Monday, May 28, 2012

Setting up EMC Solutions Enabler for VASA

A while ago, I wanted to set up the VASA providers for some EMC storage I use in a lab, and I found it rather difficult to find the info I needed, hopefully this will help others!

First we need to download the appliance. (You will need a powerlink account.) Hit up then 'Home' -> 'Support' -> Software Downloads and Licensing' -> 'Downloads S' -> 'Solutions Enabler'
I wont bother explaining how to follow the bouncing ball to import an OVF, just mention the caveat that you need to have configured an 'IP Pool' in your vCenter first.

The SE appliance import expects to see an 'IP Pool' configured on the datacenter object in your vSphere inventory. If you do not have one configured, select your Datacenter, and click the 'IP Pools' tab. Give it a name, and enter the IP info; Subnet, Gateway, Range & Enable the pool. Once you are done there, click the 'Associations' tab and ensure you associate the pool with the port group you will be adding the SE to.


During the import, you will be asked to enter the IP info for the SE appliance. Whack in your address, which should correspond with the IP Pool you created a moment ago.


Once the import has completed, and the appliance is fired up, logon to its page


The default credentials are: seconfig / seconfig
Once you are on the admin page, click 'Daemon Status", then click 'Daemon Options'


Add in the line below to the Daemon Options file.

storsrvd.security_level = NONSECURE


Click 'Command Execution', and under the 'NETHOST Settings' for 'Nodename' type the FQDN (or IP) of the hosts that will be accessing the Solutions Enabler, for 'Users' just use '*'
For our purposes, this would be any vSphere clients that are running the 'EMC VSI plugin', in addition to the vCenter server itself.


Now lets install the client side component, the 'EMC VSI Plugin', again you will need a Powerlink account to download this.

'Next' 'Next' through the install (I believe this step could be omitted, and the arrays added via the web interface of SE, but the plugin is just too useful :> ) Once installed, it should be registered in the plugin manager as below. Go into the plugin from the home tab of the vSphere Client.


Now we need to make sure we set up our NETHOSTS properly. In the left pane, select 'Solutions Enabler' and then enter the IP you gave SE and choose 'Test Connection' You should see the happy message (as below). If you get an error, chances are you have not set up your NETHOSTS so go back to the appliance admin page, and make sure you set it up with the right IP (source of the client).


If you were to see an error like below, you need to make sure you set up the NETHOSTS file in the appliance admin portal.


Now we should be able to add the array to SE. In my case it is a clariion I am adding, so click 'CLARiiON Arrays' and then enter the SP information, and your array credentials, then click 'Discover New CLARiiON Array'


Once it has been added, you should see it, as below.


Now that the arrays are registered, we can sort out the VASA provider :)
In the vSphere client, from 'Home' click 'Storage Providers', then click 'Add'. In the 'Add Vendor Provider' dialog enter:

Name: Friendly description of the provider
URL: https://<your-SE-IP>:5989/vasa/services/vasaService
Login: admin
Password: #1Password
Then click OK. Go away and verify the thumbprint….did you verify it? Sure…



So now we should see our provider, and the array(s) we added in earlier!


Now you can enjoy the VASA System Defined capabilities applied to your datastores, and automate away!
If like me you are using a *legacy* array like the CX500/CX3 then the capabilities are pretty TERRIBLE. For me a lun is either 'NL-SAS / SATA' or 'SAS / Fibre Storage' - which I have to say is pretty lame. Come on EMC, support the users of your older arrays - how hard could it be to add more meaningful tags? I guess this is the issue with VMware's openness for VASA providers, allowing the vendors to do what they want, rather than defining the capabilities they accept. Hopefully someone with clout at EMC or a tier 1 customer will whinge and get more rich providers added…..I wont hold my breath for my old arrays though.



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Enjoys spending time in layer 6 & 7. Passionate about delivering quality education.
Based in Sydney.