For the un-initiated, Pure1 VM Analytics is a tool where you can deploy a collector and authenticate it with one or more vCenters. That collector then sends performance and topology data back to Pure1. We then display it in an easy-to-understand view to help you view your end-to-end environment. Identify performance bottlenecks, heavy hitters, whatever.
For this to work, the collector needs authentication to vCenter of course, but not a lot. Read Only will do. If you want it to see the entire vCenter and every object, the simplest option is to create a new user, and assign it read-only permissions to the vCenter object and propagate it down to everything:
Then select your user, choose read only and make sure to select “Propagate to Children”
In the 4.2.0 release of the vSphere Plugin, we added Pure1 integration which provided additional insight into your Pure Storage and vSphere Environment. In order to use this though, you need to connect the plugin with Pure1 of course. The authentication method is based on a process which involves something called a JSON Web Token. This is a secure option, but a bit more involved than a user name and password. I made the process of generating this fairly easy, but if something goes wrong you get a fun error message like below:
I’ve been working with the Pure1 REST for about a year now and have really enjoyed what it brings. I’ve integrated it into a few things: PowerShell. vRO. vSphere Plugin. One of the “tricky” things about it though is the authentication. Instead of a username and password it requires the use of a RSA256 public/private key pair. This is inherently more secure, but of course requires a bit more know-how when it comes to pair generation.
I simplified a fair amount of it in PowerShell, but didn’t quite get to the finish line. The generation of the key pair could be done but it came in the form of a PFX–which basically combines the public key and private key into one file. Unfortunately, Pure1 requires the them to be separated as all it needs is the public key, not your private key. While this is “better” it does leave Windows users at a bit of a disadvantage–there is no built in mechanism to generate this without installing OpenSSL directly. The process could not be done entirely in PowerShell. Or so I thought…
But you likely know that and probably have your reasons and you didn’t come here for a lecture, you came here for an answer! Can I deploy the OVA to vCenter 6.0? Is it supported?
Let’s first clarify a few things. There are two different things when it comes to vCenter support with the collector. What it can be deployed TO and what it can collect FROM.
Let’s start off with what versions of vCenter it can collect from. We support collecting back to vCenter 5.5. The ESXi host versions that we support for collection in that vCenter lines up with whatever versions of ESXi that that particular vCenter supports. We support collection from versions up to the latest release of vCenter at the time of this writing–vCenter 6.7 U3. So collection support is from 5.5-6.7.x. As new vSphere releases come out we will add those at that time.
This was only deploying the OVA, not configuring it. Once deployed, you need to (or might want to):
Change the default password
Test phone home
Wouldn’t it be nice to do that all from PowerShell instead of SSH or the VM console? Of course it would! So I got to work on it! I have now updated my cmdlet Deploy-PfaAppliance to be able to reset the default password upon deployment and added a new cmdlet called Get-PfaAppliance to retrieve appliances and then configure them.
Another quarter, another vSphere Plugin release from Pure! This is the release I have been really looking forward to as it sets the stage for a lot of the future work I want to build into the plugin. To recap:
4.0.0 was our initial release of our plugin that only had the basic configuration support and VMFS management.
4.1.0 was the 2nd release that added vVol support back into the plugin.
4.2.0 enhances the plugin to add more vVol stuff into it as well as Pure1 Integration! So we are finally to the point where we are adding features into it that were never in the previous flash plugin. Yay!
I’ve been on a few podcasts in the past couple of years, though pretty much all of them have been very tech-focused (shocking, right?). vSpeaking a few times, Pure Report, PowerScripting. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure to do a guest spot on a different type of podcast hosted by my friend Dale Ferrario. Dale is “retired” now (I use quotes because he is busier in retirement than most people I know who are in the height of their careers). He used to be a VP at VMware–in a variety of roles, most recently on the VVD team then GSS until retirement. Interestingly, my connection to him is not VMware believe it or not. His son, Anthony Lai-Ferrario is my wife’s sister’s husband. Anthony is also currently a Product Manager at Pure Storage (he manages things like vVols, PSO, and other Purity features).
All of us spend a great deal of time together (dinners, weekend trips, holidays), so suffice to say this interview with Dale was not the first time we spoke.
It’s that time of the year again…again! Pure Storage is back at VMworld in Barcelona.
Before we get into what’s happening at Barcelona, let’s recap a bit what happened in the US conference. As the best way to look to the future sometimes is to analyze the past.
Also check out this panel session I did with Rubrik on VMworld US.
VMware Cloud on AWS was once again a major topic–this is increasingly getting more attention and something we are paying a close eye on. The most important step around this for Pure is our new offering that is now fully GA, called Cloud Block Store. Our FlashArray software (Purity) now fully running AWS. See my posts here and here on that.
VMware Cloud Foundations. This is the basis for pretty much all automated VMware stacks–SDDC manager allows you to deploy vCenter, NSX, vRealize (etc. etc.) and of course their lifecycles. SDDC Manager (the management point of vCF) provides the ability to create on “management” domain–this is where all of the VMware services are deployed, and also one or more “workload” domains. Workloads domains are basically a new vCenter server–which gets hooked in via ELM. When deploying a workload domain the storage options used to be only be vSAN or NFS. You could then add block after the fact. In the 188.8.131.52 release, you can now choose Fibre Channel storage as the option. Check out our KB here on it. I expect to hear more about this in Barcelona.
Containers, K8s, and more containers. VMware’s work since the Heptio acquisition has not slowed down. I would be fairly comfortable saying that the announcement of Project Pacific and Project Tanzu were the talk of the town during and certainly after VMworld. I have no doubt this will bubble up more in Barcelona. The use case around First Class Disks and vVols I think is particularly intriguing.
vRealize Automation Cloud and vRealize 8.0. vRealize Automation 8.0 is now GA. There are two major things here to unpack. First VMware Cloud Automation Services was renamed to vRealize Automation Cloud. This in and of itself doesn’t mean anything (VMware loves to name things) but what is actually important about that is the “traditional” vRealize Automation set. vRealize Automation 8 is now entirely based on the features/design/architecture of vRealize Automation Cloud. Meaning that what vRAC offers is what vRA on-premises offers (same tools, integrations, features). This makes choosing between the two easier (one question to ask, do I want to host it, or do I want VMware to?). I expect details on this to be expanded in Barcelona.
vVols. Did you think I wouldn’t bring this up?! Of course I would. vVols is coming back in a big way, and in no small part due to VMware’s renewed push on vVols in their products and with their partners. The automation, integration, and benefits of vVols are making more and more sense these days. VMware gets that, and so do the storage partners. A major topic around vVols is Site Recovery Manager support. Expect to see more vendors talking about that as they furiously work on vVol replication support.