Adding VVols to vCenter from a Dell EMC Unity all flash array

The Dell EMC Unity array is a capable mid-market platform able to support a variety of workloads.

In the all-flash configuration it delivers good performance for Oracle databases, and with the ability to support VVols is a good choice for databases virtualized with VMware ESX 6.

The following blog post walks you through adding VVol based shared storage for an Oracle 12c RAC using ASM and virtualized on VMware ESX 6.

First, log into the Unisphere interface, which thankfully now supports HTML5 and no longer requires Java.  Click on the Access tab on the left, and then select the VMware sub-tab.

Then click vCenters on the top menu and press the + button to add a new vCenter.


Enter the DNS address or IP address, username and password of the vCenter management server and click Next.  Unisphere should identify the release of the vCenter it is communicating with and show it on the screen.


Next, click the Capability Profile option and create a new profile. This profile will be applied to VVols assigned to it.  In this example I have named my profile GCTPROF1.  Click Next.


On the next page we can determine the performance characteristics of VVols assigned to the profile.  In this example I am using a Unity All-Flash, so the only performance option presented is Extreme Performance.


The next screen allows us to review the settings of the new profile.  Click Finish.


Next, we will create a VMware data store to hold the VVols.  Click the Datastores tab and select VVol (Block).


Enter a name and a description for the new datastore and click Next. In this example I have named the datastore VVOLDS1.


Next, assign the Capability Profile we created in the earlier step to the new data store.  We can also assign a capacity limit.  Click Next.


In the next screen we can define which hosts are allowed to use the datastore. Since I wanted to be able to vMotion VMs without limit, I assign all ESX hosts access.


The final page is a summary screen.  If everything looks okay then click Finish to create the new datastore.


Now we have created a Capability Profile and a Datastore for the VVols, we can add the Unity to vCenter as a Storage Provider. Log into vCenter, select the cluster and select Storage Providers.


Click the green add button under Storage Providers.


Add the credentials for the Unity array.  Note that to add the Unity as a Storage Provider, use the Unisphere address with the /vasa/version.xml added as shown.


Once vCenter has communicated with Unity, it will be added to the list of storage providers as shown.


Rescan the HBAs, and a new datastore will appear.  This is the data store we just created to hold VVols.  Click on the new datastore and confirm it is the same VVOLDS1 created in the earlier step.


We can now add VVols to out VMs, but first we need a SCSI controller added able to share access to the VVols.  Edit each VM that will share a VVol and add a new Paravirtual SCSI controller with SCSI Bus Sharing set to Physical.


Next we can add a new disk to the first VM.  Edit the settings and select Add New Hard Disk.

Select the size of the new disk, and set the VM storage policy to VVol No Requirements Policy, or if you have created an alternative for your VVols, choose that instead.  The location will be the datastore that was added when Unity was added as a storage provider, and not stored with the VM.

For shared VVols the disk provisioning will be Eager Zero Thick and the sharing flag will be set to Multi-Writer.

Make sure the VVol is added to the SCSI controller that was added in the previous step.  The SCSI controller needs to have SCSI bus sharing enabled for the VVol to be shared.

The disk mode needs to be Independent – Persistent mode.


Move to the next VM and add an Existing Hard Disk.  Then select the VMDK that was created when adding the VVol to the previous VM.  Ensure that the other hard disk settings match the ones from the previous VM.


Now that the VVols have been added to both VMs, we can move to Linux to see if they are visible.  Using the /lib/udev/scsi_id -g -u command we can see the SCSI ID of the new disk:

[root@unirac01 ~]# ./
device:/dev/sda size(GB):100 scsi_id:
device:/dev/sda1 size(GB):1 scsi_id:
device:/dev/sda2 size(GB):98 scsi_id:
device:/dev/sdb size(GB):25 scsi_id:36000c29dc94d2acfa1da098e23cf81e9

Check that the disk is visible from all nodes.

Create a UDEV rule on all nodes to present the new disk as an ASM device.  In this case we are creating ASM disk /dev/oracleasm/ocr1.

[root@unirac01 ~]# cat /etc/udev/rules.d/99-oracleasm.rules
KERNEL=="sd?", ENV{ID_SERIAL}=="36000c29dc94d2acfa1da098e23cf81e9", SYMLINK+="oracleasm/ocr1", OWNER="oracle", GROUP="oinstall", MODE="0660"

Restart the UDEV processor to make the new disk visible to ASM.

[root@unirac01 ~]# /sbin/udevadm control --reload-rules
[root@unirac01 ~]# /sbin/udevadm trigger

One thought on “Adding VVols to vCenter from a Dell EMC Unity all flash array

  1. Pingback: Adding VVols to vCenter from a Dell EMC Unity all flash array – 一站

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