IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere

IBM recently announced the IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere, v1.0 which provides a number of exciting new platform management features for VMware vSphere customers running IBM System x servers.

I was able to get access to the software in IBM and give it a go with our vSphere lab in Melbourne running on XIV storage.  The IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere plugin (or UIV) was less than 100MB in size and contained the following files:

After reading the release notes (or so I thought I did, see below) I began the process of installing the plug-in by running the IBM_plugin_for_VMware_vSphere_Client_x64.exe on my vSphere server and entering in the vCenter server’s IP address.  So far so good.  I then followed the instructions and put my ESXi server into maintenance mode, and using the vihostupdate.pl   inserted the plugin bundle into my ESXi test server.  The command I used was the following:

vihostupdate.pl –server 10.1.60.10 -install -bundle d:\ESXiInstalledBundles\offline-bundle.zip -c

After restarting the ESXi and taking it out of maintenance mode I browsed to my ESXi server and went to the IBM Upward Integration tab to unfortunately be greeted with the following error:

The IVP.log gave me the following error message “Tue, 09 Aug 2011 23:54:52  IVP  ERROR    –  Failed to validate ESXi image for host uuid=80f53a03-e379-b601-7453-001a64dba754, ip=10.1.60.13, Failed to enum Instance of UXSPI_VMpkgInstallationService: tools/cimcli.exe CIMException:  Cmd= ei Object= UXSPI_VMpkgInstallationService Code= 3

OK, what did I do?  After reading the release notes again (RTFM!) I noticed I’d overlooked that the plugin requires the use of the VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) 4.1 U1 with IBM Customization (or IBM customised ESXi for short) which provides a number of additional hardware management features and drivers for IBM hardware.

After updating my server with the IBM customised ESXi, and repeating the vihostupdate.pl above, I was greeted with a working plugin as shown below.  Yay!

Dashboard

The Dashboard screen shows key system health of the ESXi host categorised by Critical, Attention and Information Events.

System Analysis

The System Analysis screen shows key hardware and software information on the ESXi host.  I clicked the Refresh button for the the UIV to begin it’s analysis and it took a few minutes to complete on my ESXi HS22 blade.  I guess I could then then send this info to IBM support if requested.  I assume this would be by sending logs from the C:\IBM_Support directory on my vCenter server.   If I get any other info I’ll post it here.

Firmware Update

The firmware update screen allows you to check for the latest IBM firmware updates for your ESXi host, without ever leaving the vCenter console.  I’ve been testing this with a HS22 blade and will post additional info as I expand this testing to other IBM ESXi hosts in the coming weeks.

Power Metric

The Power Metric screen provides current power usage information for the ESXi host.  You simply have to click the Enable button and entering credentials for the ESXi host for it to begin collecting info.

From what I can see, the plugin also added extra Power info into the core vCenter Performance monitor.  I could then graph the overall power used by the ESXi host and the energy used by each of the VM’s if I wanted too.  Depending on your business, this might not be a gimmick but the ability for you to charge back power (or simply account for it) that is used by a VM to an internal department or a customer if you’re a cloud provider running on vSphere.

The UIV plug-in User Guide

The plug-in user guide is available to download here.

Getting access to the UIV plug-in

How do IBM customers get access to this plugin ?  Customers purchase IBM Systems Director Standard Edition for x86 (note they would require to purchase per Physical Server).  If the client has already purchased the IBM Systems Director Standard Edition for x86 then as part of the Subscription they are entitled to download the IVP via Passport Advantage.   However, just to make it clear the plugin technically doesn’t require Systems Director to function.  It’s simply included as part of a Systems Director license.   Contact your nearest System x seller on licensing details, a demo  and getting access to the plug-in.

Feedback

I’d love to hear your experiences too on how the plug-in works in your VMware vSphere environment, which I can pass back to our product management teams.  As I find out additional information, I’ll post them to my blog.

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  1. #1 by vNetWise on May 19, 2012 - 8:09 am

    If I might ask, where on earth did you find the actual download for the Upward Integration Module for vSphere? I can find references to its existence, but no actual downloads.

    • #2 by Darryl Miles on May 19, 2012 - 1:35 pm

      Hello,

      The UIM is available for customers via Passport Advantage when it’s purchased via a license or when you buy IBM Systems Director Standard edition. Speak to you local IBM sales rep on local pricing.

      Darryl

  2. #3 by vNetWise on May 23, 2012 - 3:55 am

    Thank you sir, I’ll stop banging my head expecting to find it somewhere obvious. I’ll talk to our rep and confirm we have access to it. Much appreciated!

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