HDS and VAAI Integration

April 3rd, 2011 by jason No comments »

SnagIt CaptureOn day 1 of Hitachi Data Systems Geek Day 2.0, we met with Michael Heffernan, Global Product Manager – Virtualization.  You might know him as @virtualheff on Twitter.  I was pleased to listen to Heff as he discussed HDS integration with VMware vSphere vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI for short and most easily pronounced “vee·double-ehh·eye”).  For those who aren’t aware, VMware introduced VAAI with the GA release of vSphere 4.1 on July 13th of last year.  In short, VAAI allows the burden of certain storage related tasks to be offloaded from the ESX/ESXi hypervisor to the storage array.  Generally speaking, the advantages touted are performance improvement of intrinsic tasks and increased scalability of the storage array. HDS is one of a few storage vendors who supported VAAI integration on the July launch date and in February of this year, they announced VAAI support with their VSP (see also Hu Yoshida’s writing on the announcement).

Heff started off with some virtualization in the datacenter background and IDC stats.  Here are a few that he shared with us:

  • Only 12.8% of all physical servers are virtualized in 2009
  • More than half of all workloads (51%) will be virtualized by the end of 2010
  • Two-thirds (69%) by 2013
  • VM densities continue to rise predictably, averaging:
    • 6 VMs per physical server in 2009
    • 8.5 VMs per physical server in 2013

A few time line infographics were also shown which tell a short story about VMware, HDS:

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VMware provides several integration points which storage vendors can take advantage of, VAAI being just one of them.  These integration points are use case specific and standardized by VMware.  As such, integration is developed in parallel by competing vendors and most often the resulting offerings from each look and feel similar.  Great minds in storage and virtualization think alike.

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SnagIt CaptureHDS integrates with all three VAAI attach points VMware offers:

  1. Hardware Assisted Copy
  2. Hardware Assisted Zeroing
  3. Hardware Assisted Locking

Heff also used this opportunity to mention Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning (HDP) technology which is essentially HDS thin provisioning plus other lesser known benefits but has nothing more to do with VAAI than any other storage vendor which supports both VAAI and thin provisioning.  Others may disagree but I see no sustainable or realizable real world benefit with VAAI and thin provisioning at this time; the discussion is rather academic.

HDS went on to show VAAI benefits are real.  Tests show an 18% efficiency improvement in the block copy test on a 30GB virtual disk.  85% decrease in elapsed time to eager write zeros to a 30GB virtual disk.  The third VAAI benefit, hardware assisted locking, can be a little trickier to prove or require specific use cases.  Following are examples of VMFS operations that require locking metadata, and as a result a SCSI reservation which hardware assisted locking improves, per VMware KB Article: 1005009:

  • Creating a VMFS datastore
  • Expanding a VMFS datastore onto additional extents
  • Powering on a virtual machine
  • Acquiring a lock on a file
  • Creating or deleting a file
  • Creating a template
  • Deploying a virtual machine from a template
  • Creating a new virtual machine
  • Migrating a virtual machine with VMotion
  • Growing a file, for example, a Snapshot file or a thin provisioned Virtual Disk

Heff showcased the following hardware assisted locking results.  Up to 36% increase in performance and 75% reduction in lock conflicts for the power on/linked clone test:

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VAAI offloads some of the heavy lifting from the hypervisor to the back end storage array so it was appropriate for the discussion to ultimately lead to impact on the array.  This is where I currently feel the bigger benefit is: better scalability or more mileage out of the array.  HDS is also the second storage vendor I’ve heard say that block LUN size and number of VMs per LUN is no longer a constraint (from a performance standpoint, everything else being equal).  This point always interests me and is frankly a tough pill to swallow.  I wasn’t able to pin Heff down to more specific details nor have I seen actual numbers, case studies, or endorsements from any storage vendor’s customer environments.  To some degree, I think this design consideration is still going to be use case and environment dependent.  It will also continue to be influenced by other constraints such as replication.  It may become more of a reality when VMware expands VAAI integration beyond the original three features.  HDS did mention that in vSphere 5, VMware is adding two more VAAI features bringing the total to five assuming they are released.

HDS offers competitive storage solutions for the VMware use case and it is clear they are totally committed to the virtualization push from both a storage and compute perspective.  You can learn more about these solutions and stay in tune with their evolution at their VMware Solutions site.

Full Disclosure Statement: HDS Geek Day is a sponsored event. Although I receive no direct compensation and take personal leave to attend, all event expenses are paid by the sponsors. No editorial control is exerted over me and I write what I want, if I want, when I want, and how I want.

Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage, Cloud Edition

April 2nd, 2011 by jason 19 comments »

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I recently acquired an Iomega ix2-200 storage appliance which is perhaps the smallest storage device in EMC’s vast portfolio, save the VMAX thumb drive I’ve heard sparse sightings of.  This is a nifty little device which could prove quite useful in the home, home office, college dorm, or small business.  The ix2 serves as network attached storage (NAS) capable of several protocols mapping it to many of the most popular applications.  NFS, iSCSI, CIFS/SMB, Apple File Sharing, Bluetooth, FTP, TFTP (a new addition in the latest firmware update), rsync, and SNMP to name several.

A rich and easy to use browser-based interface provides access to the device and storage configuration.  The package includes software which I initially installed on my Windows 7 workstation to get up and running.  This software also integrates nicely with the PC it’s installed on providing file backup and other features, some of which are new in the -200 version of the appliance and cloud related.  I later ditched the management software due to an annoying iSCSI configuration bug.  Once the appliance is on the network, the web interface via its TCP/IP host address proved to be more reliable.  My unit shipped with a fairly old version of firmware which I wasn’t initially aware of based on feedback from the management interface which claimed it was all up to date.  Updating the firmware added some features and sped up iSCSI LUN creation time immensely.  

SnagIt CaptureWhat’s included:

  • Iomega® StorCenter ix2-200 Network Storage
  • 1 USB port on the front, 2 USB ports in the rear (for external drives, printers, and UPS connectivity)
  • 1 Gb Ethernet port in the rear
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Power Supply
  • Printed Quick Install Guide & other light documentation
  • Software CD
  • Service & Support: Three year limited warranty with product registration within 90 days of purchase.
  •  

    Technical Specifications:

    • Desktop, compact form factor
      • Width: 3.7 in (94mm)
      • Length: 8.0 in (203mm)
      • Height: 5.6 in (141mm)
      • Weight: 5 lbs (2.27 kg)
    • CPU at 1GHz with 256MB RAM
    • 2 x 3.5″ Easy-Swap SATA-II Hard Disk Drives
    • RAID 1, JBOD
    • 1 x RJ45 10/100/1000Mbps (GbE) Ethernet port. LAN standards: IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u
    • 3 x USB 2.0 ports (to connect external HDD, printers, UPS, Bluetooth dongle)
    • Client computers for file system access—Windows PC, Mac OS, Linux
    • AC Voltage 100-240 VAC
    • Power consumption – 5 Watts (min) – 19 Watts (max)
    • Acoustic noise – 28 dB maximum

    Application Features:  The ix2-200 has an impressive set, most of which I don’t or probably will never use.

    • Content sharing
    • Torrent download manager
    • Photo slide show
    • Remote access
    • Active Directory support
    • USB printer sharing
    • Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube integration
    • Security camera integration
    • Several backup options, including cloud integrated
    • 

    UI Candy:  The management interface consists of five main tabs: Home, Dashboard, Users, Shared Storage, and Settings.  Please pardon the inconsistent cropping crudity:

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    The ix2 ships with 2x 1TB SATA-II drives.  RAID 1 (mirror) with automatic RAID rebuild and RAID 0 (Stripe w/o parity) support as well as JBOD mode also available.

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    Temperature and fan status.  My unit seems hot; I need to check that fan showing 0 RPM:

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    Believe it or not, Jumbo Frames support at either 4000 or 9000 MTU:

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    Speaking of jumbo frames, what about performance?  I was pleasantly surprised to find the ix2-200 officially supported by VMware vSphere for both iSCSI and NAS.  I’m in it for the vSphere use case so I benchmarked NFS and iSCSI in a way which is consistent with how I’ve performed previous storage performance tests which can also be compared in the VMware community (take a look here and here for those comparisons).  With two spindles, I wasn’t expecting grand results but I was curious nonetheless and I also wanted to share and compare with some co-workers who tested their home storage this past week.  Performance results were at times inconsistent during multiple runs of the same IO test.  In addition, NFS performance decreased after applying the latest firmware update.

    iSCSI

    ix2 iSCSI feels like a no-frills implementation.  iSCSI LUN security is user and Mutual CHAP based and seems particularly weak.  Individual LUNs can only be secured on a per user basis.  The user based security isn’t supported by vSphere and the CHAP implementation doesn’t seem to work at all in that my ESXi host was able to read/write to an ix2 LUN without having the required CHAP secret.  In summary, the only viable ESXi configuration is to connect the host or hosts to an unsecured iSCSI LUN or set of LUNs on the ix2.  Risks here include lack of data security as well as integrity since any host on the network with an iSCSI initiator can read/write to the iSCSI LUN.  As far as I can tell, there is no thin or virtual provisioning at the ix2 layer when creating iSCSI block LUNs.  This is merely an observation; I wasn’t expecting support for thin provisioning, dedupe, or compression.

    NFS

    NFS is more secure on the ix2 in that volume access can be restricted to a single IP address of the vSphere host.  Volumes are also secured individually which provides granularity.  It’s also flexible enough to support global subnet based access.  These are security features commonly found in enterprise NFS storage.  Similar to iSCSI above, NFS also supports user based access which again doesn’t provide much value in the vSphere use case.

    I’m not going to speak much in detail about the performance results.  I didn’t have much along the lines of expectations and I think the results speak for themselves.  iSCSI performed marginally better with the RealLife test.  However, I’m not convinced the security trade off makes iSCSI a clear winner.  Coupling the advantage in the Max Throughput test, I’m more in favor of NFS overall with the ix2-200.

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    Supporting performance data collected from Iometer:

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    Reliability of the ix2-200 is in the back of my mind.  I’ve heard one report of frequent failures and loss of RAID/data with the bigger brother Iomega ix4.  Time will tell.  With that, I won’t be placing any important data on the ix2.  As it is, I blew away the factory default RAID1 configuration for double the density, spindle, and performance of RAID0.  My intent for the ix2 is to use it as cheap lab storage for vSphere and potentially backup during the summer months.

    For more on the ix2, take a look at a nice writeup Stephen Foskett produced quite a while back.

    

    Pre Hitachi Data Systems Geek Day 2.0

    March 22nd, 2011 by jason 1 comment »

    SnagIt CaptureHitachi Data Systems Geek Day 2.0 starts tomorrow.  HDS has invited storage and virtualization experts from many points on the globe to come and be immersed in the latest storage solutions HDS has to offer.  The event kicks off at 8am, going into the evening, and wraps up Thursday afternoon.

    Asked what in particular I would like HDS to cover, my response stemmed from the VMware Virtual Infrastructure/vCloud angle. Interests such as unified storage, VAAI support, plugin integration, scalability, storage virtualization update (USPV?), replication, and SRM integration.

    HDS responded by putting together a two-day event which includes a VAAI demo session, and a presentation on the next wave of server and storage virtualization.  In addition to that, we’ll cover the converged datacenter, we’ll receive a Hitachi Clinical Repository overview and demo, Hitachi Command Suite 7.0 hands on, unified compute, and storage economics.

    You can follow what the list of delegates have to say on Twitter by watching the hash tag #HDSDay.  We’re all bloggers so expect to see content from those respective sources as well.  From Pete Gerr’s blog:

    The current list of distinguished bloggers making their way to Sefton Park, UK for the event includes:

    Enterprise Storage is the key enabler for many VMware technologies and Tier 1 virtualized workloads.  I’m looking forward to what Hitachi has to showcase over the next couple of days in addition to seeing some faces I haven’t seen in a while and meeting new contacts in the storage industry.

    Xangati Delivers First Solution for Managing VDI to Operational Scale

    March 22nd, 2011 by jason No comments »

    Press Release:

    Xangati Delivers First Solution for Managing VDI to Operational Scale

    New Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Dashboard Leverages Powerful Performance Health Engine to Ensure Optimal End-user Experience

    SnagIt CaptureCupertino, CA – March 22, 2011 – Xangati, the recognized leader in infrastructure performance management, today introduced the Xangati VDI Dashboard, the industry’s first solution designed to comprehensively track all key infrastructure components that affect VDI performance, giving administrators the confidence and ability to successfully implement large-scale VDI deployments.  Leveraging Xangati’s powerful real-time memory-based analytics engine architecture, the Xangati VDI Dashboard tracks and continuously monitors activity of all VDI components within the infrastructure without requiring any agents. The new dashboard also includes a performance health engine that automatically and visually alerts administrators in real-time about the precise location of performance issues.

    By providing a solution that covers components in and outside of the virtual infrastructure (VI), the Xangati VDI Dashboard gives administrators comprehensive “cross silo” awareness into all critical elements linked to – including clients, desktops, networks, servers, storage, applications and VDI protocols – which ultimately provides a positive VDI user experience.

    “The ultimate success of VDI projects depends 100 percent on the ability to provide users with the same level of application performance and availability that they are accustomed to in conventional desktop environments,” said Alan Robin, CEO of Xangati. “However, prior to the release of Xangati’s solution, VDI administrators were flying blind to the source of end-user performance issues not linked to their VDI software – oftentimes leading to stalled implementations and cancelled projects. Xangati is the first to market with a solution to tackle these challenges head on through a UI structured specifically for VDI support, an agent-free model, and a rapid installation process that provides immediate download to value.”

    “Xangati has once again demonstrated its talent for developing and delivering innovative infrastructure performance management solutions that are needed to help businesses successfully implement and benefit from emerging and transformational technologies, such as VDI,” said Bernd Harzog, analyst of virtualization performance and capacity management at The Virtualization Practice. “Its new dashboard not only gives the highest level of visibility into all the moving parts in the VDI ecosystem but also extends its real-time and continuous monitoring to include proactive, system-generated health alerts and visual recordings about performance issues.”

    Through relationships and support from VMware and Citrix, Xangati has designed the Xangati VDI Dashboard to fully complement both VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop environments.

    Xangati VDI Dashboard: Breakthrough Features

    Real-time Performance Health Engine

    The cornerstone of the Xangati VDI Dashboard is its patent-pending performance health engine that analyzes the health of VDI in an unprecedented four microseconds. Relying on Xangati’s memory-driven architecture, the performance health of the VDI is being continuously monitored across a broad spectrum of performance metrics to the unrivaled scale of 250,000 objects (which can include desktops and clients). In contrast, other performance management architectures are database-driven and unable to keep apace of dynamic interactions to scale that are fundamental to VDI.

    The output of Xangati’s performance health engine is a real-time health index that is linked to the health of every client, desktop, network link, host, VDI protocol and IT server that can impact VDI end–user experience. In real-time – as an object’s health shifts – the health index changes to reflect the urgency of the performance issue. Moreover, the performance shift will trigger a real-time alert, which is uniquely paired with a DVR-recording.

    The DVR-recording will show exactly where the performance problem stems from and present contextual insights about what is driving the sub-optimal performance. For instance, a specific user community is seeing obvious delays in screen presentation due to a high latency network link. These DVR recordings capture issues that are often outside of a VDI vendor’s software framework and can be passed to the appropriate IT function, e.g. to the storage team when storage latency is at the heart of the performance issue.

    All VDI Operations in a Single Pane of Glass

    For the very first time, a VDI team can see in one pane of glass all the critical components that sustain the VDI, as well as the desktops and their clients. Through this structure, the Xangati solution is the only purpose-built dashboard framed to replicate how a VDI administrator seeks to run their operations. Additionally, the VDI dashboard incorporates Xangati’s visual trouble ticketing model that allows end-users to initiate DVR recordings when they are experiencing issues. In this manner, the VDI administrator can see, for example, that a user’s poor VDI experience on an iPad is due to a highly congested WiFi network.

    In contrast to other solutions marketed as VDI-focused, the Xangati solution can populate itself with incredibly rich data without requiring guest software agents. It is this agent-free model that allows Xangati to be deployed rapidly, even during proof of concept phases, as well as when an enterprise wishes to scale their virtual desktops into the thousands or tens of thousands.

    School District Earns an A+ in Performance with Xangati’s VDI Dashboard

    Manchester Essex Regional School District (MERSD) turned to VDI last year as a way to enable faster provisioning and deployment of new desktops and reduce its operational costs. MERSD is an early adopter of the Xangati VDI Dashboard and is maximizing VDI benefits through the capabilities of its performance health engine.

    “In order to keep our schools’ virtual computers running while school is in session, we must be able to quickly and accurately identify performance problems – ideally before they occur,” said Stephen Kwiatek, network administrator for MERSD. “Having a Health Index that alerts us to potential issues takes a huge load off of our shoulders by giving us an automated way to monitor the VDI infrastructure. This is a tremendous advantage in providing our staff and students with the highest quality of computing and the success of our VDI initiative. The Xangati VDI Dashboard is absolutely unique as a real-time window into our virtual world.”

    Pricing and Availability

    The Xangati VDI Dashboard is available immediately and can also be downloaded for a free two-week trial via the Xangati website. Priced at just $25 per desktop in a starter kit of 100 desktops, the Xangati VDI Dashboard enables a company to implement a VDI initiative for just $2,499 – making it one of the most affordable options today. For more information about the new Xangati VDI Dashboard and to start a free trial, go to http://xangati.com/VDI_dashboard.  

    About Xangati

    Xangati, the recognized leader in Infrastructure Performance Management (IPM), provides unparalleled performance management for the emerging and transformational data center architectures impacting IT today, including server virtualization, cloud computing and VDI. Its award-winning suite of IPM solutions accelerates cloud computing and virtualization initiatives by providing unprecedented visibility and real-time continuous insights into the entire infrastructure. Leveraging its powerful precision analytics, Xangati’s health performance index provides a new way to view and manage performance – in real-time – at a scale previously not possible.

    Founded in 2006, Xangati, Inc. is a privately held company with corporate headquarters based in Cupertino, California. Xangati has been granted numerous technology patents for its unique and comprehensive approach to Infrastructure Performance Management. Xangati is a VMware Technology Alliance Partner and certified Citrix Ready Partner and supports VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop, as well as other virtualization environments. For more information, visit the company website at http://www.xangati.com.

    EMC Celerra BETA Patch Pumps Up the NFS Volume

    March 21st, 2011 by jason 2 comments »

    A while back, Chad Sakac of EMC announced on his blog that he is looking for customers to volunteer their storage arrays to run various performance tests in addition to a piece of NFS specific BETA code for DART.  Having installed the BETA code (which I’m told is basically a nas executable swap in), I proceeded to compare NFS performance results with baseline results I had captured pre-patch.  In most test cases, the improvements ranged from significant to over twice the performance gain.  Most of the performance gains appear to surround write I/O.

    Following are the results comparing NFS performance with four different workload types before BETA patch and after BETA patch on a Celerra NS-120 with 15 x 15k spindles:

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    Detailed supporting data.  Keep in mind the NFS patch is still BETA with no firm release date as of yet from EMC:

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    This looks like great stuff from EMC and assuming the code reaches GA status, it would bolster the design choice of NFS in the datacenter.  Chad may still be looking test results for certain use cases.  If you’re interested in participating in the tests with your EMC array, please reach out to Chad using the comments section in Chad’s blog post linked above.

    network bandwidth transfer.xlsx

    March 19th, 2011 by jason 7 comments »

    SnagIt CaptureMany years ago, before I got involved with VMware, before VMware existed in fact, I was a Systems Engineer supporting Microsoft Windows Servers.  I also dabbled in technology related things such as running game servers like Quake II and Half-Life Counter-Strike on the internet.  One area where these responsibilities intersected was the need to know the rate at which data could traverse a rated network segment in addition to the amount of time it would take for said data to travel from point A to point B. 

    At that point in time, there wasn’t half a dozen free web based calculators which could be found via Google search.  As a result, I started an Excel spreadsheet.  It started out as a tool which would allow me to enter a value in KiloBytes, MegaBytes, or GigaBytes.  From there, it would calculate the amount of time it would take that data to travel across the wire.  This data was useful in telling me how many players the Counter-Strike could scale to, and it would provide an estimate for how much the bandwidth utilization was going to cost me per month.  I also used this information in the office to plan backup strategies, data transfer, and data replication.

    I’ve expanded its capabilities slightly over the years as well as scaled it up to handle the volume of data we deal which has increased exponentially.  In addition to the functions it performed in the past, I added a data conversion section which translates anything to anything within the range of bits to YottaBytes.  It performs both Base 2 (binary) and Base 10 (decimal) calculations which are maintained on their own respective worksheet tabs.  I prefer to work with Base 2 because it’s old school and I believe it is the most accurate measure of data and conversion.  To this point, WikiPedia explains:

    The relative difference between the values in the binary and decimal interpretations increases, when using the SI prefixes as the base, from 2.4% for kilo to over 20% for the yotta prefix.  This chart shows the growing percentage of the shortfall of decimal interpretations from binary interpretations of the unit prefixes plotted against the logarithm of storage size.

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    However, Base 10 is much easier for the human brain to work with as the numbers are nice and round.  I believe this is how and why Base 10 became known as “Salesman Bytes” way back when.  I’ll be darned if I can find a reference to this term any longer in Google.

    Long boring story short, this is a handy storage/network data conversion tool I still use from time to time today when working with large or varying numbers.  For those who don’t have a preferred tool for whatever use case, you’re welcomed to use the one I created.  A few notes:

    • Due to the extreme length of two of the formulas in the workbook, I had to upgrade it to Excel 2007 format at a minimum which is the reason for the file extension of .xlsx.
    • The data transfer section assumes the most optimal of conditions, no latency, etc.

    Download network bandwidth transfer.xlsx (22.6KB)

    Free VMware vSphere Client for iPad Available

    March 18th, 2011 by jason 8 comments »

    SnagIt CaptureIt has been an exciting couple of months for VMware in terms of product releases.  Now, VMware has done it again.  Effective immediately, the vSphere Client for iPad is announced and is generally available for download from the Apple App Store.  Leave your wallet and iTunes gift cards parked.  Similar to the VMware View Client for iPad, this app is also brought to the community free of charge.  From anywhere, we can now view key performance metrics and perform essential management tasks in a simplified and portable interface.

    The new client is not meant to be functionally equivalent to the existing vSphere Client for Windows.  Rather, the idea is to be able to perform the most common vSphere administrator tasks.  This release is version 1.0.1.  As such, not all of the desired features and functionality is baked in.  Future development will be an iterative process from the GA release point forward. Feedback from end users will be collected and improvements will be built into future versions.  vMotion will perhaps be the most desired feature but unfortunately it did not make GA release.  VMware promises it will be the next feature added so that is more good news to look forward to on the horizon. 

    Other potential wish list items which didn’t make the GA build are ESX Service Console, ESXi DCUI, and guest VM console access.  In my opinion, I wouldn’t look for console features any time soon.  I believe the spirit of the vSphere Client for iPad is to provide simplified management through an easy to use interface ala knobs and buttons.  Console access falls into that last 20% of advanced troubleshooting which extends beyond the intended use case of the iPad Client.

    Architecture

    So what’s under the hood?  Let’s take a look.  Aside from the foundational vSphere infrastructure (which is available as a free 60-day evaluation), there are two components, both free, which enable the delivery of portable management bliss:  the vCMA and the client for iPad itself.  To connect with the client from a remote location via the internet, a VPN connection on the iPad placing it local on the destination network is required.  Like the View Client for iPad, the vSphere Client for iPad is developed for iPad only.  No iPhone, iOther, etc.  The logic is built into the vCMA which will make it extensible for Android in the future.  Additionally, the vCMA will eventually be retired and its functionality will be rolled natively into vCenter Server.  I like this idea because my lab is getting to be somewhat appliance heavy which limits capacity to run the traditional VMs I want to be testing with.  Following is a visual overview of the architecture:

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    As mentioned earlier, future development will be an iterative process based on customer feedback.  These discussions can be aired in the vSphere Client for iPad VMTN Community forums located at the URL below.  Do not be shy.  VMware WANTS your feedback:

    http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere/ipadclient

    Now let’s take a bit of a deeper dive by looking at the installation process and the management capabilities of the app.

    Installation and Configuration

    1. Download the vSphere Client for iPad application from the iTunes Store.
    2. Once the vCMA virtual appliance (available for free at http://labs.vmware.com/flings/vcma) powers on, on the home screen of the iPad go to “Settings”, scroll down and tap on “vSphere Client” (an example this screen is shown below).
    3. Enter the IP Address of the vCMA virtual appliance in the “Web Server” field (again, see the sample image below).
    4. Ensure your iPad has connectivity to the vCMA virtual appliance (note: as of this writing, the vCMA has SSL enabled by default). This may entail configuring the iPad’s built-in VPN client. Consult Apple’s documentation on configuring the built-in VPN client.
    5. Launch the vSphere Client for iPad application and enter the host, username and password for the vCenter Server or vSphere Host you wish to connect to.

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    Management Capabilities

    Search for vSphere hosts and virtual machines.�
    Reboot vSphere hosts or put them into maintenance mode.

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    Manage virtual machines with the ability to start, stop and suspend.�
    View and restore virtual machines’ snapshots

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    Monitor the performance of vSphere hosts and virtual machines:

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    Diagnose vSphere hosts and virtual machines using built-in ping and traceroute tools:

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    Videos

    Following are a few short video clips which VMware has made available covering the vSphere Client for iPad.

    Configure the vCMA Virtual Appliance:

    

    Configure & use the iPad app:

    

    Summary of the iPad development by VMware at VMworld in Copenhagen October 2010:

    

    VMware is sure to gain popularity by offering virtualization and cloud management tools for portable devices… and at the right price.  VMware is listening to feedback and has already reacted with a modified list price in this GA release.  I think last week’s launch of the View Client for iPad was a big hit.  It will be interesting to see how well received this app is, particularly by the *nix folks who have been patiently waiting their turn for some client development love.

    Updated 3/20/11:  Srinivas Krishnamurti, Senior Director for Mobile Solutions at VMware, has written a piece on his blog over at the Office of the CTO.  Read it here: VMware vSphere Client for iPad has left the building…