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System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 and 2016

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Virtualized workloads in System Center VMM require storage resources to meet capacity and performance requirements. VMM recognizes local and remote storage, and supports the use of block-level storage devices that expose logical unit numbers (LUNs) using Fibre channel, iSCSI, and SAS connections, and the use of network shares for storage.

Pure Storage introduced support for Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) with the release of Purity 4.6. I covered the Pure Storage SMI-S Provider Overview previously discussing how Windows Server 2012 R2 can be used as an SMI-S client with Windows PowerShell. In this blog post I show how to add our SMI-S Provider into Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 R2. For more information about storage configuration see Configuring Storage in VMM Overview  and System Center 2012 Integration Guide - VMM .


Step-by-Step Configuration

The following steps will be performed:

  1. Enabling SMI-S service on the Pure Storage FlashArray.
  2. Add a new Storage Device using SMI-S.
  3. Create new Logical Unit (LUN).
  4. Delete a LUN.


  • Deployed instance of Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012, 2012 R2 or 2016.
  • Pure Storage FlashArray//M or FlashArray FA-400 series running Purity 4.6 or greater.


Step 1 - Enabling SMI-S Service

The first step is to ensure that the SMI-S services are enabled on the FlashArray. Log into the Pure Storage FlashArray management interface and navigate to the System tab and select SMI-S located in the Configuration section on the left. Click the buttons to enable the Service Location Protocol and the SMI-S Provider.

Once the Service Location Protocol and the SMI-S Provider are enabled log into the physical or virtual host that has Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 (SCVMM) deployed. 


Step 2 - Add New Storage Device in SCVMM

Login into SCVMM.

In the below example the logged in Windows identity is used. This is the same account that installed SCVMM.


Step 3 - Adding a Storage Device

After logging into SCVMM click Add Resources > Storage Devices to start the Add Storage Devices Wizard.


Step 4 - Select a Storage Provider Type

The type of storage provider to select is SAN and NAS devices discovered and managed by a SMI-S Provider.



Step 5 - Configuring SMI-S Connectivity

Specifying the discovery scope is the most important step. There are several protocol options, in the Protocol dropdown select SMI-S CIMXML. You can either use an IP address or Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) for the FlashArray. Select Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection and the TCP/IP port will automatically change from 5988 to 5989. This is the secure port used by SMI-S.



Run As account needs to be created that contains the authentication details to connect to the FlashArray. Click Browse… Once the Select a Run As Account dialog is open click on Create Run As Account. Using the default FlashArray authentication credentials. create a Run As account named pureuser that maps to the default pureuser account for FlashArray web management. 



Click OK then Next to start the discovery and import task.


Step 6 - Gathering Information

During this step the wizard with show a progress bar as it discovers the FlashArray. Once the discovery has completed click Next. In the below example the scan process discovered a FlashArray//M10. 



Step 7 - Assigning a Classification

In this step click the checkbox for the FlashArray that has been discovered and assign a Classification. A “classification” is meant to describe the capabilities of the selected storage pool. In the below example a Classification was created using the Create Classification button with a name of FlashArray



Step 8 -- Review & Finish

The discovery and import has completed. Confirm the settings by clicking Finish and the FlashArray will be added to SCVMM.



As part of the final step adding the FlashArray to SCVMM there are two Jobs that show further details about the FlashArray. The below screenshot shows the FlashArray Endpoints and Provider details under the Adds Storage Provider job.



The below screenshot shows that initiators and logical units have been imported under the Sets Storage Array job.



All objects have been discovered from the FlashArray and it is now displayed in the SCVMM Storage area with the details of capacity, number of provisioned logical units and other relevant information.



Step 9 - Creating a Logical Unit (LUN)

Now a Logical Unit (LUN) will be created using the SMI-S Provider. Release 1 of the SMI-S Provider supports the Provisioning and Capacity management SNIA SMI Profiles. For a full list of SMI-S profiles from SNIA click here.

On the toolbar click Create Logical Unit which will display a dialog box to enter the LUN settings.



The following example a LUN named DEMO-LUN is created and assigned a description with a Size of 750GB. Then select Create thin storage logical unit with capacity committed on demand. Click OK to create the new LUN.

Selecting the Create thin storage logical unit with capacity committed on demand option is a best practice to be used in conjunction with the Pure Storage FlashArray. 

Microsoft Hyper-V has the ability to use thinly provisioned storage. Thin provisioning is one of the core features Purity//FA. When creating a new Virtual Hard Disk (VHD/X) a small file is created even if I set the Size property to 750 GB for example. The VHD/X does not consume any storage space on the FlashArray until data (Eg. install and operating system, add files) is written to the VHD/X. 

The below example shows a new VHD, New Virtual Hard Disk that was set for 750 GB but only takes up 1.47 MB.



Once the LUN has been created it will be displayed in the Classification and Pools node of the parent Storage node.



Using the FlashArray Web management interface the DEMO-LUN can be seen using the all Volumes view with zero space.



System Center 2012 and 2012 R2 Supported Storage Arrays

Microsoft publishes a Social TechNet article which references details for supported storage arrays.