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Tag Archives: Virtual SAN

InfoWorld Review: Virtual SAN Results

When it comes to leading the industry in hyper-converged software-defined storage for virtual environments, VMware Virtual SAN sets the pace.

Armed with hardware provided by Supermicro and Lenovo, Paul Ferrill of InfoWorld put VMware Virtual SAN to the test. Scoring 9.2 out of 10, including two perfect scores for scalability and availability, Virtual SAN earned an “excellent” rating from Ferrill.  His take away: VMware Virtual SAN is a significant step towards the software-defined data center and delivers performance on even moderately priced hardware.

vsaninfoworld1

“VMware’s Virtual SAN represents a significant step toward the stated goal of a software-defined data center,” Ferrill writes. “It’s also somewhat of a “back to the future” experience, with storage moving into the local host machines and away from a centralized and dedicated storage appliance. My testing shows that VSAN is capable of delivering respectable performance on moderately priced hardware. Throw in 10GbE networking and you’ll see impressive results on even the lowest-end hardware configuration.”

Ferrill ran his tests on two systems. The first was on the Supermicro system, which was a SuperSaver SYS-F627R3-R72B+ with four independent nodes a single 4U chassis. The nodes contained two Intel Xeon 2420 CPUS, 256GB of memory, five 2TB Seagate SAS 10K HDDS and one 400GB Intel S3700 Series SATA SSD. The unit also uses two 10GbE and two 1GbE network interfaces. Lenovo sent three ThinkServer RD340 1U servers, each with an Intel Xeon 35-2420 CPU, 64GB of memory, one 1TB Toshiba SAS 7200RPM HDD, one 100GB STEC M161SD2-100UCM SATA SSD, and three 1GbE network interfaces.

As Ferrill notes, creating VSAN clusters on those two setups was simple: install vSphere and vCenter, then check a box in the vCenter Server interface.

“The hardest part may be configuring the disk controllers,” Ferrill said.
If you’re lucky, your disk controller makes JBOD a simple check box item.”

Ferrill said he found that VMware Virtual SAN, especially in a VDI scenario, offers compelling advantages in its initial cost and long-term maintenance. For more details, you can read Ferrill’s review of VMware Virtual SAN here.

For more updates on VMware Virtual SAN and Software-Defined Storage, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN!

VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide

VSAN Network GraphicVirtual SAN is a scale-out hypervisor-converged software-defined storage solution that can scale up to 32 nodes in a cluster. The network serves as the backbone of a Virtual SAN cluster by providing the interconnects between nodes via an Ethernet network topology.

There are many design options when creating a vSphere network design that includes VMware Virtual SAN. Proper network design is critical to ensure the performance and availability of  both your Virtual SAN cluster, and other vSphere services and workloads utilizing the network. A holistic approach that considers all the network services within your vSphere cluster should be taken when planning networking for Virtual SAN. The VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide reviews design options, best practices, and configuration details, including but not limited to the following -

  • vSphere Teaming Considerations – IP Hash vs other vSphere teaming algorithms
  • Physical Topology Considerations – Impact of Spine/Leaf vs Access/Aggregation/Core topology in large scale Virtual SAN clusters
  • Virtual SAN Network Design for High Availability – Design considerations to achieve a highly available Virtual SAN network
  • Load Balancing Considerations – How to achieve aggregated bandwidth via multiple physical uplinks for Virtual SAN traffic in combination with other traffic types
  • Virtual SAN with other Traffic Types – Detailed architectural examples and test results of using Network IO Control with Virtual SAN and other traffic types

For an in-depth detailed review of Virtual SAN Network Design considerations and recommended practices, download the VMware Virtual SAN Network Design Guide today!

Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide

Enabling Virtual SAN, if the environment is configured and ready, is an easy click of the mouse. If the environment is not ready however, the task of troubleshooting a new product, can easily become quite daunting. As we track the issues that have arisen during Virtual SAN deployments, we see that the majority of issues are common from deployment to deployment. The great news here is that these common issues can readily be identified and resolved. The real challenge is getting the information and guidance out into the hands of those who need it, before they actually have need of it.

It is for this purpose I introduce you to, the Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide. This guide began as an internal collection of the most common Virtual SAN deployment troubleshooting scenarios. After receiving a number of requests from our customers, we have decided to publish this guide publicly as well.

The Virtual SAN 5.5 Validation Guide is a collection of common gotchas and recommended practices in spreadsheet form for easy reference and checkoff during the deployment process. There are two sections to this guide, the first section contains validation steps for common issues that can occur during the install process. The second section contains validation steps potentially required during post-install activities. Where possible, it contains both manual steps (vCenter Web Client actions) and CLI steps (RVC, ESXCLI, PowerCLI). These CLI steps can readily be translated into script form for easy automation.

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VMware Unveils New Disaster Recovery and Backup Product Releases; Virtual SAN and Virtual Volumes Featured at VMworld 2014

By Alberto Farronato, director of product marketing, Storage and Availability, VMware

VMworld 2014 will deliver plenty of news, customer testimonials, panels, sessions, demos and more on VMware’s software-defined storage and business continuity products and initiatives. Following are a few show highlights.

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SDS Challenge: Ready to play?

In a previous blog, Rawlinson Rivera highlighted the key events, sessions, group discussions and HOLs from the Software-Defined Storage and Business Continuity teams.

On top of all that, there is one more thing you can do to get the most out of VMworld 2014: You can play CloudCred!

Take your VMworld experience to the next level and play CloudCred – an online gaming platform that allows users to test their cloud knowledge. For VMworld, we’ve built a special contest in CloudCred – the VMworld SDS Challenge.  Attend selected sessions on Virtual Volumes, Virtual SAN, vDPA and Site Recovery Manager, complete labs, and visit product demos at the Solutions Exchange to earn points. Points lead to badges, and every badge earned enters you into a raffle for a Jambox Mini.

The Cloud Cred VMworld SDS Challenge contest badges include:

  • Lab Badge
  • Virtual Volumes Badge
  • Virtual SAN Badge
  • vDPA Badge
  • SRM Badge

Contest starts at 4pm Sunday and runs through 4pm Wednesday. Log on to CloudCred today to set up your account and get ready to play.

We look forward to seeing you at VMworld this year!

Stay tuned to the vSphere blog for the latest information. You can also follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN for more updates. See you in San Francisco!

Get the Latest Session and HOL Schedules for Virtual SAN, Virtual Volumes and More at VMworld 2014!

As many of you know, VMworld is just around the river bend! That means there’s a lot of planning left to do between now and when you get to San Francisco. Luckily, we’re here to help.

As always, there’s a lot to see and do at this year’s VMworld, including learning VMware’s latest and greatest Virtual SAN products and betas. Take a look at the schedules below to see how you can take the next step to learning more!

Virtual SAN – Sessions

Get up to speed with VMware Virtual SAN — our Software-Defined Storage solution designed for vSphere environments. Sessions on vSAN cover everything from building business cases to best practices and a deep dive. Check out one of our previous blogs for more great sessions on storage and availability.

Date/Time

Session ID

Title

8/25/2014

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

STO1809

Virtual SAN 101 and Building a Business Case

8/25/2014

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

STO2521

Virtual SAN Best Practices and Use Cases

8/26/2014

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

STO3098

Virtual SAN Best Practices for Monitoring and Troubleshooting

8/27/2014

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

STO1279

Virtual SAN Architecture Deep Dive

Virtual Volumes – Sessions

VMware’s latest beta program, Virtual Volumes (VVols), will be making an appearance at VMworld. VVols encapsulate virtual disks and other virtual machine files and natively stores them on the storage system. This enables administrators to make manage storage on the granular level, use policy-based management for common storage management and easily provision all the necessary storage for an application.

Date/Time

Session ID

Title

8/25/2014

11:00 a.m. – 12:00p.m.

STO1853-S

Software-Defined Storage: The Transformation of Enterprise Storage Has Begun

8/26/2014

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

STO1963

Virtual Volumes Business Overview

8/26/2014

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

STO1965

Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive

vSphere Site Recovery Manager – Sessions

Discover the latest in vSphere Site Recovery Manager and learn how an automated disaster recovery can help protect your applications. These sessions will cover everything you need to know about vSphere Site Recovery Manager from recovery 101 to our technical deep dive.

Date/Time

Session ID

Title

8/25/2014

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

BCO2394

Site Recovery Manager 101: What’s New and Customer Case Study

8/26/2014

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

BCO1893

Site Recovery Manager and vCloud Automation Center: Self-service DR Protection for the Software-Defined Data Center

8/27/2014

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

BCO2629

Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive

vSphere Virtual Data Protection – Sessions

vSphere Virtual Data Protection protects and backs up your virtual machines and data. VMworld’s 2014 sessions for vSphere Virtual Data Protection will cover the basics of data protection in a virtual world, how it integrates with other VMware offerings and the best practices for VDP.

Date/Time

Session ID

Title

8/25/2014

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

BCO2194

Data Protection for vSphere 101: Keys to Successful Backdrop and Replication in a Virtual World

8/26/2014

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

STO3354

Data Protection for Virtual SAN

8/26/2014

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

BCO1454

Data protection with VDP Advanced – What’s New Technical Deep Dive and Best Practices

Virtual Volumes Demos at Booth:

Of course, VMworld wouldn’t be complete with in-booth demos. This year, among other things, we’ll be demonstrating the advantage of Virtual Volumes (VVols) throughout the expo floor. You can witness how VVols have enabled a variety of companies at the following booths:

  • VMware
  • HP
  • NetApp
  • Dell
  • EMC
  • IBM
  • HDS
  • Nimble
  • Tintri
  • SolidFire
  • Symantec

Hands On Labs

Looking to get your hands on our products? Get some hands-on time and put what you’ve learned to practice at our hands-on labs at VMworld 2014. These exhibits will be available for you to use throughout the show, so be sure to stop on by!

Catalog SKU

Title

Technology/Product

HOL-SDC-1429

VVOL Tech Preview

Virtual Volumes

HOL-SDC-1427

VMware Software-Defined Storage

VSAN, vCAC, SPBM, PowerCLI

HOL-SDC-1408

VMware Virtual SAN 101

VSAN, PowerCLI

HOL-SDC-1405

IT Outcomes – High Availablity and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery

SRM, VR, VDPA

 Join us in San Francisco to talk about all things Virtual SAN! There’ll be a lot more for you to digest as the days draw closer to VMworld 2014, so stay tuned to this blog for the latest information available. You can also follow us on Twitter at @vmwarevsan for breaking updates. See you on the show floor!

VMware Virtual SAN Experts Discuss the Importance and Future of Software Defined Storage

By Alberto Farranato

VMware Virtual SAN is VMware’s simple, cost-effective answer to the historically complex and expensive storage infrastructure enterprise IT teams have faced. As the data created and stored continues to grow at exponential speed, the demand for enterprise storage rises in tandem. The impact on IT is considerable –  complexity, costs, and static management and provisioning common to traditional storage solutions — all combine to inspire IT decision makers to pursue new storage strategies.

To better detail the benefits of VMware Virtual SAN and how software-defined storage promises to be an industry-changing technology, Christos Karamanolis, Chief Architect and Principal Engineer in the Storage and Availability Engineering Organization at VMware, as well as myself, sat down to for a discussion with Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.

Here’s a sample of our conversation:

On Flexibility:

“Today, customers virtualize environments, but also must provision physical storage containers. They have to anticipate their uses over time and have to make an investment up front in resources that they’ll need over a long period of time … Software-defined storage advocates a new model, where application sand VMs [Virtual Machines] are provisioned at the moment that the application needs them. The storage resources that they need are provisioned on demand, exactly for that the application— nothing more or less.” — Karamanolis

On the Virtual SAN Policy Driven Model:

“Virtual SAN is a product that is completely policy driven, and we call it VM-centric or application-centric. The whole management paradigm for storage, when you use Virtual SAN, is predicated around the VM and the policies that you create and you assign to the VMs as you create your VMs as you scale your environment.” — Farronato

On Enterprise Agility and Speed :

“What we really see here is a shift in paradigm about how our customers use Virtual SAN today to enable them to have a much faster turnaround for trying new applications, new workloads, and getting them from test and dev into production, without having to be constrained by the processes and the timelines that are imposed by a central storage IT organization.” — Karamanolis

On customer adoption:

“… it is interesting to see that a technology like Virtual SAN is resonating across several market segments, pretty much all the market segments, and so it expresses a value proposition that is broadly applicable.” — Farronato

On Virtual Desktop Infrastructure:

“…the cost of storage is the main impediment in organization to implement a VDI strategy. With Virtual SAN, as Alberto mentioned earlier, we provide compelling cost proposition, both in terms of the capacity of the storage, as well as the performance you gain out of the storage.” — Karamanolis

There is, of course, much more to VMware Virtual SAN. To learn more, listen to the full BriefingsDirect podcast here.  If you’ll be attending VMworld this year, I invite you to my presentation on Monday, 8/25 at 11am PT, to hear more about the transformation of enterprise storage, session STO1853-S.

Follow VMware Virtual SAN on Twitter at @vmwarevsan or go to our website for whitepapers, technical guides and instructional videos. For more blogs, check out the vSphere Blog.

Redefining Storage Operations with VMware Virtual SAN

Virtual Machines much like physical ones require storage. Storage, on all its forms, is exponentially growing in recent years – almost doubling every other year. With the explosion of storage demands, IT managers are challenged to deliver the same service levels to virtual environments as they do with physical ones.

VMware Virtual SAN uses a unique Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) platform that helps streamline the storage operations and allow for per-VM granular management. Due to this unique property that helps deliver an exceptionally simple storage solution, along with enterprise class performance , VMware Virtual SAN won in its first quarter of availability over 300 customers and 3 different awards. Continue reading

Managing Virtual SAN with RVC: Part 2 – Navigating your vSphere and Virtual SAN infrastructure with RVC

In our first article in this series, we looked at the history, features, and setup of the Ruby vSphere Console. Built upon the Ruby interface to the vSphere API (RbVmomi), the Ruby vSphere Console is a powerful management utility for the vSphere infrastructure, as well as an efficient integration option for third party applications and cli-based automation.

In today’s article, we will begin digging further into the features and usage of the Ruby vSphere Console by leveraging it to explore the vSphere and Virtual SAN infrastructure. Within RVC, the vSphere infrastructure is presented to the user as a virtual file system. This allows us to navigate its managed entities and even execute commands against them as well.

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Managing Virtual SAN with RVC: Part 3 – RVC Usage and Command Syntax

In today’s article, we will be taking a deeper look into the features of the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) by examining its command structure and syntax. With RVC being built in Ruby, and built upon the Ruby interface to the vSphere API (RbVmomi), it serves to offer considerable strengths that we can leverage to expedite operations in our vSphere infrastructures. RVC began its life in VMware Labs as a Fling as a Ruby based CLI for the vSphere infrastructure. VMware Lab “Flings” are really interesting Engineering side projects. As a Fling, RVC became such a considerable tool for VMware Engineering, Support, and others that it was decided to extend its functionality to include support for Virtual SAN environments. RVC has now become a robust CLI for managing vSphere and Virtual SAN infrastructures.

First though, if you need assistance with recommended practices for RVC deployment, or how to login and navigate your vSphere and Virtual SAN infrastructure, please take a look at our first two blog articles from this series.

Managing Virtual SAN with RVC Series:
Part 1 – Introduction to the Ruby vSphere Console
Part 2 – Navigating your vSphere and Virtual SAN infrastructure with RVC

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