If you're already familiar with EMC's Storage Integrator (ESI) than you know that it is a tool from EMC that simplifies management and provisioning of storage for Windows servers (I've posted a blog in the past showcasing how easy ESI is to use).
Using a series of wizards and a Microsoft Management Console plug-in (MMC), ESI can easily and quickly create new disks or storage LUNs, enable the new LUNs to be used with Microsoft clustering or even automatically deploy applications such as Microsoft SharePoint Server on the new drives – all within literally a matter of minutes! It also provides reporting of storage subsystem details and the relationship back to the Windows servers.
And what's the best part? ESI is FREE for all users of EMC storage.
So what could possibly be done to make this product better? Our incredible development team has done this by adding support for Hyper-V, providing Powershell cmdlets for all ESI functions as well as SharePoint FileStream RBS support, rollback support (undo recent changes), native MPIO support in addition to EMC Powerpath and several UI enhancements.
But enough talk, a picture (or video) is worth a 1000 words as seen in this latest demo on Youtube.
With the addition of Hyper-V support, administrators can now connect to a host and report on the total number of Hyper-V virtual machines on that server and access details about the VMs such as status or state of the VM, which storage array it is connected to, the disk details including name and capacity details and the type of VM (pass through or VHD). From the ESI console you can choose to connect to the host or attach to the virtual disk. This information can be especially helpful if you have a large virtual environment or if your VMs move from one server to another using Live Migration or Quick Migration.
The enhanced UI adds additional functionality in the Create Disk wizard so that you now have a choice to create a SCSI disk on the server or a Virtual Hard Disk or Passthrough SCSI Disk for Hyper-V.
So if you are a current EMC customer or partner and you're not using ESI, than reach out to your EMC counterpart to get a copy (or download it directly from Powerlink). If you have feedback or ideas on the tool, feel free to post them here! We'll also continue to have more information available on the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community.
In other news, my friend and manager two different times at EMC (including most recently), Chad Sakac just received a promotion to run all of EMC Global presales. This is exciting news for EMC and for our entire technical community as Chad has endless amounts of energy and passion in everything he does. If you haven't followed his blog post, be sure to check out Virtual Geek to see his plans for helping to implement positive changes throughout the company. If you are a fan of EMC, than be happy with this move as I guarantee it is as a game changer for us. If you compete against EMC than good luck and I wish you well.