Last week was the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas and what a show! Microsoft took the full wraps off System Center 2012 with a week full of sessions showcasing how Microsoft management can simplify administration for physical and virtual environments as well as infrastructure monitoring, desktop management and tools for the public and private cloud. Microsoft also officially named the next version of Windows Server to Windows Server 2012.
Overall EMC had a great week with thousands of attendees at our booth (check out this crowd below!) engaging with our many specialists in conversations about System Center integration, EMC tools for managing private cloud, to discuss EMC best practices for virtualizing Microsoft applications with Hyper-V, to learn more about EMC VSPEX with Hyper-V and to hear about our technologies for local and remote protection of virtualized workloads.
During the week I also had the opportunity to present a breakout session along with my EMC colleague, Txomin Barturen. In our session entitled Microsoft Private Cloud Amplified with EMC we presented how to achieve not just virtualization but full automation with Microsoft Private Cloud and EMC. While virtualization is an important step on the Journey to the Private Cloud, virtualization alone doesn't solve many of the challenges facing IT organizations that are interested in realizing automation in the Datacenter. Many customers are still looking to address operational inefficiencies through simplified management, orchestration and self-service cloud so that end users can request their own resources.
The technologies are in place to realize full automation today and this is what we demonstrated in our session through a series of scenarios. For our first scenario we demonstrated how a customer can use EMC's Storage Integrator (ESI) tool to manage and provision storage for physical or virtual servers using an easy to use MMC tool. ESI provides the administrator a view into relationship between storage to server to VM. We also demonstrated how to use ESI's Powershell cmdlets to script these same storage provisioning tasks so that we could show a new LUN being created, formatting the LUN, attaching the LUN to a host and making the new LUN part of a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) cluster – all using Powershell cmdlets. By using Powershell, we also demonstrated how to boot a VM from SAN using Cisco Powershell cmdlets to configure the UCS.
Our next scenario was to deploy a VM template using Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012. Since many of our customers use System Center to manage their virtual environments, we presented a use case in which an administrator manages the EMC SAN though SCVMM by creating a new LUN and using EMC's snapshot capabilities to create a replica of a VM template all done through SCVMM 2012 using the SAN Copy Capable feature. How is this done? Using SMI-S or Storage Management Initiative Specification. SMI-S is a standards approach from SNIA for managing storage and technology that Microsoft added to System Center 2012 to allow SCVMM 2012 administrators to attach to and manage storage arrays that support SMI-S such as EMC.
We then discussed how EMC storage can be managed by System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) for full end to end monitoring of the Datacenter including servers, clients, applications, networks and storage with EMC's SCOM integration. By monitoring storage in SCOM, an administrator can view detailed information about the various storage components as well as have access to monitoring, alerts and diagnostics. SCOM also allows for actions to be addressed such as initiating Microsoft PRO (Performance and Resource Optimization) Packs that can perform tasks such as alert administrators to potential resource problems and move virtual machines to hardware that has more resources available to ensure workloads remain available.
Finally we addressed how to extend automation to the end users through self-service portals, Microsoft Orchestrator and App Controller. By using service delivery and automation workflow through tools like Orchestrator you can automate the deployment of resources. When using an Integration Pack from EMC, you can perform actions such as creating LUNs and presenting them to hosts. With App Controller you can deliver a self-service experience to manage service or applications across private and public clouds. This gives a person the ability to rapidly deploy a template that can consist of multiple VMs with applications pre-loaded so that App Controller submits the job through SCVMM or coordinate this request with other System Center resources. Below is a screen shot of EMC's Integration Pack for Microsoft Orchestrator or visit Inside the EMC MSFT Partnership for a demo of our App Controller capabilities!
So, what if you don't have these technologies today? How do you get started? An easy solution is the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program. Microsoft announced the v2 version of the Private Cloud Fast Track program last week that included two solutions from EMC. This means customers can purchase a pre-built configuration that includes all of the software I just discussed as well as validated hardware from Microsoft to quickly deploy a proven Microsoft Private Cloud architecture. Interested? I'll be blogging about our two solutions soon so stay tuned for more information!
There is a lot going on right now including the upcoming EMC World show in a few weeks in Las Vegas! EMC World is a great show with a lot of Microsoft related content, best practices, solution references, demos, etc. I'll be there representing the Everything Microsoft at EMC Community on the show floor and presented on Virtualizing Mission Critical Microsoft Applications. Be sure to stop by if you're there and more information on EMC World and Microsoft TechEd coming soon!