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Tag Archives: vSphere

Virtual Volumes (VVols) vSphere APIs & Cloning Operation Scenarios

VVolsI’ve been getting a number of questions around vSphere Storage APIs (VAAI and VASA) and Virtual Volumes and how they would interact with arrays that are compliant with both vSphere APIs (VAAI and VASA). So, instead of providing an individual answer to the question I figured it would be best to share with a broader audience since it’s probably something that a lot of people may also wonder about.

Virtual Volumes is based on vSphere Storage APIs – Storage Awareness (VASA) and some of the function of its operations are based on the ability to offloading operations directly to compatible storage arrays. The other vSphere Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI) also provide operation offloading capabilities, especially when it comes to cloning and migration operations. Listed below is the questions asked:

With VVols when a VM is cloned on an array that supports VAAI does VAAI & VASA complement each other or VASA is used for this operation?

That was a loaded question and figured that it would be better to explain and provide some illustrations and specific details  around what happens, because the way in which the cloning operation will work depends on a few facts and scenarios.

Scenario A

When virtual machines are stored on a VVol container, anytime a virtual machine is cloned onto the same VVol container, the system will use the VASA API cloneVirtualVolume and offload the entire clone operation to the array.

VVol-VASA-SC1

Scenario B

If a clone operation is to be performed across different storage containers, in this case the operation may or may not offload the clone operation via the VASA API cloneVirtualVolume. This is all dependent on vendor implementation and environment constraints, for example;

If there is VASA Provider managing two different arrays from the same vendor and each array has a VVol container (VVol-a, and VVol-b), in this case if a clone operation is performed, the system will utilize the cloneVirtualVolume VASA primitive because the source and destination containers are both VVols. Changes are this operation will fail because the VASA provider has no way to offload the clone operation from the source array’s VVol (VVol-a) to the target array’s VVol (VVol-b).

Another example could be an array that has two VVol containers exported, depending on how the containers are configured, the array vendor may or may not be able to perform a MV clone operation across the two VVol containers due to constraints based on the vendors implementation where for example there are two independent VVol groups that are not compatible with one another and that prevents the clone operation from being offloaded across the two.

VVol-VASA-SC02

For both examples, if the VASA call cloneVirtualVolume fails, the system will then fail back to a host-driven mechanism using the bitmap APIs.

If the target does not support this type of workflow, the system will use a host-based bitmap copy (making use of the allocatedBitmapVirtualVolume and/or unsharedBitmapVirtualVolume VASA API) and use the vmkernel data mover to service the operation request.

Scenario C

Another possible scenario is cloning from a VMFS datastore on a VAAI enabled array to a VVol container on the same array.  In this scenario, the system will use the XCOPY VAAI offload to accelerate the clone.   Note that this is a one way workflow,  in other words, VVol > VMFS VAAI does not use the XCOPY.

VVol-VASA-SC03

I hope this answers the questions is helpful for everyone else.

- Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual Volumes (VVols), Virtual SAN (VSAN) and other Software-defined Storage technologies as well as vSphere + OpenStack be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

SLES for VMware End of Availability Announcement

On June 25, 2014, VMware is announcing the End of Availability (EoA) of all SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for VMware offerings.  As a result, the SLES for VMware offering will be removed from the VMware price list on July 25, 2014.  After July 25, 2014, customers that purchase VMware vSphere Standard, vSphere Enterprise, or vSphere Enterprise+ (either standalone or as part of a suite) will no longer be eligible to a free SLES for VMware offering.

All Support and Subscription Services for the EoA product will be unaffected and will continue as per VMware’s Support Lifecycle Policy through the published support period until August 25, 2016.

Customers are not required to take any immediate action.  This notification in no ways impacts customer’s ability to use SLES for VMware past June 25, 2014.  However, if customers want to take advantage of their eligibility to receive SLES for VMware, they must do so before July 25, 2014.

For any further inquiries, please contact VMware Support.

vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b released

Today VMware released an update to its virtualization management solution, vCenter Server. The update brings several fixes as documented in the release notes which can be reviewed in full here.

The new versions are as follows:

  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891313
  • vCenter Server 5.5 Update 1b Installation Package | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891310
  • vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 Update 1b | 12 JUN 2014 | Build 1891314
    downloaded now from vmware.com

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Which vCenter Server platform should I use – Appliance or Windows?

One of the most repetitive questions that I get asked is which version of vCenter Server should I be using. This obviously is based on the decision between using the vCenter Server appliance (VCSA) introduced with vSphere 5.0 or the trusted and proven vCenter Server on Windows.

whichplatform

It has been general knowledge that the vCenter Server appliance, since its introduction has lacked features to that of its Windows counterpart. With vSphere 5.5 the vCenter Server appliance has come a long way, it supports all solutions that integrate with vCenter Server (vCD, vCOPs, SRM, VUM etc) but is it production ready? I can confidently say yes but will it meet your requirements?
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Virtual Spring Cleaning – Organization within vSphere

As I talk with more and more of our customers, it seems like there is an increasing number of IT/VMware admins that are experiencing “growing pains” in their environments. This does not come as a surprise if we consider the rates in which technology is exploding. Continue reading

Big Data Extensions – Four new demo videos available

Four new demonstrations using the vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) have recently been made available on the VMwareTV area on Youtube for your use. They are all compact (less than 5 minutes in duration). The demos are described below.

BDE Demo #1: Installing and Configuring the vSphere Big Data Extensions

This demonstration shows the process for installing and configuring the vSphere Big Data Extensions feature. This capability is available as a free download with VMware vSphere Enterprise Plus. It allows you to provision Hadoop clusters on to vSphere virtual machines easily and quickly, and to manage them in a flexible way. It also provides a number of elasticity features for scaling your Hadoop virtual machines up or down automatically or manually.

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Restricting Access to the ESXi Host Console – Revisiting Lockdown Mode

I’ve had a number of requests for recommendations on the “best way” to restrict access to the ESXi host console. While this is easily done using the ESXi Lockdown Mode feature I’m finding there are some admins who are still under the impression that lockdown mode doesn’t work, and in order to prevent access to the host console you need to disable the console service. While there were some challenges with lockdown mode in the past, things changed in ESXi 5.1.

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Getting ready to upgrade production to vCenter Server 5.5? Make sure you’re using the correct deployment option

Over the last few months, many customers have been testing and familiarizing themselves with vSphere 5.5 however deployment into a production environment is usually stalled until the availability of the first update or service pack. As we are nearing the typical time frame of when such an update or service pack may become available, I wanted to share some findings that may affect your deployment selection of vCenter Single Sign-On when deploying or upgrading to vCenter Server 5.5

During the installation of vCenter Single Sign-On server you are asked on the deployment option of the vCenter Single Sign-On instance. Below is the intended use case for each deployment option.

SSO#0

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Hadoop meets Virtualization – a Primer

 

You have probably heard the terms “Big Data” and “Hadoop” mentioned somewhere in the industry lately – they are both very popular subjects of discussion at the moment. This blog gives you an introduction to the core technology and explains some of the contributions that VMware continues to make to the Hadoop world.

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Using vCenter Heartbeat To Protect The Auto Deploy Server

I’m often asked if you can use vCenter Server Heartbeat to protect the Auto Deploy Server. The answer is yes and I’m happy to announce that we now have some videos and product walkthroughs that show how this is done.

To view the product walkthrough visit http://vmwarewalkthroughs.com and select the recently added vCenter Server Heartbeat section. Here you will see the walkthrough showing how to use vCenter Server Heartbeat to protect your Auto Deploy server.

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