Dell EMC Unity Family Version

Dell EMC has been released new version of Unity Operating Environment (OE) for Dell EMC Unity family. The new version ( is included new features and fixes to improve Unity products stability, performance and deliver some solutions as new features. This new release is a minor release, so there is no fundamental changes.

New Feature

Let’s review the new features which have been added to this new release.

Unity OE version convention update

The Unity Operating Environment (OE) version numbering convention has changed to become more logical and streamlined. The first three fields denoting major release, minor release, and service pack release remain unchanged. A new field for “distribution type” has been added. The distribution type indicates the type of release of the OE.

UnityVSA HA with optional Tie-breaker Node (TBN)

With this release, the Professional Edition of UnityVSA now offers the ability to deploy two “storage processors” on to two different nodes for high availability. Deploying UnityVSA HA allows you to deploy each node on a different ESXi server, which provides high availability. If one node goes down, the resources can be automatically failed over to the other node. This minimizes downtime, allowing VMware HA to restart the failed node on another ESXi server in the cluster.
The optional TBN feature adds additional availability robustness in the event of a network failure. TBN prevents “split-brain” scenarios where data corruption could occur if all internal networks (CMI and heartbeats) in between the two SPs become isolated.

UnityVSA Support for VMware Cloud (VMC)

With this release, both the Professional and Community editions of UnityVSA can be deployed to the VMware Cloud (VMC) as a single node.

NFSv4-only option

In previous releases, when creating a NAS server, the NFS version options included NFSv3 only, or both NFSv3 and NFSv4. If NFSv4 was selected, NFSv3 was also enabled by default. With this release, NFSv4 can be selected to enable NFSv4 only, independently of NFSv3.

Quota enhancements

The User Quota report has been updated to include UNIX Name, Windows Name and Windows SID values.

Dynamic Pool enhancements

In previous releases, when you added multiple drives to a Dynamic Pool, but less than the entire RAID width of the pool (for example, R5 pool with stripe width of 6 drives), none of the newly added drive space was useable until all RAID extents were mapped over to the new drives. With this release, when adding multiple drives to a Dynamic Pool, but less than the entire RAID width of the pool, the first drive will be added to the pool immediately to provide useable free space. The rest of the drives are added together through the shuffling of RAID extents. This function allows the user to obtain useable space faster.

Performance Metrics enhancements

For both Historical and Performance Metrics charts, you can now select the Percentage View for object-level line charts (such as metrics for LUNs, file systems, datastores, and hardware components).

Data reduction enhancements

This release includes an optional Advanced Deduplication switch which expands the deduplication capabilities of the Data Reduction algorithm. This switch helps increase the storage efficiency of systems above what is achieved with data reduction on a LUN or file system. It provides the ability to reduce the amount of storage needed for user data by eliminating duplicate 8KB blocks of data within a storage resource. Advanced deduplication can be enabled only if data reduction is enabled first.
The Advanced Deduplication switch is available only on Unity All-Flash 450F, 550F, and 650F systems running OE version 4.5 and later and is applicable only to dynamic pools.

File-level Retention

File-level Retention (FLR) is now supported on Unity systems. FLR protects files from modification or deletion through the CIFS/SMB, NFS, or FTP protocols based on a specified retention policy. FLR is enabled during the creation of a file system.

FLR Toolkit 5.0

FLR Toolkit 5.x supports Unity systems with OE version 4.5 or later. The toolkit is a suite of Windows applications that allows users to manage, monitor, and enable the retention states of specific files in an FLR-enabled Unity file system, including deletion of expired files.

Space Reporting Improvements

In this release, there are some changes to how some space metrics are reported, as well as the addition of new properties, to help you manage your storage capacity and efficiency.

SAN Copy Pull enhancements

The limits for the maximum number of concurrent sessions allowed for a SAN Copy Pull session have been increased. The limits are for each SP. Refer to the Unity Simple Support Matrix for details.

File system enhancements

Reserving space for automatic shrink and extend operations for thin file systems has been enhanced to dynamically change the used space to allocated space ratio, based on the file system size.

The system dynamically adjusts the auto-shrink low watermark depending on the allocated capacity on the file system. This function provides a better balance between prematurely shrinking and reclaiming space when appropriate. For example, the low watermark for a file system with 100TB allocated is 99.089%, as opposed to a low watermark of 70% or a 20GB gap between the used and allocated space.

The system dynamically adjusts the auto-extend high watermark depending on the used capacity on the file system. For example, the high watermark for a file system with 100TB allocated is 99.24%, as opposed to a fixed high watermark of 75%.

Unity MetroSync Manager

The Unity MetroSync Manager (MSM) is a Windows application that leverages the Unity MetroSync feature to bi-directionally monitor the status of two sites (Site A, if Site A is a MetroSync source, and Site B, if Site B is also a MetroSync source), which are configured with MetroSync sessions. MetroSync Manager triggers an automatic failover of one Unity system (a cabinet level failover) to the other Unity system, based on either a system or its storage pools becoming unavailable which would cause the NAS client to lose access to data.

Restricted Shell (rbash) Mode

The storage system SSH service interface is hardened with restricted shell (rbash) mode. This feature is enabled by default for the service account upon upgrading to Unity OE version 4.5 or later. Although temporarily disabling restricted shell mode is possible, it is not persistent and it will be automatically re-enabled when one of the following occurs:

  • The primary Storage Processor is re-booted.
  • 24 hours elapse since restricted shell mode was disabled.

This feature enhances the security posture of the Unity storage system by restricting service account users to the following functions:

  • Operate only a limited set of commands that are assigned to a member of a nonprivileged Linux user account in restricted shell mode. The service user account does not have access to proprietary system files, configuration files, or user or customer data.
  • Restricts service users from executing untrusted code that could be potentially leveraged to exploit local privilege escalation vulnerabilities.

Unity Native Remote Logging

The Unity native remote logging capability has been updated with the following enhancement:

  • The system ID and time zone information are included in every audit log entry.
  • Up to a maximum of five remote logging destination servers are supported.
  • Eight severity levels are supported.
    • Emergency (highest severity level)
    • Alert and severity level above
    • Critical and severity levels above
    • Error and severity levels above
    • Warning and severity levels above
    • Notice and severity levels above
    • Info and severity levels above
    • Debug and severity levels above

Specifying the least severities that will be sent to a remote logging sever is supported. For example, Debug is the default severity. When it is selected, all user/audit logs are sent to the specified remote logging server. When Emergency is selected, only logs of Emergency severity are sent to the specified remote logging server.

Further Reading

DELL EMC Unity OE Version

External Links

Dell EMC Unity OE (Operating Environment) Upgrade file

Dell EMC Unity Family Release Notes

Davoud Teimouri

Davoud Teimouri is as a professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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