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Tag Archives: Virtual SAN

Dell, VMware Virtual SAN, and Horizon Whitepaper

VMware Virtual SAN Logo

The Dell Wyse Solutions Engineering group has partnered with VMware’s Software-Defined Storage team to produce an extensive whitepaper detailing the performance of Virtual SAN running Horizon with View on specific Dell platforms. Virutal SAN configurations using two different hardware platforms are documented, with performance results from multiple differing configurations based on SSD and disk group displayed. The paper details results from the following platforms.

 Virtual SAN on the Dell PowerEdge R720

  • Standard: Each host with one SanDisk 400GB SLC SSD  for one diskgroup with 6 HDD.
  • Value: Each host with up to three 200 GB SSD SATA Value MLC (Intel S3700) with up three disk groups and 12 HDDs.
  • Login VSI was used to test performance for each of these configurations, with workload and operations performance results provided for each configuration.

Virtual SAN on the Dell PowerEdge C6220 II

  • High density platform that encompasses four nodes in a 2U enclosure.
  • VMware View Planner was used to validate performance of this platform up to 100 desktops per node, for 400 desktops in a 2U high density enclosure.

For more details on the testing and documented results, download the Dell VMware Virtual SAN for ESXi 5.5 with VMware Horizon View paper today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IBM Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are here!

What is the VMware Virtual SAN team announcing today?

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes continue to gain momentum!  The Virtual SAN product team is excited to launch 5 new Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from IBM.  The IBM Ready Nodes are based on the IBM x3650 M4 and IBM x3550 M4 server series.

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 8.06.00 PM

This takes the total count of Virtual SAN Ready Nodes to 34 including the ones from Cisco (4 Ready Nodes)Dell (3 Ready Nodes)Fujitsu (5 Ready Nodes)HP (10 Ready Nodes), Hitachi (1 Ready Node) and SuperMicro (6 Ready Nodes)

Great!  How can I quote/order the new IBM Ready Nodes?

The IBM  Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are available through IBM Certified Business Partners. If you want to order the IBM System x Ready Nodes, please contact your IBM Sales Representative or Business Partner.

IBM Business Partners can go to IBM PartnerWorld TechLine and select the link to VMware Virtual SAN – then select and download the configuration file using the solution reference number for the IBM Virtual SAN Ready Node solution of interest.

You can also work with your IBM Sales Rep to quote and order the IBM Virtual SAN Ready Node using the same TechLine solution reference number 

Where can I find more details about Virtual SAN Ready Nodes?

Please refer to my previous two posts on this topic, Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – Ready, Set, Go! and New Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from Cisco and Hitachi for more details on Virtual SAN Ready Nodes.

In addition to providing insight into Ready Nodes and the criteria used for classification of Ready Nodes into various solution profiles aligned to customer workloads for Server and VDI, these posts also describe how to quote/order Ready Nodes from specific OEM vendors.

Are there more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from other server vendors to choose from? 

As always, we continuously work with our OEM vendors to build out new Virtual SAN Ready Node offerings.  We will keep you updated as we finalize more.

Watch this space for more details!

 

Horizon View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture

VSAN-VDIHorizon VSAN RA ResultsThe VMware Software-Defined Storage group and VMware End-User computing group has teamed up to  create an in-depth Reference Architecture detailing the performance and configuration of Horizon View on Virtual SAN.

The VMware Horizon with View virtual desktops and Virtual SAN storage reference architecture is based on real-world test scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. It uses Dell R720 PowerEdge rack mount servers with local storage to support a scalable and cost-effective View linked-clone desktop deployment on VMware vSphere 5.5. Extensive user experience and operations testing is documented in the RA.

User experience testing results are highlighted  through Login VSI desktop performance and VMware View Planner performance testing, with both benchmarks demonstrating the linear scalability of Virtual SAN while supporting 100 desktops per node (Virtual SAN supports up to 32 nodes in a Virtual SAN cluster, but 16 nodes is the recommended optimal size for a Horizon on VSAN cluster). The Horizon View  and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture highlights the world-class performance of VDI solutions on Virtual SAN at an extremely low cost.

So download the Horizon View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture today to gain further insight into detailed and extensive results from real-world Horizon on Virtual SAN testing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Managing Virtual SAN with RVC: Part 1 – Introduction to the Ruby vSphere Console

Allow me to introduce you to a member of the VMware CLI family that you may have not yet met, the Ruby vSphere Console, also called RVC for short. The Ruby vSphere Console is a console user interface for VMware ESXi and Virtual Center. You may already know of the Ruby vSphere Console, as it has actually been an open source project for the past 2-3 years and is based on the popular RbVmomi Ruby interface to the vSphere API. RbVmomi was created with the goal to dramatically decrease the amount of coding required to perform simple tasks, as well as increase the efficiency of task execution, all while still allowing for the full power of the API when needed. The Ruby vSphere Console comes free with and is fully supported for both the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and the Windows version of vCenter Server.  Most importantly, RVC is one of the primary tools for managing and troubleshooting a Virtual SAN environment.  

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Build a Business Case for Virtual SAN – Register for the 7/17 Webcast!

Is your business looking to take the next step to software-defined storage?

On July 17th at 10:00 a.m. PDT, we invite you to join us for this VMware Webcast Series on Building a Business Base for VMware Virtual SAN.

Dive into software-defined storage with VMware Virtual SAN, and learn the factors that enable this industry-leading solution to deliver lower TCO. This webcast will include coverage of capital and operational expenditures savings, showcase case studies and outline a framework for building a cost comparison.

To those who are looking to build a business case for hardware independent software-defined storage — complete with built in failure tolerance and more — register for the webcast today!

For more information on VMware Virtual SAN, visit here.

For future updates, follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN.

New Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from Cisco and Hitachi!

What is the VMware Virtual SAN team announcing today?

Further to the initial launch of the new Virtual SAN Ready Nodes two weeks back, the VMware Virtual SAN product team is launching more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes today, this time from leading OEM vendors, Cisco (4 Ready Nodes) and Hitachi (1 Ready Node).

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 6.32.32 PM

We now have a total of 29 Ready Nodes from leading OEMs including the ones we announced two weeks back from Dell (3 Ready Nodes), Fujitsu (5 Ready Nodes), HP (10 Ready Nodes) and SuperMicro (6 Ready Nodes)!  The more, the merrier!

We also have some exciting updates on the Ready Nodes from the other OEM vendors that we released two weeks back!

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Virtual SAN Partner Whitepapers

VSANAs Virtual SAN continues to gain adoption within the industry, VMware is partnering with technology partners to develop and expand Virtual SAN solution guidance on differing platforms. A couple of key Virtual SAN whitepapers have been developed in conjunction with our flash vendor partners Fusion-io and SanDisk.

  • VMware Virtual SAN and Fusion-io Reference Architecture

This provides a step-by-step reference architecture to simplify the process to deploy VMware’s Virtual SAN  technology using Fusion-io as the flash acceleration layer.

http://www.fusionio.com/white-papers/vmware-virtual-san-and-fusion-io-reference-architecture

  • High Performance VDI using SanDisk SSDs, VMware’s Horizon View, and Virtual SAN: A Deployment and Technical Considerations Guide

This whitepaper demonstrates a VMware Horizon View virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) on Virtual SAN, and provides View Planner performance metrics in a 100 desktop per node environment.

http://www.sandisk.com/assets/docs/high-performance-vdi-using-sandisk-ssds-vmware-horizon-view-and-virtual-san.pdf

 

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes – Ready, Set, Go!

What is the VMware Virtual SAN team announcing today?

The VMware Virtual SAN product team is very excited to announce 24 new Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from leading OEM vendors – Dell (3 Ready Nodes), Fujitsu (5 Ready Nodes), HP (10 Ready Nodes) and SuperMicro (6 Ready Nodes)!

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 3.29.34 PM

What is a Virtual SAN Ready Node?  How “Ready” is it?

Virtual SAN Ready Node is a hyper-converged ready-to-go hardware solution sold by server OEMs which has been pre-configured to run the Virtual SAN in a certified hardware form factor.

The Virtual SAN Ready Nodes include unique and optimized combination of hardware components from the OEM, and may also include software from the OEM for vSphere and Virtual SAN. Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are ideal as hyper-converged building blocks for large datacenter environments with strong automation and a need to customize hardware and software configurations.

OEM vendors offer Virtual SAN Ready Nodes that are unique to their server offerings and include optimized combination of hardware components (I/O controller, HDD, SSD) to run Virtual SAN.  In some cases, they also include pre-loaded software for vSphere and Virtual SAN.

So what does a Virtual SAN Ready Node look like?

Virtual SAN Ready Node is a preconfigured ready-to-go hardware solution.  Virtual SAN Ready Node is prescriptive in that it provides the size and quantity of CPU, Memory, Network, I/O Controller, HDD and SSD required to run a VDI or Server workload.

For a detailed list of available Ready Nodes from OEM vendors, please refer to the Virtual SAN Ready Node document

But what if I want to choose my own hardware components for Virtual SAN?

Sure, you can do that using the Build Your Own option on the VMware Virtual SAN Compatibility Guide.  Using this option, you can pick any certified server, I/O Controller, SSD and HDD from your vendor of choice, decide on the quantity of each components and build out your own Virtual SAN solution.

Alternately, if you are interested in a preconfigured and ready-to-go solution which can be procured faster using a single SKU/Reference ID, go for the Virtual SAN Ready Node!

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are also prescriptive and are classified under different solution profiles for VDI and Server use cases so we have made it easy for you to pick the Ready Node that best matches your workload profile requirement.

What are the different solution profiles under which Ready Nodes are classified?  

Virtual SAN Ready Nodes are classified into Low, Medium and High profiles for Server workloads and Full Clone & Linked Clone profiles for VDI workloads.  The solution profiles provide prescriptive hardware recommendations to meet different levels of workload requirements based on the maximum number of VMs (assuming an average instance size for each VM) that can be run per host.

For more details on infrastructure sizing assumptions and design considerations that were made to define sample Ready Node configurations categorized into these solution profiles, please refer to the Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide.   See snapshot of the document below:

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 3.06.27 PM

So how do I choose the right Ready Node for my Virtual SAN?

Visit the VMware Virtual SAN Compatibility Guide website and follow this simple process:

1.  Determine your Virtual SAN workload profile requirement for VDI or Server use case.

2.  Refer to the node profiles and guidance in Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide  to determine the approximate configuration that meets your needs

3. Refer to the Virtual SAN Ready Nodes document to identify preconfigured and ready-to-go Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from OEM server vendors.

The server I want is not on the Ready Node list.  Will it be supported with Virtual SAN?

As long as the server is certified on the VMware vSphere Compatibility Guide, it will work with Virtual SAN and can be selected as part of the Build Your Own option to build out your Virtual SAN even if it is not one of the standard Virtual SAN Ready Node offerings.  This is also true for any certified component like I/O controller, HDD and SSD on the Virtual SAN compatibility guide.

How do I quote/order the Virtual SAN Ready Node from my vendor of choice?

Please contact your OEM sales representative and use the SKU/Reference ID listed for each Ready Node to quote/order the Ready Node from your vendor’s procurement system.

Note: For some of the vendors, the SKUs/Reference IDs are still under works and we expect to get these finalized soon.

Are there more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from other server vendors to choose from? 

Yes, stay tuned.  We have more Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from other server vendors coming soon over the next few weeks.

Watch this space for more details!

Virtual SAN Ready Node & VCG Update

VSANBased on customer and partner feedback, we are in the process providing additional guidance to simplify the workflow of building or choosing a hardware platform for Virtual SAN. The first steps in providing additional guidance will take the form of the following two updates.

The goal of these two updates is to provide a simple workflow allowing a customer to choose a prescriptive Virtual SAN Ready Node configuration from the vendor of your choice, based on either “Server” or “VDI” virtual machine workloads.  Each server vendor (Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, SuperMicro, etc) will provide configurations categorized into either server Ready Nodes (High, Medium, or Low), or VDI specific Ready Nodes (Linked Clone or Full Clone). You can also use the Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide as a starting point to build your own custom Virtual SAN Node, or to retrofit existing server nodes in your data center to utilize Virtual SAN.

Below are more details around the implemented changes.

  • Release of the Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide, found on the VMware Compatibility Guide for Virtual SAN page. Use this guide as your first step toward determining a hardware configuration for Virtual SAN. This document provides sample server configurations as directional guidelines for the hardware choices of a Virtual SAN solution, along with the infrastructure sizing assumptions and design considerations made to create the sample configurations.
  • Ready Nodes are no longer listed under the “Build your Own” section of the VMware Compatibility Guide for Virtual SAN page. The VCG for Virtual SAN “Build your own” section lists IO Controllers, SSDs, and HDDs, which can be paired with any vendor appropriate server on the VCG server page to build a custom Virtual SAN node.
  • The concept of the Ready System has been removed, and replaced by prescriptive Ready Node guidance, categorized into server workload nodes (High, Medium, Low)  or VDI workload nodes (Linked Clone or Full Clone).
  • Ready Nodes will now include prescriptive guidance that provides the size and quantity of CPU, Memory, Network, IO controller, SSD and HDD for a Virtual SAN node, and mapped to sample workload profiles.  This is a major change from the old Ready Nodes,  which were a validated combination of components only, without sizing specifics. The new Ready Nodes provide valuable additional guidance to customers and partners designing and implementing Virtual SAN solutions.

Over the coming weeks, we will be adding a plethora of Virtual SAN Ready Nodes from all your favorite server vendors, categorized into the aforementioned Server or VDI workload categories. And of course, you can still build a Virtual SAN solution today from any VCG supported server, along with components listed on the VCG for Virtual SAN.  So stay tuned, and go Virtual SAN!

 

 

 

Virtual SAN Automatic “Add Disk to Storage Mode” Fails (Part II)

In part 1 of this article, we looked at an interesting scenario in which, despite having the Virtual SAN disk management setting set on automatic, Virtual SAN would not form disk groups around the disks present in the hosts. Upon closer examination, we discovered that the server vendor pre-imaged the drives with NTFS prior to shipping. When Virtual SAN detects an existing partition, it does not automatically erase the partitions and replace it with its own. This serves to protect from accidental drive erasure. Since NTFS partitions already existed on the drives, Virtual SAN was awaiting manual intervention. In the previous article, we displayed the manual steps to remove the existing partitions and allow Virtual SAN to build the disk groups. In this article, we will look at how to expedite the process through scripting.

Warning: Removing disk partitions will render data irretrievable. This script is intended for education purposes only. Please do not use directly in a production environment.

As promised in part 1 of this article, we will demonstrate today how to create your own utility to remove unlocked/unmounted partitions from disks located within your ESXi host. The aim of the script is to provide an example workflow for removing the partitions that insists upon user validation prior to each partition removal. This example workflow can be adapted and built upon to create your own production ready utility.

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