A few weeks ago the EMC Solutions group released their Virtual Storage Integrator version 5.1 (VSI). For those EMC+VMware customers that read my blog, and are not familiar with the VSI it’s the framework that EMC uses to write the various EMC+VMware plugins we offer to our joint customers. What’s nice about a common framework is features can be added, or removed independently giving admins the ability to customize their vSphere Client. At a 30,000 foot view, the VSI is really geared towards reducing the number of steps, or even user interfaces you need to open to do some of your day to day tasks required in managing a virtual datacenter. Oh by the way, these plugins are FREE.
One of the really cool new features that the Solutions team put into the update of Storage View 5.1 is the performance tracking capabilities. I thought I would take you through getting this set up in your environment and taking you through some of the screen shots.
I’ve broken this install guide in to 2 parts. The first part is a screen shot by screen shot install of the Storage Viewer. Honestly, it’s pretty straight forward. It’s pretty much Next, Next, Next finish but just in case you wanted to see what was involved I captured the screen shots of it. I also take you through how to enter the credentials you need to allow it to communicate to the EMC arrays.
The second part is demo’ing the capabilities of what you can use Storage View for. In the first part we look at a datastore and all the EMC related information we make available through this plugin. Then I take you through some of the new performance stuff. Feel free to skip down to that part if you don’t need help with the install.
The first thing you should do is download and read the install guide for Storage View. You will need a powerlink.emc.com account. If you do, just click the document above to download.
You will also need to download the Storage Viewer 5.1 Executable from PowerLink. Once you get both of those, lets get this installed.
Oh, one last important note. You don’t need to install this on your vCenter server (you could) but you install it on the computer you run the vSphere client on. If you work with multiple admins then they would either install it on their computer, or one you guys shared like a VM. The net-net, we aren’t adding any software/changes to your vCenter server.
Okay, lets get started.
1.) Double click the EMC-VSI-SV-5.1.0-vmware-vsphere-WINDOWS.x86-v2.exe file.
2 – DOH! Okay, I always like to include my mistakes, I forgot that I had vSphere client open. You need to have it closed when you do the install.
3. After you closed vSphere client, double click the exe file and then agree to the license agreement
4. Lets watch it install.
5. First thing that happens is you get prompted to install Solutions Enabler. Solutions Enabler is sort of a common code library the plugins use to communicate with VMAX/Symm as well as the Block side of the VNX.
6. Now you will see Solutions Enabler go through the install process.
7. Once it has been installed, click Next
8. Now you are done with the install. Click Finish
Now lets head over to vCenter – just click on your vSphere client and log in.
1) First thing you will see is the new EMC VSI Icon under Solutions and Applications. Let’s click on that and set it up.
2. In this screen you will see some information abut the plugin, as well as you will see the options of the various EMC solutions you can setup. Please note, Isilon has their own plug in framework. They are actively working on getting this integrated into the VSI framework.
3. Lets setup our VNX system. Click on the VNX link on the left hand side.
4. Fill in you’re the SP-A, B as well as Control Station credentials and then click on the Discover New VNX System hyperlink to have it register with the VNX.
5. If you put everything in correctly, you will see your VNX info populated as well as a green message saying its successful.
6. While we are in this area, and because I have a VMAX in the Dallas lab, lets add in the Solutions Enabler Dave Robertson (VMAX+vSpecialist Rockstar) setup on that system. He provided me the IP address for it.
7.As you can see, everything went in just fine.
Now – lets see what this bad boy can do
1. Lets drill down and see the kinds of information you can see with this plugin. Go to Datastores and pick one. In this case, I can see that this is a datastore is on a VNX, model number, firmware level of the VNX, what raid level it is, the capacity and the storage group it belongs to. What you don’t see is a slide bar (missed it with the screen shot) but move to #2 and I’ll show you what else you can see.
2. We also see the Pool information, what it is setup with in the FAST VP Pool, how many paths to the datastore as well as what sort of Multipathing policy is setup for this. I’ll have a future blog that will take you through how to change this pathing policy all sorts of different ways.
Okay, so everything I showed you is cool and has actually been included in prior versions of Storage Viewer. What I think is REALLY COOL is the the new performance information we can now get. Lets take a look at it.
1. While on that same datastore, click on Performance button. If this is the first time you’ve run this on that datastore, you will want to click on Start Monitoring.
2. You will see it change from Start Monitoring to Loading – it does take about a minute so have some patience.
3. BOOM !! So, now we get to see real time performance statics from the array point of view. It tracks IOPS, Latency and % Busy. What’s really cool is the export button.
4. Today the Export is a PNG file, my hope is in the future it will be a spreadsheet or something.
5. This is what the output looks like. Perfect for adding into e-mails and documents when troubleshooting or just monitoring performance.
6. Another cool feature is the Latency threshold/alarm capability. When you enable it, you can click on the edit button and set the warning and error thresholds to whatever number you want to monitor.
7. By the way, you can also see your performance information in the chart right below the graphs.
Not only can you view performance at a Datastore level, you can also view at specific VM level as well. Lets see what that looks like.
1. Go to Hosts and Clusters, then click on the EMC VSI tab, and then you will need to select a Hard disk to monitor. Once again, you will need to click on the Start Monitoring link to get the collection started. It captures the same type of information but at a more granular level of a VM.
3. This time I thought I would start putting a load on the system to make the graphs move a bit I decide that a vMotion would be in order. In this case, I’m going to take a server and move it from one datastore on the VMAX to a datastore on the VNX we’ve been watching. I’ll show you what it looks like at a VM level, and then what the datastore is looking at. – The screen shot below is from a VM point of view – and not the one shown above in #2, this is our AD server I’m moving.
4. this is the Datastore view of the VM I’m moving.
5. Here is the completed move, from the VNX Datastore I moved the VM to.
6. You can also select a trend you want to focus in on from the list below and it will highlight that into the graph.
So, as you can see the new VSI Storage View 5.1 is pretty cool. As I said above, this is a FREE TOOL and you can download it from PowerLink. If you have any issues trying to find it just let me know. In future blogs i’ll take you through some of the other free VSI plugins we offer.