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The Dell EqualLogic team has officially announced the release of Host Integration Tools for Microsoft (HIT/Microsoft) v4.0, now available for download.

The EqualLogic Host Integration Tools for Microsoft (HIT/Microsoft) tightly integrate the EqualLogic PS Series arrays with Microsoft host operating platform and host applications enabling consistent data protection (using snapshots and replicas), performance optimization (with a specific multipath module) and streamlined management and operation (for example to help to connect a host or to initialize an array).

I’ve see HIT/Microsoft 4.0 during the last Dell Storage Forum and also during the beta period and it’s a new release with a complete new GUI and several interesting features. The only possible issue is that seems a little slower compared with the 3.x version (but maybe was related to the beta code, now I have to repeat some tests).

The new features include:

  • HIT Groups: Auto-Snapshot Manager/Microsoft Edition (ASM/ME) has a new feature called HIT Groups that allows users to manage multiple Microsoft hosts from a single server offering centralized data protection.  With HIT Groups, users can create and manage Smart Copies and Smart Copy schedules on all Microsoft hosts, and simultaneously edit settings on multiple hosts. When a new host is added to a HIT Group, the Host Integration Tools get installed on the host automatically.
  • Enhanced Support for Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV): With this version of the Host Integration Tools, users can create Smart Copies and Smart Copy schedules of CSVs including those that contain virtual machines running on other cluster nodes. There is no need to create a separate Smart Copy schedule for each VM. This feature helps protect all virtual machines on a CSV with a single snapshot as well as ability to quickly restore the whole CSV.
  • Richer usability and functional experience: The ASM/ME GUI has been redesigned. It features a dashboard that provides an at-a-glance overview of the hosts, volumes, iSCSI connections, schedules, Smart Copies, collections, and applications that users are managing with ASM/ME. In addition, there are several usability improvements.
  • Remote Installation and Upgrade capability: There are now two methods—a PowerShell script and ASM/ME’s Add Hosts wizard—for remote installation of the Host Integration Tools. Remote installation saves a lot of time, particularly in large scale installations. When the Add Hosts wizard is used, multiple installations can be done in parallel, saving even more time. Upgrading the version of Host Integration Tools on each host is also easily accomplished through these methods.
  • PowerShell Tools Enhancements: New cmdlets have been added to the PowerShell Tools that offer enhanced management functionalities. This includes cmdlets to configure PS Group access to LDAP servers, to list details for  iSCSI connections to volumes and snapshots, and to list and manage individual replicas in a replica set.
  • Proactive Alerts:Expanded email alerts for scheduled tasks and proactive visual clues in the ASM GUI to notify the user of potential problems.
  • Enhancements to Volume-Based Collections: Users can now specify whether or not you want a Smart Copy schedule for a collection to fail if the contents of the collection differ from the time the schedule was created. This is useful in cases where a volume is hosting a set of databases that changes frequently.

Additional information and references on Host Integration Tools for Microsoft software v4.0 release:

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Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2660 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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