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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.

The Pure Storage VMware Appliance was released to support deployments of Pure Storage integrations such as the Remote Plugin for the vSphere Client and the VM Analytics Collector.  Please remember that the VMware appliance can only support a single integration.  Meaning that you deploy an OVA for either the Remote Plugin or the VMA Collector, not both.  When multiple integrations are needed, then more than one OVA will need to be deployed.


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+).
    • Certified and supported 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 for appliance installations, application upgrades, queries and tasks with puresw.
    • Access to the Pure Storage FlashArray's management interface that will be used with the Remote Plugin via port 443.
    • Access to the vCenter Server where the Remote Plugin extensions will be registered via port 8443 and 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.

Additionally the appliance will need access to each vCenter it will be registered with on ports 8443 and 443.  The FlashArray's that will be used with the plugin will need to be accessible via port 443 to the appliance.

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.

    Reminder: While the OVA supports both the VM Analytics and Remote Plugin, the OVA can only support one integration at a time.  When multiple integrations are needed, more than one OVA will need to be deployed.

    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.

  14. Follow Change pureuser's Password from this KB (you must be logged in to view the link) to change the default appliance password.

  15. If your vCenter's fully qualified domain name (FQDN) contains .local, you will need to run the following command from the command line of the OVA to ensure you can add arrays properly from the plugin in vCenter:

    pureuser@purestorage-vmware-appliance:~$ puredns setattr --search {your .local domain} --nameservers {ip or FQDN of DNS server}

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 15 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 deploy 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

  15. If your vCenter's FQDN contains .local, please follow step 15 from the Online Deployment Procedure above.


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      Yes (5.1.0)
    
    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...
    
    ==================================WARNING======================================
    There is a plugin upgrade ongoing. After the upgrade is complete, please run
    `pureplugin update-registration` to update the registration on vCenter(s).
    ===============================================================================
    
    
    Installation complete!
    
    1. The vSphere Remote Plugin will require that the extensions are re-registered in order to ensure the updated extensions are pushed to the vCenter.  You will need to run pureplugin update-registration which will require a username and password in order to re-register the extensions.  This is required as the credentials to register the extensions is not stored on the appliance.
      pureuser@remote-plugin:~$ pureplugin update-registration
      Please enter user for demo-vcsa-01.purecloud.com: extension-register@vsphere.local
      Please enter password for demo-vcsa-01.purecloud.com:
      Unregistering plugin...
      Plugin   Status   Version  Registrations
      vSphere  running  5.1.0    -
      Re-registering plugin...
      Host thumbprint is d1:27:2b:0e:3c:a1:6e:ff:88:9b:aa:7b:8e:f4:c7:ca:69:3b:7e:94. Is this correct? (y/n) y
      Plugin   Status   Version  Registrations
      vSphere  running  5.1.0    demo-vcsa-01.purecloud.com
      Registration update for demo-vcsa-01.purecloud.com complete!
      pureuser@remote-plugin:~$
      
  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  5.1.0      No
    
    0 system packages have updates available
    
    Software is up to date!

Configure the VMware Appliance and Register the vSphere Plugin

Perform these steps after the OVA has been installed in a 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)>

Once the appliance has been deployed and configured, then the vSphere Remote Plugin can be configured.

Use the pureplugin register command and positional argument to register the remote plugin's extensions with the vCenter server.

Please see the following section for more detailed information for what type of vSphere user to use when registering the plugin extensions with a vCenter Server.

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

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.

What vSphere Permissions are Required when Registering the Plugin?

Historically with the local plugin and first testing with the remote plugin a vSphere administrator was needed when registering the plugin.  Additionally testing with vSphere 7.0 U1 and higher, has proven that this is not the case. 

Here are all of the Required Privileges for a vSphere user to fully register or unregister the vSphere Remote Plugin Extensions with the vCenter Server:

  • Extension
    • Register extension
    • Unregister extension
  • Sessions
    • Validate session

Here are all of the permissions that the vSphere user that registers the plugin extensions with wants:

  • Extension
    • Register extension
    • Unregister extension
  • Sessions
    • Validate session
  • Permissions
    • Modify privilege
  • Folder
    • Create folder

If you do not allow the vSphere user that is used to register the extensions access to Permissions (modify privilege) or Folder (create folder) this doesn't prevent the plugin extensions from being successfully registered.  Rather when a vSphere User that does have those privileges logs into the vSphere Client, that user will then run those tasks of creating the needed folders and privileges when attempting to run through a workflow with the plugin.  That's why those privilages are just desired by the extension registration process but are not required.  

Here is a demo of creating a vSphere user with the minimum privileges and then using that user to register the remote plugin with the vCenter server.

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.