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Uninstalling VirtuCache after an evaluation

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Step 1: If your VirtuCache license has expired, then skip this step. If your VirtuCache license has not expired, then either via VirtuCache GUI or CLI, pause caching on all hosts in the cluster, one host at a time. Before proceeding to the next host, make sure that caching is indeed paused on the current host you are working on. It is important that the dirty write cache is flushed to backend storage for the host you are working on before you proceed to the next host.  Depending on the ‘Destaging Footprint’ on the host and the speed of your SAN, it might take a few minutes for caching to stop on a host. When VirtuCache GUI (‘Hosts’ tab) shows caching as paused, then you know that the dirty write cache from the host has been successfully synced to backend storage and its write replicas deleted from other hosts.

To pause caching from the GUI. Goto to the Hosts tab > and click on the Pause Caching icon (screenshot below)

Pause Caching
Pause Caching


Step 2.  Removing VirtuCache

Step 2(a): Only if you have installed VirtuCache in a production cluster, put a host in maintenance mode. You don’t need to do host level maintenance mode if VirtuCache is installed in a lab/test environment.

Step 2(b): Then uninstall VirtuCache driver on each host by typing the below commands at esxcli
/etc/init.d/ stop
You might see errors like watchdog-vnx2.PID does not exist; or unable to terminate watchdog-vnx2; can’t remove vnxcli; can’t remove vnxd.conf; can’t remove vnx2; etc. Ignore these errors, the command does unload the VirtuCache driver.

Then type this command:
esxcli software vib remove -n vnx2
This will remove the VirtuCache driver.
A reboot is not required after uninstalling VirtuCache.

You can confirm if VirtuCache is uninstalled by typing the below command at esxcli. If you don’t see a vnx2 line in the output, then you know that VirtuCache has been removed from the ESXi host. You will still see the lic_vnx2 line, which refers to VirtuCache license, but you can let the license be since it doesn’t modify VMware’s storage IO path, as the caching driver does.

esxcli software vib list | grep vnx2

Step 2(c) If the host is in maintenance mode, then exit maintenance mode.

Do the steps 2(a), 2(b), and 2(c) for each host in the cluster, till VirtuCache is uninstalled from all hosts in the cluster.

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