Last week @sakacc posted an EMC World Update about Project Liberty. This project is a software only virtual VNX appliance known as the vVNX. The appliance can be downloaded from the vVNX Download page. All the Release Notes, FAQs, and documentation can be found there also (an EMC Accont is required). The vVNX supports both block and file and is available for non-production use without any time limits. The vVNX does not support VVOLs yet, but @sakacc noted that VVOLs support should be available in Q3.
Download and import the OVA. I tried to import the OVA using the Web Client but could not get it to work. I was able to successfully deploy it using the vSphere Client (Probably an issue with my lab – not the OVA). During the OVA import you will be prompted for the management IP address, subnet, and default gateway.
The vVNX appliance is configured with 2 vCPUs, 12 GB Memory, and consumes approximately 20 GB of disk space if Thin Provisioning is used. Do not change the memory allocation, at least not before the vVNX has initialized after deployment. I tried to adjust the memory down a bit but this caused the vVNX to not initialize on first boot. I have not tried to adjust this after the deployment. The OVA deployment is pretty quick but the initialization after first power on takes a good bit of time (about 45 minutes).
Once all the first boot stuff is done you should be able to connect to EMC Unisphere with a browser and after login the configuration wizard will run. You will need to obtain a license file using the System UUID. Just follow the prompts in the wizard. The wizard will also walk you through the DNS and NTP configuration.
Before you can create storage pools, disks need to be added. This is done by editing the settings of the vVNX VM and adding Hard Disks to the VM.
The vVNX will recognize the new disks as soon as they are added. These virtual disks can then be used to create a storage pool or they can be added to an existing pool to expand the capacity of the pool.
Once a storage pool has been created the NAS Servers and File Systems for CIFS and NFS and/or iSCSI Targets and LUNs to be used for block (iSCSI) can be provisioned.
I have provisioned storage on the vVNX but I am not consuming it yet. Should be fairly simple to set up both iSCSI and NFS to be used by my lab ESXi hosts, but I want to make some adjustments to my vSphere networking first.
Go download the vVNX here and spin it up in your own lab.
Have fun. Comments and questions are always welcome.