Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HP OneView with VMware vCenter

Why did HP decide to create HP OneView? And why do they have a converged system group? 

The thinking was developed after conversations with their customers. They were beginning to understand that IT was shifting away from working in traditional silos, and transforming into a business partner that provided choice of workloads and services to the business. When they looked at how other IT management tools addressed these tasks today, they were surprised to find that they did little to address these tasks at all. HP OneView is a new approach to infrastructure management.

The number one goal for HP OneView was to perform these tasks better than anyone in the industry. To do this, they looked for inspiration in consumer tools from our everyday lives.  Most modern consumer apps are purpose-built to do specific tasks with simplicity and speed.  Google Search as an example finds answers from billions of sources in seconds.  They studied 100’s of different online and mobile tools to learn from the best, and then applied those lessons to the complexity and scale of the data center.

They realized that if we could dramatically simplify the 5 tasks below, they could radically accelerate every process in the data center.

These tasks are:

  1. Identify and track what needs to get done
  2. Collect basic system and task related information
  3. Understand dependencies on connected infrastructure
  4. Collaborate across teams to do the work
  5. Communicate progress, completion or failure

HP OneView is a software platform with a modern and integrated workspace for converged infrastructure that can be managed right from VMware vCenter. This software defined approach means you can deploy and manage your environment through vCenter faster, at a lower cost, and with maximum productivity at any scale.

HP OneView takes the automation capabilities to the next level with managed compute, storage, and network from vCenter. If you look at the deployment workflow for adding a host into a VMware Cluster there are several steps using traditional tools, but with HP OneView and VMware integration it is reduced to five steps.

It is important to understand that HP OneView is the core underpinning for the software defined data center and the cloud according to HP. It is the foundational platform for the means to accelerate IT deployments.

Lets take a look at the deployment process of a host. When you open up your VMware vSphere Web Client, you are going to select your cluster and drill down to All HP Insight Management Actions. From there you are going to click on HP Grow Cluster...

This launches an HP optimized workflow for growing the clusters compute capacity. Next we are going to select the reference server profile that best represents the configuration for our ESX template which will be applied to several blade servers.

Next you will choose the OS build plan and then select the reference profile, again this is the ESX server profile with the best practice configuration, and then you can see all the available server hardware that is compatible with your ESX template.

Going back to HP OneView we can see that the vCenter plugin has automatically created four server profiles, which are in the left hand pane, and it is configuring the firmware, the BIOS, the boot configuration, server personality, and the network connectivity on sea-prod-cluster01-host-1-IC4VC.

We can then see that the OS build plan is being executed, and that the stateful deployments are being PXE booted by the server automation deployment engine.

Back at the HP vCenter plugin, we can click on Monitor at the cluster level to view the active jobs, the OS deployment status, the static IPs that have been configured, and the host networking configuration status.

One of my favorite aspects is getting an end-to-end networking view all the way from the vSwitches to the teamed network adapters then up to the redundant pair of virtual connect modules. It gives you visibility to troubleshoot much quicker then with dispersed tools.

Provisioning is really about how fast you can react to the needs of your internal customers. HP OneView lets you manage HP compute, storage, and networking from vCenter and enables you to deploy a VMware vSphere cluster in 5 steps, it helps you to understand the relationships between physical and virtual infrastructure, and allows you to use policy-based automation instead of scripts and manual effort.  

HP OpenView is built on the modern RESTful API. With this approach you can fully program OneView, automating any process step, and allowing OneView to snap in to larger process workflows. 

Best of all, this integration works with existing Insight Control and OneView investments.
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