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Hitachi UCP Advisor integrated with VMware vLCM

By Srinivas Ponnala posted 03-27-2021 03:23

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Advisor (UCP Advisor) is now fully integrated with VMware vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM).

What is UCP Advisor: UCP Advisor is an Infrastructure Automation and Management software for all Hitachi Converged, Hyperconverged (HCI) and Integrated Systems. It provides unified and federated management of compute, network and storage devices, and it is seamlessly integrated into vCenter as a Plug-in for single pane of glass experience to VI administrators. UCP Advisor provides capabilities such as Day 0 rapid deployments, inventory visibility with health notifications, generation of reports, lifecycle management of compute and network devices. Policy based Bare Metal OS provisioning including ESXi hypervisor - essentially orchestration of complete infrastructure. UCP Advisor also provides secured Access to infrastructure, and integrates into vRealize Log Insight for Audit trail and with Hitachi Remote Ops for call-home functionality. It exposes REST API, and is agentless with no dependency on element manager software.  More details here.

What is vLCM: vLCM is a successor of vSphere Update Manager introduced with vSphere 7.0 and it comes with your vSphere license. The vLCM framework uses a declarative/desired-state model for lifecycle operations which enforces ESXi hosts consistency across the cluster not only for ESXi build versions and patch updates, but also the vendor add-ons for firmware and drivers.

Just imagine a set of production clusters of size 16/32 ESXi hosts. It would be a time and resource intense task to manually monitor compliance of all the hosts in those clusters by referring compatibility and hardware interop matrices. Scheduling multiple maintenance windows for operating system and patches upgrades followed by firmware upgrades. Whole process is time-consuming, complex, error-prone and risky.
Integration of UCP Advisor with vLCM brings in a great benefit to our UCP Virtualization customers.

Let’s take a look how this works…

VI Administrators can define a desired image with the combination of ESXi base image, Drivers and Firmware. vLCM’s Automated Compliance Check identifies the drift on the hosts and provides an option to remediate hosts back to the desired state.

When the remediation kicks in, vLCM calls Hardware Support Manager (HSM), in our case UCP Advisor API, to handle the firmware component. UCP Advisor checks for the Hardware Support Package (HSP), which is basically Advisor compute firmware bundle to perform firmware upgrade.

UCP Advisor follows the industry best practices to validate the firmware version combinations of the different components against the Hitachi certified interop matrix based on the hypervisor version on the host. It verifies the health of individual physical compute servers, puts the host in maintenance mode, and then initiates the upgrade. As this is firmware upgrade, the process involves one or more server reboots based on the compute components getting upgraded. As long as your cluster has High Availability and DRS configured, there is minimal to zero application workload downtime during this process. Once the host is upgraded and back to normal, Advisor moves to next Host in the cluster. This automated rolling upgrade occurs on all hosts with drift. UCP Advisor provides task details at the component level on each host in the cluster.

After successful remediation, the hosts are compliant with desired state.

This integration Provides a simplified Full stack upgrade at cluster level with a single click.

To summarize
UCP Advisor and Compute Firmware bundle is what is required and One Desired State Image is what you configure. This notifies compliance drift enabling you to do One Click Pre-check and One Click Remediate
All the upgrades happening in One Maintenance Window to achieve Full Stack upgrade of entire cluster.

A time-consuming, complex, error-prone and risky upgrade process is transformed to a faster, simplified, consistent and reliable lifecycle management.

Hitachi’s UCP Advisor is the first to get listed on VMware Marketplace as HSM for vLCM Add-on.

Hitachi UCP Advisor Plug-in for vCenter (remote format) is now fully certified and listed on VMware Marketplace and VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG)
Hitachi UCP Advisor got featured in VMware’s What's New in vSAN 7 Update 2 and Release Notes.

Hitachi UCP Advisor v3.10.0
VMware vSphere 7.0 U1 and U2




05-19-2022 14:35

Very Informative !!

05-04-2022 11:54

Good read

04-26-2022 13:03

Nice Article