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As I’ve written in a previous post, Dell has recently released the new versions of some Equallogic’s software, included the new Host Integration Tools (HIT) for VMware 3.1 that is now compatible with vSphere 5 (it support also the Storage Clusters and VASA). The appliance and the documentation are available from the Equallogic support site.

HIT/VE is distributed as a OVA file (the current version is HITVE- and the deploy is the same as other virtual appliance. The VM it’s based on a CentOS 5.3 distro and it’s configured with virtual hardware 7 (so it can run also on 4.x hosts), 1 vCPU, 2 GB vRAM (but seems that also 1,5 GB could be enough) and two vNIC: one for reach the vCenter Server and one for reach the Equallogic management (or the iSCSI network).

When the appliance is deployed and powered on, with the vSphere Console or SSH it is possible to login with root/eql (password can be change) to run the setup program and start the configuration (that is quite simple):

Note that View and VASA configurations are optional. After the plugins are registered in vCenter Server the VM will be rebooted. To update a previous version of the HIT/VE appliance an ISO file is available… but of course it’s also possible delete the old VM and deploy the new one (to de-register the old one you can also use the setup menu of the new appliance).

When the appliance is configured and the plugins are registered, you can see some new icons in the home page of vSphere Client (see the next figure), but also some new menus and tabs.

The Datastore and Auto-Snapshot Managers are just the Equallogic volumes and snapshots (smart copies) manager, and are very similar as the same in the native storage manager interface. The Virtual Desktop Deployment plugin is just a way in integrate some function of the View Manager (like pool creation and management).

Also some new alarms (specif for the storage) are created in vCenter Server. In this way the vCenter Server become a unified interface to manage also the storage part (to be honest some function, like firmware upgrade, still require the storage management interface).

About VASA, in my case, it was quite strange: it doesn’t register correctly in vCenter Server. Of course a vCenter Server 5 was used, but the VASA provider was not added to it (note that the VASA API are not provided directly by Equallogic, but by the HIT, at his address https://HIT_IP/vasa/services/vasaService). The error was related to this issue: “cannot connect to profile-driven storage service”.

Some root causes and solutions were available in the release note (apply if there is a conflict with the Web Client Server or Orchestrator) or in the KB2001804 (apply if the profile-driver storage service was not registered due an early reboot of vCenter Server). But neither of them was a solution of my case: the true was really funny… simple the Inventory and the Service Profile-Driven Storage were not installed (probably an issue during the vCenter Server installation). For fix them was needed a new run of the vCenter installation.

When the VASA provider is registered (see the first picture for the status), is possible build new storage profiles based on some capabilities automatically collected from the storage. Note  that those information are available also with firmware 5.0.8. I’ve not test yet if the capability list is more reach and detailed with the new 5.1.x firmware.


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Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2642 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-17. PernixPro 2014-16. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-17. Nutanix NTC 2014-17. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.

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