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Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager

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Overview

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 a new Logical Unit (LUN).
  4. Delete a LUN.

Prerequisites

  • 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

Log into SCVMM.

In the following 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

Select SAN and NAS devices discovered and managed by a SMI-S Provider as the storage provider type.

Sets-SMIS-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. The TCP/IP port automatically changes from 5988 to 5989. This is the secure port used by SMI-S.

Add-FlashArray-Details

 

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 opens, click Create Run As Account. Using the default FlashArray authentication credentials. Then Create a Run As account named pureuser that maps to the default pureuser account for FlashArray web management. 

Run-As-Account

 

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

 

Step 6 - Gathering Information

During this step, the wizard displays a progress bar as it discovers the FlashArray. When the discovery finishes, click Next. In the following example, the scan process discovers a FlashArray//M10. 

Device-Registered

 

Step 7 - Assigning a Classification

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

Assign-Classification

 

Step 8 -- Review & Finish

When the discovery and import finishes, confirm the settings by clicking Finish. The FlashArray is added to SCVMM.

Connected-FlashArray-via-SMIS

 

  • As part of the final step for adding the FlashArray to SCVMM, two Jobs provide additional details about the FlashArray. The following screenshot shows the FlashArray Endpoints and Provider details under the Adds Storage Provider job.

Jobs-Adds-Storage-Provider

 

  • The following screenshot shows that initiators and logical units imported under the Sets Storage Array job.

Jobs-Select-StorageArray

 

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

Show-FlashArray

 

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 displays a dialog box to enter the LUN settings.

Create-Logical-Unit

 

  • In the following example, a LUN named DEMO-LUN is created and assigned a description with a Size of 750GB. Now 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 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 of Purity//FA. When creating a new Virtual Hard Disk (VHD/X), a small file is created, even if, for example, the Size property to 750 GB. 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 following example shows a new VHD, New Virtual Hard Disk that was set for 750 GB but only takes up 1.47 MB.

New-Logical-Unit

 

  • Once the LUN is created, it displays in the Classification and Pools node of the parent Storage node.

DEMO-LUN-Created

 

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

Array-View-DEMO-LUN

Create CSV on Microsoft Failover Cluster

Step 1 - Open Properties on the Microsoft Failover Cluster and select Shared Volumes

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Step 2- Click Add and then Create Logical Unit

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Step 2a - If the Storage Pool you wish to create the CSV in is present, skip to Step 3. 

If the Storage Pool drop-down is empty, exit and get properties from either All Hosts or the Host Group that contains the Microsoft Failover Cluster.

clipboard_e7618fe4a954268bbef4a72fdde98391f.png

Step 2b - Click Allocate Storage Pools. 

Select the FlashArray where you wish to create the CSV and click Add. The Storage Pool should now show up on the Property page under Storage.

clipboard_e6b0b69f96d3a27ac8dcc48860c7ae0c8.png

Step 2c - Check All Hosts properties.

Ensure that the selected Storage Pool now shows on the Storage section of the All Hosts or selected Host Group properties.

clipboard_e3abb125460d92831113bf44028f86155.png

Step 3 - Create LUN

Select the Storage Pool, then enter a Name and Size.

clipboard_e9dd99db6538201ee2919b672b9b163ba.png

Step 4 - Add Cluster Shared Volume.

By default, the LUN that was just created is now selected. Enter a Volume label and check Quick Format. Selecting OK attaches the LUN to the Failover Cluster Host Group, formats it, adds it to the Cluster, and promotes it to a Cluster Shared Volume.

clipboard_e17d3cf6f19841d5e2ef08c095bb7d91d.png

Step 5 - Optional - Check the audit log.

On the FlashArray HTML5 UI select Settings -> Users. The volume is first created and then mapped to the Host Group of the Failover Cluster.

clipboard_e648f7152e307b4ec8cb29d1abc5cc153.png

Step 6 - Optional - Check Failover Cluster Manager.

Ensure that the new CSV is online in Failover Cluster Manager.

clipboard_ede8d197a8b0a0aa15654bdc1651f69b4.png

Step 7 - Optional - Check SCVMM.

Ensure that the new CSV volume is listed under Shared Volumes on the Failover Cluster Properties in SCVMM.

clipboard_ef4325d41c4c3ecb298aded674d5f848c.png

 

System Center 2012 and 2012 R2 Supported Storage Arrays

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