VxDMP provides a versatile edge during provisioning and monitoring of storage resources in the VMware vSphere environment. Being aware of storage array specifics and connectivity, VxDMP can uniquely identify and differentiate multiple storage array instances of the same type in the vSphere environment.
As can be seen in the above figure, the ESX host has two EMC Symmetrix storage arrays connected and VxDMP has identified them as two separate physical entities (and hence failure domains) and therefore named them as emc0 and emc1
VxDMP can further use it’s unique and patented LUN naming system to provide an auto-generated user friendly name for the LUNs from a storage array that is derived from a unique identifier of the LUN (known as Array Volume ID) when seen from the storage array management interface.
As can be seen in the above pictures, the two DMP devices representing the IBM XIV LUNs having the Array Volume ID as 5511 and 5512 as shown in the array management GUI and CLI interfaces have been assigned names as xiv0_5511 and xiv0_5512 respectively within VxDMP.
Such intuitive names enable easy communication between system or virtual infrastructure administrator and the storage administrator for any provisioning or trouble shooting needs.
The virtual system administrator can also know the characteristics of the storage LUN such as its reliability (parity), availability (redundancy) or if any array specific features like remote replication, thin provisioning and others are available from the VxDMP vSphere UI plugin itself. This is achieved without having to have access to the storage array administration UI and allows verification that the correct type of storage is assigned to the system.
In the above figure the two XIV LUNs are RAID1+0 LUNs with thin provisioning and storage reclaim features enabled.
Also the storage provisioned to the system from the same storage array does not need to have the same type of characteristics, such as in the figure below where we have LUNs from an EMC Clariion array that have different RAID level (redundancy). The virtual infrastructure administrator can make use of these attributes while provisioning storage to different application tiers.
In VMware environments, when VxDMP is controlling the storage, these names help the virtual infrastructure administrator to quickly and exactly identify the storage.
In the above figure, while provisioning storage for a data store or a virtual machine the administrator can quickly know that he is choosing an XIV LUN from the ESX host with ID 5511 and the VxDMP UI shows that this is a RAID 1+0, thin provisioned reclaimable LUN.
Similarly as shown the above figure, the virtual infrastructure administrator can use the unique name of the backing LUN to quickly identify the storage LUN and correspond with the storage administrator for any trouble shooting issues with datastores or virtual machines.
As can be seen, having VxDMP on the ESX host does reduce the burden on storage provisioning and troubleshooting for the virtual infrastructure administrator.
Do let me know if this article was useful and actually helped ease your day to day administration in your environment