I’m happy to announce a major update to the family of EMC vCenter plugins! BTW – some of you may know that these have been out for a while, but we were waiting for EMC World to announce them.
The theme of this latest generation of plugins is “self service for the VMware administrator” – across every EMC platform, protocol, and scale.
The best way to understand what’s in there now is to watch the demonstration, right here.
(big thanks to the E-Lab crew – I’ve got a lot of kit, but showing how VSI covers Symmetrix, CLARiiON and Celerra demands more than I can do :-)
All these plugins are generally available. It’s also worth noting that the vCenter plugins which provide visibility AND provisioning are just PART of how EMC’s storage integrates with VMware. Not only do we cover the basics (on HCL, have SRAs) we also:
- some of our platforms connect directly to the vCenter APIs (Unipshere for midrange block/NAS, Recoverpoint) to provide VM-level awareness directly in their GUIs.
- Our midrange platforms automatically have all initiators register with them (FLARE 29 and later)
- We have vCenter/ESX API integrated and application-integrated (Exchange/SQL Server/Sharepoint/Oracle) snapshots and remote replication in EMC Replication Manager
- we leverage the vStorage APIs for Data Protection, changed block tracking and vCenter API integration in Avamar 5
- we have extended SRM by providing automated failback capabilities in advance of VMware’s next major Site Recovery Manager release.
- we support the vStorage APIs for Multipathing with EMC PowerPath (adaptive/predictive queue management and automation of every multipathing task)
- we support the vStorage APIs for Array Integration – hardware offloading most common storage tasks (this supported on the FLARE revision announced today, and requires a future vSphere release which enables support in vSphere)
If you want a quick PDF on the set of EMC’s storage vCenter plugin integration capabilities, click on the link below.
As always – EMC’s vCenter plugins are provided for FREE.
I’m always shocked when I find people who aren’t using them. What more do we need to do to make things easier for you? :-)
Here’s my offer. If you’re an EMC customer – and have trouble installing and configuring this plugin, let me know – post to the Everything VMware at EMC community, and I’ll have someone come and help you.
If you want to understand more – read on!
First of all – the big-daddy:
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (or VSI) is the main EMC vCenter plugin. Over time, more and more functions that currently require installing one or more additional plugins will fold into the EMC Virtual Storage Integrator. We’re beefing up the team behind it, and they have a very aggressive roadmap (wait till you see what’s next!!!)
So – what does it do?
- EMC VSI provides visibility all the storage relationships in a VMware environment with EMC storage – regardless of platform or protocol.
- You can see the relationships/consumption/configuration between VMFS and NFS datastores and their underlying storage (down to very granular detail)
- You can see the relationships/consumption/configuration between VMs, Virtual disks/VMDKs, and their underlying storage
- You can see the relationships/consumption/configuration between ESX hosts and the array targets.
- You can see and even modify some replication relationships
- You can sort/filter and export all the data (very handy)
The biggest thing (beyond consistent functionality across all EMC platforms, protocols and scales is Storage Pool management), which is why we couldn’t call it “storage viewer” anymore, because you can provision directly.new
So – what’s that all about?
Well – first of all a quick detour to discuss what our customers were telling us. In the mid-market, customers were a-ok with VMware administrators being able to provision across the entire array. In some cases at smaller customers, the VMware admin were the same person.
But, in our larger account, whether they had hyper-consolidated their storage and a single array was supporting a multitude of host types, applications and more – the idea that any group could provision, willy nilly (even with access controls) across the array – well, it was a non-starter.
So, on VMAX, the engineers added an interesting capability – something called storage pool manager. This enables the Storage team to create one or more virtually provisioned pools of storage, and assign in a SLA grade then “hand it over” to another owner who can then provision however they would like – but without affecting anything else.
In vCenter – the VMware administrator can then assign those pools by giving “allocations” to vSphere clusters, hosts, or even DRS resource pools. A neat idea, and something I think we’ll add over time to midrange block and NFS use cases as the mid-range provisioning functions
The additional vCenter plugins are also delivered NOW and offer platform-wide self-service for VMware administrators for EMC CLARiiON (across all protocols supported by , but via another plugin that needs to simultaneously be installed.
EMC CLARiiON vCenter Plugin
This plugin is designed to add extensive self-service provisioning and replication to the Virtual Storage Integrator plugin for EMC’s midrange block storage (standalone CLARiiONs or block storage in EMC Celerras – iSCSI, FC, etc.).
- You can provision with a single click. Every step from beginning to end (including getting the VMFS datastore up across every node of the cluster) is automated.
- You can extend and delete VMFS volumes
- You can leverage array based snapshots for mass deployment of VMs (datastore level operation).
Note that this plugin, while available is supported on a best-effort basis until it rolls into the Virtual Storage Integrator, which will be soon. This doesn’t mean “don’t use it”, it means “unlike the VSI and the NFS plugin that are supported by EMC with the usual support EMC customers are accustomed to, please use the “Everything VMware at EMC Community” for best effort support.”
EMC Celerra NFS vCenter Plugin
This plugin is designed to add extensive self-service provisioning and replication to the Virtual Storage Integrator plugin for EMC’s NAS storage (EMC Celerras)
- You can provision with a single click. Every step from beginning to end (including getting the NFS datastore up across every node of the cluster) is automated.
- You can extend and delete NFS volumes
- It automatically applies ESX and Celerra best practices (including the appropriate ESX timeout values and Celerra options so important in VMware NFS use cases) to current and existing datastores
- You can leverage array based snapshots for mass deployment of VMs (datastore level and vm-level operation) – these can be snapshots (consume no space) or clones (consume space, but can be in another filesystem)
- You can leverage Celerra compression (datastore and VM-level operation).
Nothing like some killer freebies :-)