EMC Storage Analytics 3.0 and vROps 6.0

EMC Storage Analytics 3.0 is now available and is the first ESA release to support vRealize Operations Management 6.0.  Along with support of 6.0, ESA 3.0 adds a new storage platform XtremeIO.  I won’t even bother trying to do justice to the new platform on ESA since I know Itzik has that covered so if that is your storage, head here: http://itzikr.wordpress.com/2014/12/09/emc-storage-analytics-esa-3-0-now-with-xtremio-support/.  Instead I’ll just focus on vROps 6.0 differences from vCOps starting with this table you can find in the Release Notes:

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There are two fundamental differences between vCOps and vROps:  deployment and interface.  The deployment model has moved from a vApp comprised of 2 VMs – UI and Analytics – to a master VM and up to 7 data VMs.  The new model offers much better scaling capabilities but it is important to understand that scaling in the context of ESA.  VMware bases it’s deployment on number of VMs (displayed during OVA deployment).  Here is a small configuration which is for less than 2000 VMs according to VMware:

sizingClick to enlarge – use browser back button to return to post

But in the ESA world we care much more about number of objects and metrics as that is also a measure of scale for VMware.  Here is how the configuration sizes look when we add that:

How many resources and metrics are supported per node in vROps 6?
Small Node
– 4vCPU, 16GB Memory, < 2000 VMs – Supports 2,000 objects and 1,000,000 metrics
Medium Node– 8vCPU, 32GB Memory, 2000-4000 VMs – Supports 6,000 objects and 3,000,000 metrics
Large Node – 16vCPU,48GB Memory, > 4000 VMs – Supports 10,000 objects and 5,000,000 metrics

When deploying ESA and selecting a configuration size, therefore, we don’t worry so much about number of VMs.  For instance, if I have a VPLEX I might easily approach 6000 objects or more between extents, volumes, devices, etc., but have less than 1000 VMs.  According to VMware I might be able to deploy a small configuration, but with ESA I really need a large node because of the number of objects.  You might also notice the memory and CPU requirements have increased significantly – none too happy about that for my small lab :-).  By the way, if your objects collected from the ESA adapter go beyond the total supported by the node(s), the collector will simply fail and remain in that state.  I learned this the hard way with my VPLEX environment.  I tried adding data nodes to scale-out which I presume should work, but in the end I couldn’t get it to right itself and had to re-install so I recommend over-estimating the configuration deployment if in doubt.

The second difference in vROps we see is in how we access ESA.  No longer are there two interfaces for the product – default and custom.  ESA is brought squarely into the only UI so it is the first thing you see.  I created a demo below – runs about 5 minutes – to demonstrate the new UI, the VMAX dashboards, etc.  I don’t spend a long time on each screen as I only wanted to introduce you to the new interface:

You may have noticed in the demo when I went to the adapter screen that my SMI-S IP had a port associated with it:  5988.  The behavior of ESA with vROps 6 has changed when it comes to the SMI-S Provider.  In vROps 6 the certificate makes a difference and if you allow the default port to be used for SMI-S 5989 (in other words not providing a port), and your certificate is not right, you are going to get this error:

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You have two options if you get this error:  import the correct vROps certificate into ECOM (SMI-S), or change the port to 5988 and use non-SSL.  As you can see in my lab I don’t bother with SSL but both the Release Notes and the User Guide explain how to import the certificate if you require SSL.  The process is straightforward and a one-time step.

So the bad news for VMAX customers is that the alerting capability that was slated for 3.0 did not make the cut.  I have provided an option for alerting for those who use vRealize Log Insight (https://drewtonnesen.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/alerts-with-vmax-esacontent-pack-for-log-insight/) until ESA 3.1 comes out.  Also note that ESA 3.1 will be the first release to support the VMAX3 platform.  You should expect that early next year.  In the meantime here are the Release Notes and User Guide along with the download page for ESA 3.0:

Release Notes:  https://support.emc.com/docu56621_EMC_Storage_Analytics_3.0_Release_Notes.pdf

User Guide:  https://support.emc.com/docu56620_EMC_Storage_Analytics_3.0_Installation_and_User_Guide.pdf

Adapter:  https://download.emc.com/downloads/DL56585_EMC-Storage-Analytics-(ESA)-Adapter-v3.0.pak

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