Configuring EMC VSI Plugin (Unified Storage Management) for VMware vSphere

In this blog post i will be looking at the steps involved in configuring the Unified storage management module of EMC VSI plugin for VMware vCenter.

EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) is the free vCenter plugin provided by EMC that extends the vCenter UI to add additional EMC-specific capabilities.

VSI can be downloaded from EMC Powerlink under Home > Support > Software Downloads and Licensing > Downloads T-Z > Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI).

In this post we’ll be configuring the Unified storage management module of VSI Plug-in in particular using which you can perform tasks like

– Provision new NFS, VMFS and RDM storage

– Extend existing NFS and VMFS storage

– Compress virtual machines in NFS datastores (now including VNXe)

– Clone virtual machines in NFS datastores (now including VNXe)

– Fast Clones support – Limited to the same file system

– Full Clones support – Limited to file systems on the same Data Mover

– Integrate with VMware View

– Integrate with Citrix XenDesktop

– View properties of datastores and virtual machines.

Assuming that the installation of the Plug-in is already performed on the machine where vSphere client will is installed to access vcenter, we proceed to next step.

After the installation of the VSI plug-in you will see the icon appear in your vcenter UI under home after you login.

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Now click on the Plug-in icon.

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The plug-in window opens and now we can configure the Storage array by clicking on Add

This in turn opens another window which will take us through the configuration wizard.

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Choose “Enter storage system or connection broker credentials”.

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You can add different storage arrays to this unified storage manager to have the capabilities mentioned at the beginning of the post.

Here, let us choose VNX and Click Next.

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Choose whether you want to add both block and file storage and click Next.

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Enter the details for the Block storage and leave the scope as Global and click Next.

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Similarly, enter the credentials for file level storage and click on Finish.

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Now you can see that the storage array is added to the unified storage management UI.

If there are multiple storage arrays are present the same method can be followed to all each of them.

Once this is completed we will be able to provision storage from vCenter UI directly. Go to vCenter Home—->Hosts and Clousters and right-click on a cluster or a host.

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Now select EMC—>unified Storage—>Provision storage.

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Here in this example we will add a LUN as a datastore. Select Disk/LUn and click Next.

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Choose the array from which the LUN will be provisioned (It is assumed that the servers and zoned if you have any Fabric switches in between your servers and storage array).

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Click on the pool from which the LUn will be created and click Next.

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We can choose the VMFS version that we want to format the LUN with.

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Now we can also choose if this LUN is going to be presented as a VMFS datastore to the Host or as RDM. And also other details like thedatastore name, Storage processor who owns thsi LUN,LUN ID for the LUN, capacity and also whether its thin provisioned or thick.

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If you have Auto-Tier enabled then you can configure advanced properties.

Once you click finish the LUN is created on the storage array and presented to the host as a datastore.

This Plug-in gives the ability of provisioning storage to the vcenter users. This makes it easier for the Administrators to do end to end management of the storage and virtualization layers.

VSI not only lets you provision new storage but also lets you expand the present storage,compress and also many other functionality related to storage provisioning and management.

VSI also has another module called Storage Viewer .The Storage Viewer (SV) VSI plug-in module provides you with a more detailed view into the configuration details and performance data of the underlying EMC based storage, which has been presented up to the ESXi hosts.

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