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
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
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
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
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
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:
You can get my slides here.
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
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
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:
Continue reading vRealize Orchestrator VVol Workflow Package
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:
- VMFS and thin virtual disks
- VMFS and thick virtual disks
- Thoughts on VMFS Capacity Reporting
- VVols and capacity reporting
- 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 V: VVols and UNMAP