The EMC Unity product line is a mid-range storage platform built completely from the group up as an eventual replacement for most VNX and VNXe use cases. The Unity virtual storage appliance is a software defined storage platform bringing the software intelligence of Unity arrays to your existing storage infrastructure.
The Unity VSA is ideal for remote office and branch offices (ROBO) as well as hardware consolidation and IT staging and testing. It comes in a 4 TB free community edition and a subscription based professional edition which seamlessly scales up from 10 TB to 20 or 50 TB. The virtual storage appliance includes all the features of the Unity range such as replication, data protection snapshots, FAST VP auto-tiering and more.
See also EMC Unity Setup Guide, which covers a walkthrough on the setup of a physical Unity array.
- Affordable software defined solution
- Deploy to your existing storage infrastructure
- Quick and easy setup of CIFS, NFS and iSCSI
- Unified block, file and VMware VVOLs support
- Allows VMware administrators to manage storage from vCenter
- HTML5-enabled Unisphere management
- Manage virtual storage and physical arrays together
- ESXi 5.5 or later (must be ESXi 6.0 or later for VVOLs)
- The use of VMware vCenter Server to manage ESXi is optional but recommended
- The Unity VSA requires 2 vCPU, 12 GB RAM and 6 NICs (4 ports for I/O, 1 for Unisphere, 1 for system use)
If you are deploying the Unity VSA in a production environment then you should consider how the data is stored across your existing hardware ensuring RAID and HA are configured appropriately. If you are presenting VMware datastores or virtual volumes then contact EMC support for best practises and the VMware vStorage APIs for Storage Integration (VAAI) and vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA).
Deploying Unity VSA
Download the OVA file from https://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/unity-vsa.htm and deploy the OVA to vSphere. Accept the extra configuration options, this is just to disable time synchronisation of the virtual machine as it is controlled from within the appliance.
The only customisation settings required are the system name and network settings.
Once the appliance has been deployed right click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings. Add the virtual hard disks required for the file systems on your virtual appliance, this can be done later but you will not be able to create any storage pools until additional disks are added. Note that virtual hard disks 1 – 3 are for system use and should not be modified.
Powered on the appliance, when it has fully booted browse to the IP address configured during the OVF deployment process. Log in with the default user of admin with password Password123#.
The Unisphere configuration wizard will auto start, click Next.
Accept the license agreement and click Next.
Configure the admin and service passwords, click Next.
Obtain a license key from https://www.emc.com/auth/elmeval.htm and click Install License to upload the .lic file, click Next.
Configure the DNS servers and click Next.
Configure the NTP servers and click Next.
You can create a pool now or later. To create a storage pool now click Create Pools. Unisphere scans for virtual disks available to the VM that can be used for a storage pool. Once the storage pool has been created click Next.
Configure the SMTP server and recipients for email alerts, click Next.
Add the network interfaces to use for iSCSI and click Next.
Add a NAS server to store metadata, click Next.
This concludes the Unisphere configuration wizard.
You will be returned to the Unisphere dashboard.
The virtual storage appliance has now been deployed and uses the same software and Unisphere interface as its hardware counterpart. From here you can go ahead and setup CIFS and NFS shares or present iSCSI targets.