VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part II: VMFS and Thick Virtual Disks

Storage capacity reporting seems like a pretty straight forward topic. How much storage am I using? But when you introduce the concept of multiple levels of thin provisioning AND data reduction into it, all usage is not equal (does it compress well? does it dedupe well? is it zeroes?).

This multi-part series will break it down in the following sections:

  1. VMFS and thin virtual disks
  2. VMFS and thick virtual disks
  3. Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting
  4. VVols and capacity reporting
  5. VVols and UNMAP

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of these in detail, then of course finish it up with why VVols makes this so much better. Continue reading VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part II: VMFS and Thick Virtual Disks

ActiveCluster and vMSC Implementation Guide

Quick post. I have published my ActiveCluster implementation guide for vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC). You can find it here:

https://support.purestorage.com/Solutions/VMware/VMware_and_ActiveCluster_Solutions/Implementing_vSphere_Metro_Storage_Cluster_With_ActiveCluster

ActiveCluster, if you are unfamiliar, is the Pure Storage FlashArray implementation of fully Active/Active replication. Meaning a volume can exist and take write simultaneously from two arrays. No additional hardware or licenses required. Comes with Purity 5.0.0. A main focus, like everything else Pure, is simplicity–that goal has definitely been achieved in my view.

Continue reading ActiveCluster and vMSC Implementation Guide

VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part I: VMFS and Thin Virtual Disks

Storage capacity reporting seems like a pretty straight forward topic. How much storage am I using? But when you introduce the concept of multiple levels of thin provisioning AND data reduction into it, all usage is not equal (does it compress well? does it dedupe well? is it zeroes?).

This multi-part series will break it down in the following sections:

  1. VMFS and thin virtual disks
  2. VMFS and thick virtual disks
  3. Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting
  4. VVols and capacity reporting
  5. VVols and UNMAP

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of these in detail, then of course finish it up with why VVols makes this so much better.

Continue reading VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part I: VMFS and Thin Virtual Disks

vSpeaking Podcast Appearance: VVols

A few week ago I had the chance to stop by VMware HQ and catch up with some good friends at VMware. The highlight of the visit was doing an episode of the vSpeaking Podcast alongside VMware VVol engineering manager Patrick Dirks hosted by Pete Flecha and John Nicholson.

Honored to be on the podcast for the third time, thanks again for having me on Pete and John!

Topic? VVols of course!

Continue reading vSpeaking Podcast Appearance: VVols

Volume matching via the API in Purity 5.0

Core to most scripting with the FlashArray is figuring out what volume is on what FlashArray. Then you proceed to do what you need with it (snapshot, report metrics, whatever).

Traditionally how this was done, at least from a VMware perspective was via the NAA (network address authority). You take this number, which is how ESXi uniquely addresses a volume and slice it up to find the array serial and the volume serial. By matching the section with a particular array serial, you have identified what array owns it. Then you can make the calls to that array.

Details on how this worked are beyond the scope of this post, but you can see this here:

VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part IV: How to correlate a VMFS to a FlashArray volume Continue reading Volume matching via the API in Purity 5.0

Using Postman with the FlashArray REST API

Quick post here.

I received a question today on using the FlashArray REST API with Postman, so I figured I would write a quick walkthrough on how to do it.

Continue reading Using Postman with the FlashArray REST API

ActiveCluster and VAAI

Pure Storage recently offered up support for active/active replication for the FlashArray in a feature called ActiveCluster. And a common question that comes up for active/active solutions alongside VMware is how is VAAI supported?

The reason it is asked is that it is often tricky if not impossible to support in an active/active scenario. Because the storage platform first has to perform the operation on one array, but also on the other. So XCOPY, which offloads VM copying, is often not supported. Let’s take a look at VAAI with ActiveCluster, specifically these four features:

  1. Hardware Assisted Locking (ATOMIC TEST & SET)
  2. Zero Offload (WRITE SAME)
  3. Space Reclamation (UNMAP)
  4. Copy Offload (XCOPY)

Continue reading ActiveCluster and VAAI

Setting Up FlashArray Active/Active Replication (ActiveCluster)

In Purity 5.0 Pure Storage released support for Active/Active replication on the FlashArray. This provides the ability to present the same storage volume simultaneously from two different FlashArrays.

For a good overview, check out this video:

Continue reading Setting Up FlashArray Active/Active Replication (ActiveCluster)

Assigning a VVol VM Storage Policy with vRO

Amidst writing a vMSC guide for our newly-introduced Active-Active replication called ActiveCluster, I have been taking some breaks to finish my vRealize Orchestrator Workflow Package for Virtual Volumes. I posted a starter post recently:

Getting Started with vRealize Orchestrator and VVols

I am almost done with v1, but until then another starter post. Continue reading Assigning a VVol VM Storage Policy with vRO

Announcing Pure Storage FlashArray VVol GA

This is a blog post I have been waiting to write for a long time. We at Pure Storage are pleased to announce that vSphere Virtual Volume support on the FlashArray is officially GA!

The FlashArray now supports running VVols in Purity 5.0.0 and later. The cool thing about the FlashArray is the flexibility of the Purity Operating Environment–so VVols are supported on all FA 400 models (405, 420, and 450), //M models (m10, m20, m50, m70) and FlashArray//X. Continue reading Announcing Pure Storage FlashArray VVol GA

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