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Loss of XMS VM?

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It sounds like deploying the XMS as a VM is the recommended approach.  I presume it is a best practice to use VADP image-level backup software to backup the XMS on a regular basis (nightly?).  Let's assume worst-case scenario, the XMS was not backed up, and for whatever reason the storage array it was running on suffers data loss and the XMS is destroyed.  What is the procedure to build a new XMS and connect to an existing XtremIO Cluster?  Is this a disruptive operation?  Does the cluster get impacted in any way?  Is there a need to have the encryption keys imported, or does the XMS "bypass" encryption?

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Hi Bill,

Good question! What I often tell customers is that if the XMS were lost or destroyed by accident, you can simply do the following to recover the XMS:

1. Deploy new XMS ova VM with equal or greater code of the cluster

2. Upload code image (upgrade-to-4.0.2-80.tar as an example) to the XMS using the xmsupload account and WinSCP

3. Perform XMS install only (from xinstall account in the CLI on the XMS) targeting to code file you uploaded

4. Perform XMS recovery of the cluster

Some of these steps can be a bit of a task if you are unfamiliar with the xinstall (easy install) CLI. EMC Support can assist if this is ever needed.

These tasks are non-disruptive to host I/O on the array. The loss of the XMS will not cause the array to be down. As far as the image-level backup of the VM, I have seen instances where a the backup software used will cause a hang in the XMS requiring a reboot of the XMS. Just be aware of that! Finally, there should be no concerns to the cluster encryption when recovering a XMS as encryption is handled at the cluster level (SED of the SSDs) rather than the XMS level.

Thanks,

Chris Mahon, VCP, EMCIE, EMCCA

EMC Corporation | Delivery Specialist II

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Hi Bill,

Good question! What I often tell customers is that if the XMS were lost or destroyed by accident, you can simply do the following to recover the XMS:

1. Deploy new XMS ova VM with equal or greater code of the cluster

2. Upload code image (upgrade-to-4.0.2-80.tar as an example) to the XMS using the xmsupload account and WinSCP

3. Perform XMS install only (from xinstall account in the CLI on the XMS) targeting to code file you uploaded

4. Perform XMS recovery of the cluster

Some of these steps can be a bit of a task if you are unfamiliar with the xinstall (easy install) CLI. EMC Support can assist if this is ever needed.

These tasks are non-disruptive to host I/O on the array. The loss of the XMS will not cause the array to be down. As far as the image-level backup of the VM, I have seen instances where a the backup software used will cause a hang in the XMS requiring a reboot of the XMS. Just be aware of that! Finally, there should be no concerns to the cluster encryption when recovering a XMS as encryption is handled at the cluster level (SED of the SSDs) rather than the XMS level.

Thanks,

Chris Mahon, VCP, EMCIE, EMCCA

EMC Corporation | Delivery Specialist II

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Thanks, that is great to hear!  Does EMC have an official "best practice" on backing up the virtual XMS?

Bill

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We don’t support backing up the vXMS using snapshots or any other backup software (due to the fact it would mean reverting to an earlier config that would be out of sync with the array).

As Chris mentioned earlier, the XMS data is stored on the array which can easily be recoved if needed.

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Best practice is to NOT backup (or snapshot) the vXMS.

Doing so means that it reverts to an older version when you restore it, which leave you with the XMS and the array(s) it's managing being out of sync.

The only valid way today to "restore" the XMS is to deploy a new XMS, as Chris has mentioned.

The reason the restore works is that the XMS actually backs up its config to the storage controllers at regular (frequent) intervals, so when you do the XMS recovery it's bringing back a current version of the XMS and array config.

We're working on options for external backups, simply because some people like to have them, but they really aren't needed at least as far as configuration/etc goes.  (Performance history is the exception, and today there's no way to back that up)

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Great info, thanks so much to everyone for sharing!!

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one question that i have is where do i download the code image to bring up to proper 4.0.2.80 version.

thanks

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You can find that on support.emc.com under the XtremIO product or just by searching. Note - access to download it depends on the proper credentials.

-Keith

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Keith,

i must not have the proper access as i have searched and i do not have that in my search results.

thanks for your reply

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Are you able to access the following link: https://support.emc.com/downloads/34156_XtremIO-HW-Gen2-400GB ?

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