VSI (Virtual Storage Integrator) 8.0 Is Here

This has been some time in the making…

Dell EMC Virtual Storage Integrator is a plug-in that extends the VMware vSphere Client, allowing users of the vSphere Client to perform Dell EMC storage management tasks within the same tool they use to manage their VMware virtualized environment.

VSI 8.0 (this brand new release) supports the vSphere Client (HTML5)! and is a total refresh of VSI

SIS (Solutions Integration Service) has been replaced by IAPI (Integrations API)

Runs on Docker Container/Photon OS

Uses Redis/Cache
Leverages vCenter Users/Groups and has an Improved user experience.

The initial 8.0 release is limited in features, and because of that, you can run VSI 7.x and 8.0 in the same environment, so for an example, the AppSync integration can be performed using the latest VSI 7.X plugin but new features such as esxi best practices and storage provisioning can be done from the 8.X version, over time, we will release new features of the 8.X plugin so by the time VMware will completely phase out the “classic” web interface and will allow only the HTML5 interface, we will be ready!the plugin support the following Dell EMC storage products but Always visit Elab Navigator for the latest support matrix

  • Vendor Software/Hardware Required Versions
    Dell EMC XtremIO X1 XIOS/XMS:4.0.26/4.2.2
    Dell EMC XtremIO X2 XMS 6.0.2 XMX 6.1 XMS 6.2
    Dell EMC VMAX All Flash 250F/950F, PowerMax 2000/8000 5978 (ELM) Unisphere 9.0
    Dell EMC Unity, Unity/VSA 4.3 4.4
    VMware vCenter 6.5.U2 6.7.x
    VMware ESXi 6.5.U2 6.7.x
    VMware VMFS 6

    Ok, the first radical simplification is the installation / configuration process, you will first need to download the OVA from

    https://download.emc.com/downloads/DL91795_Virtual-Storage-Integrator-(VSI)-for-VMware-vSphere-Client-8.0.ova?source=OLS

    333

    And then deploy it against you vCenter

    • Launch the Deploy OVF Template wizard within the vSphere Web Client
    • In Step 8 Customize template, Expand VSI Registration to register the plug-in as part of the deployment.
    • Note that registration of vCenters will proceed without validation of the SSL certificates.
    • If you do not want to register vCenter servers without validating SSL certificates, enable SSH and leave the rest of the VSI Registration inputs blank.
    • Log out of the vSphere Web Client and into the vSphere HTML Client
    • If you registered the plug-in as part of the deployment, you should see the plug-in as shown here.
    • If you did not register the plug-in during deployment, proceed to Step 4
    • If you did not register the plug-in via deployment, you can SSH into the IAPI and execute the python scripts as shown here.
    • Note: You can also register the plug-in by
  1. Importing any SSL Certificates
  2. Power down your IAPI VM
  3. Select your IAPI VM and go to Configure -> vApp Options and click Edit. (via vSphere Web Client)
  4. Supply the VSI Registration info
  5. Power up your IAPI VM

SSL Cert. Management

  • In VSI 8.0, untrusted SSL certificates are ignored.
  • Customers can perform the following SSL Management tasks via CLI:
  • Add vCenter certificates to the IAPI truststore by:
  • Importing vCenter Certificates
  • Add Storage System certificates to the IAPI truststore by:
  • Exporting/Fetching Storage Certificates
  • Importing Storage Certificates
  • Note: To manage the truststore, you must first enable SSH on the IAPI Server



  • To enable SSH after deployment:

  1. log into the vSphere Web Client and select the IAPI Server VM
  2. Power down the IAPI Server VM

Administration


  • Click Dell EMC VSI to access the Dell EMC VSI Administration page


Lets first take a quick walkthrough of the Dell EMC VSI administration page

  • The Dashboard is where you view the health of your plugin.
  • In this example you can see the status of the Integration services, the number of registered vCenter Servers and Storage Systems, and the capacity of registered storage

  • Click on vCenter Servers to display the vCenter servers registered to the VSI plugin. You can register and unregister vCenter servers in a linked mode group, as well as edit the IP address being used by the IAPI to connect to the vCenter server.

  • The Storage Systems page displays the storage systems registered to VSI.
  • You can register, unregister, and edit storage system registration from this page.
  • Expand the storage system to view details and registered storage pools (Unity) or storage groups (VMAX/PowerMax)

  • The User/Groups page is where you manage a vCenter user’s or group’s access to Dell EMC Storage
  • You can view, add and edit access to Unity Storage Pools, VMAX/PowerMax Storage Groups, and XtremIO clusters.

  • To use the VSI plugin for a given vCenter, it must be registered.
  • You can register one or all vCenter Servers in a linked mode group

  • You must be a vCenter administrator to Register vCenters
  • Click + to Register a vCenter Server
  • In the Register vCenter Server dialog, supply the password and select the vCenter servers you want to register.
  • If there are multiple IP addresses, you can select the IP address you want to use to communicate to the vCenter via the integration service

Click Register

  • Go to the Storage Systems page to register, unregister, and edit storage system registrations.
  • Any vCenter user knowing the array login credentials can register the array, such as a storage administrator.
  • The vCenter user that registers an array becomes owner of the array.
  • Only the owner of an array can unregister, edit registration, and grant access.

  • To register a XtremIO storage system, click +. This opens the Register Storage System wizard.
  • Select the storage system Type XtremIO and enter the required information.
  • Note that you must register an array using a user with admin privileges

  • The XtremIO storage systems being managed by the XMS are discovered and available for registration.
  • Select the XtremIO storage systems you want to register
  • Click Next
  • To allow other vCenter users or groups to use the storage system for provisioning, you must grant them access.
  • Select the users or groups to be granted access to the storage system.
  • Click Next
  • Review you settings
  • Click Finish
  • The storage systems you registered are now displayed in Storage Systems page.
  • You can expand the Storage System to view storage system details and users granted access
  • Storage Access Review
  • VSI 8.0 leverages vCenter roles/privileges
    • Any vCenter user that can browse a datastore, can view Dell EMC storage properties associated with the datastore.
      • Storage access does NOT need to be granted for viewing storage properties.
    • Any vCenter user who can configure a datastore can do so in VSI using Dell EMC storage they have been granted access to, such as:
      • VMAX/PowerMax Storage Groups
      • XtremIO Storage Systems
  • Unity Storage Pools
  • Use the Users/Group page to manage a vCenter user’s or group’s access to storage groups, XtremIO storage systems, and Unity Storage pools
  • On the left hand side, you will see the vCenter users and groups that have been granted access to Dell EMC storage.
  • Select a user or group to view their storage access information
  • The Summary tab indicates the number of storage objects the user or group has been granted access to compared to the total objects registered.
  • Hots Management (ESXI best Practices)
  • Note: In 8.0, advanced settings are limited to the XtremIO storage platform.
  • To determine if a host’s advanced settings are set to the best practices for XtremIO, go to the host’s Configure tab and click Advanced settings under Dell EMC VSI.
  • Settings displaying a Warning icon are those that do not meet the best practices
  • Hover over the icon to present the preferred value.
  • Select a row to display a description of the setting below the table.
  • Click EDIT to access the Apply Advanced Settings
  • The upper half of the Apply Advanced Settings modal displays the host settings and the preferred value.
  • The lower portion of the modal displays the preferred value for LUN Settings and is intended to allow you to apply best practices to LUNs already existing on the host..
  • To change a setting to its preferred value, select its checkbox.
  • Click SAVE
  • Note: You can also access this modal from the Dell EMC VSI action menu off of a cluster or host.
  • Storage Management

  • Note the prerequisites for creating datastores on Dell EMC
  • To create a new datastores using VSI, select Dell EMC VSI Actions à New Datastore off of a Datacenter, Folder, Cluster, or Host
  • Note: The New Datastore menu is enabled for vCenter users with vCenter privileges to create/configure a datastore

  • Provisioning storage (datastores) on Dell EMC is done via the Create Datastore on Dell EMC wizard
  • The first 3 steps of the wizard are common
  • The remaining steps change based on Storage System Selection in Step 3
  • In Step 1, select the Type of datastore you want to create including whether you want to create multiple datastores
  • In this initial version, only VMFS version 6 is available. Click Next
  • If you have chosen to select just one datastore, in Step 2, enter the name of the datastore and click Next.
  • The Location displays the where the datastore will be created (based on the object you perform the action from)
  • If you have chosen to create multiple datstores, in Step 2 enter the number of datastores you want to create, the datastore base name, and the number of digits for the name suffix.
  • Click Next
  • In Step 3, select the storage system you want to use to create the datastores
  • The remaining steps will change based on the storage system’s platform you have selected.
  • Click Next
  • Select the Initiator Groups
  • Only the Initiator groups that match the hosts associated with the selected datastore location will be displayed.
  • To display all initiator groups associated with the selected location, use the Show All toggle.
  • Click Next
  • Review your settings
  • Click FINISH
  • Datastore Summary tab
  • To view Dell EMC Storage properties:
  • VSI extends the datastore summary tab by including a Dell EMC Storage card to display Dell EMC volume information.
  • Note: If the datastore is not on Dell EMC, it will display “The selected datastore is not on Dell EMC Storage or the Dell EMC storage is not registered to VSI.”
  • Click View Details to view more details about the storage
  • VSI also extends the datastore Configure tab to display Dell EMC storage details.
  • These details are based on the storage platform, unique to XtremIO (and a feature I get asked about on a weekly basic, Is the ability to show unique and Data Reduction (DRR) per a volume!
  • Below you can see a demo on how it all looks

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