We recently rolled out some software upgrades for our VMware ecosystem integrations and certifications which are generally available now or will be within the next 45 days. The specific products updates this month are Storage (VASA) Provider, vRealize Operations (vROPS) Management Pack and Storage Plugin for vCenter. This is in addition to updates to our flagship UCP Advisor software which provides provisioning and lifecycle management for infrastructure and resources from within vCenter. As always, the intent is to continue to empower IT roles who leverage the VMware vCenter/vRealize management stack for operations and automation with native integrated access to services, capabilities and data from Hitachi Infrastructure. I've outlined some of the high level advancements in the respective integration below.
Note, all Hitachi integrations are now posted on VMware marketplace for customers/partners to download.
Storage (VASA) Provider v3.5.0/v3.5.1
As a refresher, the Hitachi VASA provider software integration enables storage capability aware policy based management for VMFS/VVol while also enabling a VVol deployment.
One of the major new features additions in the 3.5 release is automating QoS or similar actions when storage policies are changed on a VM or datastore in order to bring it into compliance with that new policy. We focused our initial policy compliance efforts around our Hitachi Active Flash and data tiering (HDT) pooling technology which are used quite frequently in VMware environments. It consists of multiple tiers from both internal and external storage (an example might be FMD, SSD within Hitachi VSP and 3rd tier being a virtualized external 3rd party flash array from Pure/EMC etc). This pooling technology automatically moves or pins data blocks between tiers based on data access rules but there are cases where finer grained control for Application owners/VM admins is beneficial, whether its related to expected application usage behavior change or cost controls.
With this release of VASA Provider, when an administrator applies a new policy to a VM/VMDK or datastore, the Hitachi VASA Provider will initiate storage changes to bring that object into compliance. One example of this is tiered data placement within our pool. If certain VMs/VMDKs or datastores are set with "Tier 3 Latency and Tier 3 IOPS" policy capability within vCenter, the system will automatically move those blocks to that lower tier freeing up higher tiers for new net applications or that high performing database that is growing in size. Similarly, that application that now requires both "Tier 1 Latency and Tier 1 IOPS" is simply applied that policy by VM admin (or App owner). The Hitachi VASA software will invoke actions to pin/promote all blocks to that highest performing tier. We have made this capability available for both VMFS (taking advantage of custom tiering policies) and/or VVol datastores. VMware VVol will obviously allow finer grained granular control at VM/VMDK level given its object based implementation. This was the additional motivation to allow a level of Hitachi infrastructure resource control to be accessible to application owners (not just VM admins) through API/vRO/vRA Catalog services.
This release also includes support for vSphere 6.7, environments with multiple SSO domains and configurations without external service processor (SVP). Also worth noting that the latest editions to Hitachi VSP All Flash storage platform powered by SVOS RF, now officially supports up to 8X increase in number of vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVols). So whether using Hitachi Storage, UCP Converged or Hitachi enterprise cloud environment, download and try the free virtual appliance and take advantage of it.
vROPS Management Pack v1.8
In this updated release of the Hitachi Storage Management Pack, we have introduced a new troubleshooting storage dashboard to identify and remediate potential risks/issues quickly within vROPS. This dashboard walks operations teams through 12 key questions and metrics that we have determined from past support experiences are helpful to get to quick resolution to VM-Storage potential root cause issues. It covers key health areas such as cache write pending levels, I/O port utilization, latency and storage processor busy metrics within dashboard for full correlated selected timeline view.
We have also made improvements in capacity savings dashboard for customers to easily visualize space savings with deduplication and compression deployed in their all-flash Hitachi storage and UCP converged systems. Administrators can now visually see answers to questions related to deduplication ratio, data reduction savings and capacity trend based on current space efficiency rates continuing.
This releases also supports vROPS 6.7 and VMware’s vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager (vRSLCM) for automated management pack updates. This will allow customers that.leverage vRSLCM to automatically receive notification of partner management pack updates and have those updates be downloaded directly to their system from VMware's (VSX) marketplace.
Storage Plugin v3.8
While UCP Advisor is morphing to be the flagship management integration for all Hitachi infrastructure, we continue to evolve the storage plugin for vCenter. This release includes substantially improved datastore provisioning times on our recently announced next-generation VSP storage platforms using latest API integration. It also fully supports provisioning against deduplication and compression based storage pools.
Other related Hitachi-VMware updates
From a VMware certification point of view:-
- Site Recovery Manager (SRM):- Hitachi SRA v2.3.1 is now certified with VMware's SRM 8.1 release.
- VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC):- Hitachi VSP platforms certified to support vMSC configurations with iSCSI connectivity with vSphere 6.5 and with vSphere 6.7 in process. Check kb article for updates
Stay tuned as we continue to evolve these and other VMware ecosystem integrations.
- Hitachi VSP All Flash Storage Platform: a flash powered storage platform offering 100% data availability solution for VMware
- Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) CI: a factory-built and tested package of compute, storage, and networking that when combined with VMware vSphere virtualization platform creates the best foundation for apps, cloud and business.
- Hitachi UCP HC: an all-in-one hyperconverged system that combines the strength of Hitachi UCP with VMware vSphere, vCenter and vSAN for simplicity and IT agility.
- Hitachi UCP Advisor: automated management and orchestration software provides single pane of glass visibility across, compute, network and storage. Tight integration with VMware vCenter means organizations don’t have to learn new systems, buy additional software or undertake manual, time consuming integration.
- Hitachi Enterprise Cloud (HEC): a pre-engineered solution for VMware vRealize that provides a public cloud experience with private cloud security and enterprise-class service levels.