Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) Universal Volume Manager (UVM) Capabilities with Cisco Intersight Cloud Orchestrator (ICO)
Target audience: Intersight users / IT infrastructure administrators
Virtualizing legacy and third party storage systems through the Hitachi VSP system provides the ability to use Intersight management functionality for storage resources that are normally not supported by Cisco Intersight. Additionally, virtualized systems behind the Hitachi VSP gain access to all the features that are available internally via the Storage Virtualization Operating System RF (SVOS). This includes replication, capacity saving, dynamic tiering capabilities, as well as performance monitoring.
Using Cisco Intersight as an integrated management platform for server, networking, and storage infrastructure helps IT organizations improve their operational efficiency. However, multi-vendor procurement policies or the continued use of older storage systems during a vendor migration might lead to situations where not all storage resources are directly supported from Cisco Intersight. This would add complexity to operations as additional management tools would be required to manage these storage resources. UVM enables prolonged use of older storage systems which results in reduced capital expenditure (CapEx) regarding buying more capacity.
This article demonstrates the ability to virtualize a legacy or third party storage system with the Hitachi VSP and therefore enable the integration of these resources into an Intersight management environment.
As mentioned, multi-vendor procurement policies or migration scenarios can lead to situations where not all storage resources in an environment can be managed using Intersight and additional storage management tools are required to handle daily operations. (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Management situation without UVM
To improve this situation, Hitachi has introduced support for UVM into Cisco Intersight. With this integration Intersight Infrastructure Service (IIS) and Intersight Cloud Orchestrator (ICO) capabilities can be applied to an external storage system connected to a Hitachi VSP already being managed by Cisco Intersight (Figure2).
Figure 2: Management situation with new UVM support
The following sections will take a closer look at these UVM related Intersight capabilities.
Onboarding external storage volumes
The first step required to use Intersight functionality for external storage volumes is planning. It involves an analysis of both the Hitachi VSP and third party storage systems as part of the planning phase and is normally done by an experienced storage administrator. A physical data path between the storage systems must be established before the actual mapping of storage volumes can happen. The mapping process can be managed either using traditional storage management tools or newly introduced ICO tasks. These new tasks include:
· New Hitachi External Parity Group
· Remove Hitachi External Parity Group
· Add Hitachi External Path
· Remove Hitachi External Path
· Disconnect Hitachi External Volume
As part of the onboarding process, a new data path is established, and applications will access data via the VSP non-disruptively during migration.
Intersight Infrastructure Service capabilities
After the UVM capability has been used to map storage volumes of an external storage system to Hitachi VSP, external parity groups are created and can be viewed in Intersight (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Inventory view of External Parity groups
Any further storage management steps within Intersight will treat external volumes the same as volumes created internally from VSP. This means that that capacity information, as well as any snapshot or replication information related to these volumes, will be presented in Intersight.
Hitachi has consistently expanded the supported storage functionality through ICO and previously introduced tasks to provision and resize volumes or to create snapshots. With the introduction of UVM, these tasks are also available to volumes on external storage.
Furthermore, a new task called Move Hitachi Volume is being introduced to migrate volume data from an external storage array to Hitachi VSP. This could be either an external location with different performance or compression characteristics or an internal location. For example, a non-compressed volumes can be migrated into a pool with compression using volumes that are native to the virtualized system.
Figure 4: ICO workflow with volume migration task
This new migration capability allows storage administrators to prepare migration plans and create ICO workflows that can be delegated to the application owners. Application owners then have more flexibility to decide on migration schedules and run the migration at an appropriate time. The actual migration can be triggered by just kicking off the workflow provided by the storage administrator.
The integration of the Hitachi VSP UVM capability into Cisco Intersight enables increased management efficiency as users now can manage storage resources directly from Intersight. This includes storage arrays from vendors not directly manageable and natively supported. UVM simplifies the management of heterogenous storage environments and provides efficient management of system migration during system refreshes, all while providing native VSP feature functionality to legacy and third party systems via SVOS. Come by the Hitachi booth at Cisco Live 2023 Las Vegas to view our latest demonstration of Intersight with UVM.
Hitachi and Cisco are continuously collaborating to bring additional storage capabilities into Intersight, tune back into our next announcement for information about further enhancements!