vSphere Remote Plugin: .local vCenter Domains

Hello- Nelson Elam here! I’m a VMware Solutions Engineer at Pure Storage and wanted to make you aware of an issue we’ve seen crop up a couple of times recently with our vSphere Remote Plugin and provide a quick explanation.

If your vCenter uses a .local domain (vcenter.purestorage.local is one example), you might have seen the following 3 errors in Pure’s vSphere Remote Plugin in vCenter:

  1. In the FlashArray list page, the error “Error retrieving array list. Please try again later.” is returned.
    clipboard_eaaa133673603ef70ba1a091e33b493c7.png
  2. When trying to import arrays via Pure1, the error “Authenticate with Pure1 to use this feature” is returned despite previously successful registration with Pure1 through the plugin.
  3. When adding an array manually, a “no permissions” error is returned.

Resolution:
To resolve this, follow step 14 from the Online Deployment Procedure for the remote plugin by running this command after customizing it to your environment:
pureuser@purestorage-vmware-appliance:~$ puredns setattr --search {your .local domain} --nameservers {ip or FQDN of DNS server}

So what’s going on here? When the OVA where you deployed the Remote vSphere Plugin tries to reach out to your vCenter with a .local domain suffix, it can’t resolve the DNS address unless you’ve provided the appropriate search domain for the OVA and will return different errors depending on where you are trying to interact with it in vCenter.

Luckily this is a simple fix despite the seemingly unrelated errors that pop up. Hopefully this was helpful!

Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Client 4.5.0 Release

Howdy doody folks. Lots of releases coming down the pipe in short order and the latest is well the latest release of the Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Client. This may be our last release of it in this architecture (though we may have one or so more depending on things) in favor of the new preferred client-side architecture that VMware released in 6.7. Details on that here if you are curious.

Anyways, what’s new in this plugin?

The release notes are here:

https://support.purestorage.com/Solutions/VMware_Platform_Guide/Release_Notes_for_VMware_Solutions/Release_Notes%3A_Pure_Storage_Plugin_for_the_vSphere_Client#4.5.0_Release_Notes

But in short, five things:

  1. Improved protection group import wizard. This feature pulls in FlashArray protection groups and converts them into vVol storage policies. This was, rudimentary at best previously, and is now a full-blown, much more flexible wizard.
  2. Native performance charts. Previously performance charts for datastores (where we showed FlashArray performance stats in the vSphere Client) was actually an iframe we pulled from our GUI. This was a poor decision. We have re-done this entirely from the ground up and now pull the stats from the REST API and draw them natively using the Clarity UI. Furthermore, there are now way more stats shown too.
  3. Datastore connectivity management. A few releases ago we added a feature to add an existing datastore to new compute, but it wasn’t particularly flexible and it wasn’t helpful if there were connectivity issues and didn’t provide good insight into what was already connected. We now have an entirely new page that focuses on this.
  4. Host management. This has been entirely revamped. Initially host management was laser focused on one use case: connecting a cluster to a new FlashArray. But no ability to add/remove a host or make adjustments. And like above, no good insight into current configuration. The host and cluster objects now have their own page with extensive controls.
  5. vVol Datastore Summary. This shows some basic information around the vVol datastore object

First off how do you install? The easiest method is PowerShell. See details (and other options) here:

https://support.purestorage.com/Solutions/VMware_Platform_Guide/User_Guides_for_VMware_Solutions/Using_the_Pure_Storage_Plugin_for_the_vSphere_Client/vSphere_Plugin_User_Guide%3A_Installing_the_vSphere_Plugin

Continue reading “Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Client 4.5.0 Release”

FlashArray HTML-5 vSphere Client Plugin VVol Support

Not long ago I posted about our initial release of our vSphere Plugin that supports the HTML-5 UI–the main problem though is that it did not yet support the VVol stuff we put in the original flash/flex based plugin.

So accordingly, the most common question I received was “when are you adding VVol support to this one?”. And my response was “Soon! We are working on it”.

Continue reading “FlashArray HTML-5 vSphere Client Plugin VVol Support”

Documentation Update, Best Practices and vRealize

So a few updates. I just updated my vSphere Best Practices guide and it can be found here:

Download Best Practices Guide PDF

I normally do not create a blog post about updating the guide, but this one was a major overhaul and I think is worth mentioning. Furthermore, there are a few documents I have written and published that I want to mention.

  1. FlashArray Plugin for vRealize Orchestrator User Guide
  2. Implementing FlashArray in a vRealize Private Cloud

Continue reading “Documentation Update, Best Practices and vRealize”

Direct Guest OS UNMAP in vSphere 6.0

This is certainly not my first post about UNMAP and I am pretty sure it will not be my last, but I think this is one of the more interesting updates of late. vSphere 6.0 has a new feature that supports the ability for direct UNMAP operations from inside a virtual machine issued from a Guest OS. Importantly this is now supported using a virtual disk instead of the traditional requirement of a raw device mapping.

Continue reading “Direct Guest OS UNMAP in vSphere 6.0”

Pure Storage vSphere Web Client Plugin 2.0 Released

The vSphere Web Client Plugin for the Pure Storage FlashArray has been updated and released and it is the largest update to the plugin since, well, it was first released. A lot of feature enhancements–the majority focused on integrating local and remote replication management into the plugin. Our long term goal is to offer feature parity of FlashArray management with the plugin as compared to our own GUI. It is getting close. Let’s take a look at the new features.intro

Continue reading “Pure Storage vSphere Web Client Plugin 2.0 Released”

Integrating Active Directory with the Pure Storage FlashArray

Ah access controls…always popular–who doesn’t want everyone to be admins?! Well…um…admins don’t! In this post I am going to run through integrating Active Directory with the Pure Storage FlashArray. Then talk about how it works with the vSphere Web Client Plugin because I would be ashamed if I didn’t at least mention VMware once in a post.

ad_pure

 

Continue reading “Integrating Active Directory with the Pure Storage FlashArray”

Deeper dive on vSphere UNMAP block count with Pure Storage

I posted a week or so ago about the ESXCLI UNMAP process with vSphere 5.5 on the Pure Storage FlashArray here and came up with the conclusion that larger block counts are highly beneficial to the UNMAP process. So the recommendation was simply use a larger block count than the default to speed up the UNMAP operation, something sufficiently higher than the default of 200 MB. I received a few questions about a more specific recommendation (and had some myself) so I decided to dive into this a little deeper to see if I could provide some guidance that was a little more concrete. In the end a large block count is perfectly fine–if you want to know more details–read on!

unmapimage

Continue reading “Deeper dive on vSphere UNMAP block count with Pure Storage”

VMware Dead Space Reclamation (UNMAP) and Pure Storage

One of the main things I have been doing in my first few weeks at Pure Storage (which has been nothing but awesome so far by the way) is going through all of our VMware best practices and integration points. Testing them, seeing how they work or can they be improved etc. The latest thing I looked into was Dead Space Reclamation (which from here on out I will just refer to as UNMAP) with the Pure Storage FlashArray and specifically ESXi 5.5. This is a pretty straight forward process but I did find something interesting that is worth noting.

405 front

Continue reading “VMware Dead Space Reclamation (UNMAP) and Pure Storage”