Category Archives: Virtual Volumes

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

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

Troubleshooting Virtual Volume Setup

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:

  • Initial Configuration
  • Registering VASA
  • Mounting a VVol datastore
  • Creating a VM on the VVol datastore

Continue reading Troubleshooting Virtual Volume Setup

PowerCLI and VVols Part II: Finding VVol UUIDs

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

Data Mobility Demo Journey Part I: Virtual Volumes

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:

https://watch.purestorage.com/ondemand/detail/videos/enterprise-applications/video/5778647922001/moving-data-between-cloud-and-on-premises-virtualized-environments?autoStart=true 

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

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

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

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