IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC) is a key component of the IBM Software Defined Storage (SDS) Control Plane. It provides efficient virtualization, management of heterogeneous storage systems, end-to-end storage management, and data protection through application aware snapshots. These capabilities are all tightly integrated with advanced analytics functions such as optimization and provisioning to deliver a robust storage cloud-based solution The newly published IBM Redbook, IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center provides practical use cases to assist clients in transforming traditional storage into storage cloud environments.
One of many step-by-step topics in this book demonstrates how VSC can be used to give VMware administrators the capability to provision storage with minimal interaction of the storage administrator.
As of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center V5.2, there are two functions that will help VMware administrators work with the data that VSC Storage Management has collected in the environment. The functions can be used independently:
- VMware vCenter Web Client Extension: Tivoli Storage Productivity Center has created an extension that enables VMware administrators to view end-to-end information about storage and fabrics in new reports. The extension allows them to start the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center provisioning task from the VMware Web Client. This extension is also referred to as the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Plug-in.
- vSphere API for Storage Awareness (VASA): The Tivoli Storage Productivity Center VASA provider enables storage data to be accessible in the existing vCenter Server reports and views, as well as receive Tivoli Storage Productivity Center alerts.
Through the VMware vCenter Web Client Extension it is possible to allow VMware administrators to provision their own storage, which assists them in achieving even faster response times when demands for new machines arrive. The VMware vCenter Web Client extension also gives VMware administrators access to see performance and asset related information about the storage usage, enabling them to better understand the environment, and to optimize the resources they use.
VMware VASA integration with IBM Storage Systems
This integration enables VMware administrators to independently and centrally manage their storage resources on IBM storage systems. These resources include IBM SAN Volume Controller (SVC), IBM Storwize products; V7000, V5000, V3700; and FlashSystem V840. The Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Plug-in runs as a Microsoft Windows Server service on the vCenter server. Any VMware vSphere Client that connects to the vCenter server detects the service on the server. The service then automatically enables the IBM storage management features on the vSphere Client.
VSC and VMware are integrated using the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center plug-in. In the diagram below, we see the following integrated activities:
- Probes: Tivoli Storage Productivity Center collects information about VMware data sources.
- Reports and Provisioning: Function of the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center Plug-in.
- Storage Capabilities and Events/Alarm: VMware vSphere API for Storage Awareness (VASA) functions.
VSC and VMware integration topology
The arrows in in the above diagram show where a connection is started. For example a probe is started from Tivoli Storage Productivity Center to the vCenter or to an ESX server. The box labeled with VMware vCenter Storage Monitoring Service enables the communication with a VASA provider. Events and Alarms are VMware terms, which correspond to alerts in Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
Want to learn more? Read the IBM Redbooks publication; IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for a wealth of practical use cases that provide step-by-step instruction and demonstrate storage management, provisioning, optimizing, application aware data protection, and how to easily transform your traditional storage to storage cloud.