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
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
Now that all of the prerequisites are complete, it is time to start creating protection groups and recovery plans.
This is part 3 of this series, the earlier parts were:
Continue reading Site Recovery Manager and ActiveCluster Part III: Creating Protection Groups and Recovery Plans
In my last post, I walked through configuring ActiveCluster and your VMware environment to prepare for use in Site Recovery Manager.
Site Recovery Manager and ActiveCluster Part I: Pre-SRM Configuration
In this post, I will walk through configuring Site Recovery Manager itself. There are a few pre-requisites at this point:
- Everything that was done in part 1.
- Site Recovery Manager installed and paired
- Inventory mappings in SRM are complete (network, folders, clusters, resource pools etc).
- Downloaded and installed the FlashArray SRA 3.x or later on both SRM servers.
Continue reading Site Recovery Manager and ActiveCluster Part II: Configuring SRM
About four years ago, we (Pure Storage) released support for our asynchronous replication and Site Recovery Manager by releasing our storage replication adapter. In late 2017, we released our support for active-active synchronous replication called ActiveCluster.
Until SRM 6.1, SRM only supported active-passive replication, so a test failover or a failover would take a copy of the source VMFS (or RDM) on the target array and present it, rescan the ESXi environment, resignature the datastore(s) then register and power-on the VMs in accordance to the SRM recovery plan.
The downside to this of course is that the failover is disruptive–even if there was not actually a disaster that was the impetus for the failover. But this is the nature of active-passive replication.
In SRM 6.1, SRM introduced support for active-active replication. And because this type of replication is fundamentally different–SRM also changed how it behaved to take advantage of what active-active replication offers. Continue reading Site Recovery Manager and ActiveCluster Part I: Pre-SRM Configuration
vSphere 6.7 core storage “what’s new” series:
A while back I wrote a blog post about LUN ID addressing and ESXi, which you can find here:
ESXi and the Missing LUNs: 256 or Higher
In short, VMware only supported one mechanism of LUN ID addressing which is called “peripheral”. A different mechanism is generally encouraged by the SAM called “flat” especially for larger LUN IDs (like 256 and above). If a storage array used flat addressing, then ESXi would not see LUNs from that target. This is often why ESXi could not see LUN IDs greater than 255, as arrays would use flat addressing for LUN IDs that number or higher.
ESXi 6.7 adds support for flat addressing. Continue reading What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part VI: Flat LUN ID Addressing Support
VVols have been gaining quite a bit of traction of late, which has been great to see. I truly believe it solves a lot of problems that were traditionally faced in VMware environments and infrastructures in general. With that being said, as things get adopted at scale, a few people inevitably run into some problems setting it up.
The main issues have revolved around the fact that VVols are presented and configured in a different way then VMFS, so when someone runs into an issue, they often do not know exactly where to start.
The issues usually come down to one of the following places:
Continue reading Troubleshooting Virtual Volume Setup
- Initial Configuration
- Registering VASA
- Mounting a VVol datastore
- Creating a VM on the VVol datastore
One of the great benefits of VVols is that fact that virtual disks are just volumes on your array. So this means if you want to do some data management with your virtual disks, you just need to work directly on the volume that corresponds to it.
The question is what virtual disk corresponds to what volume on what array?
Well some of that question is very array dependent (are you using Pure Storage or something else). But the first steps are always the same. Let’s start there for the good of the order.
Continue reading PowerCLI and VVols Part II: Finding VVol UUIDs
At the Pure//Accelerate conference this year, my colleague Barkz and I gave a session on data mobility–how the FlashArray enables you to put your data where you want it. The session video can be found here:
In short, the session was a collection of demos of moving data between virtual environments (Hyper-V and ESXi), between FlashArrays, and between on-premises and public using FlashArray features.
Continue reading Data Mobility Demo Journey Part I: Virtual Volumes
In Purity 5.1 there were a variety of new features introduced on the FlashArray like CloudSnap to NFS or volume throughput limits, but there were also a variety of internal enhancements. I’d like to start this series with one of them.
VAAI (VMware API for Array Integration) includes a variety of offloads that allow the underlying array to do certain storage-related tasks better (either faster, more efficiently, etc.) than ESXi can do them. One of these offloads is called Block Zero, which leverages the SCSI command called WRITE SAME. WRITE SAME is basically a SCSI operation that tells the storage to write a certain pattern, in this case zeros. So instead of ESXi issuing possibly terabytes of zeros, ESXi just issues a few hundred or thousand small WRITE SAME I/Os and the array takes care of the zeroing. This greatly speeds up the process and also significantly reduces the impact on the SAN.
WRITE SAME is used in quite a few places, but the most commonly encountered scenarios are: