EMC – VSI for VMware vSphere 6.5 Linked Mode Issue – Redux

I wrote in a previous post about having some problems with EMC’s VSI for VMware vSphere 6.5 when running in vCenter 5.5 in Linked Mode. I spoke about deploying the appliance in just one site as a workaround. Turns out that wasn’t much of a workaround. Because workaround implies that I was able to get some functionality out of the situation. While the appliance deployed okay, I couldn’t get it to recognise the deployed volumes as EMC volumes.

 

A colleague of mine had the same problem as me and a little more patience and logged a call with EMC support. Their response was “[c]urrent VSI version does not support for Linked mode, good news is recently we have several customers requesting that enhancement and Dev team are in the process of evaluating impact to their future delivery schedule. So, the linked mode may will be supported in the future. Thanks.”

 

iStock-Unfinished-Business-3

While this strikes me as non-optimal, I am hopeful, but not optimistic, that it will be fixed in a later version. My concern is that Linked Mode isn’t the problem at all, and it’s something else stupid that I’m doing. But I’m short of places I can test this at the moment. If I come across a site where we’re not using Linked Mode, I’ll be sure to fire up the appliance and run it through its paces, but for now it’s back in the box.

EMC – VSI for VMware vSphere 6.5 Linked Mode Issue

As part of a recent deployment I’ve been implementing EMC VSI for VMware vSphere Web Client v6.5 in a vSphere 5.5 environment. If you’re not familiar with this product, it “enables administrators to view, manage, and optimize storage for VMware ESX/ESXi servers and hosts and then map that storage to the hosts.” It covers a bunch of EMC products, and can be really useful in understanding where your VMs sit in relation to your EMC storage environment. It also really helps non-storage admins get going quickly in an EMC environment.

To get up and running, you:

  • Download the appliance from EMC;
  • Deploy the appliance into your environment;
  • Register the plug-in with vCenter by going to https://ApplianceIP:8443/vsi_usm/admin;
  • Register the Solutions Integration Service in the vCenter Web Client; and
  • Start adding arrays as required.

So this is all pretty straightforward. BTW the default username is admin, and the default password is ChangeMe. You’ll be prompted to change the password the first time you log in to the appliance.

 

So the problem for me arose when I went to register a second SIS appliance.

VSI1

By way of background, there are two vCenter 5.5 U2 instances running at two different data centres. I do, however, have them running in Linked Mode. And I think this is the problem. I know that you can only register one instance at a time with one vCenter. While it’s not an issue to deploy a second appliance at the second DC, every time I go to register the service in vCenter, regardless of where I’m logged in, it always points to the first vCenter instance. Which is a bit of a PITA, and not something I’d expected to be a problem. As a workaround, I’ve deployed one instance of the appliance at the primary DC and added both arrays to it to get the client up and running. And yes, I agree, if I have a site down I’m probably not going to be super focused on storage provisioning activities at my secondary DC. But I do enjoy whinging about things when they don’t work the way I expected them in the first instance.

 

I’d read in previous versions that Linked Mode wasn’t supported, but figured this was no longer an issue as it’s not mentioned in the 6.5 Product Guide. This thread on ECN seems to back up what I suspect. I’d be keen to hear if other people have run into this issue.

 

EMC announces ViPR 2.0

There’s a bunch of stuff being announced at EMC World this week. But there’re also plenty of people who are actually at the event and getting paid to tell you about that stuff. I’m no tech reporter, but I thought the “software-defined-curious” amongst you might be interested in a little coverage of EMC‘s ViPR 2.0 announcement.

Here’re the rough highlights, including some pictures:

1. ViPR 2.0 now supports third-party commodity hardware support (HP SL4540 certified at launch, with more to follow)

HP_SL4540

2. It also has improved native array support, including:

ViPR_array_support

There’s also additional array support via OpenStack.

Ÿ3. ViPR Block delivered by ScaleIO:

  • ŸManaged by the ViPR controller in a similar fashion to other ViPR data services.
  • ŸCreate virtual pools of storage with varying performance tiers.
  • ŸCreates a server-based SAN from local storage to deliver performance and capacity on demand
  • Scales to 1000s of nodes

Mark has a nice write-up here, while Chad has his own special take on why this is a big deal.