Nimble Storage Cinder Integration

In this post, I will only cover the Nimble Storage Cinder Integration for OpenStack Icehouse.

Some of you have already an OpenStack cloud in their environment and also own a Nimble Storage array, others might not have an OpenStack cloud yet but consider it. Nimble Storage just announced officially their OpenStack integration. Starting with Juno, the Nimble Cinder driver will be shipped with the OpenStack release. The actual approval and blue print can be found here. For Icehouse, you’ll need to download the driver from InfoSight or request it from support.

Follow these 6 steps to upload the Nimble Cinder driver, configure and test it:

Note: The steps below cover a single-backend configuration. A multi-backend configuration will be covered in a separate post.

  1. Upload your Cinder driver to /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/cinder/volume/drivers
  2. Add theNimbleCinderparameters to /etc/cinder/cinder.conf within the [DEFAULT] section
  3. Restartcinder-api, cinder-scheduler and cinder-volume
  4. Create a volume either via Horizon or the CLI

  5. Verify the volume has successfully been created
  6. Verify the creation of the volume on your storage array. Go to Manage -> Volumes


Silicon Valley OpenStack Ops Meetup

Yesterday, I attended the Silicon Valley OpenStack Ops Meetup and held a troubleshooting session focusing on Cinder, Keystone and Nova. The event was hosted by Nimble Storage, ElasticBox and SwiftStack. The focus of this Meetup was to share tips and tricks.

The event was hosted at Nimble Storage’s campus in San Jose, CA.

Nimble_Storage_HQ211-281 River Oaks Pwky

Even though the San Francisco Giants were playing their first World Series game, roughly 100 people attended the event. I think this is a pretty good turnout for the first Silicon Valley OpenStack Ops Meetup.

20141021_182130  20141021_182138

I was lucky and gathered a slot together with Wen Yu to cover OpenStack Shared Storage and Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks. To be honest, I have never been this nervous before. This was the first time speaking in front of more than 20 people.



5:45 PM – Doors Open, Food Served, Meet and Greet
6:20 PM – Bill Borsari & Pat Darisme ( Meetup Organizers ),  Nimble Storage – Meet Up kickoff
6:30 PM – Ravi Srivatsav ( CEO ), ElasticBox – Avoiding cloud lock-in to give you total freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications faster than ever before.
6:50 PM – John Dickinson ( SwiftStack technical lead & OpenStack Swift PLM ), SwiftStack – Swift Product Line Manager talks about Object Storage and Swift in the Enterprise
7:10 PMWen Yu ( Nimble Product Manager ) & Jan Schwoebel ( Nimble Virtualization Support Lead ), Nimble Storage – OpenStack Shared Storage and TroubleShooting Tips and Tricks
7:30 PM – 9 PM – Meet the Presenters

  • Bill Bosari and Pat Darisme kicked off the event and welcomed all participants, who made it to the event even though the SF Giants had the first World Series Game.
  • Robin
    • OverviewofElasticBox
      • Mission: ElasticBox empowers business to innovate faster by making it insanely easy for IT, ops and developers to build, manage and deploy applications in the cloud
      • Architecture:
        • Build any application and host it within any, supported, cloud (Amazon, Google, VMware, OpenStack,…)
        • Seamlessly migrate applications from cloud to cloud, don’t be locked down to one cloud solution
        • Share applications and “boxes” with people
          • Boxes are a bundle of packages
  • John Dickinson – Slides can be found here 
    • What is Swift?
      • Swift is an Object Store
      • Great for unstructured data which grows and grows (Images, Videos, Documents,…)
    • What problem does Swift solve?
      • It is build for availability and durability
      • Users do no longer have to worry about where the data is located
      • Great manageability
      • Migrate data without any downtime for your users
    • HowdoesSwiftStack fit in?
      • Provides a manage and control center for Swift
      • Add two additional components, controller & gateway
      • Gateway is a SMB/CIFS and NFS server
      • SwiftStack will provide an all-day workshop in SF on October 28th. Details can be found here
  • Wen Yu
    • Value of Shared Storage
    • Nimble Cinder Features
    • ITO – Image Transfer Optimization.

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.02.37 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.06.26 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.02.54 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.03.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.03.13 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.03.24 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.02.44 PM

  • Jan Schwoebel
    • OpenStack Troubleshooting and Tips
    • About me
    • Troubleshooting Keystone
    • Troubleshooting Cinder
    • Troubleshooting Nova

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.10.45 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.10.52 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.00 PMScreen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.23 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.32 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.41 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.48 PM  Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.11.55 PM  Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.12.03 PM Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 3.12.10 PM

Unfortunately, I haven’t received the slides from Robin and John yet. However, as soon as I receive them, I’ll add them to this post.

SCSI UNMAP – VMware ESXi and Nimble Storage Array

Starting with VMware ESXi 5.0, VMware introduced the SCSI UNMAP primitive (VAAI Thin Provisioning Block Reclaim) to their VAAI feature collection for thin provisioned LUNs. VMware even automated the SCSI UNMAP process, however, starting with ESXi 5.0U1, SCSI UNMAP became a manual process. Also, SCSI UNMAP needs to be supported by your underlying SAN array. Nimble Storage started to support SCSI UNMAPs with Nimble OS version and later.

What is the problem?

When deleting a file from your VMFS5 datastore (thin provisioned), the usage reported on your datastore and the underlying Nimble Storage volume will not match. The Nimble Storage volume is not aware of any space reclaimed within the VMFS5 datastore. This could be caused by a single file like an ISO but also be due to the deletion of a whole virtual machine.

What version of VMFS is supported?

You can run SCSI UNMAPs against VMFS5 and upgraded VMFS3-to-VMFS5 datastores.

What needs to be done on the Nimble Storage array?

SCSI UNMAP is supported by Nimble Storage arrays starting from version and later.
There is nothing to be done on the array.

How do I run SCSI UNMAP on VMware ESXi 5.x?

  1. Establish a SSH session to your ESXi host which has the datastore mounted.
  2. Run esxcli storage core path list | grep -e ‘Device Display Name’ -e ‘Target Transport Details’  to get a list of volumes including the EUI identifier. list eui for scsi unmap
  3. Run VAAI status get to verify if SCSI UNMAP (Delete Status) is supported for the volume.
    esxcli storage core device vaai status get -d eui.e5f46fe18c8acb036c9ce900c48a7f60
    VAAI Plugin Name:
    ATS Status: supported
    Clone Status: unsupported
    Zero Status: supported
    Delete Status: supported
  4. Change to the datastore directory.
    cd /vmfs/volumes/
  5. Run vmkfstools to trigger SCSI UNMAPs.
    vmkstools -y
    For ESXi 5.5: Use 
    esxcli storage vmfs unmap -l
    Note: the value for the percentage has to be between 0 and 100. Generally, I recommend using 60 to start with.
  6. Wait until the ESXi host returns “Done”.


Further details for ESXi 5.0 and 5.1 can be found here  and for ESXi 5.5, please click here.



InfoSight – Manage Case Creation Efficiently

Nimble Storage’s InfoSight changes how storage administrators manage and monitor their arrays in today’s environment. InfoSight includes many great features for free. Just to mention a few, the Assets tab provides a basic overview of your array’s storage and cache utilization as well as it’s configured pro-active health mechanisms. The Capacity tab shows the current usage as well as projected usage for the upcoming weeks.

Today, we’ll cover how to manage case creation through InfoSight’s Wellness tab.

By default Nimble Storage creates pro-actively cases for any condition on the array which causes an issue or could potentially cause headache for the storage administrator. However, not all pro-active cases might be important to you. If you want to get a list of all pro-active cases which are available on InfoSight, please follow the steps as shown below.

Note: Unchecking a condition equals disabling it.

Please login to Nimble Storage’s InfoSight and go to the Wellness Tab. .


When clicking on Case Creation Options, you’ll get an overview of all case creation conditions and can either set a snooze period or disable them.

Note: Snooze Period indicates after how many days a new case for an existing problem will be created. If Snooze Period has been set to 1, this will create a new case every day until the actual problem has been resolved.

Manage Case Creation


Basically, InfoSight is a great all-in-one tool which even allows you manage Nimble Storage’s pro-active case creation more efficiently. My next post will be about common log files on your ESXi host and how you can use them to your benefit while troubleshooting.