Simplifying the Private Cloud with Dell Compellent and Microsoft System Center 2012

 Posted on behalf of Nick Sweere, Dell Compellent Product Marketing

Managing a Private Cloud environment can be a daunting task; from assigning networking and physical server resources, to provisioning storage, to managing multiple vendors with multiple interfaces.  In addition, finding actionable intelligence and creating an environment that can grow without VM sprawl can become overwhelming.

Dell is working across product lines to help you find ways to seamlessly grow your Dell/Microsoft infrastructure. Earlier today Dell announced several new systems management tools that have been developed for Microsoft System Center 2012, including the SMI-S Provider now included with Dell Compellent Enterprise Manager 5.5.5.

The Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center 2012 answers many of the concerns server virtualization administrators face today. Datacenter resources such as processing, networking, and storage can be pooled and virtualized to deliver Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  By providing holistic management capabilities from the storage layer to the hypervisor, administrators can control how their virtual environment grows and adapts. Additionally, System Center can:

  • Better govern resources for Test/Dev environments by providing “sandbox” environments with assigned resources and characteristics
  • Quickly rollout individual VMs for and respond to organizational needs
  • Provision mass VM deployments using Virtual Machine Manager templates based on highly efficient storage based  “Gold Images”

The Dell Compellent team developed a special SMI-S provider to enable storage management through the VMM 2012 interface.   The SMI-S integration allows System Center administrators to create and manage their Compellent storage through a single pane of glass, a capability that virtualization teams have long sought. In addition to taking advantage of the increased performance, storage efficiencies, and ease of management Compellent is known for, System Center administrators can cut through the red tape of storage provisioning. 

Through its intelligent core features, Compellent provides System Center added benefits such as:

  • Data Progression:  Automated tiered storage ensures your active VM data is stored in Tier 1 storage for performance and inactive data is progressed to lower tiers for cost effective retention.  Because Data Progression is an automatic process completed on the SAN, storage provisioned through the Virtual Machine Machine Manager component of System Center 2012 is automatically part of a Data Progression profile.
  • Dynamic Capacity: Thin provisioning ensures that as storage is provisioned within the Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center 2012, no resources are consumed, providing the most efficient use of your Compellent SAN. 
  • Server Instant Replay: By deploying hundreds of virtual machines based on a Gold Image, administrators eliminate duplication of OS and core applications storage consumption.

Creating and managing a private cloud environment doesn’t have to be as complex as it has been in the past.  System Center 2012 brings together and enables management of the various datacenter resources required to build a robust IaaS solution.  Through storage integration, Dell Compellent supports System Center by providing easy, rapid, and efficient storage for the private cloud.

Dell Compellent’s Virtual Maching Manager 2012 SMI-S provider is available with the release of Enterprise Manager 5.5.5.  Dell EqualLogic support for the Virtual Machine Manager component of System Center 2012 will be available later this summer with the release of a new Host Integration Tools (HIT) for Microsoft.  You'll be able to see Dell Compellent's SMI-S integration in action with System Center 2012  during the Tuesday morning keynote at MMS 2012 in Las Vegas NV. For more information on Dell’s server, software and storage support for System Center 2012, check out Dell Introduces Enhanced Solutions for System Center 2012.

About the Author: Michelle Richard