At VMworld 2012 in Oct we showed something we were working on called “EMC Storage Analytics” aka “ESA”. This used to be called Storage Analytics Suite – but that could be confused with other stuff.
What is it?
- It provides rich analytics for everything from the VM down to the most basic storage element.
- VNX connectors for vCenter Operations. These are more than just basic API goop – they contain the relationships between collected attributes – which is critical for the “analytics” part.
- A version of vCenter Operations targeted at the storage administrator developed by VMware and OEMed by EMC.
A neato background story: this project came from the team that runs the VNX business walking through the VMworld 2011 lab, where the VNX that was supporting big chunks was instrumented via vCOPS and a home-brewed connector. They immediately saw the value and wanted to move to productize it.
Here’s the customer view – in Chad’s World Episode 16!
HINT: A ridonkulous video coming up soon :-)
A couple comments to help understand – after the break…
- Q: Is this the official EMC VNX vCenter Operations Connector?
- A: YES. The connector can be used directly with vCenter Operations Enterprise – so if you already have vCOPS enterprise – get ESA, and use the connector and VNX dashboards, and you’re good to go. Unlike previous “homebrew” offerings – this is official, and supported by EMC.
- Q: Why the special version of vCenter Operations?
- A: There are hundreds of thousands of EMC storage customers out there – far more than there are vCenter Operations customers (I expect this to increase with the new vCloud Suite bundles). But – to apply vCOPS analytics on 3rd party elements (anything really other than vCenter and ESX) you need to have enterprise – which is very powerful very flexible, but also is not low cost, and is not licensed by “unit of storage”, like most people expect storage tools to be. So… we put our heads together and thought how to make 1+1=3.
- A: ESA has a very low cost version of vCOPS – and the pricing is linked to the array type that it’s licensed for (VNX5100, VNX5300, VNX5700, VNX7500). It’s priced to have nearly a 100% attach rate (ask to have it included :-) The thought is that as people use it, they will fall in love with vCenter Operations – and then apply it across their datacenter.
- Q: How does this relate to the EMC Storage Resource Management Suite (SRM Suite)?
- A: The SRM suite has very rich reporting capabilities around performance and capacity (delivered through Watch4Net and Prosphere). Reporting is about providing BOATLOADS of information. Ideally all elements of the stack (check!), all in fantastic dashboards (check!), and obscenely real-time (check!). While Storage Analytics (and more generally vCenter Operations) does do reporting – it’s design point is actually to sift THROUGH that “boatloads” of information and provide analytics and insight – not report. Use the EMC SRM Suite and EMC Storage Analytics together to get the ultimate in reporting and insight from the VM to the persistent storage all the way in the back. Want a lot of reporting/little insight? Just use EMC SRM Suite. Want a little reporting/lot of insight? Just use EMC Storage Analytics. Want depth in both reporting and insight? Use both together.
- Q: Other platforms?
- A: Yup! Expect to see official connectors for VMAX, Isilon, VPLEX and Atmos soon. Remember you can ALWAYS use the “unofficial” vCOPS connectors on “Everything VMware at EMC” (just google “_____ EMC vCenter Operations connector).