[Review]: EMC Storage Integrator for Windows Suite
What’s EMC Storage Integrator for Windows Suite
ESI for Windows Suite is designed for Microsoft applications administrators who manage storage and application provisioning and monitor storage health.
This software enables administrators to view, provision, and manage block and file storage for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft SQL Server sites on supported EMC storage systems. Microsoft System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) integration with ESI provides administrators with a dashboard view of storage entities to monitor health and performance.
Administrators can manage their environment using either the ESI graphical user interface (GUI) or the PowerShell command line interface (CLI).
ESI for Windows Suite’s Components
ESI for Windows Suite is a set of tools for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft applications administrators. The suite includes:
- ESI for Windows and the ESI PowerShell Toolkit
- ESI system adapters
- ESI hypervisor support
- ESI Service and the ESI Service PowerShell Toolkit
- ESI SCOM Management Packs
The toolkits are written for the PowerShell platform, which is developed by Microsoft specifically for Windows System Management automation.
ESI for Windows and ESI PowerShell Toolkit
ESI for Windows enables you to view, provision, and manage block storage for Microsoft Windows and SQL Server systems.
The ESI for Windows GUI is based on Microsoft Management Console (MMC). You can run ESI as a stand-alone tool or as part of an MMC snap-in on a Windows computer.
The ESI PowerShell Toolkit enables you to provision storage to and manage storage on Microsoft Windows hosts that use EMC storage. This toolkit includes a set of PowerShell cmdlets to manage EMC storage systems from the PowerShell command line. The ESI PowerShell Toolkit provides access to most of the provisioning functionality offered by the ESI MMC application and shares a common configuration set with the MMC application.
ESI system adapters enable storage administrators to create, provision, and manage storage within the ESI GUI and to use the ESI PowerShell Toolkit.
ESI supports the following storage systems and products:
- EMC ScaleIO™ software-defined storage (SDS)
- EMC Unity™ and UnityVSA™ systems
- EMC VMAX™, VMAX3™, VMAX with embedded NAS (eNAS), and VMAX All Flash families
- EMC VNX™ series
- EMC VNXe™ series
- EMC VPLEX™ systems
- EMC XtremIO™ systems
- VCE™ Vblock™ Systems and VCE VxBlock™ Systems
- EMC RecoverPoint (using PowerShell cmdlets only)
- Microsoft SQL Server (using PowerShell cmdlets only)
- Windows and Linux hosts
- ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors
ESI hypervisor support
In addition to supporting physical environments, ESI supports storage provisioning and discovery for Windows virtual machines that are running on Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere. Install the corresponding adapters for specific hypervisor support. Storage options in ESI vary depending on the hypervisor:
- For Hyper-V virtual machines, you can create virtual hard disk (VHD and VHDX) files and pass-through SCSI disks. You can also create host disks and cluster shared volumes.
- For vSphere ESXi virtual machines, you can create virtual machine disk (VMDK) files and raw device mapping (RDM) disks without virtual compatibility mode. You can also create SCSI disks and view datastores. SCSI disks require the use of existing SCSI controllers.
ESI Service and ESI Service PowerShell Toolkit
The ESI Service is the communications link between ESI and the ESI System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) Management Packs.
Use the ESI Service to view and report on registered EMC storage systems and storage-system components that are connected to the ESI host system. SCOM pulls this data from the ESI Service. You can also use the ESI Service as a stand-alone tool without SCOM to collect, view, and report this same system data.
During the ESI installation, you can choose to install the ESI Service on the same ESI host system. When you install the ESI Service, the ESI Service PowerShell Toolkit is also installed on the ESI host system.
Use the PowerShell Toolkit to set up the ESI Service to communicate with the storage systems and ESI SCOM Management Packs.
ESI SCOM Management Packs
The ESI Service and the ESI SCOM Management Packs work with Microsoft SCOM for centralized discovery and monitoring of all supported EMC systems and storagesystem components.
The ESI Service and ESI SCOM Management Packs support the same EMC storage systems that are supported in ESI.