Updated: Nov 1 2011
Updated: May 31, 2012
One of the things that I really love about my role as a vSpecialist is my opportunity to meet with prospects and customers and talk about all the integration points EMC has with VMware. vSphere is such a cool product and what makes it even cooler is the types of integration our products have together.
I spent the last 11 years talking to Storage Admins about “ease of use” and what I started seeing in the last few years is more “storage admins” morphing into “OS and application Admins” and spending less time having to manage storage. This is a GREAT THING! When you are “siloed” in a dedicated technology you tend to get left behind as that technology changes. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of companies that have dedicated storage teams but in the group I spend a lot of time with, I’m seeing it less and less. What’s interesting is more are VMware + Storage admins and when I talked to them, 90% of their time is spent in vCenter and not in a Storage User-interface. What’s really cool about our Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plugin is the ability for these types of admins to do almost all of their “storage” work inside vCenter. What a cool concept!! Don’t get me wrong, Unisphere and SMC (VMAX user interface) are pretty cool interfaces, but why open up a new window just to manage storage if you can do it from vCenter !!
I thought I would pull together a few blog posts you should check out if you are looking for more info about our VSI plugin.
Here are a few blog posts that can shed some light on what our VSI can do, and why you should be using it !!
- As some of you know, our team eventually reports into Chad Sakac and he’s written a great general overview of our VSI here : A general overview of VSI by Chad – I would highly recommend you check it out !! Also, if you don’t follow him, or are not a regular reader of his blog, you are CRAZY. Especially if you are an EMC + VMware customer! He has EVERYTHING you probably need to know about our integration points on his site. It’s like a one stop Wikipedia site for EMC + VMware.
- I’ve created a Step-By-Step install guide for a few of our plugins – you can find them here: http://www.vtexan.com/category/emc-install-guides/ – i’d recommend starting with the “Storage Viewer” Plug in !!
- Another vSpecialist on our team – Scott Drummonds - wrote a blog around our VSI on his blog site – check out : “Bring Storage and VI admin’s Together” . He has all sorts of cool information on our VSI as well as a link to a recorded Webcast Rick Scherer (vSpecialist) did on it.
- One of the really cool features of our plugin is the ability to use a wizard to set your preferred NMP policy. One of our rockstar vSpecialist Jon Owing put it best:
“Imagine being able to right click on an ESX cluster. Going through a small wizard and then setting all of the policies for each datastore on each host. Also works with Powerpath VE if you have it. Awesomeness. I almost shed tears of joy”
You can read more about this feature on his blog site : VSI Plugin: vSphere Multipathing Coolness
- The one question I get for those individuals that say “I manage the VMware environment and we have another guy that manages the storage” is the new VSI Access Control that was part of our recent VSI 4.1 update. Prior to this update, essentially the Storage Admin had to give up the keys to the kingdom to the VMware Admin if that Admin wanted to use VSI to provision Datastores and all the other goodness that comes with VSI. Well, in VSI 4.1 we introduced Access Control which gives the Storage Admin the ability to silo the access to the VMware team.
- Another vSpecialist Itzik Reich (he’s freaking BRILLIANT by the way – you REALLY should follow him if you are an EMC customer – he’s got some great blog posts) wrote a little more about Access Control on his blog site – go check it out: EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) 4.1 is OUT! Go Grab it:
- Speaking of brilliant people – Nick Weaver over at Nickapedia.com has a really really cool VNX NFS/CIFS VSA (lots of acronyms on that one ) – for those of you that are wanting to play around in your home lab with a VNX, this is the next best thing. Just download the VSA (virtual storage appliance), install it in either your vSphere environment or Fusion/Workstation and you can check out all the cool things our Unisphere (User Interface) can do as well as play around with our VSI plugins.
- If you are going to run this VSA – then check out Clint Kitson’s “Optimizing the Celerra VSA” blog post on the “Everything VMware at EMC” community
- Here is a quick blog post on how to install it. It’s written by Simon Seagrave (vSpecialist) over at TechHead – http://www.techhead.co.uk/installing-the-emc-celerra-uber-vsa-in-your-vmware-vsphere-lab-part-2 – please note – this is one revision behind the current one Nick has released but should give you the general overview of what that install looks like.
Finally, one thing I really like to tell customers about is how awesome EMC’s online community is. Especially the one called “Everything VMware at EMC” and it has a TON of EMC + VMware information. Make sure you create an account. The vSpecialist team spends a lot of time making sure you get all the answers to your questions so when in doubt, post your VMware + EMC question on the site and you’ll probably get a response pretty quickly.
So there you have it. Your one stop shop for all things VSI As you can see, all of this content was produced by a vSpecialist. What a cool team to work on !!
If you’ve written content around our VSI plugin – please feel free to leave a comment below with a link to it. I’m going to use this blog site to send to customers and prospects when they ask me for more info on our VSI.
VMware vExpert 2011