync is not able to create a copy on both legs of a metro environment at the same time.Repurposing of workflows by AppSync is supported; service plan workflows are not supported.Copies are mounted as non-metro devices.Restores are supported for the local copies only.VMware datastores and Microsoft Exchange environments are not supported.Due to the nature of repurposing workflows, only one database application can be managed at anyone time; however, multiple file systems are supported.Storage-group-level snapshotsAppSync 4.0 supports storage group (SG) level snapshots. SG-level snapshots are taken wheneverapplications are mapped to unique storage groups. If an application is not mapped to a unique storage group,volume level snapshots will be taken. This is reported in the status logging as the service plan runs.8Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage considerations2.1.4Storage group specification per service planAppSync 4.0 supports configuring a specific storage group for AppSync to use for target devices. Previously,storage groups were global. With the AppSync 4.0 release, each service plan can be configured to use itsown storage group, providing a more granular and controlled use of target devices.2.1.5AppSync Gold service planWhen using existing SRDF/S replication environments, Gold service plans can be configured with the storagearrays. The Gold service plan enables creating simultaneous local (R1) and remote (R2) copies, quiescing theapplication once. This provides the same point-in-time image for both local and remote copies. Review theAppSync User and Administration Guide for more details including the limitations and restrictions whenworking with Gold level service plans. 2.1.6Gold service plans require both SRDF legs to be registered with the same Unisphere for PowerMax(REST API) server.Gold service plans are not supported when using the embedded U4P REST server. It is a bestpractice to not use the embedded U4P server for upgrade and performance reasons.VPLEXVolumes or devices provisioned from the arrays are supported behind VPLEX RAID 0, RAID 1, and MetroDistributed environments. The preferred cluster for distributed volumes and the preferred arrays for RAID-1volumes for each service plan and repurposing workflow must be configured according to the AppSync Userand Administration Guide. Review this guide for more details, including limitations and restrictions whenworking with these arrays and VPLEX.2.1.7eNASAppSync offers support for VMAX eNAS (embedded network attached storage). VMAX eNAS offersconsolidated file storage, similar to the Dell EMC VNXe array. For more information, see the eNASdocumentation.eNAS and eNAS file replicator are also supported. All standard applications are supported, such as Oracle on Linux and AIX, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server , Linux and AIX file systems, VMware datastores, and others. See the AppSync Simple Support Matrix for up-to-date support details.2.1.8Online device expansionAppSync fully supports the online device expansion process. However, any target device that is preallocatedor created must be expanded manually for AppSync to use or reuse it as a target device—source and targetdevices must match.9Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Array discovery and configuration3Array discovery and configurationPowerMax and similar arrays are discovered with AppSync 4.0 using U4P and the REST API. As part of thediscovery process, AppSync obtains a list of all arrays managed by the Unisphere for PowerMax (U4P)server, along with detailed information such as the microcode version, model number, and the last discoverytime. A Rediscover should be performed when changes are made to the array, such as adding additionaldisks or updating microcode.To discover a new storage array or arrays, in the interface click Settings (Figure 1) and click the AddSystems button (Figure 2) . Under the Infrastructure Resources section, Storage Systems are selected bydefault. Select PowerMax/VMAX3 (Figure 3) and click Next. Enter the credentials (Figure 4) for Unisphere forPowerMax (U4P) and click Next. Select the array or arrays (Figure 5) to discover and click Next. Select theStorage Group, SRP, or both (Figure 6) to use and click Next. Validate all selected options on the lastsummary screen and click Finish to complete the discovery.Add systemsSelect PowerMax/VMAX310Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Array discovery and configurationU4P credentialsSelect storage array or arraysConfigure storage groups/SRP11Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Array discovery and configuration3.1Modifying credentialsIf the Unisphere for PowerMax U4P credentials are modified by the administrator, they must also bechanged in AppSync. Go to the Storage Systems menu, select the array, select the U4P host, and click Editto change the credentials. See Figure 7.Modify U4P credentials3.2Provider referenceAs the preferred provider, AppSync uses the U4P management server that was used to initially discover thearray or arrays. To change the preferred order with multiple U4P servers, in the AppSync UI select the server,and click Set Preferred.3.3Preventing automatic display of arraysIt is best practice to limit each U4P host to one local host and its corresponding remote array. However, oneU4P server may manage up to five hosts, based on performance considerations. The performance of the U4Pserver is critical to AppSync performance. The discovery of arrays on a U4P host, which are not used byAppSync, may impact the performance of AppSync jobs. If the U4P server discovers arrays which do notneed to be managed by other products, including AppSync, follow the U4P documentation for creating asymavoid file to alleviate the discovery of those other arrays.3.4Removing arrays from AppSyncNo arrays can be removed from AppSync until all copies are expired. If storage groups are configured, theytoo must be removed from AppSync. To remove arrays, go to Settings Infrastructure Resources Storage Systems, check the array, and click Remove. If anything remains configured, an error is displayedand prevents the array from being removed.12Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Array discovery and configurationIf an array is removed from the U4P server, before being removed from AppSync, AppSync removes theassociation between the two. If there are no array copies or storage groups created by AppSync, the arrayitself is also removed upon rediscovery.13Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage management4Storage managementAppSync uses SnapVX technology which offers targetless copies. Target devices are only required when linkoperations occur. There are two link operation workflows which must be considered. SnapVX links copies intwo different modes, no-copy and copy. In AppSync, the copies are marked as SnapVX snap (no-copy) andSnapVX clone (copy). Service plans do not require target devices during the copy phase, if the replication technology isSnapVX snap. For SnapVX clone, target devices are required during the copy phase since SnapVXlinking occurs during the copy phase when using SnapVX copy technology. SnapVX snapshot copiesare linked to target devices during the mount operation. SnapVX snaps are targetless copies untilmount operations occur.Repurposing workflows require target devices during the copy phase for the first-generation snapand clone copies, but not for the second-generation snapshot copies. The second-generationsnapshot is linked during the mount phase, like when using service plans. See the section 7.1 formore details.The following subsections detail the AppSync storage-configuration options that support target-linkoperations.4.1User-configured storage groupsStorage administrators can use an optional storage group or groups for target copy devices. Using adedicated storage group, which contains preconfigured target devices for link operations, AppSync isrestricted to using only those devices, when configured. These storage groups can be configured on a perservice-plan basis with AppSync 4.0 . AppSync relies on there being enough storage devices available in thisparticular storage group; if there are not enough devices, job-linking operations fail if SRP is not configured. Ifan SRP is configured in addition to a storage group, AppSync creates devices as needed. The followingpoints outline the caveats. 14If one or more storage groups are not defined, AppSync uses the default SRP to create targetdevices to link with SnapVX copies.Configuring a storage groups manually prevents AppSync from provisioning target devicesautomatically if an SRP is not also configured. Target devices must be created in the storage groupsbeforehand.Devices are created from the SRP (if configured) for storage groups configured if there are notenough available devices created ahead of time in the storage groups.Do not configure the user storage groups with a masking view or an SLO. AppSync cannot use astorage group with a masking view, and if an SLO is configured, a warning is shown. Not configuringSLOs is the recommendation to improve performance during mount operations.Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage management4.1.1Configuring storage groups for copy target devicesCreate one or more storage groups without host connectivity (not configured with a masking view). Note thefollowing rules when provisioning new target devices for copy processing: Ensure the target copy device is the same size configuration as the source device.All devices in the configured storage groups are used as copy devices, so never add productionvolumes into AppSync assigned storage groups as it will result in data loss. This is also why AppSyncdoes not allow the storage group to have a masking view. Do not share the same storage groupsacross multiple AppSync servers.Devices created by AppSync, such as devices that are created before storage groups are configured,are not automatically added to a configured storage group. Devices that are created by AppSyncmust be added to the configured storage group manually if to be used as target devices from theconfigured storage group.After configuring the storage groups, AppSync updates the element name and volume identifier withthe AppSync host name. This is to identify the AppSync copy devices in the array and proclaimsthese devices for AppSync use. AppSync updates the device names with AppSync - Hostname ,as shown in Figure 8.Volume nameAppSync only discovers storage groups which are not part of any masking view. This is designed to protectdevices presented to hosts, such as with production volumes. To configure a storage group for an AppSynctarget device selection, enable it by clicking the checkbox as seen in Figure 5. AppSync allows selectingmultiple storage groups. Once selected, a warning states that the devices within in the selected storage groupwill be used as target for copies created by AppSync, as seen in Figure 9. The data on the devices isoverwritten by this process.15Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage managementStorage device warningReview the storage details within AppSync. Under Storage Systems, click the array as seen in Figure 10.When multiple storage groups are added, the Number of devices is the sum of all storage groups.Storage details4.1.2Modifying storage groupsOnce a storage group is modified on the array (possibly with U4P or CLI), the storage array within AppSyncmust be rediscovered. For example, run a rediscovery when adding additional target volumes to a storagegroup. To rediscover the storage group, go to Storage Systems, click the array, and click Rediscover asseen in Figure 1. As of AppSync 3.7, AppSync runs an automatic maintenance activity every 12 hours, at11:15 and 23:15, which includes the rediscovery process.16Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage managementStorage rediscoverTo configure or unconfigure storage groups, click the Manage Copy Storage button as shown in Figure 10.This displays the Configure target storage details as shown in Figure 12.Configure target storageOnce the Manage Copy Storage dialog box appears, click the select button next to storage groups, checkthe storage group or groups on the right that you want to remove, and click the left arrow button. Thisprevents AppSync from assigning target storage from it, as seen in Figure 13. You can also add storagegroups by selecting them from the left pane and clicking the right arrow button.17Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 H18341

Storage managementRemoving a storage group4.2AppSync provisioned devicesIf storage groups are not configured, AppSync has the ability to create and link devices dynamically. Thismeans AppSync creates the devices as needed during linking operations from the default SRP.AppSync uses any storage resource pool (SRP) you configure, but using multiple SRPs at once is notsupported in AppSync.Devices provisioned by AppSync are named Device#:AppSync-{AppSync Server Name}. An example isshown in Figure 14. This can be used to easily identify all devices which have been provisioned by AppSync.AppSync provisioned name4.2.1AppSync internal storage groupAs of AppSync 3.7, AppSync keeps all its provisioned devices in an internal storage group on

Dell EMC AppSync 4.x with PowerMax, VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 Abstract This document provides best-practices guidelines for managing Dell EMC PowerMax , VMAX All Flash, and VMAX3 storage systems for copy management with Dell EMC AppSync . AppSync 4.0 and later versions use the Unisphere for PowerMax REST API with these systems.

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