It has been a couple years now since HP first introduced the Insight Control for vCenter tool. This plug-in pulls information from HP System Insight Manager and on-board intelligence of ESX host ProLiant servers and displayed system status within VMware vCenter.
The two plugins are separate and users have the choice of installing one or the other on the vCenter server when running the installation. As far as licensing is concerned, the good news is that the storage plugin is completely free of charge, but the server plugin is licensed as part of the Insight Control package, though there is no license check.
|Insight Control for vCenter 7.0… “Single Pane of Glass”|
The goal of Insight Control for vCenter is to provide vCenter administrators a “single pane of glass” to not only manage their virtual environment but also manage the equipment in the virtual environment. The integration of the server and storage components, HP is delivering a package which also adds its own alerts to the normal vCenter alarms framework. The plugin is very vCenter centric and uses the same user and permissions, adding its own permission groups which can be given to users.
The plugin also provides administrators with hooks into the other management software for HP. Within the server module, there are links for additional information into HP System Insight Manager (SIM), to the iLO card and to the OA from different locations to gain full visibility. The plugin does not try and replicate all functionality of these other management interfaces. The same is true for the storage plugin, which includes hooks into HP storage arrays.
The storage plugin includes the ability to provision storage (if allowed by security permission within the plugin and vCenter) directly within vCenter. It allows the ability to create clones and offload the work of creating the clone to the array instead of ESX. In addition, the storage plugin also reports paths and references LUNs back to their VMFS datastores and correlates data which was previously difficult to correlate between the storage management and vCenter.
Insight Control Storage for vCenter currently supports all of the current generation of P2000 MSA, P4000 Lefthand, P6000 EVA, XP and P9500 series storage arrays and monitoring of 3PAR Storage Family is now available in 7.0.
To setup and configure the Insight Control for vCenter, the plugin adds a new icon to the home screen in vCenter where all the passwords and integration can be setup. Configuration for the storage plugin is configured from within the storage tabs on the ESX hosts. Once configured against the array or array management software (CommandView EVA, in our demo), the list of disk groups is presented and the administrator can allow or disallow write access and provisioning to the arrays from within the vCenter plugin. Save that configuration and the plugin is ready to begin querying the management servers. Once it populates a view of the storage environment, the tabs populate with a good amount of data. Data is a cached local copy of data retrieved from the storage management, so a refresh button exists in the storage plugin to pull updated information if changes are made outside of the Insight Control for vCenter plugin.
One note with the plugin, the system information pulls from both the iLO card on the servers, from HP System Insight Manager (SIM), and with the Onboard Administrators of BladeSystems. Without HP SIM, some information is not populated. If you have a host without the Insight Agents loaded, you will only get a partial view of the server and some details will not populate. For ESXi hosts, the Insight Control plugins use CIM (Common Information Model) to pull the system information. HP also releases a custom release of ESXi which includes all the Insight functionality baked into the ESXi distribution.
Summary of the capabilities integrated into the vCenter console include:
- Combined physical and virtual view: From a single pane of glass, monitor status and performance of virtual machines and the underlying host systems that support them.
- Integrated troubleshooting: Receive pre-failure and failure alerts on HP server components and invoke HP management tools, such as Systems Insight Manager, iLO, Virtual Connect Manager and Onboard Administrator, in-context, directly from the vCenter console.
- Visually trace and monitor your network end-to-end, from the host, all the way to the individual network modules connected within your domain, delivering comprehensive management of the network making it easy for you to review and change any HP-specific information.
- Powerful Remote Control: Remotely manage and troubleshoot HP ProLiant and BladeSystem servers using HP Integrated Lights Out Advanced capabilities directly from the vCenter console.
- Proactive power management: Get the most out of your existing power envelope by comprehending and proactively managing power for hosts and pools of virtual machines across hosts.
- Role-base security: Assign permission to Insight Control for VCenter Single-sign on using the three role levels part of VMware vCenter server to segment the level of access and control.
- Maintain stability by monitoring and deploying firmware on HP ProLiant ESXi hosts that have the HP software bundle installed.
- Deploy ESX/ESXi hosts on bare-metal ProLiant servers directly from VMware vCenter using the HP Insight Control Deployment Wizard available in the Home section of the vSphere client.
Using the HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter included with this download and integrated together with the server plug-in, manage HP Storagewith the following capabilities:
- View and Monitor HP Storage: Monitor portfolio of HP Arrays (XP, EVA and P4000 SAN and P2000 MSA. View volume and LUN connections to your virtual machines or ESX server hosts.
- Provision HP storage: Add new datastore, deleting or expanding an existing datastore, creating new VMs, or cloning existing VMs. This is currently available for the P2000 G3, P4000, and P6000/EVA series arrays.
New with HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server 7.0:
- Complete refresh of the user interface delivering an amazing new experience for managing the converged infrastructure environment in VMware vCenter:
- Optimized health and configuration views of Servers, Networking and Storage
- Integration of a News Feed in the main area to deliver updates on health, configuration changes and actions results
- Grouping of all the plug-in actions and control capabilities under one button
- Dark and Light themes offering flexibility around display options and output
- Simplified management enablement with support of new HP ProLiant Gen8 servers Agentless Management that delivers health monitoring and configuration data without the need for loading Insight Control agents or CIM providers on the VMware hosts
- Enhanced bare-metal deployment: Deploy ESX/ESXi on our newest HP ProLiant Gen8 servers from Vmware vCenter using the HP Insight Control Deployment Wizard
- Integrated installer that delivers a simplified process for installing the server and storage modules
- Support for Active Directory accounts with role based security
HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter 7.0 specific enhancements for this release:
- Complete refresh of the user interface delivering an amazing new experience for managing your storage environment in VMware vCenter
- Expanded support of Converged Storage VASA with P2000 series arrays integration
- Monitoring of the 3PAR Utility Storage Family
For more information, feel free to contact me directly: [email protected]
by John Kozej