Boost Efficiency in your VMware Environment with Active System Manager 8.1.1

Active System Manager (ASM) 8.1.1, the latest release of ASM, is being announced today at VMworld 2015 and will be available in late September 2015. Many of the capabilities of this new release center around support of VMware and cloud environments.
Dell Active System Manager (ASM) supports deep integration with the VMware portfolio to enable end-to-end management automation for virtualization and cloud – from the underlying physical infrastructure, through the virtual infrastructure, all the way to complex workload enablement. With its vCenter Server integration, ASM can:

  • Install ESXi to bare metal servers
  • Configure host clusters
  • Create new VMs from scratch, incl. provisioning of guest OSs and post-OS configuration or scripting
  • Clone existing VMs or create from templates
  • Combine VMs in templates with other resources, incl. end-to-end infrastructure and complex workloads

Based on recent test results with ASM 8.1.1, adding ASM automation capabilities to your VMware environment for tasks such as these delivers huge savings in time and effort, dramatically increasing efficiency. Here are just a few examples:

  • Up to 92% fewer steps to configure and deploy an additional host to your ESX cluster to scale up capacity
  • Add an additional datastore to you production VMware ESXi cluster to expand storage capacity with up to 52% less administrator time.
  • Up to 90% fewer steps to do ongoing lifecycle management of your ESX cluster by using ASM to manage the firmware.

 The new features in ASM 8.1.1 include:

  • Integration with the VMware vRealize Suite cloud management platform, including a plugin to vRealize Orchestrator and integration with vRealize Automation.
  • Support of Dell Blueprint reference architectures, beginning with the new Dell Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture with VMware vRealize
  • Expanded compatibility list for a broader range of hardware and software platforms
  • Performance improvements in the ASM web client UI, with improved speed and responsiveness for key product views, including the dashboard and resource inventory, and faster service deployments for even greater efficiency.

 

Extend Automation and Orchestration Capabilities with the New ASM vRealize Plugin

 If you have a private or hybrid cloud environment and are using VMware’s vRealize Suite, you are already experiencing the many benefits of cloud automation. With ASM 8.1.1, you can extend those capabilities to enable a broader range of business solutions, improve responsiveness, and simplify complex IT processes.

ASM 8.1.1 continues to broaden the ecosystem enablement begun with ASM 8.1, with a new plug-in to VMware’s vRealize Orchestrator. The plug-in enables key workflows delivering a truly elastic data center spanning from physical infrastructure provisioning to self-service workload and VM deployment with VMware vRealize.Automation.

 

 

 Figure 1 - Active System Manager Integration with VMware vRealize

The ASM plugin to vRealize Orchestrator:

  • Allows ASM automation templates to be called from vRO orchestration workflows.
  • Enables allows automation methods supported by ASM – including provisioning, configuration, capacity scaling, and deprovisioning – to be embedded into vRO workflows.
  • Extends the automation and orchestration capabilities of vRO to bring ASM automation into business process workflows, to improve responsiveness and simplify complex IT processes.
  • Enables integration with vRealize Automation, so that automation templates for infrastructure and workloads can be published to the vRA service catalog for a self-service IT experience.

 

ASM Speeds Deployment and Streamlines Management of Dell Reference Architectures

In addition to ecosystem enablement with VMware vRealize, ASM 8.1.1 will also enable deployment templates for Dell Blueprint reference architectures. These templates will enable both speed and reliability in the deployment of Dell’s best in class reference architecture-based solutions. 


In particular, ASM is a key component in the new Dell Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture with VMware vRealize. Software from VMware and Dell are combined with a complete Dell infrastructure stack to speed the design and deployment of a private or hybrid cloud solution.   The Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture gives prescriptive guidance for building a VMware cloud with vSphere 6 and components of the vRealize suite on Dell PowerEdge FX2 converged system and Dell SC4020 storage array, all integrated through Active System Manager. The resulting solution is a scalable and highly available infrastructure that is designed according to the best practices and recommendations for virtualizing enterprise applications and providing them to business users in a cloud or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model.

 Figure 2 - Solution Architecture of the Dell Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture with VMware vRealize

 The Hybrid Cloud Platform Reference Architecture can be viewed on the Dell Blueprints community page in Dell TechCenter here.

ASM template-based automation of Dell reference architectures enables rapid deployment and simplified management. These new capabilities support the ongoing strategy of ASM to enable better-together solutions between Dell and VMware and to deliver unrivaled flexibility, openness, and extensibility to the management and automation of heterogeneous IT resources.

 

ASM’s Ever-growing Compatibility List

ASM 8.1.1 includes an expanded compatibility list with support for PowerEdge platforms FC830 and FC430 designed for the FX2 converged architecture, the Dell S4048-ON switch, the SC2000 storage, Compellent iSCSI, and VMware’s vSphere 6.0.

Here is the full list of additions to the compatibility list for 8.1.1. Please see the ASM Compatibility Matrix for additional details.

  • Servers: Dell R930, M830, FC430, FC830
  • Storage: Dell MD1400, SC2000, Compellent iSCSI support
  • Networking and Adapters: Dell S4048-ON, N3000, N4000, S5000 with FCOE; Brocade 310; Broadcom 57800
  • Hypervisor: vSphere 6.0

 

From Physical to Virtual to Cloud

The integration of Active System Manager with the VMware vRealize Suite delivers the speed, simplicity, and flexibility for which ASM is known and provides a complete end-to-end solution for the deployment and management of private and hybrid cloud solutions from Dell and VMware.