Musings of a PC

Thoughts about Windows, TV and technology in general

SCVMM 2012: Storage Overview

VMM aims to expose a common model for storage across different arrays, with end-to-end visibility of storage as it relates to hypervisor hosts. The aim is to allow IT to do more, providing deep integration into the UI and PowerShell with a minimal learning curve, streamlining storage tasks across different arrays, taking advantage of more advanced storage features.

That said, VMM is not a storage resource manager. There is no value in trying to replace partner specific tools, it is not possible to keep up with new capabilities and to attempt to be an SRM product would mean that VMM would not ship on time!

What this functionality offers the administrator is the ability to control what host groups can access in terms of available storage logical units and available storage pools.

The standard used by VMM is SMI-S and the four companies announced as supported so far are EMC, HP, HDS and NetApp.

There is support for VDS but it is largely deprecated with the future focus being on SMI-S.

For me, this presents quite a challenge if I want to use VMM to manage the storage used with the VMs because I’ve now go to make sure that the storage is “compatible” with VMM. No real news about Dell, which is my preferred supplier, which makes things extra tricky. It may be that I’ll have to stick with something like Dell’s MD3000i array which supports VDS and wait a few years until there is more clarity around SMI-S and VMM’s storage capability, and change to an SMI-S array at that time.

Having said all of that, it looks like it might be possible to get hold of an SMI-S provider for Dell’s MD arrays – both iSCSI and DAS!

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/topics/topic.aspx/global/shared/services/en/smi_form?c

… however, that appears to be for an early version of the software that Dell were working on. There seems to be a newer version from what I can gather in a manual I found:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/RBOD_com/SMIS/SMIS.pdf

but I haven’t been able to find the corresponding download. I am encouraged, though, that it should be technically feasible to control a Dell MD array from VMM 2012 so the hunt continues!

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5 responses to “SCVMM 2012: Storage Overview

  1. Tim May 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Hi – did you have any luck finding the SMI-S Provider download. I am looking for it too

    • Philip Colmer July 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Unfortunately not, but I haven’t been looking for it lately. We are going to be implementing the RTM or SP1 version of SCVMM in the coming months, at which point I expect to restart my efforts to find the SMI-S provider download. I *suspect* (based on some reading I’ve done this evening) that the Dell Storage Management Client installs the appropriate pieces on the server that uses the storage, and it acts as a proxy to the MD array.

      Do share any details, though, if you make any progress with it. I’ll update the comments or post a new blog if I get it working.

  2. Dennis van Doorn August 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    There is a SMI Application package included in the MD Starage Array vCenter Plug-in. The blog post http://vinfrastructure.it/en/2012/05/manage-a-dell-powervault-array-with-system-center-vmm-2012 explains how the included SMI-S provider can be configured and used for SCVMM. I also did not find a standalone package yet. Also I doubt if this is officially supported this way, however great to do some testing. Anyone asked Dell for clarification yet ?

  3. Jose Fehse September 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Just tried this trick and it seems the file has been removed from the installation package.

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