Joe wrote an excellent guest blog on my website called To Blade Or Not To Blade and offered me the same opportunity. Being a huge fan of Joe’s I’m honored. One of my favorites blog posts is his Data Center 101: Server Virtualization. Joe explained the benefits of server virtualization in the data center. I felt this post is appropriate because Joe showed us that virtualization is “supposed” to make life easier for Customers. However, a lot of vendors have yet to come up with management tools that facilitate that concept.
It’s a known fact that I’m a huge Underdog fan. However, what people don’t know is that Scooby-Doo is my second favorite cartoon dog. As a kid I always stayed current with the latest Underdog and Scooby-Doo after school episodes. This probably explains why my mother was always upset with me for not doing my homework first. I always got a kick out of the fact that no matter how many times Mystery Inc. would split up to find the ghost, it was always Scooby-Doo and Shaggy that managed (accidentally) to come face-to-face with the ghost while looking for food. Customers face the same issues that Scooby and Shaggy faced in ghost hunting. If a Customer was in VMware vCenter doing administrative tasks there was no way to effectively manage HBA settings (the ghost) without hunting around or opening a different management interface. Emulex has solved that issue with the new OneCommand Manager Plug-in for vCenter (OCM-VCp).
Being a former Systems Administrator in a previous life. I understand frustrations in opening multiple management interfaces to do a task(s). Emulex has already simplified infrastructure management with OneCommand. In OneCommand Customers already have the capability to manage HBAs across all protocols, generations, see/change CEE settings, and do batch firmware/driver parameter updates (amongst a myriad of other capabilities).
Not convinced? No problem. Let me introduce you to OCM-VCp interface. Take a look, you know have the opportunity to centrally discover, monitor and manage HBAs across the infrastructure from within vCenter, including vPort to to VM associations. How cool is that? Very.
You get all the functions of the OneCommand HBA management application. No more looking for the elusive ghost that is called HBA settings. No more going back and forth between management interfaces. Which increases the probability of messing up the settings. However, out of all the cool capabilities here are the top 4 functions that I feel stand out for vCenter:
- Diagnostic tools tab. This allows you to run PCI/Internal/External loopback and POST tests on a specific port on a specific VM.
- Driver Parameters Tab. This tab is important to SAN/Network Administrators this is where you can update/change network parameters. The cool thing is that you can make changes temporary or save to a file for batch infrastructure updates/changes.
- Maintenance Tab. Allows you to update firmware (single host or batch file) without rebooting the host.
- CEE settings tab. Very important for Datacenter Bridging Capability Exchange Protocol (DCBX).
In my opinion this couldn’t have come any sooner. As more organizations look to do more with less (virtualization principle) OCM-VCp will be the cornerstone of easing infrastructure management within VMware vCenter. There is no learning curve because the plug-in has the same look and feel as the standalone management interface. In other words is very intuitive. So if you or your Customer(s) are expanding their adoption of virtualization take serious look at this plug-in, because it’s going to make your life so much easier.