VMAX Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator

Many of the developers I work with daily on the VMware integrations have been hard at work on a project for a few months now. I’m happy to report that after internal testing it’s finally ready for public consumption – the VMAX Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). The plugin delivers workflows, actions, and even the APIs to create your own!

Now before I get into all the cool things you can do with this plugin, I’m going to start things off by telling you what this is not. It isn’t a product. Unlike our other plugins, say the Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI), this VMAX Plugin for vRO is not available for download on the Dell EMC support site. It will only be available externally on GitHub. And as you might guess, therefore, It isn’t supported. It is, instead, a plugin that offers workflow examples for you to use as is or to take and modify. It is most akin to our many fine examples for the Unisphere for VMAX REST API that Paul Martin puts together and can be found on GitHub here. In fact, the vRO plugin uses the REST API to execute the workflows and probably used some of Paul’s examples. Basically we are offering the plugin to give you a head start if you want to use vRO and vRealize Automation with VMAX storage and perhaps even build a private cloud. At some point in the future one of our plugin products may incorporate some of these workflows but I have no timeline for that and if it did, I would not see it taking on the role of a ViPR.

So that taken care of, let’s talk about the components of the plugin. All the files related to the plugin can be found at this GitHub location: https://github.com/dtonnesen/vmaxvro. You can clone the repository or download the files individually.

The document you want to start with is the README.rst of course. It will point you to the User Guide (VMAX_Plugin_for_VMware_vRealize_Orchestrator_User_Guide.pdf) which contains both the installation and the details of the workflows.

The prerequisites for the plugin might be useful to know, though they are in the doc:

  • Unisphere 8.4
  • Minimum vRO (and vRA if desired) version 7.2
  • VMAX3 or VMAX All Flash with Hypermax OS 5977
  • vCenter 6.0 or 6.5

Installing the plugin (o11nplugin-vroplugin.vmoapp) is straightforward and done through the vRO Control Center:

The document will take you through the process step-by-step so there’s no point in repeating it here. If you follow it you can’t go wrong.

Once installed, the workflows will be available in vRO. I included a large image here so you can read them easier in context.


The workflows are of two types:

  • Actions performed only on the VMAX – e.g. creating a host, port group, device. In the red box above.
  • Actions performed both on the VMAX and in VMware (vSphere integrated) – e.g. creating a device, adding it to a masking view, then creating a datastore on it. In the blue box above.

As you can see, there are lots of options available. I’ve found the workflows for snapshot management for VMFS datastores to be some of the most useful ones.

If you do find issues with the workflows as is, the README will direct you to file the bug on GitHub and our developers will do their best to oblige. I also expect the plugin will be updated over time, but we’re definitely off to a good start.

So hopefully that will get you going on the plugin. A big thank you to our developers for doing this and really on their own time. In the coming days I’ll post some demos of a few workflows as well as show you how you can access workflows in vRA for the full automated cloud treatment:

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9 thoughts on “VMAX Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator

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  1. Hi Drew, this looks great – however when I looked into the repo, it seems you’ve only posted the binaries. In order to foster growth/acceptance, it would be good to be able to fork fixes/enhancements to a core codebase. Is this your intent?

    1. I’ll see if the developers intend that or not. Right now this is how they wanted it delivered.

    2. So the intent is not to deliver the plugin code itself, rather to allow users to customize the actions and workflows as needed for their environment.

  2. Hi Drew, First congratulations for this plugin, with this plugin, is it possible to enter the LUN id when creating a device:
    Thanks

    1. The array generates the device ID no matter what product (e.g. Unisphere, Solutions Enabler) is used to create it, so no you cannot.

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