I have completed updates for two of my main VMware vSphere documents for the Pure Storage FlashArray. These include the standard best practices document and the white paper explaining VAAI in detail and how it works on the FlashArray.
Best Practices Document Link
VAAI White Paper Link
The best practices document has mainly been updated with information that this blog has shown in the past couple of months. Notably:
- vSphere 6 updates, support for Web Client Plugin versions, changes in virtual disk recommendations, in-guest UNMAP support, etc
- VMFS UNMAP changes when it comes to best practice recommendations
- vRealize Operations Management Pack
- EFI-enabled VMs and Disk.DiskMaxIOSize
In the VAAI document, it is a similar update:
- vSphere 6 changes, mainly focused on the thin virtual disk XCOPY enhancements
- UNMAP changes, block counts, performance and in-guest support (EnableBlockDelete)
Both documents are also updated for FlashArray//m, but it is mainly a cosmetic change as nothing really changes for the VMware environment, no recommendations are changed. Of course the documents are also cleaned up and re-arranged to be more reader friendly with a semi-new format as well.
Important! If you have old versions of these documents, delete them! These get updated frequently (a few times a year at least) and these changes can be important. When needing to refer to the guides, please check back to the Pure Storage community for the latest version.
Enjoy! As always feedback on these documents is ALWAYS welcome.
I recently was doing some troubleshooting for a customer that was using my UNMAP PowerCLI script and discovered a change in ESXi 5.5+ UNMAP. The issue was that the script was taking quite a while to complete. After some logic optimizations and increasing timeouts the script was sped up a bit and less timeout errors occurred, but a bunch of the UNMAP operations were still taking a lot longer than expected. Eventually we threw our hands up and said it was good enough. A bit more recently, I was testing a 3rd party UNMAP tool and ran into similar behavior so I dug into it a bit more and found some semi-unexpected changes in how UNMAP works, specifically the behavior when leveraging non-default block iteration counts. (more…)
One of the few hard requirements we make to configure best practices on ESXi for the FlashArray is to create a SATP rule. A SATP rule simply describes a certain configuration (mainly around multipathing) for a specific set of devices (usually devices from an array). For the FlashArray, this rule consists of making sure devices are using Round Robin and an I/O operations limit of 1.
esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s VMW_SATP_ALUA -V PURE -M FlashArray -P “VMW_PSP_RR” -O iops=1 -e “FlashArray SATP Rule”
I wanted to let people know about a fun contest we just started today at Pure Storage for our customers to get involved in that was the brainchild of my esteemed coworker Barkz. In our GUI (also visible when you login to the array CLI) there is a login banner you can create to greet you, or warn you as the case may be. The banner is just an ASCII text box, but we have had a few customers create some cool banners in the form of ASCII images.
In Part 1 of this two-parter, I spoke about our new CLI-based I/O Balance tool customers can use to verify that the I/O coming from their host is balanced across the paths that are configured.
We also have made some enhancements in the GUI for host connectivity reporting. There has been a screen inside the System tab of the FlashArray GUI that reports on the redundancy of host connections to the FlashArray for awhile now:
In the latest GA release of Purity, version 4.1.5, there have been some nice improvements in how we handle host connectivity/balance reporting. There is a new CLI command to monitor the balance of I/O from a host standpoint as well as how we report/display host connectivity in the FlashArray web GUI. Let’s take a look at these enhancements. In Part 1, I will talk about the CLI enhancement.
The Pure Storage Management Pack for VMware vRealize Operations Manager version 1 is now out! Download it here. This is the latest in our aggressive 2015 roadmap of VMware management integration, whether that be integration point that are new or updated.
So first, what is a management pack? A management pack is a plugin of sorts that can be installed into vRealize Operations Manager (vROPs) that provides context and relationships to existing objects inside vROPs. How these objects are related depends on what the pack represents. In the case of Pure Storage, the pack relates VMware objects, such as VMs and datastore to volumes on a particular FlashArray. This in addition to FlashArray host groups and hosts. (more…)
Quick post here. I have been working with some customers lately to work on reclaiming guest space inside of their Windows 7 desktops in a VDI environment and for the most part worked through the standard procedures. Removing files in temp folders, ensuring the recycling bin was empty and then running sDelete to reclaim the space.There was still a build up of space though. Now mind you this is a persistent desktop, so how much this matters and the like changes if the desktops are linked clones or use SE Sparse. (more…)
Last week Pure Storage introduced the latest iteration in the FlashArray product line: the FlashArray //m. While Pure Storage has traditionally focused on software innovation from a technical standpoint, we decided that the only way to stay ahead of (and lead) the curve was to innovate in the hardware realm as well. Therefore, for the last few years, development on producing a hardware platform that could keep up with compute and storage speed and capacity leaps has been at full tilt. This produced the brand new FlashArray //m.
I was recently asked how to query SRM for protected VMs and I decided it would make a good quick blog post. There is a great post here on using PowerCLI with SRM, but it doesn’t show the information to return per virtual machine information by default. Needs a bit more.
All it returns is a SRM-based virtual machine ID which doesn’t relate to what a user is probably looking for (a virtual machine name). So it needs a few more simple steps. The following script which can be found on my GitHub page here that does the following things:
- Connects to a vCenter
- Connects to SRM
- Creates a log folder with a time stamp in the name
- Iterates through each Protection Group
- Logs every virtual machine in that protection group