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A key benefit of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is the elimination of multiple management tools and the ability to manage compute and storage directly from the hypervisor.  With approximately 80% of HCI deployments running in VMware environments, vSphere is by far the most popular hypervisor for HCI. VMware HCI is powered by vSAN, an enterprise class storage solution that is uniquely embedded in the hypervisor and vCenter, which provides unified and extensible management solution. This combination of vSphere, vSAN and vCenter offers customers both greater simplicity and better performance.

Powered by vSAN and poised to become the market leading HCI appliance this year, Dell EMC VxRail is continuing to bring customers new innovations at rapid pace. One management feature update from a recent launch, while not a headline feature, should not be overlooked.

Vxrail mgmtWith the initial release of VxRail, it was only possible to use vCenter to manage the VxRail deployments for operations within the cluster it is deployed on and the license for this vCenter is included with the appliance. With the new update, VxRail can be managed from any vCenter Server 6.0 environment, making the management of new and multiple VxRail environments easier and more flexible. In addition, this means that existing vSphere users can seamlessly complement their existing infrastructure solutions with a VxRail cluster without introducing a new management tool or environment.

How is VxRail Managed? 

vCenter Server is the centralized platform for managing a VMware environment. It is the primary point of management for both server virtualization and vSAN, and is the control point for vMotion, DRS, HA and other advance capabilities. As such, vCenter plays a key role in managing VxRail.

VxRail Day 1 set up, hardware management and maintenance tasks as well as software lifecycle management are managed through the VxRail Manager. However, day-to-day storage and management, as well as other daily operations, are performed through vCenter Server. With VxRail release 3.5 last summer, VxRail nodes can optionally join a new—or an existing—vCenter Server 6.0 environments hosted outside of the VxRail Cluster. This allows for a central vCenter Server instance to manage multiple VxRail Clusters. Each VxRail environment appears within vCenter Server as a cluster of hosts configured with a vSAN datastore.

What does this mean? 

The new capability allows VMware customers to manage VxRail nodes and storage in the same way they are accustomed while also realizing the full benefits of HCI.

To learn more about using vCenter with VxRail, check out this white paper. You can also check out the VxRail Hand-on-Lab.