[ NOTE: machine translation with the help of DeepL translator without additional proofreading and spell checking ]
A visualization of IT networks can take up a lot of time and especially when drawing in connections of single components it can steal your last nerve ... I am long-suffering concerning this topic ツ . As a regular blog reader you have probably already noticed that I always create the overviews as detailed as possible.
By chance I came across a tool of a Pure Storage employee (Matthew "Matt" Robertson/Principal System Engineer) some time ago, which allows to visualize any valid FlashArray/FlashBlade configuration without further ado.
Matt makes it dead easy to visualize subsequent products with his builder:
FlashArray //X also //M (incl. DirectFlashShelves, DirectMemoryModule/SCM)
FlashArray //C (incl. DirectFlashShelves) - already including top innovation //C40R3
FlashBlade (110/310 (E)FMs, XFMs, multi-chassis configurations/10 chassis)
Since I create all my system illustrations with Microsoft Visio and had to realize that the available Visio Stencils (from visiocafe / as of June 15, 2018) are outdated and/or also some new modules were missing, this did not really meet the requirement of a detailed illustration anymore. At the time, Matt's "Pure Rack Diagram Builder" already brought a lot of potential for me, as I could represent all components here true to the available configurations. Unfortunately, the generated output of the tool (a native image format/PNG) lost me the connection points (which I'm used to from Stencils), so I always had to diligently work in connection points by hand *ARG*.
I contacted Matt and made a "tool enhancement request" to see if it would be possible to implement connection points in the output of the VSSX format type. I was afraid that this would not be so easy, but Matt promptly replied "Yes, I thought about adding connections. Actually, already put them on the outside so they snap into a rack. Do you want them for the power cords as well?" He, on the other hand, denied my fear "... It's not that bad, just need to get the offsets and calculate them all. But depends if I refactor the code to be more flexible in future may take a bit more work.".
Then over the weekend I got a message saying, "I've added connection points to the visio output. Give it a shot and let me know what you think." - AWESOME! The tool is now perfect for everyone in my eyes.
The system configurations "clicked together" in the builder can be downloaded as PNG or also as VSSX (Visio Stencil Format) and build up a detailed system image for quotes and documentation. I personally found (customer feedback) that attached visualizations of the configurations are especially well received in offers, because you can see the system directly in front of you and thus give the decision makers "something vivid/tangible" to hand ... always better than just a configuration in text form and an amount X.
I was now allowed to officially integrate the tool on my blog. The operation of the builder is simple and you also get hints/examples of the available options when "hovering" the input fields.
The tool can be used free of charge in the PUREFLASH.blog member area - this can be found in the dropdown of the member area. The registration is done quickly, it is non-binding and can be revoked at any time. Beside the tool there are already several further contents to download. So it's worth registering: to the protected area.
More info - Links
All officially published setting options in the GUI but also CLI can be read via the "on-board" user guides of the Pure Storage systems.
Click on "Help" in the Purity main menu.
The User Guide is structured like the main menu and can be opened downwards. A search function is also integrated - within here you can also search for keywords.
WEB: Pure Storage (Pure1) support portal - Ticket system and support *(requires registered FlashSystems)
PHONE: Pure Storage phone support: GER - (+49) (0)800 7239467; INTERNATIONAL - (+1) 650 7294088