Semi-transparent failover with VMFS and Active/Passive Replication

So in a blog series that I started a few weeks back (still working on finishing it), I wrote about managing snapshots and resignaturing of VMFS volumes. One of the posts was dedicated to why I would choose resignaturing over force mounting almost all of the time.

An obvious question after that post is, well when would I want to force mount? There is a situation where i think it is a decent option. A failover situation where the recovery site is the same site as the production site, in terms of compute/vCenter. The storage is what fails over to another array. This is a situation I see increasingly common as network pipes are getting bigger.

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Pure Storage is hiring! Looking for a VMware Solutions Architect

We are hiring! The VMware-related work is rocking at Pure Storage and I need your help! We have a new position opened up for a counterpart to me, a VMware-focused Solutions Architect. Apply here:

A Solutions Architect means a lot of different things, depending on where you are, so let me outline what it means at Pure Storage.

  • Responsible for figuring out best practices, this means settings, recommendations, features to use or not use etc. This requires knowledge of the whole IT stack and the ability to test and defend these decisions
  • Working with engineering and product management to scope, design and test integration. This could be anything from scripting modules to plugins to SCSI support
  • Working with customers to understand requirements and the general needs of your focus area, this is REALLY important. Our SA team has a lot of input on direction when it comes to partner work at Pure Storage, so this input and the ability to define it accurately is paramount
  • Presenting skills. This might be executive briefings, trade shows, customer events, internal events, webcasts anything. You will present PPTs, video demos, live demos etc.
  • Scripting. Often scripting help is asked by our customers and SAs often help step in to assist with fundamentals
  • Blogging, social media. We want our SAs to be active online and seen as resources for information. YouTube videos, GitHub. You name it.
  • Writing. Like blogging, documentation is important. White papers and reference architectures come up a lot. Good technical writing skills is required.
  • Investigation. We want you playing with new software and hardware, finding helpful features, figuring out how things work, helping identify issues. A lot of projects are, hey here is software A and software B. See what can be done to combine the two. Curiosity is a must.
  • Work independently and be a leader. A SA here is very rarely told what to do at Pure Storage, it is often up to them to decide what they need to be doing. This is a nice freedom, but a big responsibility. Certainly plenty of tasks are assigned, but a big portion of your work is self-defined.
  • Travel. How much is somewhat up to you. Major tradeshows, Pure User Groups are a semi-requirement. Everything else is up to you.
  • Support. We have an amazing support organization, but every so often you will help with troubleshooting or implementation.
  • Pre-sales and post-sales support. Presenting once again, WebEx demos, etc. A solid amount of this.

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ZeroedThick or EagerZeroedThick? That is the question.

Having a best practices conversation the other day with a customer and the usual topic came up about any recommendations when it comes to virtual disk type. We had the usual conversation thin or thick, the ins and outs of those two. In the end it doesn’t matter too much, especially with some recent improvements in ESXi 6.0. The further question came up, well what about between zeroedthick and eagerzeroedthick? My initial reaction was that it doesn’t matter for the most part. But we had just had a conversation about Space Reclamation (UNMAP) and I realized, actually, I did have a big preference and it was EZT. Let me explain why.

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FlashArray Workflow Package for vRealize Orchestrator

I just put the finishing touches on my workflow packages for the Pure Storage FlashArray for VMware vRealize Orchestrator! Download it here:

Three important notes on this package:

  1. This is not officially supported by Pure Storage yet, I made this, not our engineering. Treat this like a VMware Fling. We support the underlying REST calls of course, but cannot guarantee support directly on the package (I will supply best effort). We will analyze demand for this though hopefully release a fully supported one in the future. If you like it, or want more, or more frequent updates, please let us know!
  2. This is open source, when you import it, you can edit it all you want, this is not locked down. Though I advise copying a given workflow to a new one so you can edit it and keeping the originals unchanged. This makes troubleshooting easier.
  3. Contribute! Please post your own additions and changes on Github or our community. Let’s see what everyone can do.

The workflow has been tested with vRealize Orchestrator 6.0.3 and 7.0. It should work with older versions as long as they have the REST plugin. From the FlashArray perspective, it requires any Purity version that runs the REST API 1.4 or later. Nothing else really matters, it supports both the 400 series and FlashArray//m.

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