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March 22, 2012

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Dan Libonati

Chad.. Great post. where can i find help in deploying the OVF files? I have set up the Vm's but can not get to my SRM servers' web page.

Otmar

Thanks for that information about Prosphere. We're using Control Center, SMC and Cisco device/Fabric Manager at the moment and want to have a look at Prosphere soon.
Does Prosphere give one a view for VMs and their related ressources on ESXi?
Are other virtualization technologies supported like AIX LPAR?
Will NPIV on host adapters be supported in 2.0? (like CNAs in Cisco UCS blade systems or FC-HBAs in IBM power systems)
I already had a look at the new design as vapp. I think that was a very good idea, also the REST API is a huge benefit. Providing virtual appliances for testing is very welcome. If I have time and want to try out sth new it is nice to not make fuss with sales department first to get a test version.

Dave Schebler

With all respect...
We have looked at ProSphere and must compare it to ControlCenter because while we use the element managers for change, we use ControlCenter/StorageScope for data.

A few observations:
- Not all of us prefer the agentless approach which requires an account with priviledges (yes the priviledges can be managed via a sudo profile which must be maintained by the customer) to a master agent which for us is installed as part of the OS build.
- Since StorageScope is our tool of choice for historical storage data, we will not be able to adopt ProSphere until and unless it includes historical data (at least 5 years of monthly rollups) from CAS, NAS, and SAN.
- I am concerned about the use of a new SMI-S approach, maintained by the ProSphere team, versus Solutions Enabler for commincation with EMC block arrays. ControlCenter always lagged changes to SE badly. It seems to me that the PS team could have avoided this by adopting SE for EMC arrays - all PS would have to change is the PS code rather than the PS code and the connector. I'll grant it may not be industry standard, but SE is always current.
- Using a virtual appliance surely simplifies setup, but I see two issues here. First we are a regulated industry (pharmaceuticals) and our IT security folks are mighty interested in the contents of all virtual appliances. We may actually require more testing/validation for virtual appliances than simple installs (and just for the record, I hated ControlCenter installs/upgrades). The other issue is regarding virtual appliance replacement (upgrade) when there is historical data involved - how will this work?
- Regarding feedback to the ProSphere team ... When ProSphere was announced, we offered to provide feedback to the team based on our extensive use of ControlCenter and our needs for an EMC product to do more with storage data - never heard a word. After every subsequent ProSphere session at EMCWorld, I talked with the presenter regarding our concerns on the apparent direction of ProSphere relative to the issues above and again offering to provide feedback - same silence. After a recent introduction to ProSphere 1.5, we shared the observations above and again offered to work with the ProSpere team - we are still waiting...

All issues aside, I hope EMC does nail this product. We need it and we would rather not be required to use another vendor's product to manage and report the historical data for our heavily leveraged EMC storage.

Chad Sakac

@Dave - first of all THANK YOU. Thank you for being a great EMC customer. Thank you for your blunt, honest feedback, and thank you for your persistence and patience.

It will be many moons before ProSphere could dream of subsuming all Control Center/Storage Scope functionality - and in fact, if they were to try prematurely, it would likely (IMO) result in badness. Those are mature products, ones that support some of the largest environments in the world (like yours).

There are solid answers (in some cases, the answer is a "No", but in most it's a variation of "Yes") to your comments...

- Agentless - I hear you. There are some advantages of host agents. But, there are loads of disadvantages too. Right now, ProSphere doesn't have the host-side features of Storage Scope as an example - if it were to get them, some of the content can only be gathered via a host agent.

- The SE approach has both good and bad (which you name some).

- the vApp in some way can be viewed as a simplified package. There are lots of ways to pass regulations and gather compliance status of VMs - we can help there. The virtual appliance actually is a composite of several virtual machines - the core data is in the RDBMS based on Greenplum - and the whole vApp can be updated without a "redeploy".

- Feedback - I will correct this immediately!

Thank you once again - and we WILL nail this product, with your help!

Mike Sampson

Dave – to echo Chad – thanks for your feedback! Thank you for your persistence!
To expand on a few points:
- We know that agentless – particularly in its initial form – does not work for all situations. We’ve added a “passive” option in 1.5 and we’ll be adding more options going forward.
- One of our biggest goals with SMI-S is to be more current with support across platforms. We like a standardized approach, but if it results in more lag and not less, we’ll certainly re-evaluate. We understand platform support as the critical ask.
- I will be sure we close the loop with you directly on your request for a feedback session. We need your input to be sure this is successful!

Mike Sampson
ProSphere Product Management

Jesse Tompkins

A few things so far that I've run into with Prosphere 1.5.

1. The GUI is much improved over anything with ECC, but at the same time, sorely lacking. Number one, it actually is greatly hampered by having to fit into the web browser. Trying to look at my fabrics (with a mere 20-odd switches per fabric) is an exercise in looking at a ball of yarn (yes, I know I can zoom). I'd love to be able to condense all the extra information into just the switches for example, and be able to move things around to get the look I want.

2. It's too storage focused. The dashboard only shows a storage view. The explore "tab" only explores storage, to look at hosts/switches/VM I have to look through discovered objects. I want a infrastructure view, a host view, and a VM view. I want to be able to see end to end from host and be able to expand out each section easily. If I double click on the switch, I see all the zones. If I double click on the storage, I want to see all the luns/masking

3. What my client's executives want, is they want to be able to use a single tool to see all storage in their environment, from SAN to NAS to the space in the servers. They want to see it all.

4. Looking at VMs should be able to be able to be done at the Cluster level.

5. It may be agentless, but Windows servers still have to be reboot. You guys and MS need to get that worked out.

The installation was definately much easier. At no point was I fighting to make sure that even the db could install with regards to windows dlls. It was very fast. More importantly, the management of the system is hands down easier. Anyone who has to manage ECC usually ends up hating the program. Gone is the daily battle with keeping the agents up and running, keeping the database from doing something stupid. It's night and day better. I never want to deal with another ECC agent again.

I am also concerned with SMI-S for a variety of reasons. Obviously, it is nice to use industry standards. At the same time, discovery of large arrays (I have 8 bay DMXs) through SMI-S is very slow, and the issue with SMC's with names longer than x characters means that I don't get alerting through proshpere for my DMX, nor do I get performance data. In addition, our Brocade based fabrics aren't managed that well through SMI-S with regards to performance and reporting (This is 100% Brocade's fault in my mind though).

The one thing you have to be able to do though, is truly support third party arrays this time around. HDS support in ECC is awful. Thin Provisioning was never supported, and support of HDS Device Manager was several years behind. The same was true of NetApp. ECC demanded that NetApps not be in the mode that NetApp wanted all their filers to be in.

Krupa Stephen Gadde

Do we have VPLEX support in prosphere?

vijay lathia

Chad:

I work in ProSphere engineering team; you did a great job summarizing all the cool features and strengths of ProSphere1.5.

Vijay

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