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VCE VBLOCK SYSTEM ADMINSTRATION LAB GUIDE
April 14, 2014
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Introduction In order to successfully administer a Vblock System, you need to be able to monitor the environment, provision resources on demand and integrate the Vblock Systems into the existing datacenter operational processes and procedures.
The labs included in this guide focus on how to monitor the Vblock System physical and virtual infrastructure to understand the environment and to quickly identify where a problem may exist and how that problem may impact the Vblock System services. The labs cover the most common administrative and management tasks that a Vblock System administrator will make for normal day-to-day operations. Additional tasks for organization operation tasks are also covered but these may vary based on the model of Vblock System deployed as well as the steps outlined by the organization.
VCE as well as the individual component parent companies provide tools to monitor and manage the availability, performance and configuration compliance of both the physical and virtual Vblock System environment. These tools provide complete visibility into the Vblock System infrastructure to identify how resources are being consumed and whether SLAs are being met. These tools provide system administrators with an extensible management framework to simplify the transformation to the VCE Vblock System Cloud.
VCE is working to introduce that single pane of glass for Vblock System administration. VCE Vision Intelligent Operation Intelligent Operations has been recently introduced to provide that single interface for Vblock System administration. In its current state VCE Vision Intelligent Operation cannot perform all of the required monitoring and management tasks so native element managers are still required. As the capabilities are added to VCE Vision Intelligent Operation, the need for native component interfaces will diminish. The goal of Vision Intelligent Operations is to treat the Vblock System as the single entity that it is with multiple active components.
This lab guide is provided in a run book manner with each of the specific section objectives performed as tasks that would be executed during the course of normal maintenance and administration. Each lab provides a specific customer use case or scenario so the tasks are applicable to any datacenter deploying a Vblock System. The tasks are not all inclusive and sometimes vary to actual production as to account for the limitation of the training environment or to achieve specific learning objectives. These conditions will be identified in the appropriate sections for this book.
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Lab Scenario: Company Profile and Business Problem Statement Welcome to Counterfake Inc. Counterfake Inc. is a world leader in mock financial transactions. They have had a series of recent production systems outages that have ranged from administrators accidentally bringing down production to multiple hardware failures that have gone undetected that have caused production outage. They have recently acquired a Vblock System, as a complete solution to their datacenter needs. This lab will focus on Counterfake Inc. business problems and how they can best manage their Vblock System. IT management has tasked you to efficiently find issues in both the physical and virtual infrastructure that would possibly impact production. Silos of administration have been torn down and you have the responsibility of managing the entire converged infrastructure of the Vblock System. This requires an understanding of all the components within a Vblock System and the steps to manage each entity in depth. The problems to date include but are not limited to: Component Failure - Server, switch, storage or VM failures can cost Counterfake revenue and reputation if you dont quickly identify each failure and the impact of exceeding SLA time constraints. Secure Access - All administrators across all domains have administrative rights for the entire infrastructure. Administrators and operators can make modifications to systems without the ability to audit who performed what, when. Configuration Management - The environment is dynamic so changes are regularly made to the infrastructure to support business requirements. There have been occasions when infrastructure changes have caused outages. Capacity Management - End users only report a problem when they experience an increase in response time. There is no proactive anticipation of resources nearing performance thresholds; capacity is only expanded after resources pass critical performance thresholds. Data Protection - Backups are taken but you have no confidence that they can be used for a successful restore. There is no consistency in the backup process and no documented and proven recovery process.
In this lab you will help Counterfake Inc. address their business problems while successfully administering and managing their new Vblock System.
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VCE Vblock Infrastructure Management
1 - Health Check and Alerting
Health Check - Monitor the Vblock System as a whole as a well as the individual components.
Alerting - Configure tools and techniques for unattended alerts and notification.
2 - Security
Multi-Tenancy - Logically segregate environments for a secure workspace.
Hardening - Lock down existing environment for a highly secure Vblock System.
3 - Management
Configuration Management - Expand current resource configuration capabilities.
Capacity Management - Expand current resource bandwidth.
Automation - Provision resource through automation.
3 - Protection
Backup and Recovery - Protect Vblock System metadata and integrate into existing environment.
Compliance - Validate Vblock System security meets corporate security standards.
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In this class you will be introduced to and work with the VCE proprietary Vblock System management utility, and the element managers of each of the components that make up a Vblock System. The components of Vblock Infrastructure Platforms can be directly controlled using these independent tool sets:
VCE Vision The VCE Vision software suite provides an integrated set of software products for managing a Vblock System. It enables Vblock System customers to discover their Vblock System, identify where it is located, and what components it contains. It reports on the health or operating status of the Vblock System. It also reports on how compliant the Vblock System is with a VCE Release Certification Matrix and allows customers to automatically update any firmware or software that is not compliant.
Cisco Unified Computing System Manager (UCSM)
An embedded web-based management interface for all software and hardware components of the Cisco UCS across multiple chassis and thousands of virtual machines (VMs). The entire UCS is managed as a single logical entity through an intuitive graphical user interface, a command-line interface (CLI), or an XML application-programming interface (API). It provides flexible role- and policy-based management using service profiles and templates to reduce management and administration expenses, which are among the largest costs in most IT budgets.
Cisco Nexus Operating System (NX-OS)
Cisco NX-OS streamlines the management and monitoring of the LAN and SAN components offering visibility and control through a single management interface for the Cisco Nexus, and Cisco MDS Family of products.
EMC Unisphere for VNX
Web-based management interface for discovering, monitoring, and configuring EMC Unified storage. Unisphere for VNX offers quick access to real-time online support tools. It provides automatic event notification to proactively manage critical status changes.
EMC Unisphere for VMAX
Web-based management interface for discovering, monitoring, configuring, and controlling Symmetrix VMAX arrays. Unisphere for VMAX enables initial system discovery and configuration, including device creation and configuration, along with basic device masking and support for managing local and remote replication activities.
Provides unified management of all the hosts and VMs in the data center from a single console to an aggregate performance monitoring of clusters, hosts, and VMs. VMware vCenter Server gives administrators deep insight into the status and configuration of clusters, hosts, VMs, storage, the guest operating system, and other critical components of a virtual infrastructure. Individual element managers can be polled individually or can be integrated into a customers existing management framework to provide significant intelligence about the resource relationships and dependencies, and the state of business services running on the Vblock System.
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Vblock System Administration and Management Lab Diagram
For the lab exercises in this guide you will access the Vblock System Management interfaces using the appropriate interface to access the components that compose the training Vblock System. Network connectivity addresses will be supplied on a per team basis for the particular Vblock System setup used during your class.
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