IBM Plug-ins for VMware vCenter

One of the key benefits of VMware vSphere is of course vCenter Server, which allows the management of small to enterprise virtualised environments from a single console.   I find that if a product can be used without immediately refering to the manual, it’s passed the ‘Apple’ test and vCenter passes that test.

vCenter of course allows a range of VMware and 3rd plug-ins to be installed,  so that VMware adminstrators can perform further tasks without leaving their ‘single pane of glass’.

IBM has produced a number of plug-ins for our server, storage and backup products but knowing they exist, or finding them can be a little difficult.  So I’ve compiled a list below of these plug-ins, along with links with with further information (and directly download links where available).   These plug-ins will continue to be updated over time, so check for any updates.

Storage Plug-ins

These plug-ins allow the VMware administrator to have better visability to the underlying storage.   For instance the Storage Management Console for vCenter allows delegation of some storage tasks within vCenter.

  • IBM Storage Management Console for vCenter v2.6 (for IBM XIV, SVC, v7000).  Further details here and here
  • IBM System Storage N Series Virtual Storage Console v2.1.1 for VMware vSphere (IBM N Series).  Further details here and here
  • VMware vCenter Plug-In v2.3 for IBM System Storage with vSphere 5.0 Support (DS3000, DS4000 and DS5000).  Further details here

Server Plug-in

IBM’s System x plug-in, IBM Upward Integration for VMware vSphere v1.0 (IBM System x) provides four key functions:

  • Hardware Diagnostics
  • Dynamic System Analysis
  • Update Xpress System Package Installer
  • Power Metrics
Further on this plug-in is available here and here.  Access to the plug in comes with a Standard Edition licence for IBM Systems Director, which an eligible customer can download via IBM Passport Advantage.

Backup and Recovery

The Data Protection for VMware vCenter plug-in allows controlling a range of  backup, restore and reporting operations directly from vCenter.

  • IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for Virtual Environments. Data Protection for VMware vCenter plug-in.  Further details here


Apple Wi-Fi Sync (iOS5) at home with VMware vSphere 5.0 (ESXi)

There’s a bunch of features I’ve really liked in iOS5, particuarly Wi-Fi Sync.     Since I wanted to centralise my music to my home server running VMware vSphere 5 (and a bunch of VMs),  I thought I’d also run iTunes inside my File Server VM (running Win2K8 R2).   My File Server VM could then tick away with iTunes running and download the latest podcasts each day.. nice !

My File Server VM automatically logs on when it starts.  I decided to do this for iTunes, but also apps such as Dropbox (which worked ok for a service for a while until it needed an update) and also FingerPrint.

OK, so I plugged in my iPhone into one of my home server’s USB 2.0 ports.  Within vCenter, I configured my VM and added a USB controller and then a USB device.  vSphere automatically detected the iPhone!  Yay!

With the latest iTunes installed, on the Summary tab scroll down and select the following:

I then ran a Sync on iTunes and when it’s completed,  I downloaded another bunch of podcasts on iTunes (something new for it to download).  I then plugged  iPhone and plugged it into another power source at home.   My iPhone then talked back to my iTunes (running on a VM on vSphere) and started sync’ing, just as I wanted!   See here:

My iPhone is now completely cable free, and the latest iOS 5.0.1 update (also cable free) worked flawlessly for me as well.   It will be interesting to see what the iTunes Match feature is like too, which doesn’t seem too far away.


To allow iTunes to automatically start without an error due “No Audio Device”    I needed to complete the following within my Win2K8 R2 File server VM, thanks to the following website:

1) Firstly run tsconfig.msc, click RD Session Host Configuration.

2) Under “connections” right click RDP-Tcp, under Properties choose “Client settings” tab  and uncheck “Audio and video playback”.

Then, I followed the instructions here about connecting to the VM with Audio remapped from my Remote Desktop Connection app and installed Virtual Audio Cable.   iTunes would then start without error.