Dynamic AppsOn is the name for a VxRail dynamic node cluster using PowerStore as its primary storage.
VxRail dyanmic node is a compute only node with no vSAN. Storage for the dynamic node is from either a VMware vSAN HCI Mesh or a Dell external storage array, for example PowerStore-T, PowerMax, UnityXT or PowerFlex. This allows the dynamic node to scale compute independent of storage. Dynamic nodes provides a very similar VxRail LCM experience. VxRail models without vSAN supported for dynamic nodes is E660F, P670F and V670F.
PowerStore is a Dell external storage that provides a software driven design, adaptable architecture, built-in intelligence, predictive analytics, programmable infrastructure and more. The model supported for Dynamic AppsOn is PowerStore-T.
Benefits of Dynamic AppsOn is empowering the VMware administrator to centrally manage and control both the vSphere and storage from vCenter.
Dynamic AppsON with PowerStore LCM integration
–VxRail dynamic node cluster with 7.0.450 or later
–PowerStore T with OS version 3.0.0 or later
–Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plugin version 10.2 or later
–Consolidated management of VxRail and PowerStore from vCenter with VxRail Manager and VSI
–PowerStore lifecycle management performed from VxRail Manager
Workflow diagram from VxRail Manager
There are four PowerStore management operations that have been added to VxRail Manager in 7.0.450.
- Reporting the PowerStore software version
- Uploading the PowerStore update bundle onto PowerStore
- Initiating and reporting the PowerStore LCM pre-check job
- Initiating and reporting the PowerStore LCM update job
VSI is integral in allowing VxRail Manager to access and manage the PowerStore array. The PowerStore LCM integration in VxRail Manager communicates with a new private API that has been added to VSI v10.2. This private API provides exclusive access for VxRail Manager to run three of the four PowerStore operations.
Deploying and configuring VSI for Dynamic AppsOn
- Deploy the VSI VM on the same vCenter server managing the VxRail dynamic node cluster
- Register VSI plug-in with vCenter
- Register the PowerStore array with VSI
- Add VxRail management account in the Storage Access
Reporting PowerStore software version
VxRail Manager will show if the dynamic node cluster is connected to a PowerStore array and what software version the array is running. This information will show in the System Page and the FC HBA port in the Physical View page. The green box indicates where on those pages the information would populate.
This feature is only available for dynamic node clusters using PowerStore with Fibre-Channel connectivity for its primary storage.
Running PowerStore LCM Updates
- PowerStore update bundle has to be manually downloaded onto local client first
- PowerStore update bundle is then uploaded onto the PowerStore manager
- The next operation to run is the LCM pre-check for the PowerStore array.
- This pre-check is provided by the PowerStore update bundle.
- User can monitor the progress of the pre-check job after kicking off operation.
Once completed, VxRail Manager will provide a summary of the LCM pre-check report by listing any warnings or failures. Any failures would require the user to log onto PowerStore Manager to troubleshoot. If the pre-check passed, then the user can continue by clicking the Next button.
- Now the final operation in the LCM workflow is to initiate PowerStore LCM update.
- Before kicking it off, the same warning message as before is provided as an additional precaution.
After that, the user can monitor the progress. At the end of the update job, VxRail Manager will indicate whether the update has successfully completed or failed while providing a list of errors.
Dynamic AppsOn is a great solution for customers that want the LCM experience of VxRail with PowerStore.