EMC

EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) ver 3.7 released

EMC is pleased to announce the release of EMS Storage Integrator (ESI) version 3.7 for Windows as of today, April 21th, 2015.

EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows Suite is a set of tools for Microsoft Windows and storage and application administrators.
This release adds support for:
EMC VMAX3 and the VMAX3 service level objectives (SLO) provisioning feature
VNX advanced snapshots
XtremIO snapshots
SCOM Management Packs for  XtremIO and VMAX3.
The ESI PowerShell Toolkit adds new SQL Server PowerShell cmdlets.
 
The download can be found here:
The suite includes, ESI RecoverPoint Adapter, ESI Microsoft SharePoint Adapter, ESI SQL Server Adapter and ESI Microsoft Exchange Adapter. The suite also includes the ESI System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Packs, and the ESI PowerShell Toolkit. ESI also supports application protection using App Sync. ESI for Windows enables you to view, provision, monitor, and manage block and file storage for Microsoft Windows, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Exchange.
ESI supports the EMC Symmetrix VMAX series, EMC VNX series, EMC VNXe series, and EMC XtremIO series, as well as VPLEX.
ESI also supports storage provisioning and discovery for Windows virtual machines running on Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.
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EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) 3.5


For further details on the ESI Suite and all of its components click here

Click here to download a copy of ESI 3.5

EMC Microsoft Community site | https://www.emc.com/everythingmicrosoft

Great review of ESI 3.5 by Karsten Bott (@HyperV_Guy) | https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-36696 | ESI and RecoverPoint http://youtu.be/fuNP0Ph3Kps

Excellent ESI overview videos by David Lloyd (@davlloyd) | http://www.youtube.com/user/davlloyd69 | http://youtu.be/9effRPY7uLU | http://youtu.be/CveZDDBf6pE | http://youtu.be/VVdOA7LsZw0 | http://youtu.be/0Vy3uNlAbsc | http://youtu.be/_22OiKxsV_Y

ESI and VNX | http://youtu.be/rL3o9hG72HI


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EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows is the ultimate set of tools to ease storage provisioning for the Windows administrator. In addition, ESI will provision application level components (such as Exchange databases, SharePoint sites, and SQL databases). With ESI, the Windows admin will no longer have to wait for other teams to perform tasks on their behalf in order to provision storage for their applications.

The Windows admin will use familiar tools (such as MMC, PowerShell, and System Center) to work with storage. ESI combines the functionality of many desperate tools into one GUI interface and one set of PowerShell scripts. This will ease the learning curve and streamline the process for systems management.

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Example process improvement:

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Should you be a PowerShell scripter, ESI includes a rich set of PowerShell libraries for provisioning and managing of EMC storage.

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In addition, the ESI suite includes full integration of EMC products into System Center (SCOM, SCVMM, and SCO)

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Storage monitoring with ESI Management Packs (SCOM)

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Storage management from within Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)

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ESI System Center Orchestrator Integration Pack

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Best of all, EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows is at no cost..!image


Product Overview

EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows Suite is a set of tools for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft applications administrators. ESI for Windows provides the ability to view, provision, and manage block and file storage for Microsoft Windows, Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint.

The suite includes:

  • ESI for Windows and ESI PowerShell toolkit
  • Storage System adaptors
  • ESI hypervisor support
  • ESI adaptors for: SharePoint, Exchange, SQL, Appsync, RecoverPoint
  • ESI SCOM Management Packs
  • EMC Hyper-V VSS requestor

EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) for Windows has a UI based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC). ESI can be run as a stand-alone tool or as part of an MMC snap-in.

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ESI supports storage provisioning and discovery for Windows virtual machines (VMs) running on Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and VMWare vSphere and vCenter.

Hyper-V

  • Create VHD and VHDX files, and pass-through SCSI disks
  • Create hosts disks and cluster shared volumes (CSVs)

VMWare

  • Create VMDK files and raw device mapping (RDM) disks with or without virtual compatibility mode
  • Create SCSI disks
  • View datastores

XenServer

  • Create VHD files and storage repositories

ESI supports the EMC Symmetrix® VMAX® series, EMC VNX® series, EMC VNXe® series, and EMC CLARiiON® CX® fourth generation (CX4) series of storage systems. ESI requires that you install the applicable adapter for your specific storage systems.


Summary of the key New Product Features included in this release (3.5):

  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server
  • Integrated Microsoft Active Directory role based access (RBAC)
  • Support for RecoverPoint and/or Appsync 
  • Support for Linux servers
  • VPLEX Health Monitoring

This release adds the following new functionality:

  • ESI SQL Server Adaptor to view and manage SQL Server databases and provision storage for SQL Server
  • ESI VPLEX Adaptor to monitor health of VPLEX systems in SCOM
  • ESI AppSync Adaptor to automate application protection with EMC AppSync
  • Use Microsoft Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) or Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) with ESI to persist connection settings in a central location for all supported applications and systems
  • ESI Linux Adaptor to manage Linux hosts
  • ESI VNXe Adaptor to manage LUN groups and unified snapshots for EMC VNXe 3200 systems
  • ESI RecoverPoint Adaptor to manage EMC RecoverPoint Bookmarks
  • ESI Exchange Integration to update HA Extension with the ESI GUI for easy DAG and database failover operations

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Storage System and hypervisor software prerequisites

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EMC and Microsoft – Friend or Foe?

You may think that EMC and Microsoft are bitter competitors, and you may be right because in some areas they do fiercely compete. But more often than not, the two companies work together to solve customer problems with joint solutions from both sides. Even with competing products, overlapping functionality, and differences in approach, it is the customer who ultimately drives the decision. That decision is rarely a one sided architecture. Most often we see a blend of technologies from both EMC and Microsoft that come together to solve business issues and initiatives.

Competitive

Microsoft has competitive technologies, guidance, and solutions in several areas. EMC has a different set of direction and federation partners.

Such examples are:

  1. Windows Azure public cloud services – These services compete directly against VMware vCHS public cloud services.
  • Microsoft’s Azure started off as PaaS (Platform as a Service) with providing custom .NET application hosting and SQL database service. Azure then added many more IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) services to their offering. These are such as: Virtual Machine hosting, Backup, AD, Storage, Web sites, and a Service Bus. Azure is making inroads into bridging on premise with public cloud, but the transition is yet seamless.
  • VMware’s vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Services) is primarily a IaaS service providing seamless transition from on premise to public cloud. VMware is slowly adding PaaS service for custom application hosting.
  • VMware also offers the customer the choice of service providers, whereas Microsoft only offers Azure through their own hosting facility.
  1. Microsoft has virtualization technologies that are based on Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center. These technologies compete directly against our federation story and solutions with VMware.
  2. Microsoft is advising customers to steer away from SANs and intelligent arrays, and towards DAS (Direct Attached Storage). This guidance is based on the fact that Microsoft has added high availability into their applications (Exchange and SQL) and intelligent storage services into their software (Storage Spaces and ReFS).

Microsoft however is hedging its bets by providing technology into their software that will leverage and take advantage of shared intelligent storage.

  1. ODX (Offloaded Data Transfer) – This provides the offloading of storage functions to array and takes the load off of the server.
  2. SMB 3.0 – This provides a robust file transfers protocol for CIFS and allows for critical workloads to leverage NAS.

Partnership

EMC and Microsoft have a long standing and mutually beneficial relationship. This relationship is formalized as EMC being a Microsoft “Global Alliance Partner”. Together EMC and Microsoft provide Industry leadership in cloud computing and IT Transformation.

There are several areas that show the commitment to this partnership:

  1. EMC has engineers and hardware in lab at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, WA. In addition, EMC has hardware and staff at the Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC) located in various cities across the US and globally. The MTC’s are used in customer engagements for Envisioning, Architectural Design, and POC’s
  2. EMC and Microsoft have a Cooperative Support Agreement that facilitates technical support between the companies on behalf of the customer. The customer will need to open a service ticket with both tech support organizations, and then the two companies will work together to resolve the customer’s issues.
  3. EMC actively integrates Microsoft technologies into EMC technologies, and typically releases the solutions first to market. EMC has over 300 published technical solutions and another 100 data sheets on Microsoft technologies.
  4. EMC offers VSPEX Proven Infrastructures for the Microsoft stack, including: Virtualized Exchange, Virtualized SQL, Virtualized SharePoint, and Microsoft Private Cloud (converged infrastructure for Hyper-V and System Center).
  5. EMC Consulting has a very large global consulting practice for Microsoft technologies.
  6. EMC has created a Microsoft centric community site that is open to partners and customers. This site contains whitepapers, EMC Proven Solutions for Microsoft, videos, case studies, and open discussion threads on EMC/Microsoft solutions (www.emc.com/everythingmicrosoft).

Conclusion

As a Microsoft Certified Partner (with 16 competencies and a 21-time Partner of the Year winner), EMC offers our joint customers expertise and technologies to confidently integrate their Microsoft applications with EMC solutions. EMC and Microsoft have programs and solutions that can accelerate customers to transform their IT to private clouds, and provide IT as a Service. EMC is committed to the Microsoft platform and ecosystem, and actively continues to add value by added functionality, solutions, and leadership.

Even though the two companies compete in several areas, every customer of EMC has Microsoft in their environments to some degree. It is imperative that we talk to our customers about their Microsoft applications and communicate EMC’s value for Microsoft.