X-IO Technologies X-IO’s Integrated Development with VMware — a WIN for the Customer!

By Pete Burns, Technical Marketing Engineer, X-IO Technologies

Integrated software solutions between vendors provide practical methods of managing and monitoring an enterprise environment. Integration from a customer’s perspective also adds a level of assurance that the investment they made in their solution will continue to be validated and supported by both vendors. As you may have read in my last blog, scalability, supportability, and stability, are all things I was very focused on in my prior role as Principal Engineer and Architect for a global call center—integration plays a key role in all three. X-IO is committed to building a high quality, high performing storage appliance, but also to work closely with VMware, integrating and validating solutions both vendors will support. X-IO is a member of the VMware Developer Center Partner Network. As a member, it is the vendor’s responsibility to continue to validate their software and/or hardware solutions with VMware. As of August 2014, X-IO is actively participating in or has already successfully completed the following programs:

The following plug-in’s or system integration exists today with X-IO and VMware products:

ISE Manager Suite, VMware ecosystem integration

ISE Manager Suite is the main management console for small to very large X-IO storage environments and integrated to allow visibility and management of the VMware virtual environment. Datastore operations, VM Volume operations and VM operations may be executed from ISE Manager’s VMware ecosystem window. As a side note, the X-IO ISE Manager is integrated with Microsoft, Citrix and Linux. This becomes a very useful tool for vAdmins who have to manage heterogeneous infrastructures on X-IO ISE. Navigation between infrastructures is literally a click away in one management console window. 091214_blog_1 091214_blog_2 Figure 1 – ISE Manager Suite Interface to VMware Ecosystem

In the image above from the ISE Manager Suite interface, VMware configuration is read from Virtual Center to give the vAdmin a view of storage from the Virtualization layer down. In this screen the vAdmin drills down from Virtual Center > Cluster and has the ability to monitor and manage the environment. Below in Figure 2, the ISE Manager Suite integration utilizes VMware APIs to give complete control over VM functions. Cloning (full or vSphere Linked-Clones), Snapshotting, creating, deleting, etc. can all be done from the ISE management software. 091214_blog_3 Figure 2 – ISE Manager Suite integration with VMware APIs.

Management Pack for VMware vCenter Operations

Again leveraging VMware APIs, integration with VMware vCenter Operations Manager provides the vAdmin the ability to monitor X-IO storage capacity and performance from the vC Ops console. After installing the plug-in, X-IO specific dashboards are available for ISE Health Overview and ISE Metrics. 091214_blog_4 Figure 3 – X-IO vCenter Operations Manager Integration

X-IO VMware VASA Plug-in

VMware vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) is a set of APIs, released with VMware’s vSphere 5, which enables vSphere vCenter to recognize the capabilities of storage arrays that support the API. The VASA Provider enables you to perform Profile Driven Storage, which allows rapid and intelligent provisioning of applications, ensures application service levels match the available storage, and provide visibility into your storage pool 091214_blog_5 Figure 4 – X-IO VASA Integration

X-IO VMware Web and Windows Client Plugin

With X-IO VMware client plug-in, an administrator can manage ISE storage from the VMware user administrative client.
091214_blog_6Figure 5 – X-IO VMware Web Client Plugin

Below is an example of the integrated software, the X-IO VMware Windows Client plugin. This plugin provides the vAdmin the ability to add, remove, refresh and monitor the storage appliances directly from the Virtual Center Client, this same functionality exists with the Web Client plugin.
091214_blog_7 Figure 6 – X-IO Virtual Center Plug-in

The plugin provides Physical views deep into each ISE system’s components. The Statistical View in the plugin gathers performance data from the controller, volume and host. It provides detailed information of IOPS, KB/s, Queue Depth, Latency and Average Bytes. Below is a screen shot of the Statistical View during the build of a 200 seat VDI pool using VMware Horizon View 5.3, the same infrastructure used in the X-Pod reference architecture mentioned above. The Volume Information tab in the Statistics screen provides the per volume activity as the build is taking place. 091214_blog_8Figure 7 – X-IO Virtual Center Plug-In Statistical View

The Host Information tab provides detailed information of storage activity as it impacts each of the hosts. 091214_blog_9Figure 8 – X-IO Virtual Center Plug-In Host View

Ease of management, high performance and a track record of stability in the field are some of the comments our customers share with us after implementing X-IO ISE in their environments. Deeper integration with VMware’s products saves our customers time, and reduces risk through this automation. Our investment in the VMware ecosystem assures our customers that we intend to continue enhancing, validating and certifying our solutions with this essential part of their operations.
When it comes time to put the ISE into production, our customers know that both X-IO and VMware will stand behind it, and if those customers are vAdmins, they can rest assured that managing a shared storage device has never been easier or more risk free If you would like me or one of our team members to provide you a demonstration of the information provided above as well as all of the other really cool stuff I couldn’t fit into this blog please email me at fastforever@xiostorage.com.

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