I have been talking a lot about Virtual Volumes (VVols) lately with customers and when I describe what they are a frequent response is “oh so basically RDMs then?”. ..
…ugh sorry I just threw up in my mouth a bit…
The answer to that is an unequivocal “no” of course, but the question deserves a thorough response.
So first let’s look at how they are the same, then let’s look at their differences. And not just how they compare to RDMs, but also VMDKs as you traditionally know them.
Continue reading Comparing VVols to VMDKs and RDMs
Virtual Volumes provide a great many benefits, some large, some small. Depending on the VM, recovering a deleted VM could be either of those.
With traditional VMFS, once you have selected “delete from disk” restoring that VM could have been a process. Either restoring from backup or hoping you had a snapshot of the VMFS on the array. Either way, you are probably going to incur data loss, as the last backup or snapshot is unlikely to be from the time right before the deletion.
Let me be VERY clear here. Regardless to the rest of this post, I am not saying once you move to VVols you do not need backup! You absolutely still do. VVols just give you a nice way to do an immediate recovery of the latest point-in-time without having to lose anything, assuming your array support it.
“Wait, did you say delete VM “AD” or VM “80”?”
“Um… definitely not AD that’s our active directory…”
Continue reading Recovering a Deleted Virtual Machine with VVols
As you might have noticed vSphere 6.5 Update 1 just came out (7/27/2017) and there are quite a few enhancements and fixes. I will be blogging about these in subsequent posts, but there is one that I wanted to specifically and immediately call out now.
Round Robin and IO Operations Limit of 1 is now default in ESXi for the Pure Storage FlashArray! This means that you no longer need to create a custom SATP rule when provisioning a new host or adding your first FlashArray into an existing environment. Continue reading NMP Multipathing rules for the FlashArray are now default
Just recently, Rubrik announced their integration with the FlashArray to help backup virtual machines and avoid the common performance penalty incurred during VMware snapshot consolidation. See their announcement here.
Continue reading Rubrik and FlashArray Integration: Why it matters.
I posted a few months back about ESXi queue depth limits and how it affects performance. Just recently, Pure Storage announced our upcoming support for vSphere Virtual Volumes. So, this begs the question, what changes with VVols when it comes to queuing? In a certain view, a lot. But conceptually, actually very little. Let’s dig into this a bit more.
Continue reading Queue Depth Limits and VVol Protocol Endpoints
This is a blog post I have been waiting to write for quite some time. I cannot even remember exactly how long ago I saw Satyam Vaghani present on this as a concept at VMworld. Back when the concept of what is now called a protocol endpoint (more on that later) was called an I/O Demultiplexer. A mouthful for sure. Finally it’s time! With pleasure, I’d like to introduce VVols on the FlashArray!
Continue reading Introducing vSphere Virtual Volumes on the FlashArray
So over the past two years or so I have been talking up vRealize Orchestrator quite a bit. And a fair amount of that conversation was based on the eventual usage of vRealize Automation. While I certainly feel vRA is a GREAT use case for vRO, the usefulness of vRO does not in any way require vRA.
A common question I get is, “hey can you add this feature to the official FlashArray Plugin?”. The answer is often “maybe” or “eventually” but sometimes even “no”. The plugin is centered at the satisfying the majority and therefore sometimes does not exactly meet your requirements.
So with these two things in mind, what is the connection? Well, using vRO (which is FREE when you have vCenter) you can easily build your own. Especially when you install the FlashArray vRO plugin.
I see a couple advantages here:
- Start learning vRO. Using default workflows so you don’t have to “code” anything. Then start with some more customization as you become familiar.
- Provide tailored workflows in the vSphere Web Client
- Interface-agnostic workflows. As you move forward and use the HTML-5 interface, or vRA you don’t have to redo your work.
Continue reading Building your own Web Client Plugin with vRO
A customer pinged me the other day and said they could not see a volume on their ESXi host. Running ESXi version 6.5. All of the normal stuff checked out, but the volume was nowhere to be seen. What gives? Well it turned out to be the LUN ID was over 255 and ESXi couldn’t see it. Let me explain.
The TLDR is ESXi does not support LUN IDs above 255 for your average device.
*It’s not actually aliens, it is perfectly normal SCSI you silly man.
Continue reading ESXi and the Missing LUNs: 256 or Higher
This is all very exciting for me, finally able to really start blogging about VVols in earnest. As you may or may not be aware we (Pure Storage) currently have our VVol implementation in beta. So I can finally start digging into some VVol work. Not going to get into implementation details just yet, but instead a quick walkthrough of importing a VVol snapshot with PowerCLI.
First, enjoy a poorly photoshopped Back To the Future reference:
Continue reading Importing a VVol Snapshot with PowerCLI
The FlashArray Storage Replication Adapter for VMware Site Recovery Manager supports many:many replication since the 2.0 release of the SRA. Use of test failover, failover and reprotect is no different than with 1:1, and nor is the setup of the volumes. The only real difference is how you configure the array managers in SRM. So let’s review how this is done.
Continue reading Multi-site FlashArray Configuration with Site Recovery Manager