Category Archives: VMAX Cloud Edition

VMAX Cloud Edition Part 1 : User Interface

Over the past few months I’ve been hearing whispers about an EMC VMAX Cloud Edition that was coming soon to a Data Center near me.  It piqued my interest, and I kept bugging people to let me know more as they could.  My *pestering* finally paid off, as Aaron Skogsberg (@shuckndrives) and Matthew Yeager (@mpyeager) gave me a full on sneak peek and I’m sharing it with you.  Here are links to Aaron’s Blog and Matthew’s Blog – check them out!

Your VMAX Cloud Edition portal will hosted in a Primary Data Center at EMC in Hopkinton, Mass, while the secondary Data Center is in Cork, Ireland.  The general architecture is that a user will log into a portal hosted by EMC that’s configured to the needs of their company and the company’s business units.  There they will request storage based on performance SLO’s that are pre-defined by IT and the business.  The goal of the VMAX Cloud Edition is to give Enterprises a customer portal for dynamically provisioning storage as a service that they can request, configure, scale, and remove on their own without requiring IT intervention all in just a few minutes and a few clicks of the mouse.

This is all pretty exciting when you think about it.  Tier 1? sure.  Easy? uh huh.  Quick?  yep.  Pay as you grow? gots.   Everyone wants enablement and abstraction from IT, and the VMAX Cloud Edition delivers exactly that.

Rather than talk more about what it can do, let’s just have a look from a user’s perspective:

 

Login Page:

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Home Page:

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On the Home Page you can see things like your Applications, Service Summary, and Service Catalog (as well as their status, health, etc.):

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So, as a user you can see what is being used, how the service health is, etc. all from a simple dashboard.  You’re here for new storage, so let’s go get some.  Personally, I think my blog is about to blow up and my WordPress needs a better service level.  Let’s give my blog the horsepower of a VMAX!

I’m going to click Add Storage on the Service Catalog window – Here you will see things like the SLO, cost, and a few other pieces of information in the GA release:

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So, I clicked Add Storage and I’m off.  I don’t think I’m golden (yet) so let’s go with Silver 1.  I’m going to fill out some crucial Volume Details and click Next.  A few things to note on this page:

– Volume Capacities are in 32GB increments
– You can pick a number of volumes, which will multiply against the Capacity
– Performance Volumes, think Performance/IOPS; Expandable Volumes think Scale Out/Growth

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Next we fill out the Application Section.  If there’s already an existing app defined, you can choose it.  Otherwise, make your own.  This one’s a bit unique, so I had to make a new app.  Normally I might choose vSphere 6.0 Cluster…

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Next we need to fill out a bit of information about the Business Unit / Need / Application:

– I’ve split this out between Sales and Marketing, they’re going to have to share the expense on this one.  it’s a 50/50 split, although Marketing feels it should have been 60/40! (seeing any application to charge-back?)

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We’re almost done!  The last major decision is what host to apply this to.  I’m not real sure what host, so I’m just going to search ALL and find what I want.

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I didn’t find what I wanted with a global search, so I filtered it down a bit to just a single Business Unit:

– After getting the filtered results and a nice short host list to choose from, I selected the host and gave it a nice unique Host Group name so everyone would know it was for me!

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Let’s review one last time before we commit everything:

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Solid, right?  OK, let’s go!

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After just a short wait, as an end user I have good visibility into what is going on with my storage.  No proverbial IT “black hole”.. My storage has been approved (it was automatic, but could go through an approval process depending on the business setup), and is In Process!

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And after a few minutes… I have storage!

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Back on the Home Screen, I filter by the Business Application and there I am right next to some of my peers.  Status is healthy, and the storage is 0% used.  I’m good to go!

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Let’s check out my details:

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This page is where some of the really exciting stuff comes out.  It was already so easy to request and provision storage, but am I stuck?  NOPE.  You can change service level, add additional storage, and delete it all if that’s what you want to do.  Let’s look:

Click Change Levels:

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From there you can change the level of all volumes at once:

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Or change the Volume Service Levels individually:

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Back on the details screen, let’s click Modify this time:

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Here’s a few options, presented another way.  Let’s remove this volume, just for fun:

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After clicking Next, you can schedule the deletion.  It also informs you of the hosts that will have the storage removed.

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Check the box at the bottom, making sure you know you understand the impact.  if not, EMC warns you again! (thanks for the head’s up EMC.. I’m prone to fast-nexting):

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Bye Storage, Door’s Closing.

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So, we’ve discussed adding new storage.  Really easy, right?  What haven’t we discussed?   We didn’t have to think about or talk about engines, ports, zoning, etc.  Just Storage.  Quick, Fast, and Easy!  Sign me up, right?

This is a multi-part series.  Forthcoming posts in the next few weeks on:
– Admin View
– Reporting
– Deployment / Setup / Configuration for first use
– Suggestions? Requests?  You better bring it!

 

 

Here’s a few other articles for reference:

http://www.50mu.net/vmax-cloud-edition-4all/

http://pulseblog.emc.com/2013/02/26/self-service-breakthrough-with-emc-vmax-cloud-edition/

http://searchcloudstorage.techtarget.com/news/2240178621/EMC-adds-VMAX-Cloud-Edition-for-private-clouds-providers

http://geekfluent.com/2013/02/26/emc-announces-vmax-cloud-edition/

http://it-tna.com/2013/02/26/emc-upgrades-replaces-vmax-sp-with-vmax-cloud-edition/

http://itechthereforeiam.com/2013/02/756/