Introducing new Converged Management Software with CloudIQ for VxBlock Systems
Thu, 16 Dec 2021 19:53:16 -0000|
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We are delighted to announce that today, our new Converged Management Software (CMS) for VxBlock System 1000, VxBlock System 740, VxBlock System 540, and VxBlock System 350 is available. CMS is an exciting new product that provides a unified CloudIQ integrated management for Converged Infrastructure (CI) operations for VxBlock. It dramatically simplifies daily administration by providing enhanced system-level awareness, automation, and analytics. CMS replaces VxBlock Central, and VxBlock Central software is no longer available with new VxBlock Systems.
What is CMS?
CMS is a lightweight on-prem software that provides VxBlock system configuration and data discovery. CMS collects the required management data from different components within your VxBlock system and sends it to CloudIQ, a single pane of glass management dashboard for VxBlock operations for processing and analytics. With CMS, you can consolidate management and monitoring of VxBlock systems with other Dell Technologies infrastructure solutions through CloudIQ.
8 Fun-Facts about CMS:
- CloudIQ conveniently unifies the management dashboard for VxBlock systems and other Dell infrastructure products
- Deployment and system configuration time is drastically reduced with simplified on-prem CMS software
- Asset management for compute, storage, and virtualization in the context of converged infrastructure inventory allows for simplicity
- Greater visibility into lifecycle milestones for components in the converged systems for better TCO management
- Efficient monitoring of the status of service contracts for exceptional Dell support
- Automation workflows to expand compute and storage resources more quickly and systematically
- Deep KPI metrics including capacity reporting and performance analytics with historical perspective for storage devices when onboarded within CloudIQ
- Comprehensive telemetry for efficient and streamlined support experience
Dell EMC’s latest Converged Management System (CMS) is now available and replaces VxBlock Central. CMS automates complex orchestration tasks and simplifies lifecycle management while enabling exceptional infrastructure visibility. Please use the following resources to learn more about the VxBlock systems and CloudIQ.
- Dell EMC and Partner FAQs: Converged Management Software 1.0 AND VxBlock Central End of Life
- VxBlock Product Page
- VxBlock Technical Collateral
- VxBlock Product Overview
- CloudIQ Product Page
- CIoudIQ Simulator
- Dell Technologies Document Center
Authors: Udit Sharma and Sameer Mohile
Related Blog Posts
Dell EMC VxBlock 1000: Some history and What’s New
Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:07:55 -0000|
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First for the “some history” part! Converged Infrastructure (CI) is not a new concept – it’s been with us for more than 10 years. Hey, one could even consider that we were the “inventors” of CI back in the days when we publicly announced it on November 03, 2009 (Press Release).
Figure 1. EMC Joe Tucci (center) unveils the Virtual Computing Environment coalition with VMware's Paul Maritz (left) and Cisco's John Chambers (right).
Nowadays the CI concept is well understood, but in 2009 it was kind of ground breaking since this approach had never been taken before.
“All datacenter requirements in just one system? How could that be possible?”
Those were the days of separated, disconnected, and siloed domains (compute, storage, networks) and CI was a new disruptive technology solution that would require a complete transformation in how IT would architect and consume datacenter infrastructure.
To have a clearer understanding of how Dell Technologies comprehends CI – then and now, we could define our CI end-to-end engineered turnkey system as:
VxBlock 1000, Industry-leading Converged Infrastructure, simplifies all aspects of IT by seamlessly integrating all the compute, network, storage and data protection and cloud management technologies you need into one engineered system. It is an all-in-one, “data center in a box.” You can offload the complexities and risks associated with managing enterprise-grade data center infrastructure so that your IT teams can confidently focus on higher-value activities. (from Top Reasons Why Organizations Choose VxBlock 1000 Converged Infrastructure).
For those new to VxBlock 1000, here are some of the most important values VxBlock has provided:
- High availability & data protection
- No single point of failure
- High availability in all components, fault tolerance as an option
- Broad data protection suite
- High scalability & consistent performance
- 100+ PB storage
- 1000+ blade & rack servers
- Scale-up & scale-out, symmetrically or asymmetrically
- NVMe end-to-end
- Rich data services & highest efficiency
- In-line, all-the-time services
- Compression, de-dupe, replication, encryption, copy data management & machine learning
- Cloud operating model & converged management
- Tight VMware vRealize Integration
- Consistent tool set across hybrid cloud
And what has happened during this 10+ year period?
Many things. Many milestones. Many systems sold. Many successful customer stories and projects that have led VxBlock to a very effective and consistent $1 billion annual run rate business just four years into its existence. Check the diagram below to reflect on some of the key milestones VxBlock and Dell Technologies CI as a whole have delivered during this decade.
Figure 2. VxBlock 1000 one-decade journey
Today, with more than 4500 systems installed in over 100 countries, VxBlock 1000 keeps on leading the way, innovating the CI arena in four key areas that address the second part of this blog post, namely “What’s New”:
- Flexible technology choices
- Converged management and automation
- Life cycle management
- Future proof design and support
Flexible technology choices
VxBlock System 1000 gives you a choice of industry-leading technologies to meet the needs of all your different workloads, ranging from mission-critical, general purpose (virtualized or not), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, End User Computing/Virtual Desktops… you name it!
Mix and match powerful Dell EMC storage and data protection options, Cisco UCS blade and rack servers, Cisco LAN and SAN networking, and VMware virtualization and cloud management. For more details on infrastructure see VxBlock 1000 data sheet and specs.
Since VxBlock 1000 is not just a reference architecture or a bill of materials, it eliminates the traditional risks associated with “Do It Yourself” approaches. It’s a fully integrated system that is engineered, manufactured, managed, supported, and sustained as one product, delivering a turnkey experience. Dell Technologies validates interoperability of components and provides a predictable system maintenance process that improves availability and productivity.
Converged management and automation
VxBlock 1000 leverages its deep VMware integration to simplify automation of everything from daily infrastructure provisioning tasks to delivery of IaaS and SaaS. At the foundation is VxBlock Central software that provides a single unified interface and access point for converged infrastructure operations.
Figure 3. VxBlock Central, a single pane of glass for management, automation, and LCM
VxBlock Central software dramatically simplifies daily administration by providing enhanced system-level awareness, automation and analytics, including launch points to:
- VMware vRealize Orchestrator (vRO) with workflows for automating daily operational tasks
- vRealize Operations (vROps) for deep VxBlock analytics and simplified capacity management
As customers place workloads on top of VxBlock 1000, VxBlock Central helps to provide and maintain these services by managing the infrastructure underneath. See here for more great info about VxBlock Central Workflow Automation and the 40+ workflows available in the Workflow Automation Library.
Life cycle management
Dell EMC CloudIQ for VxBlock features next-generation lifecycle management (LCM) that enables IT teams to more flexibly plan ahead and control converged hardware lifecycle, further reducing risk with proactive SaaS-based insights. You gain granular control over hardware inventory, milestones, support interoperability, and upgrade scenarios.
Future proof design and support
VxBlock 1000 is built with a perpetual design, meaning it will ensure that your system stays ready to support the introduction of next-generation technologies within any of the fundamental domains of the system, whether storage, compute, or network. You can address increased performance and scalability requirements while maximizing the return on your system investment.
Dell Technologies delivers fully integrated 24/7 support with a single call. There’s never any finger-pointing between vendors. You can always rely on our fully cross-trained team for a fast resolution to any problem. Our portfolio of services (including deployment services, migration services, and residency services) accelerates speed of deployment and integration into your IT environment. It also minimizes downtime by ensuring your software and hardware remains up to date throughout the product lifecycle.
One decade ago, Dell Technologies defined the foundations for CI and created a platform that has evolved to what today is VxBlock 1000. This system (compute, network, storage and management layer) is created (engineered and manufactured), maintained (single management and support), and sustained (in ongoing certified code upgrades) by Dell EMC during its entire journey. Customers simply take the keys of the car and drive.
PowerFlex: CloudIQ Enhancements
Thu, 16 Nov 2023 22:07:06 -0000|
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Figure 1. All Features and Updates dialog in CloudIQ
The first enhancement happened early this year with the addition of PowerFlex alerts. The alerts can be viewed through the System Alerts tile on the Home page, shown in figure 2, or by selecting Alerts under the Monitor menu. The System Alerts tile provides an alert count by severity level for all systems monitored by CloudIQ. Selecting the severity icon in the System Alerts tile redirects you to the Alerts page with a filter applied based on the selected severity.
Figure 2. System Alerts tile within CloudIQ Home page
Once on the Alerts page, you can apply additional filters. The Alerts page has a simple table layout and displays information such as severity, system name, and model alert description, as well as the date and time when the alert occurred. Details of an alert can be viewed by selecting the details icon, as highlighted in figure 3.
Figure 3. Details expanded for CloudIQ alert
In August, the PowerFlex/CloudIQ engineering team was busy releasing a bunch of exciting updates.
CloudIQ now supports Secure Connect Gateways (SCG) for PowerFlex systems. You can view the SCG information at a system level by visiting the PowerFlex system details page and clicking the GATEWAYS tab, highlighted in figure 3. The GATEWAYS tab consists of the gateway serial number, site information, location, gateway version, connectivity status, and heartbeat status.
Figure 4. GATEWAYS tab for Finance DC PowerFlex system
The SCG serial number links to the SCG details page shown in figure 5. All systems connected to the specific SCG are listed on the SCG details page. From here, you can launch the SCG UI by clicking the link at the upper right corner of the page, providing a seamless workflow when working with the gateway from CloudIQ.
Figure 5. SCG details page highlighting connected systems and the SCG UI launch
A Gateway column was added to the Admin>Connectivity page. The most recently active gateway for the PowerFlex system is listed in this column and contains a link to the gateway details page.
Figure 6. Gateway column on the Connectivity page
The next update is the Entitlements and System Licenses page, which you can find in the Admin section under Licenses. Here, you can check on the entitlements and licenses for all your PowerFlex systems. For more on this update, refer to the blog, Managing Dell PowerFlex Licensing and Being Way Less Sad.
Figure 7. Entitlements and System Licenses page
A new Entitlements tile is now available on the CloudIQ Home page, providing a summary of entitlement status. The Entitlements tile lets you quickly view the number of PowerFlex systems with entitlements and licenses that are expired, expiring withing 30 days, and expiring within 90 days.
Figure 8. Entitlement Expiration tile on CloudIQ Home page
Another location for entitlement and contract status is on the PowerFlex Systems tiles. An entitlement that is in good standing is marked with a green checkmark, soon to expire with a yellow icon, and expired with a red “x.”
Figure 9. Three entitlement and contract statuses in PowerFlex Systems tile
MDM cluster information was added to CloudIQ in July of this year. To view the MDM information, go to the system details page for the PowerFlex system and select the RESOURCES tab, shown in figure 10. You can view a list of the MDMs, MDM role, ID, management IP addresses, and software version.
Figure 10. PowerFlex system details page highlighting the RESOURCES tab under Inventory and the PowerFlex Manager launch
Another addition to the system details page is a link to PowerFlex Manager, making it convenient to launch the PowerFlex Manager UI for the specified system. A BLOCK tab provides details on PowerFlex components, including protection domains, fault sets, SDSs, devices, storage pools, volumes, and hosts. The views may feel familiar to you because they are based on the Block menu in PowerFlex Manager.
Figure 11. BLOCK tab within PowerFlex system details page
Planning on adopting APEX Block Storage for Public Cloud as part of your Multicloud strategy? CloudIQ has you covered on-prem and in the cloud.
Figure 12. CloudIQ Monitoring overview
Onboarding your APEX Block Storage for Public Cloud into CloudIQ brings visibility into the cloud infrastructure.
Figure 13. Inventory page for APEX Block Storage for AWS
The last enhancement that I will highlight is the addition of PowerFlex in custom reports. This update provides three report types, including anomaly charts, line charts, and table reports.
Figure 14. Three report types in a custom report for PowerFlex
The anomaly chart consists of a single performance metric overlaid on the gray historic seasonality value boundaries. The upper and lower bounds establish the normal behavior for the specific metric. The bounds are based on an analysis of the prior three-week history. Historical values that exceed the upper or lower bounds are shaded in light blue to highlight that the value of the metric during this time was outside the historical range. Anomaly charts, at most, display the last 24 hours of data. The line chart allows you to display more than one metric from one or more systems. The example in figure 14 shows system latency from three PowerFlex systems. The table displays metrics and properties, such as system name and code version.
The next time you are working with CloudIQ, keep an eye out for the latest enhancements. If you have not onboarded your PowerFlex systems into CloudIQ, check out the PowerFlex CloudIQ onboarding article to get started.
Author: Roy Laverty, Principal Technical Marketing Engineer