SANsymphony-V v10 - Hands-on experience part I

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With SANSymphony-V v10 being released last week I thought it was time to get some hands-on-experience with the update process and the new features. Attention, my last information is that DCIEs have to attend a course to be allowed to upgrade productive sites to v10. As I do this in our private test lab this isn't a problem but you should avoid doing this on your productive installation!

The first difference between v9 and v10 is the size of the download file. V9 was about 95MB in size, v10 is ~120MB. Most of the difference is because in the v10 installation zip there is also the new deployment wizard with ~15MB in size. I will cover the usage of the deployment wizard in another blog post.

Reading through the release notes I was surprised that DataCore adds several (in numbers 12) critical and many non-critical bugfixes into v10.0.0.0 for v9 installations. Normally with major releases there is no mention of bugfixes related to older versions. This makes v10 not only a version upgrade with several new features but also a critical bugfix version for all v9 installations.

Next thing to be aware of is the new requirements (hardware as well as software) for the new version. On the software side you only need .NET Framework 4.5.1 (v9 can work with 4.5) and Windows Server 2008R2 or newer. So nothing big to be done here. DataCore also recommends to apply all available Windows patches to the system before upgrading. In my case this was ~35 patches with 800MB in size and the installation is only 5 months on duty so this took most of the time for the update process :-)

On the hardware side things look a bit different. v10 needs definetly more memory than v9. This is mainly related to the new features and a changed memory management. In my test lab where the two DataCore servers have 16GB of RAM each, v9 used 10GB for caching. V10 only uses 8GB, giving the underlying Windows OS "more air to breath". Also new hardware is supported, 16Gb FC and 40/56Gb Ethernet, but this is only relevant to new installations. For upgrades you can be pretty sure your existing hardware is still supported with v10 (if you come from v9. If you have older versions you should check the FAQs for a list of supported resp. problematic/not supported hardware) 

The installation itself is pretty straight-forward. If you check the release notes all things you have to consider before upgrading are the same as if you simply patch yout v8/v9 installation to the latest version. In my test lab the update procedure took 2h (I spent 1,5h only for the Windows patches) and had no impact on the production data. Okay, my test lab consists of only two little loaded vSphere 5.5 systems and a physical Windows Server 2012 backup node so nothing special like snapshots, CDP or replication but I think this setup is pretty common and gives you an idea on how much time you should plan for the update process.

After the update finished I startet the GUI and as expected, very liite changes can be found. I guess 95% of the GUI is untouched, only the new system healt tab with the new sub-tabs "Bandwidth" and "Storage" and the view on the allocation maps changed.














The sub-tab "Bandwidth" now shows actual latencies and bandwidth usage for the available/used ports whereas the "Storage" tab simply gives you the pie-view you already know from the pool status page.

The "Allocation map" now gives you real-time statistics for IOPs and IO latencies on a physical disk base. Pretty cool.....

As changes in the GUI aren't that important to me as the new features v10 brings, I will now leave this article and switch over to part II where I get some hands-on practice with these new functions.

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