Review of 3PAR StoreServ Management Console

hpssmc_introToday I was finally able to roll out the new 3PAR StoreServ Management Console (SSMC) and I’m impressed. This web-based tool offers a visual and performance upgrade to the long-standing InForm Management Console (IMC) on the majority of common administration tasks. For those unfamiliar with 3PAR, the IMC has been around for years and runs atop an embedded Java Runtime Environment (JRE) that isn’t always the friendliest with new OSes, etc. It’s not a bad tool at all, but the SSMC is a nice new chapter for the family.

Installation

The setup package comes in the form of an ISO from the HP Software Depot. Being virtual, I extracted the ISO to a network share where I could run it on the designated server.

Per the readme, the SSMC desires a 2-CPU, 4GB RAM server (Windows or Linux) with minimal storage. If your environment is tight on space and you don’t have too many arrays, you could probably skimp on one of the CPUs, but I went with the instructions and build a VM with Windows Server 2012 R2 and a 40GB thin-provisioned HDD.

After the OS was ready, I ran HPSSMC-2.0.010734-win64.exe from the extracted ISO directory and Next’d my way through the install. It runs by default on tcp/8443, which was fine for me. If you’re sharing with other web-based applications, make sure you don’t have a conflict (or change if you do).

Getting Started

hpssmc_ac_loginWhen setup is complete, open a browser on your desktop (or the server, I suppose, as long as IE Enhanced Security is disabled) and navigate to https://<hpssmc_server>:8443. On first run, you’ll need to set a password for the Administrator Console’s “admin” account. This is only for the Administrator Console where you will add/remove your arrays to be managed.

Once the admin password is set, check the “Administrator Console” box below the “Login” button and enter the newly set credentials. You’ll notice that the large title text on the page changes when that box is checked. I was so focused on the credentials initially that I didn’t notice this change when I first started.

hpssmc_ac_console

With the box checked, a new window appears upon clicking “Login” and you have the opportunity to add your storage arrays. Arrays can be added with various levels of access, depending on the role that the 3PAR user account connecting to the array has. Since I’m looking to use this in place of the IMC for read/write access, I used a “super” account like 3paradm to connect.

At this point some arrays may need an additional “Action” taken in the top right. Under “Remove”, you will see “Accept Certificate” if you are still using the self-signed 3PAR certificates on the array. Click that and the array should refresh as “Connected” in the list.

Add any other 3PAR arrays that you have, close the Administrator Console, and then continue below.

Management

hpssmc_mc_loginBack at the login screen, you will now want to enter 3PAR user credentials and leave the “Administrator Console” box unchecked. Your login page should look something like this (note the title text when unchecked).

The SSMC will take you into a dashboard view by default and show you high points of the managed array(s), including capacity breakdowns, performance and capacity statuses, and a nice little histograph of the past 30 days of capacity.

hpssmc_mc_console

To drill down into array details, look to the upper left where it says “3PAR StoreServ” and click the down arrow. This provides access to most of the areas formerly found in the IMC’s left and bottom-left sections.

hpssmc_mc_menu

When I’m working on the array, I tend to live in the “Virtual Volumes” area creating, exporting, or deleting volumes (LUNs). The IMC stacked the list of VVs above the VV details, but the SSMC presents it more cleanly with the list on the left and the VV details on the right (capitalizing on the space gained by moving the menu to the top-left).

Creating a volume is now a simple, one-page action with auto-fill search boxes during CPG selection and integrated export abilities. Very nice.

hpssmc_mc_create_vv

Exploring the other sections of the SSMC, I was able to get hung up loading a CPG page, but a simple refresh of the browser reloaded it just fine. For an initial release, running into only a hiccup or two like that is a huge success.

Conclusion

In summary, I am very pleased with the new HP 3PAR StoreServ Management Console and am happy to be seeing new life breathed into an historically innovative product line. Great job.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply