This post is long overdue. It was originally written when I still had my colocation lab back in about Feb of this year. Back then the Dell VSM was not publically available, and so I wasn’t able to release this content. It was around the time I was writing the storage articles in the back to basics series. Then I moved to a home lab, and some changes were made to the VSM just prior to its GA. The guys I know over in Nashua, New Hampshire very kindly looked at the content to ensure it was still good. And then, I completely neglected to publish it. That’s scant reward for all the efforts made by Dell to assist in this process, for which I humbly seek forgiveness. Special credit (and promises of dinner and beer, no doubt empty promises!) goes to David Glynn of Dell who has always stepped up the plate when it comes to this sort of content – no doubt I will be making more empty promises of free food and beer, when it comes to me writing the next book on SRM!

Anyway, this is quite a lengthy bit of content so I’m going to spinning out over a couple of posts this week. As you know many storage vendors now provide plug-ins to the vSphere Web Client. In the simplest cases this eases the provisioning of storage to the hosts, but many also will install the VASA provider,  allow you to manage storage snapshots, as well as configure replication. This first post covers the setup/configuration of VSM prior to using it.

Dell EqualLogic provide a plugin that integrate deeply with VMware’s vCenter management system. Providing not just status and monitoring information about the storage, but enabling the vSphere administrator to leverage the capailities of the EqualLogic array, to provide local and remote data protection. Dell’s VSM provides over fifty role-based access controls (RBAC) enabling the creation of very granular permission levels. In some environment the Storage Team may prefer to limit who on the Virtualzation team can create new datastore, and in other environment a junior VMware admin maybe permited to create snapshots, but the task of recovering a VM is limited to a senior admin.

  • Creating and mounting of new datastores
  • Resizing (enlarge only) and deleteing of existing datastores
  • Create hypervisor consistent hardware based snapshot, to protect virtual machines
  • Recover of groups of VMs or selectively restore individual VMs
  • Enabling and managing replication of datastores for recovery of VMs at a DR site
  • Granular role based access controls

Dell’s technology is called Dell VSM which standards for Dell Virtual Storage Manager – Dell also provides a Site Recovery Adapter (SRA) for Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and a Multipathing Entension Module (MEM) for ESXi (Link to MEM section?) for increased performance. Dell also has a number of integration toolkits for other OS vendors, follow this link for more info

For those of you who have not yet made the change to the vSphere Web Client, Dell continues to support the previous version, VSM 3.5.x, which integrates with the legacy vSphere Client, and provides much of hte same functionality.

Installing and configuring VSM

Configure the vCenter Runtime IP Address

Before you import the Dell VSM appliance the vCenter “RunTime” IP address should be first configured, if it has not yet set. This can be configured after importing the appliance, but the appliance will not power until it is configured. It’s this Runtime IP address that allows the appliance to register itself with vCenter when it first powers on.

This article has been donated to the VMUG Wiki – Click here to read on…