All posts by codyhosterman

What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part III: Increased Storage Limits

vSphere 6.7 core storage “what’s new” series:

In ESXi 6.0 and earlier, a total of 256 devices and 1,024 logical paths to those devices were supported. While this may seem like a tremendous amount of devices to some, there were plenty who hit it. In vSphere 6.5, ESXi was enhanced to support double both of those numbers. Moving to 512 devices and 2,048 logical paths.

In vSphere 6.7, those numbers have doubled again to 1,024 and 4,096 logical paths. See the limits here:

https://configmax.vmware.com/

Continue reading What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part III: Increased Storage Limits

PowerCLI and VVols Part I: Assigning a SPBM Policy

There are a variety of ways to assign and set a SPBM Policy to a VM. I recently put out a workflow package for vRO to everything VVols and Pure:

vRealize Orchestrator VVol Workflow Package

I also specifically blogged about assigning a policy to a VM with vRO:

Assigning a VVol VM Storage Policy with vRO

How do you do this with PowerCLI? Continue reading PowerCLI and VVols Part I: Assigning a SPBM Policy

What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part II: Sector Size and VMFS-6

vSphere 6.7 core storage “what’s new” series:

In vSphere 6.5, a new version of VMFS was introduced–VMFS-6. A behavior that many noted was that it was not always the default option for their storage. ESXi (unless told otherwise) would default to formatting some storage with VMFS-5. So when you installed ESXi, the default datastore that gets created would be VMFS-5.

The issue with this was that VMFS-5, was well not VMFS-6. Not automatic UNMAP etc. Furthermore, there is no upgrade path besides deleting the file system and then reformatting with VMFS-6. This of course was a bit annoying for many.

Continue reading What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part II: Sector Size and VMFS-6

What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part I: In-Guest UNMAP and Snapshots

vSphere 6.7 core storage “what’s new” series:

Been excited to do this series for awhile! Excited to see vSphere 6.7 released–there is a lot in it.

So as I did for 6.5, I am going to write a few posts on some of the core new storage features in 6.7. This is not going to be an exhaustive list of course, but some of the ones that I find interesting.

Let’s start with UNMAP!

Continue reading What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part I: In-Guest UNMAP and Snapshots

Updated PowerCLI Best Practices Scripts Check/Set

One of our continuing goals at Pure Storage is to simplify your life (when it comes to storage and VMware of course, your personal life is your own thing). So as much as possible, we try to reduce the number of things to set in vSphere to “work” better with the FlashArray. We don’t have configuration options on the array, so if we require you to make some kind of settings change on a host that is opened up as a bug internally at Pure: can we make the array respond/behave in a way that the change isn’t necessary?

As of the latest releases of vSphere (in 6.0 and in 6.5) our multipathing best practices are default (Round Robin and IO Operations Limit of 1). So one less thing.

Though there are a few things depending on your environment that need/should be set. Many of these are by default set correctly, so we merely check for those. A few still however need to be changed.

I have updated my blog post here:

FlashArray VMware Best Practices PowerCLI Scripts

See that for details.

Highlights are:

  • Improved interactivity of scripts
  • Specific cluster support
  • iSCSI setting fixes
  • VMFS-6 support for auto-unmap
  • Improved logging
  • Better PowerCLI module handling
  • Disk.DiskMaxIOSize support

Enjoy!

Tech Preview: vCenter Site Recovery Manager with ActiveCluster

An increasingly common use case for Active-Active replication in vSphere environments is vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) which I wrote about in this paper recently:

https://support.purestorage.com/Solutions/VMware_Platform_Guide/002ActiveCluster_with_VMware/PDF_Guide%3A_Implementing_vSphere_Metro_Storage_Cluster_With_ActiveCluster

This overviews how a stretched vSphere cluster interacts with the active-active replication we offer on the FlashArray called ActiveCluster. Continue reading Tech Preview: vCenter Site Recovery Manager with ActiveCluster

VVol VMUG Webinar Q&A Follow Up

I recently did a VMUG webcast on VVols and there were a ton of questions and unfortunately I ran out of time and could not answer a lot of them. I felt bad about that, so I decided to follow up. I was going to send out emails to the people who asked, but figured it was simpler and more useful to others to just put them all here.

See the VMUG VVol webinar here:

https://www.gotostage.com/channel/13896d6cf6304fddab1a485982c915dc/recording/762f0dccfe1c4406a0e5b58fea449e80/watch

You can get my slides here.

Questions:

Would VVols replace the requirements for RDM’s?

Answer:  Maybe. It depends on why you are using RDMs. If it is simply to allow sharing or overwriting between physical and virtual. VVols will replace RDMs. If it is to make it easier to restore from array snapshots, VVols will replace them. If it is for Microsoft Failover Clustering, VVols are not supported with that yet. You still need RDMs. Though VMware is supposed to be adding support for this in the next release. See this post for more info. Continue reading VVol VMUG Webinar Q&A Follow Up

Required vCenter Permissions for Registering a VVol VASA Provider

I’ve had a few customers ask me what are the minimum vCenter permissions required to register a VVol VASA provider. The use case is, I want my storage admin to be able to do it, but I don’t want them to do anything else.

While this can be done in a very slick way with vRealize Automation (more on that in a later post), this can be done with standard vCenter permissions too. Continue reading Required vCenter Permissions for Registering a VVol VASA Provider

What is the latency stat QAVG?

I wrote a blog post a year or so ago about ESXi and storage queues which has received a lot of wonderful feedback (thank you!!) and I eventually turned it into a VMworld session and other engagements:

So in the past year I have had quite a few discussions around this. And one part has always bothered me a bit.

In ESXI, there are a variety of latency metrics:

  • GAVG. Guest average. Sometimes called “VM observed latency”. This is the amount of time it takes for an I/O to be completed, after it leaves the VM. So through ESXi, through the SAN (or iSCSI network) and committed to the array and acknowledged back.
  • KAVG. Kernel average. This is how long an I/O is spending in the ESXi kernel. If this is anything but zero, there is some kind of bottleneck (often a maxed out queue)
  • DAVG. This is how long it takes for the I/O to be sent from host, through the SAN and to the array and acknowledged back.

Continue reading What is the latency stat QAVG?

vRealize Orchestrator VVol Workflow Package

Ok finally! I had this finished awhile ago, but I wrote it using our version 2.0 plugin–so I couldn’t post it until the plugin was certified by VMware. That plugin version is now certified and posted on the VMware Solution Exchange (see my post here).

Moving forward, we will likely be posting new workflows in various packages (working on an ActiveCluster one now), instead of including them directly in our plugin. This will make it easier to update them and add to them, without also having to generate an entire new plugin version.

So first, download and install the v2 FlashArray plugin for vRO and then install my workflow package for VVol on the VMware Solutions Exchange:

https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/flasharray-vvol-workflow-package-for-vro-1-0?ref=search 

Continue reading vRealize Orchestrator VVol Workflow Package