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Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) 2000 is one of the optimized and scalable converged infrastructure platform. Hitachi Automation Director (HAD) provides the powerful and flexible automated service. I would like to show you an example of what you can do with HAD and UCP 2000 together.


For more information about UCP 2000, please see the link below.

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) For VMware vSphere | HDS



Use Case

As of this writing, one UCP 2000 system supports up to 128 server nodes (32 of 2U 4-Node servers). If you already have a UCP 2000, and you want to repurpose some of the server nodes to other OS, this is an example of how to do it efficiently with HAD. In this example, as shown in Figure 1, 4 server nodes (1 server chassis) were automatically converted from VMware ESXi to Red Hat Enterprise Linux in less than 10 minutes with single HAD custom service request. (Please note that more than 4 server nodes can be provisioned at once)




Figure 1.  Using HAD to automate provision bare metal OS on multiple server nodes at once



Leveraging  Hitachi Thin Image (HTI) Storage-based Snapshot

UCP 2000 comes with VSP Gx00 storage and all the server nodes are pre-configured with SAN boot with dedicated boot LUN. For VMware solutions, ESXi OS is already pre-installed in these boot LUNs in the distribution center. In order to convert the server nodes to other OS, new boot LUNs needs to be created and swapped with the original boot LUNs. To perform this operation efficiently, Hitachi Thin Image storage-base snapshot is used to clone the multiple new boot LUNs instantly, and the HAD Java-script plug-in for Configuration Manager (CM) REST API is used to automate the storage operations.


Some benefits of using Hitachi Thin Image are:

  • Capable of instantly creating multiple snapshot volumes (up to 1024 snapshots per primary volume)
    • We are using Thin Image snapshot to instantly clone multiple boot LUNs
  • Saves storage capacity
    • No storage space is consumed initially
    • Only new data change is stored in the Thin Image pool


For more information about CM REST Java-script plug-in, please see the link below.



Figure 2.  Using Hitachi Thin Image storage-based snapshot to clone OS boot volumes


Overall procedure is listed below:

  1. You will need to create desired OS boot image. (RHEL is used for this example)
    • To create custom OS master boot volume, you will manually create a new boot volume and temporary attached to one of the server node.
    • Perform the manual OS installation and other necessary configurations
    • Detach the master boot LUN from the temporary server node (To create TI pair with this volume, you need to add it to one of the Host Group)
  2. On your Hitachi storage, create a Thin Image pool
  3. On your HAD, import this custom service template (you can download from the bottom of this page)
  4. Create a service from this service template
  5. Submit the service request by entering all necessary information such as OS master boot volume LDEV ID, HTI pool ID, and UCP 2000 server node names
  6. As shown in Figure 2, this service template will use Thin Image to clone the OS boot volumes, and attach them to the server hosts




This example shows you the provisioning of 4 UCP 2000 server nodes into RHEL OS. Figure 3 below shows the BMC console of the 4 server nodes before submitting the service request. All server nodes are running VMware ESXi hypervisor.



Figure 3.  BMC remote console of 4 server node - before the service request


Then this HAD service request was submitted. It completed in about 5 minutes. After the server nodes were rebooted, all 4 of them became RHEL. Figure 4 shows the BMC console of 4 server nodes after this service request.



Figure 4.  BMC remote console of 4 server node - after the service request and rebooted in less than 10 minutes


* Note: For this test, the server nodes were not powered off before the HAD service request. However, it is recommended to power off the server nodes before this HAD service request as operation of swapping boot LUN might not succeed if there are active I/O activities.




Software Components

Hitachi Command Suite (includes Hitachi Automation Director)8.5.0
Hitachi VSP G600 - Microcode83-04-02-40
VMware vSphere6.0.0 U2
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server (Boot LUN Image)7.2



You need following prerequisites before using this HAD service:

  • UCP 2000 for VMware or Microsoft
  • If this is for new server nodes or other than UCP 2000, you need to configure following in VSP Gx00:
    • WWWNs and Host Groups must be added for the new server nodes followed by UCP 2000 naming format
  • Download the CM REST service templates and import them to your HAD
  • Register CM REST server and your VSP Gx00 to your HAD
  • Create TI pool on your VSP Gx00
  • Create your custom OS boot volume


Service Template

Figure 5 shows the workflow developed for this service template. Since Java-script plug-in for CM REST was used, these plug-ins and workflow are very flexible and easy to be modified.



Figure 5.  HAD service template work flow for this operation


Workflow for this service:

  1. Obtain Host Info Plug-in
    • User enters UCP 2000 server host names. This plug-in searches server host information including Host Groups from the storage.
    • The host names have to be UCP 2000 format. (Cx-Bx - This means Chassis x - Blade x) or (Cx - for call 4 server nodes in Chassis x)
    • The host name can be entered with comma separated. See Figure 9 for user input GUI.
    • Example of User Input of UCP 2000 Host NamePossible Searched Host Name from the Storage
      C2C2-B1, C2-B2, C2-B3, C2-B4
      C3-B1,C3-B2,C4-B1C3-B1, C3-B2, C4-B1
      C2,C3-B1,C4-B1C2-B1, C2-B2, C2-B3, C2-B4, C3-B1, C4-B1
  2. User to Confirm Plug-in
    • Display the searched host names to the user and ask to proceed.
  3. Create TI Volume Plug-in
    • Search for existing TI pair and S-Vol.
    • Create S-Vol and TI pair if no existing one is found.
  4. Add LUN Path Plug-in
    • Delete existing LUN path for LUN #0
    • Add new LUN path for new S-Vol


Submit Service Request

Here are the step-by-step of how to submit this service request.



Figure 6.  Create service request - Storage System Settings


1. Go to Service tab and select for UCP2k Create TI Boot LUN service.

2. Click on Create Request and Submit Service Request window pops up.

3. Enter Storage System Settings fields and go to next Volume Settings.



Figure 7.  Volume Settings


4. Enter the LDEV ID of OS master boot volume. In this example the P-Vol LDEV ID can be found in the Storage Navigator as shown in Figure 8.

5. Go to the next UCP2K Host Names.



Figure 8.  OS master boot volume (P-Vol) LDEV ID



Figure 9.  UCP2K Host Names


6. Enter the UCP 2000 server host names. Multiple host names can be entered in comma separated format.

7. Go to next for the Task Settings and click Submit and View Task



Figure 10.  Open User Confirm Dialog box during the service process


8. The task progress can be viewed in Task tab > Debug tab.

9. Once Obtain Host Info task is complete, It will wait for the user confirmation.

10. Click on Input Response button to open the Response dialog box. The searched host result will be listed as shown in Figure 10.

11. Make sure the host names are correct and click OK to proceed



Figure 11.  Task complete


12. Monitor the entire flow completes as shown in Figure 11.



Figure 12.  Result and log

13. The result and log are also available by clicking Show Details button.



Figure 13.  TI pairs created by HAD


14. As shown in Figure 13, newly create TI pairs can be viewed from the Storage Navigator as well.

15. After completion of this HAD service request, reboot the server nodes. They are now provisioned with new OS.




HAD has many detailed neat features. One of them is the Validation Script in Service Builder Input Property as shown in Figure 14. In this HAD service, user needs to enter host names in UCP 2000 specific format. With Validation Script, it helps user to enter the correct format. As a HAD service template developer, you can test your Validation Script in the same Edit Input Property window on-the-fly without compiling.



Figure 14.  Service Builder Input Property Validation Script makes easy for user to enter correct values