Yesterday EMC released version 4.0 of their Virtual Storage Integrator plug-in for VMware vCenter. It’s a great tool that makes it a great deal easier for an administrator to view and validate the storage back-end through VMware vSphere Client, without having to use another management tool. Making it a single pane of glass for both virtualization administration and storage handling, vCenter with VSI helps the administrator when dealing with daily tasks.
So what does it do?
Well, take a look at this picture:
Very nice, it’s a VMFS3 datastore, it’s a Fibre Channel LUN, and it has approximately 244GB free space. But which FC LUN is it? What RAID type is it? Is the LUN itself virtually provisioned? All those questions, and more(!) are answered when using the VSI plug-in. Let’s take a look at our options from the “EMC VSI” tab when looking at a host:
We’ll start off with looking at the Datastores:
Here we see the type of storage (CLARiiON), model (CX4_120), arrayname, device ID (LUN ID), RAID type, the storage groups in which the LUN belongs, if it’s virtually provisioned (yes in this case), PowerPath information and how many paths are actually used at the moment. All from one information box!
You want more PowerPath information? Sure can do! Click on “LUN” from the VSI features, select a LUN and watch this appear:
Here we see the array and ports we’re connected to, state, mode and errors. Yes, we have one adapter, and yes, we have had one error 🙂
Let’s have a look at the Targets view as well:
We get a view of all the targets we’re connected to, their IP addresses, and the LUNs that they are serving out.
Oh, but that’s not all!
Let’s have a look at NFS:
So, that was the view from the “EMC VSI” tab when looking at it from a host perspective . Let’s continue looking with at it from a VM’s perspective. First, the VSI features:
Let’s start with the Virtual Disks view:
We see all virtual disks that the VM is using currently, we see the size, datastore, filename, mode and if it’s thin provisioned or not. Clicking a virtual disk gives us the following information:
The same information we got from the hosts view above, but this time from a VM perspective.
Let’s keep going, choosing the “Raw Device Mapping” option:
We get the virtual disk number, size of the thing, LUN identifier, filename (as it’ll always have a VMDK file which it connects to), and compability mode.
So, how much for this excellent piece of software? It’s FREE! Just head on over to Powerlink and download it yourself. There’s four installation files, I’ve shown you the Storage Viewer part here, the other parts are for Storage Pool Management on a Symmetrix, SRA for VMware SRM and Path Management. I might get to those in a later post 🙂