Category Archives: VMware

Updating a volume group name on the FlashArray for VVols

The FlashArray implementation of Virtual Volumes surfaces VMs on the FlashArray as standard volume groups. The volume group being named by the virtual machine name. Each VVol is then added and removed to the volume group as they are provisioned or deleted. These objects though are fairly flexible–we do not use the volume group as a unique identifier of the virtual machine–internally we use key/value tags for that.

The benefit of that design is that you can delete the volume groups, rename them, or add and remove other volumes to it. Giving you some flexibility to group related VMs or whatever your use case might be to move things around, without breaking our VVol implementation.

Continue reading Updating a volume group name on the FlashArray for VVols

PowerCLI and VVols Part VI: Running a Test Failover

This post I will talk about using PowerCLI to run a test failover for VVol-based virtual machines. One of the many nice things about VVols is that in the VASA 3.0 API this process is largely automated for you. The SRM-like workflow of a test failover is included–so the amount of storage-related PowerShell you have to manually write is fairly minimal.

Continue reading PowerCLI and VVols Part VI: Running a Test Failover

Announcing: Pure Storage Cloud Block Store for AWS

One of the fundamental features of the operating environment running on the FlashArray™ is the fact that the same software can run on many different hardware implementation of the FlashArray. This is one of the reasons that we can offer hardware Non-Disruptive Upgrades or when we introduce new features (even things as expansive as VVols) we can support it on older hardware. We support VVols going back to the FA 420-an array that was introduced before I joined Pure Storage® 4.5 years ago.

Furthermore, we have been having increasing conversations around the public cloud. Not just running applications in it, but moving data to and from it. DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) is an increasingly talked about use case. VMware Cloud in AWS is getting more and more attention at VMworld, and in general. We, at Pure get it. Will everything go to public cloud? No. Certainly not. Will everything stay on-premises? Also, of course not. Some customers will. Some will not at all. Many (most?) will use both in some capacity. So enabling data mobility is important.

Continue reading Announcing: Pure Storage Cloud Block Store for AWS

1.1.0.2 Release of the Pure Storage VMware PowerShell Module

I have released a new version of the VMware/Pure PowerShell module which can be automatically installed from the PowerShell Gallery.

Pure Storage PowerShell VMware Module

Updates in this release are focused on VVols. Creating VVol snapshots, copying them, creating new disks from them, retrieving them etc.

Version 1.1.0.2

I wrote a blog post below on using some of the new cmdlets:

PowerCLI and VVols Part V: Array Snapshots and VVols

Continue reading 1.1.0.2 Release of the Pure Storage VMware PowerShell Module

PowerCLI and VVols Part V: Array Snapshots and VVols

Another post in my series on VVols and PowerCLI, for previous posts see these:

This post will be about managing one-off snapshots with VVols on the FlashArray with PowerCLI.

One of the still semi-valid reasons I have seen DBAs say “I dont want to virtualize because…” Is that they have simple snapshot/recovery scripts for their physical server that allows them to quickly restore DBs from snapshots. Doing this on VMFS requires A LOT of coordination with the VMware layer.

So they tell the VMware team–“okay I will virtualize but I want RDMs”. Well the VMware team says “well we’d rather die”

…and around in circles we go…

VVols provides the ability to provide this benefit (easy snapshot stuff) but still get the benefits of VMware stuff (vMotion, Storage vMotion, cloning, etc) without the downside of RDMs.

So let’s walk though that process.

Continue reading PowerCLI and VVols Part V: Array Snapshots and VVols

Latency Round Robin PSP in ESXi 6.7 Update 1

This is my first (but certainly not last post) on the new path selection policy option in vSphere 6.7 Update 1. In reality, this option was introduced in the initial release of 6.7, but it was not officially supported until update 1.

So what is it? Well first off, see the official words from my colleague Jason Massae at VMware here:

https://storagehub.vmware.com/t/vsphere-storage/vsphere-6-7-core-storage-1/vsphere-6-7-u1-enhanced-round-robin-load-balancing/

Why was this PSP option introduced? Well the most common path selection policy is the NMP Round Robin. This is VMware’s built-in path selection policy for arrays that offer multiple paths. Round Robin was a great way to leverage the full performance of your array by actively using all of the paths simultaneously. Well…almost simultaneously.

Continue reading Latency Round Robin PSP in ESXi 6.7 Update 1

VMware & Pure Integration Training Videos

A few months back I was reviewing our VMware training for our field (and after some direct feedback) realized it wasn’t really doing what our field needed. It was too nuts and bolts technical–which isn’t really what was needed by the masses. There was more of a desire to understand the value of the VMware product, the value of the integration and the value that we as Pure can bring to it.

The ones that wanted/needed more technical training could get that as needed.

In short, what they wanted to be able to do was have the “I’m staffing a booth at a conference and someone asks me about vRealize Orchestrator”. Not being an expert in the product, how to do I quickly understand the value, so I know if I am chasing the right product/solution and I should inquire further.

There are so many options out there, the “why” sometimes can be the most important question. Continue reading VMware & Pure Integration Training Videos

Growing a VMFS datastore with PowerCLI

I am working on my PowerShell module for Pure/VMware operations and one of the cmdlets I am writing is for growing a VMFS. When perusing the internet, I could not find a lot of direct information on how to actually do this. There is not a default cmdlet for doing this.

The illustrious Luc Dekens talks about this problem here and even provides a great module for doing this:

http://www.lucd.info/2016/07/29/vmfs-datastores-expand-and-extend/

If you just need want to run a quick script you can use that. If you want to write it yourself here is a quick overview of what you need to do. I am talking about a specific use case of:

  • I have a datastore on one extent and that extent exists on a LUN (or device or volume or whatever you want to call it) on an array. That LUN has been grown on the array.
  • I want to grow the VMFS  to use the new capacity and not create a new extent, just grow it.

Continue reading Growing a VMFS datastore with PowerCLI

PowerCLI and VVols Part IV: Correlating a Windows NTFS to a VMDK

My last post in this series was about getting a VVol UUID and figuring out what volume on a FlashArray it is. But what about the step before that? If I have a guest OS file system how do I even figure out what VMDK it is?

There is a basic option, which can potentially be used, which is correlating the bus ID and the unit ID of the device in the guest and matching it to what VMware displays for the virtual disks.

But that always felt to me as somewhat inexact.  What if you accidentally look at the wrong VM object and then do something to a volume you do not mean to? Or the opposite?

Not ideal. Luckily there is a more exact approach. I will focus this particular post on Windows. I will look at Linux in an upcoming one.

Continue reading PowerCLI and VVols Part IV: Correlating a Windows NTFS to a VMDK

Virtual Volumes and Array Snapshots Part I: Managed Snapshots

One of the first technical benefits users can enjoy around VVols is the use of snapshotting. Snapshots created through VMware of VMs have always been a point of contention which as severely limited their usability (see a post I did around the performance impact of them here).

With VVols, when you right-click on a VM and choose take snapshot, VMware does not create the performance-impacting delta VMDK files that were traditionally used, but instead VMware entirely offloads this process to the array. So the array creates the snapshots and VMware just tracks them.

But since VMs are now a collection of individual volumes on the array (a VVol is just an array volume) you can also snapshot and restore individual virtual disks as well directly on the array.

So what does all of this mean?

Continue reading Virtual Volumes and Array Snapshots Part I: Managed Snapshots