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vSphere Plugin User Guide: Installing the Remote vSphere Plugin with the Pure Storage VMware Appliance

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Please review the release notes for Pure's vSphere Plugin here and the VMware compatibility guide here for version requirements and other details.

This KB is part of a larger user guide for the vSphere Plugin. Please see the Table of Contents: Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Client User Guide for more details.

The Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Client provides the ability to VMware users to have insight into and control of their Pure Storage FlashArray environment while directly logged into the vSphere Client. The Pure Storage plugin extends the vSphere Client interface to include environmental statistics and objects that underpin the VMware objects in use and to provision new resources as needed.


Deploying the Pure Storage VMware Appliance

Requirements

  • Online and Offline Pure Storage Appliance OVA Requirements
    • 4 vCPUs and 8GB Memory
    • 3.6GB datastore space thin provisioned / 40GB datastore space thick provisioned
    • Supported to be deployed on vCenter 6.7 U3 (VMware does not certify remote plugins on vCenter version 6.7, but remote plugins are supported on 6.7 U3+ and certified on vCenter 7.0+).
    • Can be deployed on VMFS or vVols datastores
    • Single static IP address on management network (or DHCP scope) required
  • Pure Storage vSphere Plugin Requirements
    • IP address or FQDN of vCenter
    • A remote plugin OVA instance may be registered against a single vCenter instance or a set of vCenters that are in linked-mode.  For the linked-mode scenario, the plugin must be registered against every vCenter instance that is linked.  Non-linked vCenter instances each require their own Pure Storage VMware appliance.  
    • Please note that a unique folder will be created in vCenter to store individual FlashArrays.  It is important that these folder names are not changed or modified.  More information on vCenter Folders used with the vSphere Remote plugin can be found here.
  • Online Pure Storage Appliance OVA Requirements
    • Access to deb.cloud-support.purestorage.comvia port 443

Download Location

The Pure VMware Appliance is an OVA that can be downloaded from HERE. Please note you will need to download the OVA for both online and offline deployments.

Online Deployment Procedure

The OVA must have access to Pure1 for appliance installations, application upgrades, queries and tasks with puresw. Access to deb.cloud-support.purestorage.comvia port 443 is required.

For offline deployments that are unable to access deb.cloud-support.purestorage.com, please see the Offline Deployment Procedure section of this KB.

Deployment of the Pure Storage Appliance is very similar to a typical OVA deployment.  We outline the steps below.

  1. To start, right-click on the cluster you wish to deploy the OVA to, and then select Deploy OVF Template...

    install1.png

  2. In the Deploy OVF template wizard, either provide the URL for the OVA or if it has been downloaded locally, select Local File, then click on Upload Files and choose the OVA file from your local hard drive.

    install2.png

  3. Click Next when the OVA file has been specified.

    install3.png

  4. Optionally provide a unique Virtual machine name and select a folder for it to be deployed into.  Click on Next when these selections have been made.

    install4.png

  5. Pick the ESXi cluster or Host where you want to deploy the OVA.  Click on Next once the selection has been made.

    install5.png

  6. Confirm the details selected thus far and then click on Next.

    install6.png

  7. Read the licensing agreement and then click the checkbox to accept to the licensing terms and click Next.

    install7.png

  8. Pick a storage device to install the OVA template to.  Optionally change the virtual disk format and/or select a VM storage policy and then click on Next.

    install8.png

  9. Pick the network you wish to use for the appliance.  Note that it must be routable to the vCenter management network.  Click on Next to continue.

    install9.png

  10. In the OVA customization template, at the top of the screen first pick the vSphere Remote Client Plugin option from the Appliance Type list.

    If your environment does not have access to Pure1 during the OVA deployment please see the Offline Deployment Procedure for this step.

    install10.png

  11. If wanting to use DHCP check the DHCP checkbox and skip 11a.; otherwise un-check the DHCP checkbox and follow a. below.

    install11.png

    1. If a static IP address is to be associated with the Pure VMware Appliance, fill out the relevant networking information including IP address, netmask, gateway, DNS Server(s).  Optionally specificy a custom hostname and if a Proxy is being used, supply the URL, Port and login information for the proxy.  Click on Next when finished filling out the required custom template fields.

      install12.png

  12. Review the details of the OVA deployment and then click on Finish to deploy.

    install13.png

  13. Once the OVA has finished deployment within vCenter, power it on to finish its configuration and to make it available to login to.

Offline Deployment Procedure

  1. Follow steps 1 through 9 in the Online Deployment Procedure section above.
     
  2. On step 10, select None (Offline Installation).

    OfflineInstallationRemotePlugin.png
  3. Follow steps 11 through 13 in the Online Deployment Procedure section above.
     
  4. Download the latest supplemental iso.
     
  5. For steps 5 and 6, this guide will be attaching the iso to the VM through a datastore file; there are many other options available for mounting an iso to a VM.

    Log into the GUI of an individual ESXi host that has access to a datastore on the cluster you have deployed your VM. In this example, the shared datastore is called sn1-x50r2-c12-22-iso-repository. Navigate to Storage view, select your datastore, then left click Datastore Browser.

    OfflineOpenDatastoreBrowser.png
     
  6. In the datastore browser window, select the datastore you'd like to upload the iso to on the left column then click the Upload button. Navigate to the local location containing the iso file and upload it.

    OfflineDatastoreBrowser.png
     
  7. Next, switch over to the vCenter console. Navigate to the hosts and clusters view. On the VM where you've configured the offline OVA, right click on your newly deployed Offline OVA VM and select Edit Settings.

    OfflineEditVM1.png
  8. Navigate to CD/DVD drive and select the dropdown. Because the iso file is already on a datastore, we're selecting Datastore ISO File.

    OfflineEditVM2.png
  9. On the new window that pops up, select the datastore with the iso then the iso file itself and click OK.

    OfflineEditVM3.png
  10. Validate that Connected is selected on the CD/DVD drive that was configured and click OK.

    OfflineEditVM4.png
  11. Now that the iso file is attached to the VM as a CD drive we can install the vSphere Plugin on the offline appliance. Connect to the appliance through vCenter's web console or an alterntive method. For the web console, left click on your VM from hosts and clusters view and select LAUNCH WEB CONSOLE on the Summary tab of the VM.

    OfflineWebConsole.png
  12. Log in to the appliance as pureuser using the password you previously configured.

    LoginPrompt.png
  13. Run the command below at the command prompt after logging in:

    puresetup vsphere-client-plugin
    

    OfflineOVA1.png
  14. You'll be presented with a prompt asking you the version to install. Type Y then press Return to install the mentioned version.
    OfflineOVA2.png


Upgrading the VMware Appliance and Remote Plugin

Here is the process to upgrade when either the Remote Plugin or VMware Appliance has an upgrade available.

  1. Log into the VMware Appliance CLI
    ssh pureuser@appliance-fqdn
  2. Find what upgrades are available by using puresw list
    pureuser@remote-plugin:~$ puresw list
    Checking for updates...
    
    Package                     Description                         Installed  Update Available
    pure-vmware-appliance       Pure Storage VMware Appliance       3.2.0      Yes (3.3.1)
    pure-vsphere-remote-plugin  Pure Storage vSphere Client Plugin  5.0.0      No
    
    33 system packages have updates available
    
  3. Upgrade either the appliance or plugin with puresw upgrade start pure-vsphere-remote-plugin
    pureuser@remote-plugin:~$ puresw upgrade start pure-vsphere-remote-plugin
    Installing...
    
    Installation complete!
    
  4. Check that the appliance or plugin are updated with puresw list
    pureuser@remote-plugin:~$ puresw list
    Checking for updates...
    
    Package                     Description                         Installed  Update Available
    pure-vmware-appliance       Pure Storage VMware Appliance       3.3.1      No
    pure-vsphere-remote-plugin  Pure Storage vSphere Client Plugin  5.0.0      No
    
    0 system packages have updates available
    
    Software is up to date!
    

In this example only the appliance had an upgrade available.  In the event that there is both a plugin and appliance upgrade available, the process will be the exact same.


Configure the VMware Appliance and Register the vSphere Plugin

Perform these steps after the OVA has been installed in vCenter.

You are required to change the password for the pureuser account when you first log in. Be sure to note your new password. If pureuser cannot log in, you will have to redeploy the OVA to gain access.

  1. Open an SSH connection to the appliance using the OVA VM's DNS name or IP address displayed in vCenter.
  2. In the Pure VMware Appliance shell:
    1. On first login, you are prompted to change the pureuserpassword.
    2. Log back in to the appliance with the new password for the pureuseraccount.

Running the following command will confirm that the appliance is using the correct domain and DNS servers.  Both are required to be set for the plugin to function correctly.

$ puredns list

 If any DNS changes are required, run the following command:

$ puredns setattr --search <Domain Name> --nameserver <DNS Server(s)>

The vSphere Remote plugin is then installed to the vCenter instance by running the following command: 

$ pureplugin register --host <IP_or_FQDN_of_vCenter> --user <vSphere Account>

Note that the vSphere account must be an administrator in vCenter in order for the registration to succeed.

Optionally, the --plugin-fqdn <IP address or FQDN> argument can be appended to the above command line for instances where the plugin does not have external internet access.

A remote plugin OVA instance may be registered against a single vCenter instance or a set of vCenters that are in linked-mode.  For the linked-mode scenario, the plugin must be registered against every vCenter instance that is linked.  Non-linked vCenter instances each require their own Pure Storage VMware appliance.  

A successful registration will appear within vCenter soon after.

plugin-deploy1.png

plugin-deploy2.png

Make sure that the Pure VMware appliance OVA remains powered on after the plugin has been registered to vCenter as it actively communicates with vCenter and stores relevant configuration information.

For environments where there are vCenter instances in linked-mode, repeat the pureplugin registration process for each unique vCenter IP address or FQDN.

Below is an example of two vCenter instances in linked-mode that have each been registered with the pureplugin command with their IP addresses:

$ pureplugin status
Plugin   Status   Version  Registrations
vSphere  running  5.0.0    10.21.143.120
                           10.21.143.150

It is important to note that multiple vCenter registrations agains the same appliance instance are only applicable to vCenters in linked-mode.  Non-linked vCenter instances will each require their own separate VMware appliance instance to be registered against.

Unregister the vSphere Plugin

  1. Open an SSH connection to the appliance using the OVA VM's DNS name or IP address displayed in vCenter.
  2. Login with thepureuseraccount.
  3. Run the following command:
$ pureplugin unregister --host <IP_or_FQDN_of_vCenter> --user <vSphere Administrative Account>

Technical Demo Video

A demo video showing how to deploy the OVA and register a vCenter instance with it can be viewed below.