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In the previous post, I’ve described how is possible integrate the Dell storage array management with the new Microsoft System Center VMM 2012. But of course it is possible to do the same (and from longer time) also using VMware.

With VMware vSphere we could have two different approaches for the integration:

  • One is simple add the storage interface (or part of it) in the tab and/or the menu of vSphere Client by using a vCenter Server plug-in. In this case the integration could be strong or weak, but usually differ from storage and storage. Also there could be some issue if you plan to use the vSphere Web Client.
  • The second is there the storage array (or a specific provider) talk directly with vCenter using specific API: using VASA is possible know some properties of the storage LUNs, and for example integrate this data with the Storage Profile. Note that there are also API for other specific tasks (for example VAAI for storage acceleration and offload), but those are not for management and usually are integrated on storage array and host side.

Due to the limitation of the VASA API (that is most oriented to get information of the storage, instead of manage it), could be usual implement both type of integration.

In the Dell storage portfolio, EqualLogic was the first that implement both the vCenter plug-in and the VASA provider, and the HIT for vSphere 5 implement both kind of integration in a single virtual appliance. For the PowerVault MD family, instead, there are two different type of component, one for the plugin and one for the VASA provider, and both are just Windows components.

Here an overview of the Dell Storage Portfolio with their integration with vSphere:

PowerVault MD Equallogic Compellent
vCenter Plug-in Plug-in Plug-in
Requirements MD Storage Array vCenter Plug-inMD VASA Provider Host Integration Tools =>3.1 Compellent Enterprise Manager =>5.5.3
Configuration Dell TechCenter vInfrastructure Dell Community

Virtualization, Cloud and Storage Architect. Tech Field delegate. VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert 2010-24. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014-15. Microsoft MVP 2014-16. Veeam Vanguard 2015-23. Nutanix NTC 2014-20. Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.