Posts Tagged ‘EMC’

The Value of EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

12/02/2014 Comments off

EMC Enterprise Hybrid CloudFull disclosure: I work for EMC and am a lead architect in the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud “SWAT” team.

What is it?

Much like VCE Vblock converged infrastructure systems, EHC is an engineered solution.  This means that its components have been tested and integrated to work together and it is supported as a unit.

The Value

I compare the solution to Vblock frequently, because in the early days of VCE/Acadia, many people did not understand the value of converged infrastructure.  It took a while for many folks to understand how it saves time, frustration and money over building a solution in-house from selected components.  Nowadays, most enterprise IT shops understand that converged infrastructure brings a level of integrated support that is not available when you support individual components of the solution.

EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud: Federation SDDC Edition (just “EHC” for this discussion) brings many VMware and EMC components together with integration and support.  Sure, the front-end of EHC – what you’ve seen pictures of – is VMware vRealize Automation.  What you may not see in that picture is the integration of EMC ViPR that allows selected admins to provision a new datastore to hosts in a vSphere cluster from the same portal.  You may not see in that picture the tight Backup-as-a-Service integration with IaaS; while requesting a new VM, the requestor can select a backup policy for the new VM.  It is automatically added to a backup job and the machine owner can choose to perform a backup or restore on demand – from the same portal.

Another important feature of EHC that cannot be “seen” is the vast engineering time that has been put into ensuring the components and their versions work together flawlessly.  You cannot see the countless hours spent testing and retesting the workflows to ensure they behave as expected.

It is this time that the EMC EHC team has invested in the solution, so that customers can rely on the solution for Enterprise IT operations and not have to worry about version x.xx of a component working correctly with version y.yy of another.

Lastly, the EHC solution is ready to use very quickly.  This means that customer’s time-to-value is very short and they can begin realizing the benefits almost immediately.

The Future

The EHC Federation SDDC edition will continue to evolve, using newer versions of components only once they’ve been fully vetted.  I predict more integration with network services, a solution integrated with RecoverPoint, VPLEX and Site Recovery Manager.


Jeez, this does sound like a marketing pitch, sorry.  I really do thing this is a great solution and a great direction from EMC.  I won’t give away any of the secrets in the solution, but you can bet that the fix to some of the bumps-in-the-road we hit will be blogged about here.

Something New!

07/06/2012 Comments off

After 15 great years at Venture Technologies, I’m moving on to boost my career. I’ve been given an opportunity to join EMC Consulting as an Advisory Solutions Architect. Everyone I’ve met there has been very friendly and knowledgable. I’m excited to join a great team and make the most of this opportunity. I’ll continue to tweet and blog about the things that interest me and may be a help to others.

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EMC World Coming Up!

05/18/2012 Comments off

I’m excited to be returning to EMC World! If you’re going to be there, let me know via twitter @brianragazzi so we can meet. I try to schedule as many sessions as I can for the conference, but there’s a couple of openings. I’m scheduled to give a small, 10-minute presentation at VCE’s booth #410 on Tuesday at 6:20 PM and again on Wednesday at 2:10 PM. If you happen to see me great, just don’t tell you you’re going to come by. I’ll get all nervous and stuttery, it won’t be pretty.

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VMware vSphere 5 AutoDeploy on Cisco UCS – Part 2: Image Profiles

After completing Part 1, we have DHCP configured to assign a reserved IP address to the Cisco B200 M2 blades when they boot to the vNIC. Now the goal is to create the image that the auto-deploy hosts will use..

The image building procedure sounds complicated, but once you break it down, it’s not too bad. First, we need to inventory the components (VIBs) that’ll be needed on the hosts; above-and-beyond the base install. In our case, we needed the HA agent, the Cisco Nexus 1000V VEM and the EMC NAS Plugin for VAAI. The HA driver will be downloaded from the vCenter Server, but you’ll have to download the licensed ZIP files from Cisco and EMC for the others.

In addition to the enhancements, we’ll need the VMware ESXi 5.0 offline bundle, “” from the licensed product downloads area of This is essentially a “starter-kit” for image builder, it contains the default packages for ESXi 5.0.


  1. Copy these files into C:\depot
  2. Launch PowerCLI

On to the PowerCLI code:

Register the offline bundle as a Software Depot (aka source)

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot “C:\depot\”

Connect powerCLI to your vCenter server (replace x.x.x.x with your vCenter server’s name or IP)

Connect-VIServer –server x.x.x.x

List the image profiles contained in the offline bundle, ESXi-5.0.0-469512-no-tools and ESXi-5.0.0-469512-standard. We’re going to work with “standard”.


Register vCenter Server depot for HA agent

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl http://X.X.X.X:80/vSphere-HA-depot

Register depot for updates to ESXi

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot -DepotUrl

Register depot for Nexus 1000V VEM and VAAI plugin for VNX NAS

add-esxsoftwaredepot c:\depot\
add-esxsoftwaredepot c:\depot\

List the image profiles, except now it will list several more versions. For each, there is a “no-tools” and a “standard”. Make a note of the newest “standard” image (or the one you want to use)


Clones the standard “ESXi-5.0.0-20111204001” image profile to a new image profile with the name “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001”

New-EsxImageProfile –cloneprofile ESXi-5.0.0-20111204001-standard –name “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001”

Add the HA agent (vmware-fdm) to our custom image profile

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001”-SoftwarePackage vmware-fdm

Check for the VEM package “cisco-vem-v131-esx”

get-esxsoftwarepackage -Name cisco*

Add the Nexus 1000V VEM to our custom image profile

add-esxsoftwarepackage -Imageprofile “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001” -SoftwarePackage cisco-vem-v131-esx

Check for EMC VAAI Plugin for NAS “EMCNasPlugin”

get-esxsoftwarepackage -Name emc*

Add the EMC VAAI plugin for NAS to our custom image profile

add-esxsoftwarepackage -Imageprofile “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001” -SoftwarePackage EMCNasPlugin

Export our custom image to a big zip file – we’ll use this to apply future updates

export-esximageprofile -imageprofile “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001” -Filepath “C:\depot\” –ExporttoBundle

Deploy Rules
OK, now we have a nice image profile, let’s assign it to a deployment rule. To get Auto-Deploy working, we’ll need a good Host Profile and details from a reference host. So, we’ll apply our initial image profile to our reference host, then use our reference host to create a host profile and update the RuleSetCompliance

Create a new temporary rule with our image profile and an IP range; then add it to the active ruleset.

New-DeployRule –Name “TempRule” –Item “ESXi-HA-VEM-VAAI-20111204001 –Pattern “ipv4=”
Add-DeployRule -DeployRule “TempRule”

At this point, we booted up the blade that would become the reference host. I knew that DHCP would give it the IP that we identified in the temporary deployment rule. BTW – Auto-deploy is not really fast, it takes 10 minutes or so from power-on to visible in vCenter.

Repair Ruleset
You may have noticed a warning about a component that is not auto-deploy ready;  we have to fix that.

In the following code, “” is the FQDN of my reference host. This procedure will modify the ruleset to ignore the warning on the affected VIB.

$tr = Test-DeployRuleSetCompliance
Repair-DeployRuleSetCompliance $tr

After this completes, reboot the reference host and add it to your Nexus 1000V DVS.

Part 3 (coming soon!) will cover the host profile and final updates to the deployment rules.


Completed EMC Technology Architect Exams!

01/30/2011 Comments off

I’m excited to have passed the last exam for the EMC Technology Architect certification.  There is a tremendous amount of material to study (~1600 pages).  EMC has so many product lines, that even with that much material, it still feels like you’re only scratching the surface.  There’s many, many different replication technologies to accommodate any scenario, so the challenge is know which is appropriate for which situation.

This certification is a necessary requirement for VCE partners and is only available to EMC partners.

Components Diagram

11/22/2010 Comments off

Here’s a diagram I put together listing the arrangement of the equipment in use in our Mobile VCE

Mobile VCE - Components

Mobile VCE - Components

As you can see, there’s a lot of technology crammed into these boxes.  Together they make up one regular-size rack (40 RU).  The boxes altogether draw about 24KW at idle, starting them up draws a lot more of course.