Create a volume group

You use a volume group to create one or more volumes that are accessible to the host. A volume group is a container for volumes with shared characteristics such as RAID level and capacity.

About this task

With larger capacity drives and the ability to distribute volumes across controllers, creating more than one volume per volume group is a good way to make use of your storage capacity and to protect your data.

Follow these guidelines when you create a volume group.

Review how your choice of RAID level affects the resulting capacity of the volume group.

Procedure

  1. Select Storage > Pools & Volume Groups.
  2. Click Create > Volume group.
    The Create Volume Group dialog box appears.
  3. Type a name for the volume group.
  4. Select the RAID level that best meets your requirements for data storage and protection.
    The volume group candidate table appears and displays only the candidates that support the selected RAID level.
  5. (Optional) If you have more than one type of drive in your storage array, select the drive type that you want to use.
    The volume group candidate table appears and displays only the candidates that support the selected drive type and RAID level.
  6. (Optional) You can select either the automatic method or manual method to define which drives to use in the volume group. The Automatic method is the default selection.

    To select drives manually, click the Manually select drives (advanced) link. When clicked, it changes to Automatically select drives (advanced).

    The Manual method lets you select which specific drives comprise the volume group. You can select specific unassigned drives to obtain the capacity that you require. If the storage array contains drives with different media types or different interface types, you can choose only the unconfigured capacity for a single drive type to create the new volume group.

    Note: Only experts who understand drive redundancy and optimal drive configurations should use the Manual method.
  7. Based on the displayed drive characteristics, select the drives you want to use in the volume group, and then click Create.
    The drive characteristics displayed depend on whether you selected the automatic method or manual method.
    Automatic method drive characteristics
    Characteristic Use
    Free Capacity Shows the available capacity in GiB. Select a volume group candidate with the capacity for your application’s storage needs.
    Total Drives Shows the number of drives available for this volume group. Select a volume group candidate with the number of drives that you want. The more drives that a volume group contains, the less likely it is that multiple drive failures will cause a critical drive failure in a volume group.
    Drive Block Size (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows the block size (sector size) that the drives in the group can write. Values may include:
    • 512 – 512-byte sector size.
    • 4K – 4,096-byte sector size.
    Secure-Capable

    Indicates whether this volume group candidate is comprised entirely of secure-capable drives, which can be either Full Disk Encryption (FDE) drives or Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) drives.

    • You can protect your volume group with Drive Security, but all drives must be secure-capable to use this feature.
    • If you want to create an FDE-only volume group, look for Yes - FDE in the Secure-Capable column. If you want to create a FIPS-only volume group, look for Yes - FIPS in the Secure-Capable column.
    • You can create a volume group comprised of drives that might or might not be secure-capable or are a mix of security levels. If the drives in the volume group include drives that are not secure-capable, you cannot make the volume group secure.
    Enable Security?

    Provides the option for enabling the Drive Security feature with secure-capable drives. If the volume group is secure-capable and you have set up a security key, you can enable Drive Security by selecting the check box.

    Note: The only way to remove Drive Security after it is enabled is to delete the volume group and erase the drives.
    DA Capable

    Indicates if Data Assurance (DA) is available for this group. Data Assurance (DA) checks for and corrects errors that might occur as data is transferred through the controllers down to the drives.

    If you want to use DA, select a volume group that is DA capable. This option is available only when the DA feature has been enabled.

    A volume group can contain drives that are DA-capable or not DA-capable, but all drives must be DA capable for you to use this feature.

    Resource Provisioning Capable (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows if Resource Provisioning is available for this group. Resource Provisioning is a feature available in the EF300 and EF600 storage arrays, which allows volumes to be put in use immediately with no background initialization process.
    Shelf Loss Protection Shows if shelf loss protection is available.

    Shelf loss protection guarantees accessibility to the data on the volumes in a volume group if a total loss of communication to a shelf occurs.

    Drawer Loss Protection Shows if drawer loss protection is available, which is provided only if you are using a drive shelf that contains drawers.

    Drawer loss protection guarantees accessibility to the data on the volumes in a volume group if a total loss of communication occurs with a single drawer in a drive shelf.

    Volume Block Sizes Supported (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows the block sizes that can be created for the volumes in the group:
    • 512n – 512 bytes native.
    • 512e – 512 bytes emulated.
    • 4K – 4,096 bytes.
    Manual method drive characteristics
    Characteristic Use
    Media Type

    Indicates the media type. The following media types are supported:

    • Hard drive
    • Solid State Disk (SSD)
    All drives in a volume group must be of the same media type (either all SSDs or all hard drives). Volume groups cannot have a mixture of media types or interface types.
    Drive Block Size (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows the block size (sector size) that the drives in the group can write. Values may include:
    • 512 – 512-byte sector size.
    • 4K – 4,096-byte sector size.
    Drive Capacity Indicates the drive capacity.
    • Whenever possible, select drives that have a capacity equal to the capacities of the current drives in the volume group.
    • If you must add unassigned drives with a smaller capacity, be aware that the usable capacity of each drive currently in the volume group is reduced. Therefore, the drive capacity is the same across the volume group.
    • If you must add unassigned drives with a larger capacity, be aware that the usable capacity of the unassigned drives that you add is reduced so that they match the current capacities of the drives in the volume group.
    Tray Indicates the tray location of the drive.
    Slot Indicates the slot location of the drive.
    Speed (rpm) Indicates the speed of the drive.
    Logical sector size Indicates the sector size and format.
    Secure-Capable

    Indicates whether this volume group candidate is comprised entirely of secure-capable drives, which can be either Full Disk Encryption (FDE) drives or Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) drives.

    • You can protect your volume group with Drive Security, but all drives must be secure-capable to use this feature.
    • If you want to create an FDE-only volume group, look for Yes - FDE in the Secure-Capable column. If you want to create a FIPS-only volume group, look for Yes - FIPS in the Secure-Capable column.
    • You can create a volume group comprised of drives that might or might not be secure-capable or are a mix of security levels. If the drives in the volume group include drives that are not secure-capable, you cannot make the volume group secure.
    DA Capable

    Indicates if Data Assurance (DA) is available for this group. Data Assurance (DA) checks for and corrects errors that might occur as data is communicated through the controllers down to the drives.

    If you want to use DA, select a volume group that is DA capable. This option is available only when the DA feature has been enabled.

    A volume group can contain drives that are DA-capable or not DA-capable, but all drives must be DA capable for you to use this feature.

    Volume Block Sizes Supported (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows the block sizes that can be created for the volumes in the group:
    • 512n – 512 bytes native.
    • 512e – 512 bytes emulated.
    • 4K – 4,096 bytes.
    Resource Provisioning Capable (EF300 and EF600 only) Shows if Resource Provisioning is available for this group. Resource Provisioning is a feature available in the EF300 and EF600 storage arrays, which allows volumes to be put in use immediately with no background initialization process.