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Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.”

VMware Virtual SAN Survey

VMware Virtual SAN LogoThe VMware Storage and Availability team is looking for customer and community feedback for VMware Virtual SAN. Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey listed in the link below.

VMware Virtual SAN Survey Link

Thank you for your help and support.

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

 

 

VMware Hands-on Labs VMworld 2014 US online

VMware Hands-on Labs at VMworld 2014 US marked a number of firsts:

  • Over 10,000 labs were taken
  • Over 100,000 VMs were used for labs during the week
  • VSAN and EVO:RACK were used to host a portion of the infrastructure
  • vCloud Air and Horizon 6 were in the top 5 labs

I am pleased to announce that we have begun to make available the VMware Hands-on Labs that debuted at VMworld 2014 in the US.  Feel free to take these labs now:

HOL-SDC-1406 vCloud Suite 101

HOL-SDC-1406 - vCloud Suite 101 Thumbnail  This introductory lab demonstrates the first steps in the journey to a Software Defined Enterprise by implementing all components of vCloud Suite Standard. http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1465

HOL-SDC-1410 – Virtualization 101

HOL-SDC-1410 - Virtualization 101 Thumbnail  This introductory lab demonstrates the core features and functions of vSphere and vCenter. This is an excellent place to begin your experience with VMware vSphere. http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1449

HOL-MBL-1451 – Horizon 6 with View from A to Z

HOL-MBL-1451 - Horizon 6 with View from A to Z Thumbnail  Complete a guided tour of Horizon View features, learn how to Optimize Horizon View for your environment and learn steps to Troubleshoot a View environment and avoid common issues.  http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1453

Over the next few weeks we will be releasing all of the labs from VMworld 2014 US.   The next labs to be released this week cover BC/DR, data center consolidation, on-demand provisioning, network micro-segmentation, security and optimization. And then next week look for more networking and storage labs including NSX, VSAN and VVOL.  Our VMware partner solution labs will be released in two weeks.

Be sure to join us in Barcelona, Spain for VMworld 2014 Europe and VMware Hands-on Labs where you can meet with the product experts responsible for the labs and participate in Expert-led Workshops for a guided experience through your lab.

http://www.vmworld.com/community/conference/europe

VMware Virtual SAN Sizing Tool

Oh yeah!!!!!! It’s official, the Virtual SAN Sizing Tool is now live and available to the general public.

All Virtual SAN customers and enthusiasts can easy get sizing ideas and estimations on the amount hardware resources necessary to support a particular Virtual SAN design. All you will need  to do is provide a few virtual machine inputs based on capacity, performance, and availability requirements.

http://virtualsansizing.vmware.com

VMware Virtual SAN Sizing Tool

The purpose of this tool is to help determine the hardware specifications for hosts in a Virtual SAN cluster required to run a set of virtual machines defined by a set of input characteristics. These important assumptions should be understood before using this tool:

  • All hosts in the cluster are assumed to have an identical hardware profile, i.e. numbers of hard drives and flash devices, amount of physical RAM, and number of CPU cores
  • All virtual machines are assumed to be identical in storage characteristics, i.e. number of VMDKs, size of VMDKs (assumed identical for all disks), number of snapshots, and virtual memory size
  • All virtual machines are assumed to have the same Virtual SAN policy, i.e. number of failures to tolerate and number of disk stripes per object

The tool is designed so that you can easily vary inputs to see the impact on the sizing output, thus allowing you to iterate manually for more sophisticated analyses.

Feel free to provide feedback and let us know what your thoughts are about the tool and help us improve it.

See you all at VMworld!!!!

- Enjoy

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

Monitoring VMware Virtual SAN with Virtual SAN Observer White Paper

Virtual SAN ObserverAs customers continue to implement VMware Virtual SAN in their environments, it is critical for them to have the ability to properly monitor and troubleshoot the performance of the system. Having access to the adequate tools and knowing how to use them and knowing how to interpret the data being presented is crucial for all customers.

This new paper Monitoring VMware Virtual SAN with Virtual SAN Observer focuses on the Virtual SAN Observer tool, and it is intended to provide Virtual SAN customers with more than just a how-to experience. It also helps to understand the data output and values presented by the Virtual SAN Observer when monitoring and troubleshooting their VMware Virtual SAN implementations.  This paper is a special release because it coincides with a hands-on lab being presented at VMworld this year that will give customers access to a first hand learning experience.

While at VMworld look for the VMware HOL lab listed below:

ELW-SDC-1408 – VMware Virtual Storage Workshop

This Expert Led Workshop focused on VMware Virtual SAN, participants will gain hands-on experience deploying, configuring and managing VMware’s latest hypervisor-converged storage solution.  In this Workshop, you will have access to the Product Experts and is your opportunity to ask questions relevant to your environment.  The Self-Paced version of this lab, SPL-SDC-1408, will available anytime the Hands-on Labs are open.

See you all at VMworld!!!!

- Enjoy

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

Profiling OLTP performance on Virtualized SQL 2014 with All Flash Arrays


TPC-C Benchmark is an on-line transaction processing (OLTP). (TPCC Main site) TPC-C uses a mix of five concurrent transactions of different types and complexity. The database is comprised of nine types of tables with a wide range of record and population sizes. TPC-C is measured as transactions per minute (TPM).

The goal of this exercise was to see if 1 million TPM can be achieved on virtualized SQL 2014 backed by an all Flash storage array for a TPC-C like test.  The TPC-C testing would be compared between two VM sizes (Within NUMA & Exceeding NUMA boundaries)

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Understanding Data Locality in VMware Virtual SAN

VMware Virtual SAN LogoSince the release of VMware Virtual SAN, I’ve been involved in numerous costumer and field conversations around the topic VMware Virtual SAN’s ability to take advantage of data locality.

I have addressed the question in several of the Virtual SAN presentations I have delivered, but I realized that this was an ongoing topic of discussion and one which we needed to provide more details in order to satisfy everyone that has been wondering about this topic.  I figured it was time to put together some form of OFFICIAL collateral providing in-depth  details around this topic.

So, like any storage system, VMware Virtual SAN makes use of data locality. Virtual SAN uses a combination of algorithms that take advantage of both temporal and spatial locality of reference to populate the flash-based read caches across a cluster and provide high performance from available flash resources.

For more details on this topic, download the new Understanding Data Locality in VMware Virtual SAN white paper from the link below:

Understanding Data Locality in VMware Virtual SAN

- Enjoy

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

Now Open: VMware vSphere Beta Program

Today we are excited to announce the launch of the vSphere Beta Program. The vSphere Beta is open to everyone to sign up and allows participants to help define the direction of the world’s most widely adopted, trusted, and robust virtualization platform. Future releases of vSphere strive to expand vSphere 5.5 with new features and capabilities that improve IT’s efficiency, flexibility and agility to accelerate your journey to the Software Defined Enterprise. Your participation will help us continue to drive towards this goal.

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. 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.

The vSphere Beta Program has no established end date and you can provide comments throughout the program. But we strongly encourage your participation and feedback in the first 4-6 weeks of the program.
Some of the many reasons to participate in this vSphere Beta Program include:

  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Gain early knowledge of and visibility into product roadmap
  • 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

Sign up and join the vSphere Beta Program today at: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta

VMware Announces GA of Big Data Extensions 2.0

What’s vSphere Big Data Extensions?
VMware vSphere Big Data Extensions (BDE) is a feature within vSphere to support Big Data and Hadoop workloads. BDE provides an integrated set of management tools to help enterprises deploy, run, and manage Hadoop on the vSphere platform. Through the vSphere vCenter user interface, enterprises are able to manage and scale Hadoop seamlessly. By combining with vCloud Automation Center, we can also provide an on-premise Hadoop as a Service solution for Hadoop users.

What’s new in BDE 2.0?
-Support for the latest Distributions of Apache Hadoop 2.0 Software. In addition to the previously supported Hadoop distributions, Big Data Extensions users may now also deploy and manage Apache Bigtop 0.7.0, Cloudera CDH5, Hortonworks HDP 2.1, MapR 3.1, and Pivotal PHD 2.0.
-CentOS 6.4 Operating System for the Hadoop Template Virtual Machine. The Hadoop Template Virtual Machine now uses CentOS 6.4 as its default operating system. This provides an increase in performance, as well as native support for all Hadoop distributions for use with Big Data Extensions.
-IPv6 Support for Serengeti Management Server Network. User can use IP version 6 (IPv6) for network addressing within the Serengeti Management Server network.
-Support for Internationalization (I18N) Level 1. User can specify vCenter Server resources using any character set supported by the vCenter Server system on which you deploy Big Data Extensions.
-Serengeti Management Server Administration Portal. Serengeti Management Server Administration Portal helps user to view, manage, and troubleshoot Serengeti Services in a central web UI.
-Improved Error Handling. Big Data Extensions provides improved error handling and reporting to help user more easily identify, understand, and recover from error conditions.

Resources

Thick vs Thin Disks and All Flash Arrays

Thin vs Lazy Thick vs Eager Thick disk performing profiling on all flash arrays:

Which type of disk is better?

There has always been an ongoing debate on whether thin or thick disks are best suited for high performance IO workloads. While Eager Zeroed Thick disks provide the best performance, they occupy the entire space including unused space in the overlaid file system and are hence not efficient with space utilization. Thin disks consume only the space used by the overlaid operating system or application but have underlying performance concerns for high IO workloads.

Having requirements such as eager zeroed thick for high IO workloads made the job of both the virtual and storage admins difficult. There is extra effort and coordination required to deviate from the norm of using thin disks for traditional virtual machines  and to separate out the LUNS with special formatting. These  special requirements were operationally hard to implement and maintain.

Flash storage has revolutionized and improved its performance many fold. All flash storage arrays holds the promise of greatly improved performance. Can use of All Flash arrays obviate the need for different storage LUNS and formatting for high IO workloads?

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