Dell EMC VNX driver

The EMC Shared File Systems service driver framework (EMCShareDriver) utilizes the EMC storage products to provide the shared file systems to OpenStack. The EMC driver is a plug-in based driver which is designed to use different plug-ins to manage different EMC storage products.

The VNX plug-in is the plug-in which manages the VNX to provide shared filesystems. The EMC driver framework with the VNX plug-in is referred to as the VNX driver in this document.

This driver performs the operations on VNX by XMLAPI and the file command line. Each back end manages one Data Mover of VNX. Multiple Shared File Systems service back ends need to be configured to manage multiple Data Movers.


Dell EMC VNX driver has been deprecated and will be removed in a future release


  • VNX OE for File version 7.1 or higher

  • VNX Unified, File only, or Gateway system with a single storage back end

  • The following licenses should be activated on VNX for File:

    • CIFS

    • NFS

    • SnapSure (for snapshot)

    • ReplicationV2 (for create share from snapshot)

Supported shared filesystems and operations

The driver supports CIFS and NFS shares.

The following operations are supported:

  • Create a share.

  • Delete a share.

  • Allow share access.

    Note the following limitations:

    • Only IP access type is supported for NFS.

    • Only user access type is supported for CIFS.

  • Deny share access.

  • Create a snapshot.

  • Delete a snapshot.

  • Create a share from a snapshot.

While the generic driver creates shared filesystems based on cinder volumes attached to nova VMs, the VNX driver performs similar operations using the Data Movers on the array.

Pre-configurations on VNX

  1. Enable unicode on Data Mover.

    The VNX driver requires that the unicode is enabled on Data Mover.


    After enabling Unicode, you cannot disable it. If there are some filesystems created before Unicode is enabled on the VNX, consult the storage administrator before enabling Unicode.

    To check the Unicode status on Data Mover, use the following VNX File command on the VNX control station:

    server_cifs <mover_name> | head
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>

    Check the value of I18N mode field. UNICODE mode is shown as I18N mode = UNICODE.

    To enable the Unicode for Data Mover:

    uc_config -on -mover <mover_name>
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>

    Refer to the document Using International Character Sets on VNX for File on EMC support site for more information.

  2. Enable CIFS service on Data Mover.

    Ensure the CIFS service is enabled on the Data Mover which is going to be managed by VNX driver.

    To start the CIFS service, use the following command:

    server_setup <mover_name> -Protocol cifs -option start [=<n>]
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>
    # n = <number of threads for CIFS users>


    If there is 1 GB of memory on the Data Mover, the default is 96 threads; however, if there is over 1 GB of memory, the default number of threads is 256.

    To check the CIFS service status, use this command:

    server_cifs <mover_name> | head
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>

    The command output will show the number of CIFS threads started.

  3. NTP settings on Data Mover.

    VNX driver only supports CIFS share creation with share network which has an Active Directory security-service associated.

    Creating CIFS share requires that the time on the Data Mover is in sync with the Active Directory domain so that the CIFS server can join the domain. Otherwise, the domain join will fail when creating share with this security service. There is a limitation that the time of the domains used by security-services even for different tenants and different share networks should be in sync. Time difference should be less than 10 minutes.

    It is recommended to set the NTP server to the same public NTP server on both the Data Mover and domains used in security services to ensure the time is in sync everywhere.

    Check the date and time on Data Mover:

    server_date <mover_name>
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>

    Set the NTP server for Data Mover:

    server_date <mover_name> timesvc start ntp <host> [<host> ...]
    # mover_name = <name of the Data Mover>
    # host = <IP address of the time server host>


    The host must be running the NTP protocol. Only 4 host entries are allowed.

  4. Configure User Mapping on the Data Mover.

    Before creating CIFS share using VNX driver, you must select a method of mapping Windows SIDs to UIDs and GIDs. EMC recommends using usermapper in single protocol (CIFS) environment which is enabled on VNX by default.

    To check usermapper status, use this command syntax:

    server_usermapper <movername>
    # movername = <name of the Data Mover>

    If usermapper is not started, the following command can be used to start the usermapper:

    server_usermapper <movername> -enable
    # movername = <name of the Data Mover>

    For a multiple protocol environment, refer to Configuring VNX User Mapping on EMC support site for additional information.

  5. Network Connection.

    Find the network devices (physical port on NIC) of Data Mover that has access to the share network.

    Go to Unisphere to check the device list: Settings > Network > Settings for File (Unified system only) > Device.

Back-end configurations

The following parameters need to be configured in the /etc/manila/manila.conf file for the VNX driver:

emc_share_backend = vnx
emc_nas_server = <IP address>
emc_nas_password = <password>
emc_nas_login = <user>
vnx_server_container = <Data Mover name>
vnx_share_data_pools = <Comma separated pool names>
share_driver = manila.share.drivers.emc.driver.EMCShareDriver
vnx_ethernet_ports = <Comma separated ports list>
  • emc_share_backend

    The plug-in name. Set it to vnx for the VNX driver.

  • emc_nas_server

    The control station IP address of the VNX system to be managed.

  • emc_nas_password and emc_nas_login

    The fields that are used to provide credentials to the VNX system. Only local users of VNX File is supported.

  • vnx_server_container

    Name of the Data Mover to serve the share service.

  • vnx_share_data_pools

    Comma separated list specifying the name of the pools to be used by this back end. Do not set this option if all storage pools on the system can be used. Wild card character is supported.

    Examples: pool_1, pool_*, *

  • vnx_ethernet_ports

    Comma separated list specifying the ports (devices) of Data Mover that can be used for share server interface. Do not set this option if all ports on the Data Mover can be used. Wild card character is supported.

    Examples: spa_eth1, spa_*, *

Restart of the manila-share service is needed for the configuration changes to take effect.


The VNX driver has the following restrictions:

  • Only IP access type is supported for NFS.

  • Only user access type is supported for CIFS.

  • Only FLAT network and VLAN network are supported.

  • VLAN network is supported with limitations. The neutron subnets in different VLANs that are used to create share networks cannot have overlapped address spaces. Otherwise, VNX may have a problem to communicate with the hosts in the VLANs. To create shares for different VLANs with same subnet address, use different Data Movers.

  • The Active Directory security service is the only supported security service type and it is required to create CIFS shares.

  • Only one security service can be configured for each share network.

  • Active Directory domain name of the ‘active_directory’ security service should be unique even for different tenants.

  • The time on Data Mover and the Active Directory domains used in security services should be in sync (time difference should be less than 10 minutes). It is recommended to use same NTP server on both the Data Mover and Active Directory domains.

  • On VNX the snapshot is stored in the SavVols. VNX system allows the space used by SavVol to be created and extended until the sum of the space consumed by all SavVols on the system exceeds the default 20% of the total space available on the system. If the 20% threshold value is reached, an alert will be generated on VNX. Continuing to create snapshot will cause the old snapshot to be inactivated (and the snapshot data to be abandoned). The limit percentage value can be changed manually by storage administrator based on the storage needs. Administrator is recommended to configure the notification on the SavVol usage. Refer to Using VNX SnapSure document on EMC support site for more information.

  • VNX has limitations on the overall numbers of Virtual Data Movers, filesystems, shares, checkpoints, etc. Virtual Data Mover(VDM) is created by the VNX driver on the VNX to serve as the Shared File Systems service share server. Similarly, filesystem is created, mounted, and exported from the VDM over CIFS or NFS protocol to serve as the Shared File Systems service share. The VNX checkpoint serves as the Shared File Systems service share snapshot. Refer to the NAS Support Matrix document on EMC support site for the limitations and configure the quotas accordingly.

Driver options

Configuration options specific to this driver:

Description of Dell EMC VNX share driver configuration options

Configuration option = Default value



vnx_ethernet_ports = None

(List) Comma separated list of ports that can be used for share server interfaces. Members of the list can be Unix-style glob expressions.

vnx_server_container = None

(String) Data mover to host the NAS server.

vnx_share_data_pools = None

(List) Comma separated list of pools that can be used to persist share data.