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Ask The Expert: What is ViPR? Let's Start Using ViPR! (Part 1)

Ask The Expert: What is ViPR? Let's Start Using ViPR! (Part 1)

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The following ViPR Q&A was compiled from “Ask the Expert: What is ViPR? Let's Start Using ViPR! (Japanese Version)”,this discussion took place from Sep. 22th 2014 to Oct. 3rd 2014.

There are two parts of this article:

The experts:

Kazuo Hirahara: [A ViPR enthusiast from way back]


Eight years ago, he transferred from presales in PC client management tools to EMC.He's been in storage management ever since. He wants to use ViPR to convey a new aspect of EMC as a software vendor...

Miyazaki Takeshi [All he needs is ViPR]


After nine years at EMC, he has a wide range of experience in both NAS and SAN. Recently he's dedicated himself to the ViPR area.

Performing deliveries that focus on ViPR, he's striving for development of a new service.

Yoshihiko Ishii [He'll go to the ends of the earth for ViPR!]


Director of the ViPR community.

He has a little over two years at EMC, and about one year with ViPR. He spends his days dreaming of spreading ViPR.

Masanori Nakamura: [A strong supporter of ViPR]


A presales SE with seven years' experience in EMC.

He's handled all kinds of products before, such as ECC, Invista, RecoverPoint, Connectrix, PowerPath, CLARiX, and VPLEX. This year, he’s crusading as the man in charge of software products, including ViPR.

There are two parts of this article:

Detailed Information

Precisely because it's a product many are still unfamiliar with, take your "first step" together with the experts!

(1) First, downloading and installing ViPR

(2) Once it's installed, using ViPR to do provisioning for VNX.

(3) Examples of using ViPR for other storage... and more

Let's look at an example of how the experts set up and use ViPR. If there's anything you're unsure about, feel free to ask! Of course, we welcome any other questions you may have about ViPR. Let's start our new adventure!

Where can I download ViPR?

ViPR download site: http://www.emc.com/getvipr

Note: Differences between this version and the full version:

There is no trial period. However, it is limited to non-commercial use.

This version supports the ViPR Controller functions only and storage is up to 300 TB. Other than that, this version has no limitations on functions.

The OVF file included in the download is a single-node, non-cluster configuration.

(This is different from the 3-node and 5-node cluster configurations provided with the full version.)

No technical support from EMC. Please resolve questions related to installation and settings by going to community sites or taking other initiatives.

For more threads about other common terms.

About "Software Defined"


What is virtualization?


The outline of ViPR

If you are involved in storage management, you probably use storage from different vendors and models on a daily basis. Have you ever wished that operations could be integrated? Perhaps you wish it were easier to allot volumes to servers?

ViPR is software that makes this kind of daily storage management easier.

Of course, ViPR is what's commonly known as software-defined storage. It's not a tool that simply integrates or automates operations. I expect that many of your corporations and organizations use applications and services based on mobile devices. And the storage used for that is different from the SAN storage or NAS storage used in conventional work applications, right? I'm sure that some of you use cloud services, like Amazon's S3. A new category of storage, so-called "object storage," is becoming an important part of the storage foundation.

If we look at ViPR from a somewhat wider perspective, we could say it's a product that provides a software structure for freely controlling both the storage used in conventional applications and the new type of storage used in next-generation applications.

The following illustration shows a storage foundation environment that uses ViPR. I hope you can see how ViPR makes it possible to simply construct a storage environment that can handle various workloads and requirements while managing various devices in a uniform way.


Within this environment, the software called ViPR Controller is in charge of centralized management and automation of storage devices. This ViPR Controller has three features.

Feature 1: ViPR masks the differences in the GUI and commands that are unique to each storage device, allowing you to operate using ViPR's consistent GUI and set of commands. You can use the same operations to control VMAX, VNX, Isilon, and the products of other companies.


Feature 2: The concept of a virtual pool summarizes multiple storage environments simply. For example, it's no longer necessary to have and manage several NAS storage products of the same model, while paying attention to the usage of each individual device. ViPR assembles these multiple storage products and creates a single, federated virtual pool. The user simply has to select a virtual pool according to his or her purpose. ViPR then selects and performs provisioning to achieve optimal storage.


Feature 3: ViPR automates the whole allotting process from storage to server. You can now execute a job that used to consist of multiple steps with a single click. This helps eliminate human error due to manual operation and also enables you to resolve your own storage management issues.


We’re currently undertaking verification to install the ViPR Controller for the customers that the experts here are in charge of. Our results have been highly commended; we reduced the time taken for storage provisioning from half a day to just five minutes.

Another software application, ViPR Services, uses a combination of normal x86 server internal disks or the NFS area of an NAS as a single storage device in various ways such as object storage. The software controls input and output for the storage. It already offers HDFS and block access as well as object access. We plan to implement access types such as file access and Key-Value. You can say VIPR Services really is a software-controlled data path that can flexibly support the workload of the future.

This ViPR Controller is a basic function necessary for installing ViPR. So, in this Ask The Expert, let's first try out this ViPR Controller.

How to install the ViPR free trial version

First, as I mentioned at the start of this thread, you need to download the free trial version in order to try ViPR. You can download it from the following website:


Press the "Download ViPR now" button on this screen to proceed.


There are a number of document links provided at the bottom of this screen.


The Quick Start Guide provides a simple explanation of how to install the ViPR free trial.

The Product Document Index provides links to the ViPR product documents in html format.

The Data Sheet and Support Matrix contain the microcode requirements for storage equipment when introducing ViPR. The Support Matrix accessed by this link is a little bit old, so please download the latest version from the following link:

ViPR Support Matrix - Rev 06

Now, let's experience how ViPR works in an NAS environment. Compared to other environments such as an FC-SAN environment, the preparation is simple, so it is easy for you to try it. Here is a simple configuration diagram.


First, you will need to prepare the following:

ESXi server (5.0.x, 5.1.x, or 5.5.x)

vCenter server (This can be constructed on a VM)

A VNFS or NFS Data Store of about a few dozen GB

VNX File storage ( or or VNX2 File storage (,, or

Downloaded ViPR free trial (ViPR_Download.zip)

Also, the installation will proceed smoothly if you prepare the following information:

The IP address and credential information for the vCenter server

The IP address and credential information for the control station for VNX File storage

Two IP addresses for ViPR (one each for the ViPR vApp and the console)

The IP addresses for the default gateway, DNS and NTP servers.

Netmask information

Oh, I nearly forgot something important... Regarding how much ESXi server resources are required, you need four cores and 16 GB of memory for each vApp VM. This time, we also need resources for the vCenter server VM, but for now it should be sufficient to have four cores and 16 GB of memory. Also, the data storage area requires 600 GB or more, but if you use the Thin Provisioning format, a few dozen GB should be enough.

It would also be a good idea to check that there is a NAS storage pool in the VNX File storage. This storage pool is required for creating a ViPR virtual pool. It is even better if there are a number of storage pools, because that allows you to create a variety of virtual pools.


Okay, let's install ViPR. First, unzip the ViPR_Download.zip file that you downloaded earlier. The vipr- file is the ViPR vAppitself, and the ViPR_Controller_License.lic file is the free trial license file.


To deploy vApp, log into the vCenter server, and select "Deploy OVF template...".


Select vipr- from the downloaded files you unzipped earlier, and click "Next".


Click Next.


Select "I agree" for the license agreement, and click "Next".


Type the vApp name (or leave it as it is) and click "Next".


Specify the ESXi host or cluster and click "Next".


Click Next.


Specify VMFS/NFS datastore to which vApp is deployed, and click "Next".


This time, specify Thin Provision and click "Next".


Specify the VM network to be used by ViPR and click "Next".


Enter the necessary parameters in the area shown in red and click "Next".

ViPR vApp IP address

A virtual IP address (IP address for accessing the console) for ViPR vApp

Default gateway IP address


Check what you have entered and click "End".


Now vApp is deployed. Once the deployment is complete, the VM automatically starts, and after a while it becomes possible to access the ViPR console via http://<virtual IP address for ViPR>.


How to make the initial ViPR settings

When you access http://<virtual IP address for ViPR>, a login screen like the one shown below appears. If a message such as "Service Unavailable" appears, get a cup of coffee and wait a little while! If the login screen still does not appear, maybe there was a mistake in the IP address or other parameters you entered when deploying ViPR vApp. If so, delete the vApp in issue and then re-deploy.

Log in with the user name "root" and the password "ChangeMe".


Choose the license file named “ViPR_Controller_License.lic”, and then click “Upload License”.


Set up the password to log in to the console and vApp VM via ssh. Then click Next→”.


Set up DNS servers and NTP servers. Then click Next→”.


Choose None for ConnectEMC Transport, and then click Next→”.


Leave "SMTP Settings" unchanged. Then click "Finish" to finish.


The ViPR console will reboot and the System Maintenance screen will come up. Wait a few minutes for this to happen.


The ViPR Controller dashboard shows up. If "Controller Status" in "System Health" shows "Stable", you are set to go!


How to discover VNX and create Virtual Pools

Now we need to discover the VNX File, which is the physical storage. To create a virtual pool for ViPR, the first requirement is to make sure that the ViPR Controller recognizes the storage equipment, namely the physical assets (resources), and the host (this time, the ESXi Hypervisor) to which resources are provisioned. This is what we call “discovery” (detection).

Before that, let's make sure the management console is in Admin mode. Virtual Asset configuration needs an authorized user. Today, we are the default root user, so we can perform this configuration. Check the mode shown at the upper right of the console. If "User" appears here, change to Admin mode.


Let's start! Register the physical assets using the "Physical Assets" menu. You can access this menu from the menu icon on the left side of the console. Click the icon to show the menu pane.



First, let's discover the VNX File.

From the menu, select Physical AssetsStorage Systems.

Click the green +Add.

In "Type", choose EMC VNX File

Enter the name of the VNX File (e.g. /5200Sydney) in "Name", the IP address assigned to VNX File Control Station in "Control Station IP", and the Control Station credentials in "User" and "Password".

Then go to the bottom and enter the credentials in "Onboard Storage Provider". Normally, these are the same as the Control Station credentials.

After entering all information, click Save.

The discovery information screen looks like this.



Once Discover is successful, a green status icon is displayed on the right of the console. If it is red, tick the "VNX File" check box, then click Rediscover.


By the way, you can check the storage pool/network interface for VNX File by clicking the Pools, Ports button next to the status icon. You should also be able to confirm from Unisphere that the same things have been discovered properly. These are the storage pools.

This is the network interface (mge_x is used for VNX File only, and thus ViPR cannot see it).



Next, we'll discover the ESXi cluster for NFS Data store.

From the menu, select Physical AssetsvCenters.

Click the green +Add.

Enter the vCenter server name (an easy-to-remember name is fine) in "Name", the vCenter server's FQDN or IP address in "Host", and the vCenter server credentials in "Username" and "Password".

Then go to the bottom and enter the credentials in "Onboard Storage Provider". Normally, these are the same as the Control Station credentials.

After entering all information, click Save.


Once Discover is successful, the status icon at the right of the console turns green.


After discovering the vCenter, ViPR will register the ESXi host and ESXcluster. The menu item Physical Assets Clusters will show the ESXi host.


The menu item Physical AssetsClusters will show the ESX cluster.


Then you can set up the network. In the FC-SAN environment, we can check the network config from Fabric info, but in the iSCSI-SAN and NAS environment, we will have to input this information. Now, let's register the network interface for the VNX File and the NIC of the ESXi host in the network defined by ViPR.

From the menu, select Physical Assets  → Networks.

Click the green +Create IP Network.

Enter the network name (an easy-to-remember name is fine) in "Name"

In the network config screen, click +Add then choose Add Array Ports.

Choose the network interface used for VNX File Data Mover, then click +Add.

In the network config screen, click +Add then choose Add Host Ports.

Choose the network interface used for ESXi server, then click +Add.

After filling in all the information, click Save.

Network config screen


Adding VNX File network interface


Adding ESXi host network interface

Network config (completed)

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