Configuring Nimble Storage

Once your Nimble storage array is setup and zoned with the appropriate servers, you can start presenting volumes. The first step is to create an initiator group; a volume or LUN is mapped to an initiator group which contains the initiator World Wide Port Names (WWPN).

Open a browser and navigate to the IP address of the Nimble device. Select Manage and Initiator Groups, click Create. Enter a name and add the aliases and WWPN of the servers you want to present storage to. You can create multiple initiator groups and a server can be a member of multiple initiator groups.

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When all your initiators are added and grouped you can proceed to create and map a volume. Click Manage and Volumes, select New Volume.

Enter a volume name and chose a performance policy based on the application or platform you are using, or create your own. From the drop down list of initiator groups you created earlier select the initiator group to present the new volume to. The LUN number is auto populated but can be changed, click Next.

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Enter the size of the volume and any reserves or quotas you wish to apply, click Next. Volumes are thin provisioned by default.

If you want to configure snapshots to protect your volume, or volume caching you can do so here by selecting the relevant options, otherwise click No volume collection, Next and Finish.

The volume is now mapped to the initiator. There are a couple of further steps you should take on your server before using the newly presented storage.

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Windows Initiator

If you are presenting Nimble storage direct to a Windows host you should install the Nimble Windows Toolkit. The toolkit includes the Nimble Device Specific Module (DSM) and you will need the Multipath I/O (MPIO) feature installed. For the purpose of this post I will be installing version 2.3.2 of the Nimble Windows Toolkit which requires Windows 2008 R2 or later and .NET Framework 4.5.2.

Log in to Infosight and select Software Downloads from the Resources drop down. Click Windows Toolkit and download the appropriate version. Check for any required Windows hot-fixes in the release notes.

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On your Windows server run the setup as an administrator and follow the onscreen prompts. Once the Nimble Windows Toolkit is installed the server will require a reboot. You will then see Nimble Connection Manager listed in programs, and the Nimble DSM in use on the properties of the disk in Disk Management.

ESXi Initiator

If you are presenting Nimble storage to an ESXi host you can install Nimble Connection Manager which includes the Nimble Path Selection Policy (PSP) for VMware. You will need ESXi 5.x or above.

Log in to Infosight.nimblestorage.com and select Software Downloads from the Resources drop down. Click Connection Manager (NCM) for VMware and download the appropriate version.

Within the zip file that is downloaded you will find the Nimble vibs; you can either deploy the zip file using VMware Update Manager, inject the vibs to your hosts manually or build them into your image if you are using VMware Auto Deploy.

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