Home > Blogs > VMware vSphere Blog > Tag Archives: VMware

Tag Archives: VMware

6 Nifty And Versatile Tools To Get You Started With VMware Virtual SAN

I was so excited to see that the Hands-On-Labs (HOL) had finally been updated to Virtual SAN 6.2 that it prompted this blog. I just couldn’t stop at HOL! The VMware storage & availability team offers many other nifty tools to get you started with VMware Virtual SAN. If you haven’t yet, check out these 6 tools to get you on the path to hyper-convergence.


1] Virtual SAN Product Walkthrough

This is a simple and easy way to get your feet wet. This series highlights features and benefits of Virtual SAN 6.1 including how to enable Virtual SAN, how to create and assign a storage policy and Virtual SAN’s resiliency to host failures. A major plus is that the interface is very simple to use and navigate.


2] Virtual SAN Hands-On-Labs (HOL)now updated to Virtual SAN 6.2

HOL-LOGOHands-on Labs are the fastest and easiest way to test-drive the full technical capabilities of Virtual SAN. These evaluations are free, up and running on your browser in minutes, and require no installation. We’re excited that the HOL has been updated to Virtual SAN 6.2. This lab contains new features including erasure coding (RAID-5/6), checksum, sparse swap and dedupe/compression. You can also see the new health check views, performance metric views and capacity views.

Also included is a workflow that will guide you through configuring Virtual SAN stretched cluster and remote-office/branch-office (ROBO) implementations, and how these features work with HA to restart VMs in the event of a failure.


Continue reading

Top 5 Virtual SAN Posts From 2016 to-Date

Time doesn’t slow down for anybody, so it’s understandable if you miss some information here and there. Luckily, we’ve got you covered on Virtual Blocks. Take a look back on some of the most popular Virtual SAN posts from the past few months.

What’s New-VMware Virtual SAN 6.2

On February 10th, we announced VMware Virtual SAN 6.2. Updated to include robust space efficiency features by delivering deduplication and compression as well as providing RAID-5/RAID-6 support for all flash Virtual SAN environments. John Nicholson also discusses new extensions to the Virtual SAN Ready Node program.

The Use of Erasure Coding In VMware Virtual SAN 6.2

Christos Karamanolis proves one size doesn’t fit all.  In this blog, he discusses Virtual SAN’s implementation of RAID-5 and RAID-6 and advices customers to evaluate their requirements in order to gain a better understanding of what they need based on their workload.

Introducing The 4th Generation VMware Virtual SAN

Yanbing Li dives into how VMware Virtual SAN continues to build on its principal benefits: simplicity, performance, cost-efficiency, and scalability.

The Road to All-Flash VMware Virtual SAN

John Nicholson talks about why he thinks 2016 will see All-Flash VMware Virtual SAN overtake 10K RPM drive-based hybrid Virtual SAN as the most popular deployment choice.

Virtual SAN Stretch Clusters-Real World Design Practices (Part 1)

Jonathan McDonald gives us a personal account setting up stretch clusters for Virtual SAN. Here, he provides tips that will ensure a flawless experience.

Be sure to subscribe to the Virtual Blocks blog, and follow our social channels at @vmwarevsan and Facebook.com/vmwarevsan for the latest updates.

Virtual SAN 6.2 – Deduplication And Compression Deep Dive

Virtual SAN 6.2 introduced several highly anticipated product features and in this blog, we’ll focus on some of the coolest ones: Dedupe & Compression. These features were requested by VMware customers and I am glad that we listened to the customer. When talking about Dedupe and Compression, one first needs to determine why an organization would want to use Dedupe & Compression and what these features actually do. One of the many reasons for using Dedupe and Compression is to lower TCO for customers. Customers benefit from space efficiency as the Virtual SAN cluster will not utilize as much storage as it would if it was not using Dedupe and Compression, hence saving dollars. It is also important to note that Dedupe and Compression are supported on All Flash Virtual SAN configurations only.

What are Dedupe and Compression?

The basics of deduplication can be seen in the figure below. What happens is that blocks of data stay in the cache tier while they are being accessed regularly, but once this trend stops, the deduplication engine checks to see if the block of data that is in the cache tier has already been stored on the capacity tier. Therefore only storing unique chunks of data.

Pic 1

Continue reading

VMware Virtual SAN: The Technology And Its Future

As discussed in earlier posts, the latest version of Virtual SAN (v.6.2) announced on February 10, 2016 is the biggest release of the product since its debut in March 2014. The list of new features is impressive and makes Virtual SAN very competitive against the most sophisticated storage platforms in the market today. Indeed, with more than 3,000 customers overall and more than 20,000 CPU licenses sold in Q4 2015 alone, Virtual SAN is one of the most widely deployed and mature Software-Defined Storage (SDS) products available.

Virtual SAN is a storage platform – the key software component that enables VMware’s Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) strategy. HCI is a drastically different model of building and operating IT infrastructure. A quick Google search returns the following definition:

Hyperconvergence (hyperconvergence) is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor. Credit: http://searchvirtualstorage.techtarget.com/definition/hyper-convergence-

This new IT architecture has many benefits for the end customer including:

  • Streamlined procurement, deployment and support. Customers can build their infrastructure in a gradual and scalable way as demands evolve.
  • Adaptable software architecture that takes advantage of commodity technology trends, such as: increasing CPU densities; new generations of solid-state storage and non-volatile memories; evolving interconnects (40GB, 100GB Ethernet) and protocols (NVMe).
  • Last but not least, a uniform operational model that allows customers to manage the entire IT infrastructure with a single set of tools.

It is not surprising that according to IDC, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) is the fastest growing segment of the converged (commodity-based hardware) infrastructure market.

Continue reading

Virtual SAN 6.2 Licensing Guide

VMware, the market leader in powering Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), enables the lowest cost and highest performance next-generation HCI solutions through proven VMware Hyper-Converged Software. The natively integrated software combines the marketing-leading VMware vSphere hypervisor, the VMware vCenter Server unified management solution, and radically simple VMware Virtual SAN storage with the broadest and deepest set of HCI deployment choice

Virtual SAN is quite capable of running nearly any virtual server and desktop workload. These workloads run in an ever-increasing number of environments: data centers, remote offices, call centers, retail stores, commercial ships, and the list goes on. A one-size-fits-all licensing model does not cover such a wide variety of use cases so VMware offers Virtual SAN in a few different licensing options.

The Virtual SAN 6.2 Licensing Guide has been created to help customers and partners understand what licensing editions are available, the features included in each edition, the consumption types (per-CPU and per-VM), and the scenarios in which they are used. While it might seem a bit confusing at first, you will hopefully see that the intent was to keep licensing as simple as possible while providing flexible, cost-effective options for a wide variety of implementation scenarios. This guide begins with a quick introduction to Virtual SAN and the license editions available with version 6.2. This is followed by several example scenarios along with a summary that highlights the main items to keep in mind when considering Virtual SAN 6.2 licensing.

Hopefully, this guide clears up any questions you might have around Virtual SAN licensing.


This post originally appeared on the Storage & Availability blog Virtual Blocks and was written by Jeff Hunter. Jeff is a Senior Technical Marketing Architect at VMware focusing on availability solutions. Jeff has been with VMware since 2007. Prior to VMware, Jeff spent several years in a systems engineer role expanding the virtual infrastructures at a regional bank and a Fortune 500 insurance company. Follow him on twitter: @jhuntervmware

Introducing VMware Hyper-Converged Software

VMware Hyper-Converged Software

Powering the industry’s largest Hyper-Converged Infrastructure ecosystem

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) is transforming the way private datacenter infrastructure is being built –see this post for an overview of HCI.  It eliminates the traditional hardware silos of compute, storage and networking, to move all the intelligence into a single software layer running on industry-standard x86 servers.  By doing so, HCI makes private infrastructure a lot simpler, higher performing, and more cost-effective.  In essence, the infrastructure starts looking like the datacenters of web-scale companies such as Google or Amazon.  We’re seeing these benefits play out across thousands of VMware customers that have deployed and expanded their HCI deployments over the past year.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure relies on both great hardware and great software.  The hardware consists of industry-standard x86 building blocks, serving as the foundation for the entire datacenter.  This hardware convergence relies on critical innovations such as flash and faster CPUs.

At the same time – it’s clear that HCI is first and foremost about the software.  Software innovation is what makes HCI possible.  Compute, storage, networking and management are now delivered as software. For storage specifically – this requires a software-defined, distributed, shared storage model with all the data services typically provided by external SAN or NAS – but all delivered as software on the hypervisor.  This distributed software is very hard to build, hence why only a few vendors are able to pull it off.

Let’s introduce you to VMware Hyper-Converged Software

At VMware, we believe we have an incredibly valuable and innovative set of software assets that enables HCI:

  • vSphere is, of course, the most widely deployed and proven hypervisor in the industry. It also delivers basic Virtual Machine networking capabilities with vSphere Distributed Switch.
  • Virtual SAN provides high-performance, enterprise-class shared storage
  • vCenter Server provides unified management across the stack

Continue reading

VMware vSphere Beta – Indicate your interest!

We are excited to announce the upcoming VMware vSphere Beta Program. This program enables participants to help define the direction of the most widely adopted industry-leading virtualization platform.

Folks who want to participate in the program can now indicate their interest by filling out this simple form. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages.

This vSphere Beta Program leverages a private Beta community to download software and share information. We will provide discussion forums, webinars, and service requests to enable you to share your feedback with us.

You can expect to download, install, and test vSphere Beta software in your environment or get invited to try new features in a VMware hosted environment. All testing is free-form and we encourage you to use our software in ways that interest you. This will provide us with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases, enabling us to better align our product with your business needs.

Some of the many reasons to participate in this vSphere Beta Program include:

  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Interact with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learnings

We welcome you to indicate your interest today at: VMware vSphere Beta Interest Capture

Virtualizing SAP HANA Databases Greater than 1TB on vSphere 5.5

VMWorld 2015 Session Recap

I’m almost fully recovered from VMWorld, which was probably one of my busiest and most enjoyable VMWorld’s I’ve had in my 6 plus years at VMware because of the interaction with attendees, customers, and partners.  I’ll be doing a series of Post-VMWorld Blogs focused on my SAP HANA Software-Defined Data Centers sessions but my first blog will cover the misconceptions associated with sizing SAP HANA databases on vSphere. There are many good reasons to upgrade to vSphere 6.0, going beyond the 1TB monster virtual machine limit in vSphere 5.5 when deploying SAP HANA databases is not necessarily one of them.

SAP HANA is no longer just an in-memory database, it is now a data management platform.  It is NOT confined by the size of available memory since the SAP HANA warm data can be stored on disk in a columnar format and accessed transparently by applications.

What this means is the 1TB monster virtual machine maximum in vSphere 5.5 is an artificial barrier. SAP HANA multi-terabyte size databases can be easily virtualized with vSphere 5.5 using Dynamic Tiering, Near-Line Storage, and other memory management techniques SAP has introduced to the SAP HANA Platform to optimize and reduces HANA’s in-memory footprint.

SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering (DT)

SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering was introduced last year in Support Pack Stack (SPS) 09 for use with BW, Dynamic Tiering allows customers to seamlessly manager their SAP HANA disk based “Warm Data” on an Extended Storage Host, essentially placing data which does not need to be in-memory on disk. The guidance SAP gives when using the SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering option for SPS 09 is up to 20% of in-memory data can reside on the Extended Storage (ES) Host, for SPS 10 up to 40% can reside on the ES Host, and in the future up to 70% of the SAP HANA data can reside on the ES Host. So in the future the majority of SAP HANA data which was once in-memory can reside on-disk.

Near-Line Storage (NLS)

In addition to the reduction of the SAP HANA in-memory footprint DT affords customers, Near-Line Storage should be considered as well. With NLS, data is moved outside of the SAP HANA database proper to disk and classified as “Cold”, due to its infrequent accessed and can only be accessed read only. SAP provides examples showing NLS can reduce the HANA database in-memory requirements by several Terabytes (link below).

It is also important to note that both the DT Extended Storage Host and NLS solutions do not require certified servers or storage, so not only has SAP given customers the ability to run SAP HANA in a reduced memory footprint, customers can run on standard x86 hardware as well.

There is a white paper authored by Priti Mishra, Staff Engineer, Performance Engineering VMware, which is an excellent read for anyone considering DT or NLS options. “Distributed Query Processing in SAP IQ on VMware vSphere and Virtual SAN”

Importance of the VMware Software Defined Data Center

To their credit SAP has taken a leadership role with HANA’s in-memory columnar database computing capabilities and as HANA has evolved the sizing and hardware requirements have evolved as well. Rapid change and evolving requirements are givens in technology; the VMware Software Defined Data Center provides a flexible and agile architecture to effectively react to change by recasting compute, network, and storage resources, in a centrally managed manner.

As a concrete example of the flexibility VMware’s Platform provides, Figure 1. illustrates the evolution of SAP HANA from SPS 07 to SPS 09. For customers who would like to take advantage of SAP HANA’s multi-temperature data management techniques but initially deployed SAP HANA on SPS 07 (all in-memory); through virtualization customers can reclaim and recast memory, storage, and network resources in their virtual HANA landscape to reflect the latest architectural advances and memory management techniques in SPS 10.

Figure 1. SAP HANA Platform: Evolving Hardware Requirements

sap hana vmware

Since SAP HANA can now run in a reduced memory footprint, customers who licensed HANA to be all in-memory can use virtualization to reclaim memory and deploy additional virtual databases and make HANA pervasive in their landscapes.

As a general rule, in any rapidly changing environment The VMware Software-Defined Data Center provides an agile platform which can accommodate change and also protect against capital hardware investments that may not be necessary in the future (certified vs. standard x86 hardware). For that matter, the cloud is a good option to deploy any rapidly changing application/database in places like VMware vCloud Air, Virtustream, or Secure-24 just to mention a few.

Virtual SAP HANA Back on track

After speaking with session attendees, customers, and partners, at VMworld about SAP HANA’s Multi-temperature management capabilities, I was happy to hear they will not be delaying their virtual HANA deployments due to the vSphere 6.0 roadmap certification timeline. As I said earlier, the 1TB monster virtual machine maximum in vSphere 5.5 is an artificial barrier. It really is a worthwhile exercise to take a closer look at the temperature of your data, age of your data, and your access requirements in order to take full advantage of all the tools and features SAP provides their customers.

I was also encouraged to hear from many session attendees that my presentation at VMWorld brought the SDDC from concept closer to reality by demonstrating actual mission critical database/application use cases. My future post VMWorld blogs will focus on how I deconstructed the SAP HANA Networks Requirements document and transformed that into a virtual network design using VMware NSX from my desktop. I’ll also cover Software Defined Storage, essentially translating SAP’s Multi-Temperature Storage Options into VMware Virtual Volumes and Storage Containers.

“SAP HANA SPS10- SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering”; (SAP Product Management)

http://www.slideshare.net/SAPTechnology/sap-hana-sps10-sap-hana-dynamic-tiering

“Distributed Query Processing in SAP IQ on VMware vSphere and Virtual SAN”; Priti Mishra, Performance Engineering VMware

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-27533

Blog: Bob Goldsand; “SAP HANA Dynamic Tiering and the VMware Software Defined Data Center”

https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/author/bobgoldsand

 

 

 

Use VSAN Assessment to validate Virtual SAN’s benefits for your organization

Are you experiencing challenges with your current vSphere storage environment (i.e., performance, capacity constraint, complexity, expensive renewals) or just not sure if VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) would be a good fit?

Now VMware partners, SEs, or reps can help you with a free VSAN Assessment.

Continue reading

One Cloud, Any Application – #VMW28days

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 4.11.51 PM

VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 – you heard all about it on February 2nd – you read all about it in our blog post on the vSphere Storage Blog.

 

Still want more?

 

Visit VMware’s One Cloud, Any Application site every day in February to learn more about our products and solutions including software-defined storage, Virtual SAN 6, and Virtual Volumes (VVOLs). With content for IT decision makers and practitioners alike, this site contains everything from technical documentation to infographics, whitepapers, and analyst insights.

 

Stop by today!

 

Also, this Thursday, February 12th, at 11am PST, we would like to invite you to join the software-defined storage CrowdChat! Here, you’ll be able to ask questions directly to VMware storage experts. RSVP today!

 

For more information about VMware Virtual SAN, follow us on Twitter at @VMwareVSAN and Facebook at facebook.com/vmwarevsan.