SSSU and You!
Now, in a previous posting, I mentioned that I would talk more about SSSU, especially in talking about how to export the information and then put it into a human readable format. SSSU can output xml format, but that requires some type of xml parsing tool. I did mention that Microsoft’s Log Parser tool could be used, but really I’m lazy, and it’s a bit cumbersome. And truth be told, I never got it to work just right.
So last night I sat down and did some old fashioned thinking about how I can get the information I need, but easier and with less effort. I started toying with powershell as it’s a good friend in the VMware space. I have to confess though that I have a Mac. Yes, I enjoy monotasking. Nothing wrong with that 😉 I then realized (as I sometimes forget) that I had a whole delicious CLI on my mac. This includes great tools like grep and diff! Well and a lot more, but I’ll stick to those for now. (Note that you can get grep and diff for Windows, via either the Windows versions of those tools, or using Cygwin). Fear not win32 folks, you are covered!
Let me take a step back and cover the premise for wanting to gather information from SSSU. As we know, Command View is a web-based interface for communicating with the EVAs. While it does provide lots of information, it is troublesome to navigate around and get that information easily. One off kinds of things, certainly. But pulling in lots of info easily, I think not. One big flaw, in my mind, is that CV talks to the EVAs via the SAN, and not via IP. Why is this a flaw? Well, for instance, SSSU can’t talk directly to the EVAs themselves. Rather, it has to talk to the CV server (which is why it prompts you when you fire it up for a “manager”). This also means you can’t use SSSU to do anything if your CV server has bit the dust. But I digress.
From the arrays, I want to gather information on my vdisks, my controllers, snapshots, disks, and my disk groups. I want to gather some information once, some monthly, and some on a more regular basis.
For the vdisks, I run (via SSSU) this command: LS VDISK FULL > vdisk.txt (This will output the information into a text file in the directory where the sssu.exe is located) Then, I fire up my command line, and grep that sucker for some info:
grep “familyname|allocatedcapacity|redundancy|diskgroupname” textfile > date_vdisk.txt
This output will give me a file with the date that has the information I am specifically looking for
As stated before, I am quite lazy and so I could use (or you could use) awk (another great command line text processor) to generate the output in a better format. But instead, I keep it like this. Note that allocatedcapacity is the vdisk size in GB. Now, since I’m generating these files monthly, I can use the diff command to compare two months and see what has changed (disk grows, adds, deletes, etc).
diff -y date_vdisk1.txt date_vdisk2.txt | grep “familyname|allocatedcapacity”
Note the | in there. The older date is on the left, and the newer date is on the right. So it’s easy to see which has changed and by how much. Arguably you could make this even easier, but again, lazy. And this works for me, so your mileage may vary.
Since these are simple text files, it’s easy and pain free to keep them around. Overall, I use this information for vdisks to track growth, easy at a glance for what vdisk is what size/raid level, and you can also pull out info to find out what controller has what disks.
This leads me into talking about what information I grab from my controllers. Now, one thing to note: The EVA4400 series only has one listed Controller (in this case Controller 1). This is because of how it is designed: both controllers are in the same housing, sharing a back plane. We have three 8100 series, each having two physically separate controllers, listed as Controller 1 and Controller 2.
First, to find out ALL the info on your controllers, do LS CONTROLLER FULL in SSSU. The output will be big and full of interesting details. One other thing to note: SSSU denotes them as Controllers 1 and 2. Command View denotes them as Controllers A and B. Lame! For what I need, I don’t need to keep controller info like I do vdisk info. I will do an initial grab after an XCS code update to keep handy.
One pretty handy way to find out what snapshots you have on any given EVA for a point in time is to use LS SNAPSHOT. You can also do an LS SNAPSHOT FULL if you want the full info per snapshot (like the vdisk info). The key difference between a snapshot and a normal vdisk is the line item sharingrelationship. A normal vdisk will have none, but a snapshot will say snapshot
When it comes to gathering information on disks, I use this primarily to check firmware levels. If you are an EVA owner, you know that as part of the care and feeding of an EVA comes making sure all drives are at the most current level of firmware. Updates are also usually done and bundled with XCS updates. One thing to be aware is that with drive failures, replacements may not always come with the latest firmware. They should, but I have not always seen that. Thankfully firmware updates are non-invasive (for the most part). I will cover an XCS code upgrade in a future blog post (our EVA4400 is due).
So, if you do LS DISK FULL from SSSU, you will get all the info from each disk. You can then just grep for fun and profit!
grep “diskname|firmware” disks.txt
So you are saying hey that’s great, but I have multiple kinds of disks in my EVA. So, you need to know what model of drive so you can keep things sorted as to what firmware is for what drive. Easy way is to just sort by disk group. Since you built your EVA correctly, you know only to put drives of the same type and speed into the same group right? 😉
grep “diskname|diskgroupname|firmware” disks.txt
You can also grab the model number for the drives by tossing in modelnumber to the grep.
And finally, since you all are probably bored to tears now, I grab the size of the disk group to know what kind of overall growth or change occurs on each group. I can also use this information to plan out new server storage requests, and manage to 90% capacity. Easier to give management a shiny graph saying “Look, almost out of disk. Checkbook time!”
Okay, so that about wraps up what I use SSSU for. If I think about anything else neat that I do, I’ll be sure to blog about it. The next blog topic will be about WEBES, its use, the install, and the fact that it actually works pretty good. J