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VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part II

Virtual SAN ObserverIn the first installment of the Virtual SAN Performance Testing series, we reviewed benchmarking performance using synthetic I/O generation tool Iometer, automated by the VMware I/O Analyzer appliance. Using Iometer, or other synthetic I/O generation tools is frequently the first option for benchmarking selected, as it is an operationally light weight method to benchmark storage performance. But what if you want to be able to simulate real world workloads within your Virtual SAN cluster, without the burden of building out applications. That is where I/O trace files can come into play.

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SRM install error: Failed to Clear Inventory Service Registration

If you see this message during an SRM 5.8 upgrade, chances are you are doing what is a moderately rare type of an SRM install that has caused you some problems.

The given scenario that will lead to this situation:

  • You had a previous SRM install
  • You uninstalled SRM but left the old SRM database in place
  • You have installed a new vCenter and inventory service (or simply wiped and refreshed the inventory service database itself)
  • You are installing a new SRM instance
  • You chose to overwrite the SRM database as part of the new install

This was the scenario that brought me to run into the error “failed to clear inventory service registration” at the end of the SRM install.  Retrying does nothing, and the only option is to cancel the install and roll back.

So why is this?

SRM tries to handle inventory service registration intelligently; in this case since it has found an existing database, the assumption is that you have re-installed SRM, but it knows nothing about the vCenter/IS components.  SRM stores its UUID in its database, and then registers to inventory services with that UUID.  If you were to reinstall SRM, the old UUID registered to IS would no longer be valid, so during our current situation it tries to remove the old registered UUID in order to use the new one with IS, the one it is putting into its new database.

In this scenario, what has happened is that when overwriting the SRM database during the install, SRM has tried to clean up the old SRM registration to Inventory Services by removing the UUID found in the old database.  It does this to avoid conflicting SRM registrations in IS (e.g. if you were simply re-installing SRM alone.)

Since, however, you have a new vCenter and/or a new inventory service, that old UUID is no longer present, and the SRM install fails as it cannot find and unregister the UUID from IS that it finds in the old SRM database.

The solution can be one of two:

  1. Retain the old SRM database instead of overwriting it.  This may lead to some cleanup activities you’ll need to do if you purposefully needed to get rid of the old database information (which presumably is why you were overwriting it in the first place!).
  2. Wipe out the SRM database before doing your install and start with a clean slate, instead of overwriting it.  This is probably the easiest, and given that you were going to overwrite it anyway just takes a few moments up front.

This is likely a rare sort of scenario where you’re starting from scratch with everything but the SRM database. Most likely you’ll come across this in a lab/testbed environment where you run through installs and upgrades on a regular basis.

So not a big deal, but hopefully this helps save someone the time that it took me to find it!

 

Myth versus Math: Setting the Record Straight on Virtual SAN

By Jim Armstrong

It seems hard to believe to me but it was just six short months ago that we officially launched our Virtual SAN product. I spent the months leading up to the launch and the months since learning about Virtual SAN and the storage market at large and since our launch I have watched as others shared their opinions of our product. By now, I have seen some common areas where people make key mistakes about how Virtual SAN works. What I’d like to do is discuss some common misconceptions about Virtual SAN and hopefully along the way help folks understand what sets Virtual SAN apart from other seemingly similar technologies.

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VMware Virtual SAN Observer Offline Mode

Virtual SAN Observer

The VMware Virtual SAN Observer is currently the best monitoring and troubleshooting tool for Virtual SAN that is available today. The tool is utilized for monitoring performance statistics for Virtual SAN live or offline.The Virtual SAN Observer UI depends on a couple of JavaScript and CSS libraries (JQuery, d3, angular, bootstrap, font-awesome) in order successfully display the performance statistics and their information.

These library files are access and loaded during runtime when the Virtual SAN Observer page is rendered. The tool requires access to the libraries mentioned above in order to work correctly. This means that the vCenter Server requires access to the internet. This requirement can potentially present a challenge in secured environments where applications with access to the internet is not be a practical form of operation and its not allowed.

Many vSphere admins have encountered this issue. In particular, those supporting secured environments. In order to overcome this issue, the vCenter Server Appliance can be modified so that it can access the required files and library locally. Continue reading

VMware Virtual SAN: Storage for the Software-Defined Data Center

VMware Virtual SAN delivers storage that’s as nimble as a VM. It’s a key part of VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center initiative and helps enterprises realize the benefits of virtualization for storage. Virtual SAN abstracts and pools server side disk and flash to deliver high-performance, agile storage for virtual environments. Virtual SAN does for storage what vSphere did for compute.

At VMware, innovation is a constant – and Virtual SAN is a product of that innovation. It’s being viewed as an industry “game-changer” that can redefine how enterprises buy storage. As part of the VMware vision for Software Defined Storage, Virtual SAN offers customers a new storage solution, one that’s purpose built for the agile, dynamic vSphere environments our customers depend upon.

Listen to Gaetan Castelein, VMware’s Sr. Director of Storage and Availability, explain the benefits of VMware Virtual SAN.

We’re excited to share our radically simple shared storage solution with you. To learn more about how VMware Virtual SAN can increase your IT agility, visit our Virtual SAN homepage, our VMware Virtual SAN blog, and follow our @vmwarevsan handle on Twitter.

vSphere Data Protection Linux File Level Restore

Both editions of VMware vSphere Data Protection – VDP and VDP Advanced – feature the ability to perform a file level restore (FLR) with nothing more than a Flash-enabled web browser. There is no need to install additional backup software, an agent, etc. VMware Tools is required, but this is present in nearly all virtual machines (VMs) by default. FLR works for Windows and Linux VMs. After a moment, you may be thinking that using a web browser is no big deal with Windows – most Windows VMs have at least one web browser installed already – however, that is not the case with Linux VMs. So how can we work around that? Let’s dig in…

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Three Keys to Fast, Affordable IT in an Always-On World

In today’s data centers, three trends drive the need for new approaches to the management of IT systems: the expectation for always-on IT services, rapidly growing infrastructure, and limited IT budgets.

While any one of these trends creates challenges for your IT team, the combination of them makes it clear that the status quo is no longer acceptable when it comes to managing your IT systems. To meet the new expectations for your IT organization, you need to think about new ways of doing things.

That’s the idea behind VMware® vSphere® with Operations Management™. It combines the capabilities of the world’s most trusted virtualization platform with new tools for managing and optimizing your IT environment.

indexSpecifically, vSphere with Operations Management gives you three essential keys for meeting the high expectations for IT in the era of the always-on business:

  • Tools to enhance performance monitoring and accelerate troubleshooting so you can better meet your service level agreements
  • Tools to optimize use of your current capacity to increase ROI and reduce the need to buy new hardware
  • Tools to simplify backup and replication to improve system availability and business continuity

Years ago, you would have had to buy several products to gain all of these capabilities. Today, you can get them all in a single package based on a virtualization platform you know and trust.

For a closer look at this topic, and the tools you need to stay on top of today’s data center challenges, register to download our new quick guide “Three Ways to Achieve Fast and Affordable IT in an Always-On World.”

Using vSphere 5.5U2 Client to edit the settings of virtual machines of version 10 or higher

With vSphere 5.5 Update 2, you have the ability to edit a Virtual Hardware 10 VM using the vSphere Client (a.k.a C# or thick client). You are able to edit hardware version 9 and 10 VMs, but only on the feature level of hardware version 8.

Now, the KB is updated with this information. Check out KB 2061336 

Here are the list of properties that are editable

      • Increase RAM
    • Decrease RAM
    • Change network port group
    • Remove devices
    • Increase vCPU
    • Decrease vCPU
    • Mount ISO
    • Increase disk space
    • Set a limit
    • Remove a limit
    • Set a reservation
    • Remove a reservation
    • Edit advanced settings

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Editing of virtual machine 10 features from vSphere Client viz AHCI for SATA support(Advanced Host Controller Interface) or SATA as controller supported on CD-rom or Virtual disk are not supported. Such change to devices will have to be done through vSphere Web Client only.

Get vCenter 5.5 Update 2 at download page

 

VMware Virtual SAN Performance Testing – Part I

Virtual SAN ObserverAs people begin to assess, design, build, and deploy VMware Virtual SAN based solutions for the first time, there is great curiosity in understanding the performance expectations to have,  and results one can achieve when utilizing Virtual SAN in specific configurations. Most customers are running some type of benchmark in proof-of-concept environments in order to gauge the performance of VMware Virtual SAN in their environment. In working with customers and partners, we have seen a variety of methods used in attempting to benchmark and analyze Virtual SAN performance. In order to ease this process, we are developing guidance on how best to perform performance testing on Virtual SAN. This guidance will be presented in a  four part series as follows:

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Site Recovery Manager 5.8 is now GA – What’s new?

Yesterday VMware announced the GA of Site Recovery Manager 5.8. There are a number of great additions and improvements and I’m going to cover them here briefly.

Full Web Client Integration

SRM-Site-Summary

The most visible change is that SRM 5.8 is fully integrated as a plug-in with the vSphere Web Client. In addition to not having to use two different interfaces to manage your environment improvements were also made to a few workflows making it easier and simpler to map arrays, networks, folders, etc by having SRM handle the reciprocal instead of having to do it manually.

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