Tag Archives: VMFS

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

VMware Capacity Reporting Part III: Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting

Storage capacity reporting seems like a pretty straight forward topic. How much storage am I using? But when you introduce the concept of multiple levels of thin provisioning AND data reduction into it, all usage is not equal (does it compress well? does it dedupe well? is it zeroes?).

This multi-part series will break it down in the following sections:

  1. VMFS and thin virtual disks
  2. VMFS and thick virtual disks
  3. Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting
  4. VVols and capacity reporting
  5. VVols and UNMAP

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of these in detail, then of course finish it up with why VVols makes this so much better.

NOTE: Examples in this are given from a FlashArray perspective. So mileage may vary depending on the type of array you have. The VMFS and above layer though are the same for all. This is the benefit of VMFS–it abstracts the physical layer. This is also the downside, as I will describe in these posts. Continue reading VMware Capacity Reporting Part III: Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting

VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part II: VMFS and Thick Virtual Disks

Storage capacity reporting seems like a pretty straight forward topic. How much storage am I using? But when you introduce the concept of multiple levels of thin provisioning AND data reduction into it, all usage is not equal (does it compress well? does it dedupe well? is it zeroes?).

This multi-part series will break it down in the following sections:

  1. VMFS and thin virtual disks
  2. VMFS and thick virtual disks
  3. Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting
  4. VVols and capacity reporting
  5. VVols and UNMAP

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of these in detail, then of course finish it up with why VVols makes this so much better. Continue reading VMware Storage Capacity Reporting Part II: VMFS and Thick Virtual Disks

VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part VI: Mounting a FlashArray VMFS Snapshot

This is part 6 of this 8 part series. Questions around managing VMFS snapshots have been cropping up a lot lately and I realized I didn’t have a lot of specific Pure Storage and VMware resignaturing information out there. Especially around scripting all of this and the various options to do this. So I put a long series out here about how to do all of this.

The series being:

  1. Mounting an unresolved VMFS
  2. Why not force mount?
  3. Why might a VMFS resignature operation fail?
  4. How to correlate a VMFS and a FlashArray volume
  5. How to snapshot a VMFS on the FlashArray
  6. How to mount a VMFS FlashArray snapshot
  7. Restoring a single VM from a FlashArray snapshot

Using vCenter and our Web Client plugin, recovering a snapshot is a pretty straight forward process. So the pre-requisite here is having our Web Client plugin installed and configured. Info on that here. If you want to know the manual steps, scroll down further and the whole process is described in detail that does not use the plugin–just our GUI and vCenter. Continue reading VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part VI: Mounting a FlashArray VMFS Snapshot

Detecting what FlashArray VMFS Volumes Have Dead Space

Another UNMAP post, are you shocked? A common question that came up was what volumes have dead space? What datastores should I run UNMAP on?

My usual response was, well it is hard to say. Dead space is introduced when you move a VM or you delete one. The array will not release the space until you either delete the physical volume, overwrite it, or issue UNMAP. Until vSphere 6.5, UNMAP for VMFS was not automatic. You had to run a CLI command to do it. So that leads back to the question, well I have 100 datastores, which ones should I run it on?

So to find out, you need to know two things:

  1. How much space the file system reports as currently being used.
  2. How much space the array is physically storing for the volume hosting that file system.

Continue reading Detecting what FlashArray VMFS Volumes Have Dead Space

VMFS Capacity Monitoring in a Data Reducing World

A question recently came up on the Pure Storage Community Forum about VMFS capacity alerts that said, to paraphrase:

“I am constantly getting capacity threshold (75%) alerts on my VMFS volumes but when I look at my FlashArray volume used capacity it is nowhere near that in used space. What can I do to make the VMware number closer to the FlashArray one so I don’t get these alerts?”

This comment really boils down to what is the difference between these numbers and how do I handle it? So, let’s dig into this. Continue reading VMFS Capacity Monitoring in a Data Reducing World

What’s new in ESXi 6.5 Storage Part II: Resignaturing

My second post in my vSphere 6.5 series, the first being:

What’s new in ESXi 6.5 Storage Part I: UNMAP

One of the new features from a core storage perspective is a new version of VMFS. In vSphere 6.5, VMware has released VMFS 6, the first major update of VMFS in year (VMFS 5 in 2011). Not earth shattering changes, a lot of pain points have been removed and there has been A LOT of work put into VMFS 6 to improve concurrency of operations and speed up certain procedures. The first thing I want to mention is unresolved volume handling. Continue reading What’s new in ESXi 6.5 Storage Part II: Resignaturing

Automatic VMFS expansion with vCenter SNMP and vRealize Orchestrator

Virtual disk oversubscription is becoming increasingly common and so is allowing people to provision their own VMs. So increasing a datastore capacity is also an increasingly common operation. Because of the performance of flash, merged with ESXi features like VAAI ATS. Expanding a VMFS is easy. Expanding a storage volume these days is easy. But you still have to actually do it. What if I want to automate the process to respond to datastore capacity threshold limits? There are a variety of ways to achieve this. Let’s look at it via vCenter SNMP alerts and vRealize Orchestrator workflows. Continue reading Automatic VMFS expansion with vCenter SNMP and vRealize Orchestrator

Increasing VMFS capacity with vRealize Orchestrator

I am working on adding some functionality to the FlashArray workflow package for vRealize Orchestrator and one of those features is automating the process to increase the capacity of a VMFS volume. The FlashArray potion of that is pretty straight forward but what of the VMFS portion? Not much on the internet directly about this. Luckily using the vCenter SDK with vRO, this is pretty easy. Continue reading Increasing VMFS capacity with vRealize Orchestrator

VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part V: How to snapshot a VMFS on the FlashArray

This is part 5 of this 7 part series. Questions around managing VMFS snapshots have been cropping up a lot lately and I realized I didn’t have a lot of specific Pure Storage and VMware resignaturing information out there. Especially around scripting all of this and the various options to do this. So I put a long series out here about how to do all of this.

The series being:

  1. Mounting an unresolved VMFS
  2. Why not force mount?
  3. Why might a VMFS resignature operation fail?
  4. How to correlate a VMFS and a FlashArray volume
  5. How to snapshot a VMFS on the FlashArray
  6. How to mount a VMFS FlashArray snapshot
  7. Restoring a single VM from a FlashArray snapshot

Continue reading VMFS Snapshots and the FlashArray Part V: How to snapshot a VMFS on the FlashArray