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Tag Archives: Virtual SAN

Embracing Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

why_enterprises_HCI_V1According to the latest free ebook from VMware on the subject:

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) revolutionizes the data center, bringing all the benefits of server virtualization to storage. It is composed of two essential elements: hyper-converged infrastructure software and industry-standard hardware. Together they provide the performance, flexibility, and efficiency that budget-conscious, resource-starved IT departments crave.

Download your free copy today to learn how with HCI powered by VMware vSAN, you can:

Evolve Without Risk

  • Seamlessly extend virtualization to storage and enjoy the best integration with vSphere features like DRS and vMotion
  • Continue to leverage the large and proven ecosystem of VMware partners
  • Protect current investments in storage infrastructure with policy-based management

Reduce TCO

  • Lower total cost of ownership by 50% or more with CapEx and OpEx savings
  • Accelerate responsiveness to traditionally timeconsuming tasks with analytics and automation
  • Achieve predictable performance and cost with grow-as-you-go scaling

Scale to Tomorrow

  • Prepare for business in the multi-cloud era
  • Support a wide range of traditional and next-gen apps
  • Use a common storage platform as a steppingstone to the cloud

Common vSAN Troubleshooting Questions Answered

Our monthly webcasts always generate excellent questions from the audience. And when Francis Daly (one of our Staff Technical Training Specialists who trains VMware’s technical staff on all things storage) delivered Virtual SAN Troubleshooting a few weeks ago the questions were outstanding.

We pulled a few of the questions below, and you can read the entire list and listen to the recording on your schedule.

Q: I have a test vSAN environment with 3 ESXi hosts. I set a policy to tolerate 1 failure. I pulled the network cables on one of the ESXi hosts. My VM was still not available after 30 minutes. Shouldn’t it still be available?

A: Yes, If HA is enabled. Please ensure HA is enabled so the VM can start elsewhere in the cluster.

Q: Is there any way to stop a resync operation, or halt it? During VM replication to VSAN, upon powering up VM on vSAN, storage policy takes effect and a resync operation starts.

A: There is no “recommended” way to stop resync this is an expected process. Interrupting it is unsupported at this time.

Q: Are there any recommendations or best practice to follow when you are migrating VMs from non-Cluster vSAN to the vSAN cluster?

A: If both clusters are part of the same vCenter this is a straight forward migration back and forth. Best practice is to test your environment first with non-critical and or test VMs first.

Q: What is most common issue on upgrades?

A: Depending on versions there can be a few different things. Ensure you have run all pre-checks. people performing upgrades before checks can be a big issue. Also ensuring you have enough cluster resources is huge as you need to ensure you can satisfy policies during upgrade.

Q: If I have both vSAN and HA enabled and I pull the NICS on an ESXi host, how long should the failover take?

A: HA is quite fast. It takes as long as is needed to register the VM on the new host and power it on. HA typically takes a matter of seconds to get the VM powered on, then however long the VM takes to boot. It is sometimes slower but HA is a quick process.

Q: What is the free space recommendable in vSAN?

A: 30% per disk group is what we would like so we can rebalance easily if that is required.

Q: Does it make sense, to install more than 1 vSCSI controller in a VM and attach multiple disks to different vSCSI controllers? Will this give me more IOPs?

A: To improve IOPS we usually recommend looking at more disk groups so you can take advantage of a larger amount of cache.

Q: What are the logs we need to collect when there is a problem?

A: Mostly clomd, vobd.log and command outputs help a lot. More details in this KB article.




New Courses on vSphere 6.5, Cloud, NSX & More

NEW CoursesLast month the Education Services team opened registration for several new instructor-led training courses covering a broad range of topics. For more information on these courses use the links below or contact your local Learning Specialist.


VMware vSphere: What’s New [V5.5 to V6.5] explores the new features and enhancements in VMware vCenter Server® 6.5 and VMware ESXi™ 6.5. Real-world use case deployment scenarios, hands-on lab exercises, and lectures will teach you the skills that you need to effectively implement and configure VMware vSphere® 6.5. Note: This course is based on beta software.

VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.5] features intensive hands-on training on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vSphere® 6.5, which includes VMware ESXi™ 6.5 and VMware vCenter Server® 6.5. This course prepares you to administer a vSphere infrastructure for an organization of any size. Note: This course is based on beta software.

VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [V6.5] teaches you advanced skills for configuring and maintaining a highly available and scalable virtual infrastructure. Through a mix of lecture and hands-on labs, you will configure and optimize the vSphere features that build a foundation for a truly scalable infrastructure, and you will discuss when and where these features have the greatest effect. Note: This course is based on beta software.

The intensive, extended-hours VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage plus Virtual SAN Fast Track [V6] combines the content of our best-selling VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage course with deploying and managing a software-defined storage solution with VMware Virtual SAN™ 6.2. You will learn how Virtual SAN functions as an important component in the VMware software-defined data center.


VMware Cloud Automation: Design and Deploy [V7.1] focuses on designing and deploying an enterprise cloud by using a distributed architecture deployment of VMware vRealize® Automation™. The lecture and labs concentrate on designing an enterprise cloud architecture and the effective implementation of a vRealize Automation distributed deployment according to VMware recommended best practices.

Designed for service providers, VMware vCloud Director: Install, Configure, Manage [V8.10] focuses on self-service provisioning, the creation of organizations, virtual data centers, and catalog services that include predefined virtual machines, and on-demand VMware NSX® networks as well as the integrated use of VMware Virtual SAN™. This course also covers interfacing vCloud Director with other systems through the use of various APIs.

VMware Cloud Orchestration and Extensibility [V7] explores the use of VMware vRealize™ Orchestrator™ 7.1 and VMware vRealize Automation 7.1 for the automation of VMware cloud infrastructure and IT processes. This course focuses on extensibility and advanced administration through the use of vRealize Orchestrator workflows in vRealize Automation.

Horizon 7

VMware Horizon 7: Install, Configure, Manage plus App Volumes Fast Track [V7] gives you the skills to deliver virtual desktops and applications through a single virtual desktop infrastructure platform. You will also learn how to use App Volumes to deliver applications and data to desktops and users in seconds and at scale, managing application lifecycles from installation to update and replacement.

VMware NSX

VMware NSX: Install, Configure, Manage plus Troubleshooting & Operations Fast Track [V6.2] focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware NSX®. In addition, you will be presented with various types of technical problems which you will learn how to identify and solve through a systematic process. You will learn how to use logical switching, gateway services, firewall configurations, and security services to secure and optimize your environment.

Accelerating Business-Critical Applications

HCS for BCAs BriefThe performance of Business-Critical Applications (BCAs) such as database processing, email servers, and Web 2.0 workloads can help separate your company from the competition. But as you move to more virtualized systems keeping them running smoothly comes with its own set of challenges.

  1. BCAs are increasingly more complicated to manage than non-critical applications.
  2. BCAs demand high levels of availability and reliability that have traditionally required expensive storage systems.
  3. BCAs can have higher cost of ownership expenses due to dedicated hardware.

This free brief from the VMware Hyper Converged Infrastructure team explores these issues in more detail, along with:

  • Benefits of Running BCAs on VMware Hyper-Converged Software
  • Why VMware Hyper-Converged Software?
  • What is VMware Virtual SAN?
  • Delivering Scalability for Microsoft Exchange
  • Boosting Performance for Web 2.0 Applications
  • Shouldering Workloads for SAP IQ
  • Improving Application Performance with VMware Virtual SAN

Download your copy today.

New Courses Covering vRealize, NSX, and more

NEW CoursesVMware Education Services releases new courses and delivery methods throughout the year. Last month we released four new training options covering VMware NSX, vCloud Director, Virtual SAN, and vRealize Operations Manager. For more information about these or any of our other courses, or assistance developing a learning plan for yourself or your team, please contact the Education Specialist for your area.

VMware Virtual SAN: Deploy and Manage [V6.2] – On Demand
In this course, you will focus on deploying and managing a software-defined storage solution with VMware Virtual SAN™ 6.2. You will learn how Virtual SAN functions as an important component in the VMware software-defined data center. You will gain practical experience with Virtual SAN concepts through the completion of hands-on lab exercises.

VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals [V8.x]
This free eLearning course overviews cloud computing and explains the solutions offered by VMware. Next, you will look at the architecture, components, and installation and configuration of vCloud Director. Finally, you will gain an understanding of the administrative and end-user tasks and network administration in vCloud Director.

VMware vRealize Operations Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.2] – On Demand
This five-day course, designed for experienced VMware vSphere® users, teaches you how to use VMware vRealize® Operations Manager™ as a forensic and predictive tool. Based on VMware ESXi™ 6, VMware vCenter Server® 6, and vRealize Operations Manager 6.2, this course includes instruction on advanced capabilities, including customization and management.

VMware NSX for Internetworking Experts Fast Track [V6.2]
This comprehensive, fast-paced training course focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware NSX®. This course addresses NSX as a part of the software-defined data center, implementation use cases and features of NSX, and functionality operating at layer 2 through layer 7 of the OSI model.

Updated Virtual SAN Book from VMware Press

Here is a brief excerpt from the newly released Second Edition of Essential Virtual SAN (VSAN): Administrator’s Guide to VMware Virtual SAN by Cormac Hogan and Duncan Epping, VCDX #7 from VMware Press.

Introducing Virtual SAN

VMware’s plan for software-defined storage is to focus on a set of VMware initiatives related to local storage, shared storage, and storage/data services. In essence, VMware wants to make vSphere a platform for storage services.

Historically, storage was something that was configured and deployed at the start of a project, and was not changed during its life cycle. If there was a need to change some characteristics or features of the logical unit number (LUN) or volume that were being leveraged by VMs, in many cases the original LUN or volume was deleted and a new volume with the required features or characteristics was created. This was a very intrusive, risky, and time-consuming operation due to the requirement to migrate workloads between LUNs or volumes, which may have taken weeks to coordinate.

What Is Virtual SAN?

VSAN is a storage solution from VMware, released as a beta version in 2013, made generally available to the public in March 2014, and reached version 6.2 in March 2016. VSAN is fully integrated with vSphere. It is an object-based storage system and a platform for VM storage policies that aims to simplify VM storage placement decisions for vSphere administrators. It fully supports and is integrated with core vSphere features such as vSphere high availability (HA), vSphere distributed resource scheduler (DRS), and vMotion.

To continue reading purchase a print or ebook edition, or access it from your Safari subscription.

Q&A from our Virtual SAN Webinar

Virtual SAN is always a popular topic in our webinar series, and during last week’s What’s New in VMware Virtual SAN 6.2 Senior Technical Instructor Javier Menendez answered a lot of questions from the audience. Here is a small sampling, and you can hear the rest in the recording.

Q: If one needs HA Failover, then do we need at least four ESXi hosts in that case?
A: Virtual SAN should be combined with HA even with three hosts. With three hosts, if a host crashes, the VMs affected will be restarted by HA in a different node. The reason why four hosts is better than three is simple. If a four hosts exists, not only you have more flexibility but besides that, the data lost in one of the hosts can be rebuilt on a fourth host.

Q: How does Virtual SAN deal with split brain?
A: With Virtual SANs, that is the role of a witness. If a VM is a mirror, it has two submirrors and a witness. You need majority to continue to operate. Aka, if host1 can’t see host2 and these are the two with the two submirrors of a VM, the one that can access the witness first wins.

Q: Is there a performance hit using thin provisioning on the swap files?
A: Not a good idea to use thin provision if memory is overcommitted. The virtual swap files always exist if the VM is running but if you don’t overcommit memory, you are not swapping; hence not writing to the swap object or reading from them.

Q: If you have a 3 host ESx Virtual SAN can you have a failure of one host and still keep the VM guest running?
A: In a three node cluster, assuming that a virtual machine is using the default policy (FTT=1; aka a 2-way mirror), the VM will either continue to run or be restarted by HA depending on which host crashes. For example, if it was running on the first server, it will continue to run (no downtime) if the second or third host fails. If the first one fails, the virtual machine will crash since it was using CPU and RAM from that host, but then HA will restart it in either the second or third since the VM was redundant.

Q: I am new to Virtual SAN, I would like to clarify if I need an SSD to create a Virtual SAN or can I use only magnetic disks?
A: Flash drives are always needed. Either for caching purposes only (the hybrid model) or both cache and capacity (all-flash model).

Q: Can Virtual SAN “intelligently” migrate high IOP machines to flash while keeping less demanding VMs on slower disks?
A: All the machines reside in the capacity tier, while the cache tier is used to improve the performance of all of the virtual machines.

Q: Can ESXi hosts be boot-to-SAN and use SAN LUNs for the storage presented to the cluster?
A: The idea is to use ESXi hosts with local drives for Virtual SAN; not LUNs on a physical storage area network.

4 New Courses Released: NSX, Virtual SAN, vRealize Operations Manager, & App Volumes

NEW CoursesIn the last month VMware Education Services released four new courses:

  • Designed for experienced VMware vSphere® users, VMware vRealize Operations Manager: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.2] teaches you how to use VMware vRealize® Operations Manager™ as a forensic and predictive tool, including advanced capabilities, customization and management. 
  • The new App Volumes Application and User Profile Management v2.x course builds your skills in application management using VMware App Volumes™ and VMware User Environment Manager™. You will learn how to use App Volumes to enable the delivery of applications and data to desktops and users in seconds and at scale. You will gain skills in managing application lifecycle from installation to update and replacement.
  • During Virtual SAN: Deploy & Manage [V6.2] you will focus on deploying and managing a software-defined storage solution with VMware Virtual SAN™ 6.2. You will learn how Virtual SAN functions as an important component in the VMware software-defined data center (SDDC).
  • The On Demand version of our NSX: Install, Configure, Manage v6.2 course focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware NSX®. You will learn how to use logical switching in VMware NSX to virtualize your switching environment. The course also details logical routing to enable you to dynamically route between different virtual environments, as well as how to use gateway services, firewall configurations, and security services to help secure and optimize your VMware NSX environment.

Beta versions of some of these courses may also be available. Beta courses let you participate in finalizing the near-complete course while saving 50% off the course price.

For more information about these courses, or assistance developing a learning plan for yourself or your team, please contact the Education Specialist for your area.

4 New eLearning Courses Available

NEW CoursesIn addition to instructor-led courses delivered in a traditional classroom environment, VMware Education Services also offers self-paced training delivered online as well. Last month we released four new courses that you can attend whenever and wherever you like.

AirWatch Enterprise Mobility: Configure and Manage On Demand provides insight into the current challenges of enterprise mobility and how AirWatch® can help you solve those challenges. You will gain a comprehensive view of all AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management™ solutions, key device platforms, and an overview of AirWatch architecture. This course provides the foundational skills necessary to manage the AirWatch platform.

AirWatch Enterprise Mobility: Configure and Deploy Integrated Solutions On Demand provides you with the skills required to configure and provision AirWatch cloud deployments. You will cover the enablement of containerized applications, deployment and management of corporate email, and integration with enterprise resources. You will access hands-on labs and learn best practices for mobile deployment, with specific focus on how to deploy and manage AirWatch applications.

Identity Manager Fundamentals overviews VMware Identity Manager™ and explains how it helps with business mobility and application security. This free course also reviews the different solutions that can be integrated with Identity Manager and demonstrates how to deploy and administer it.

VMware Virtual SAN: Deploy & Manage v6 On Demand focuses on preparing you to deploy and manage a software-defined storage solution with VMware® Virtual SAN™ 6, an important component in the VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).

If you would like more information about these courses, or assistance developing a learning plan for yourself or your team, please contact the Education Specialists for your area.


vRealize Automation 7.0, Virtual SAN Stretch Clusters, and The Cloud Business Manager Role


The VMware blogosphere is a wealth of knowledge covering everything from how-to content to put your skills to the test, to strategic concepts that can help you think differently about work. Check out a few of the latest posts from the Professional Services bloggers below!

VMware vRealize Automation 7.0 – Finally the most desirable features and capabilities in a VMware Private Cloud Automation Solution have arrived!
VMware’s Professional Services Engineering team extensively tests and researches the most effective and proven methodologies to implement vRealize Automation. Check out this blog post to learn why this team is excited about the new vRealize Automation 7.0.

Virtual SAN Stretch Clusters – Real World Design Practices (Part 1)
In this blog post, VMware Professional Services Technical Architect, Jonathan McDonald highlights important design decisions for Virtual SAN customer implementations.

The Cloud Business Manager Role
This blog post takes a deep dive into how the Cloud Business Manager role is driving a new business management discipline within IT to lead a comprehensive cloud business management practice.

vRealize Operations Python Adapter—A Hidden Treasure
This blog post delivers step by step instructions on how to enable the vRealize Operations Python Adapter to get more power out of VMware vRealize Operations.

Transforming IT into a Cloud Service Provider
Enjoy a quick animated whiteboard session describing the future IT operating model as IT departments transform into cloud service providers in this blog post.

Technology is not a Magic Wand for DevOps
Explore the core pillars of DevOps transformation and find out why jumping in with just technology is not a recipe for success in this detailed blog post.

Why and How to Overcome the CAPEX to OPEX Barrier
This blog post describes the CAPEX to OPEX barrier, why you would want overcome that barrier, and how to do it.