Home > Blogs > Virtual Blocks > Author Archives: Rawlinson Rivera

Author Archives: Rawlinson Rivera

Rawlinson Rivera

About Rawlinson Rivera

Rawlinson is a Principal Architect working in the Office of CTO for the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware. Focus on defining and communicating VMware’s product vision and strategy, and an active advisor for VMware’s product roadmap and portfolio. Responsibilities revolved around connecting VMware’s R&D organizations with customers and partners in the field. He specializes in enterprise architectures (private and public clouds), Hyper-converged Infrastructures, business continuity / disaster recovery technologies and solutions including Virtual SAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes, as well as other storage technologies and solutions for OpenStack and Cloud-Native Applications. Rawlinson is a VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#86) and main author of the blog punchingclouds.com.

VMware Compatibility Guide Portal with New Ready Node Branding

new-brandOut with the old and in with the new! In the spirit of simplicity for all things hardware related to Virtual SAN, today VMware released a newly revamped hardware compatibility guide portal.

The portal introduces a new and simplified hardware searching capability that is primarily focused around Virtual SAN Ready Nodes instead of the previous approach focused on individual certified hardware components.

The new portal is designed to deliver a concise, quick, and rich user experience for customers. Now, customers that are looking to identify the latest and greatest suitable hardware options for their respective Virtual SAN use cases can do so with a minimum of six on-screen clicks.

Customers can very quickly select their Virtual SAN architecture of choice, supported release, preferred vendor, hardware generation, performance and storage capacity profile, and lastly server form factor type.

new-vcg

The new portal introduces a new Virtual SAN Ready Node profile branding series that replaces the previous low, medium, and high profile identification. The new profile branding series consist of five different profile across both supported Virtual SAN storage architectures hybrid and All-Flash. The image below illustrates the mapping of the new branding to the previously supported branding model of low, medium, high profiles.

RDY-N-P

The portal also provides the ability to dynamically generate PDF files that containing the configuration requirements that is inputed into the portal. This PDF can be generated to be utilized as a purchasing reference or to simply keep the record.

While the focus of the new portal points to all things Virtual SAN Ready Node, customers may still pursue building their own solutions with individual certified components.

For the most part it is strongly recommends to use certified Ready Nodes that are validated to provide predictable performance and scalability for your Virtual SAN deployment. If you would still like to build your own Virtual SAN with certified components, then click Build Your Own based on Certified Components.

The new VMware Compatibility Guide portal is the one-stop-shop location for all things related to Virtual SAN ranging from hardware, Virtual SAN Assessment ToolSizing and TCO calculator, and the new Virtual SAN Hardware Quick Reference Guide.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Storage and Availability technologies, as well as vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Apps (CNA) be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

New vRealize Operations Management Pack for Virtual SAN 6.0

VSAN-VROPSNew vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices 6.0.2 released. The new version of the management pack offers full support for Virtual SAN 6.0 by introducing a new set of dashboards that provides global visibility into all aspects of Virtual SAN 6.0 from a centralized location.

The new dashboards present customers with some of the most important and relevant information about Virtual SAN 6.0 right out-of-the-box.

  • Global View
    Get global visibility across Virtual SAN clusters for monitoring and proactive alerts/notifications on an ongoing basis. Proactively monitor multiple Virtual SAN clusters using exploratory out of the box and customizable dashboards for deriving Virtual SAN Cluster Insights, Device Insights, Entity usage, Heat Maps etc. Simplify end to end troubleshooting by leveraging Virtual SAN topology and relationship between VM, Host, Datastore, Disk group, Host Bus Adapter etc. Get device/hardware specific reports, alerts using S.M.A.R.T.S.
  • Health Monitoring and Availability
    Proactively monitor and assess device connectivity issues and failures such as APD (All Path Down), PDL (Physical Device Loss), network congestion, SSD Life (based on S.M.A.R.T.S) and disk failures. Get proactively notified on failures, performance and compliance issues on an ongoing basis, review symptoms and recommendations for a remediation strategyUse exploratory dashboards and heat maps.
  • Performance
    Monitor aggregate performance (throughput in MB/s) and latencies at a disk group and disk level for SSDs and HDDs. Assess how Virtual SAN is keeping up with specific workload by continuously monitoring metrics like SSD Read Cache hit ratio and SSD eviction rateMonitor CPU, memory and network congestion metrics.
  • Capacity
    Monitor disk usage (available and used capacity) on disks across all hosts in a cluster.
    Perform capacity planning based on “what if scenarios” and plan for future hardware purchase based on historic demand and stress trends of Virtual SAN workloads.

Continue reading

Software-Defined Storage in OpenStack

openstack-sds-sessionIt’s time expand and showcase the strength of software-defined storage at the upcoming OpenStack Summit. Take a look at the abstract of the session I’m scheduled to participate as a speaker and lets’ get that bad boy vote in and into the schedule.

Getting the Bang for your Buck with Software-Defined Storage in OpenStack

OpenStack has become the standard infrastructure consumption layer for a variety of applications. These applications have different storage requirements and being able to provide a storage solution that matches these requirements is critical to ensure the adoption of OpenStack as the cloud platform of choice across a wide array of applications.

It is also important that enterprises that have made significant investments in storage gear are able to leverage those investments for their OpenStack deployments, while still having the choice of integrating newer storage technologies such as hyper-converged storage as they progress forward in their OpenStack journey.

This session will highlight how software-defined storage can enable enterprises to leverage their existing storage investments in building their OpenStack clouds and allow them to add newer technologies such as Virtual SAN as they go forward. The session will include

  • How to use policy driven storage to mix and match traditional SAN and newer hyper-converged storage for providing storage with different SLAs
  • Simplifying management and operation of a storage solution for OpenStack instances and volumes
  • Demo of a vSphere based software defined storage solution providing multi tier storage (SAN, Virtual SAN, NFS, etc) for OpenStack workloads.

Take a minute and please vote.

VOTE! for session here: Getting the Bang for your buck with Software-Defined Storage in OpenStack

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Storage and Availability technologies, as well as vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Apps (CNA) be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

New VMware Virtual SAN Assessment Tool

vsan-assessment0logo2The VMware Virtual SAN Assessment Tool is now generally available!!!!

The Virtual SAN Assessment Tool is a usability and manageability tool that is available to the public free of charge. VMware is providing access to this solution using a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model that is accessible for any new or existing customers interested in Virtual SAN. The tool is designed to provide customers a simple one-stop shop solution for all things related to the assessments of Virtual SAN.

The Virtual SAN Assessment Tool is based on two components, and together they provide data collection and presentation in the form metrics visualization.

  • Virtual SAN Assessment Tool Portal – is a public web application that receives the I/O traces from customers infrastructures and presents the detailed results. It also provides the ability to export the results onto different document types excel, powerpoint, etc.
  • Virtual SAN Assessment Tool Collector – is a virtual appliance (OVF file) deployed in customer environment that collects data and sends it to the portal. The appliance is configured with 4 vCPUs / 8 gb ram / 200 gb disk space, and it introduces a low of overhead while collecting data.

vsan-assesment-logical

Continue reading

Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Hybrid Reference Architecture

VSAN-Horizon-ViewThis new reference architecture is base on the latest versions of VMware Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. Virtual SAN’s 6.0 hybrid storage architecture is the focus of the storage design and configuration with real-world test scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations.

The hardware utilized in this reference architecture is based on Extreme Ethernet switches and SuperMicro rack mount servers with locally attached storage devices designed to support a scalable architecture and a cost-effective linked-clone desktop deployment model on VMware vSphere 6.0.

This technical paper highlights the results collected from the extensive user experience and operations testing performed, including Login VSI and desktop performance testing of up-to 1,600 desktops, and desktop provisioning operations of up-to 2,400 desktops.

The performed tests reveal the world-class performance and value of the solution at low cost. Virtual SAN’s technology allows easy scalability while maintaining superior performance at a competitive price point. The official document will be publicly available soon from the VMware technical resources page.

In the meantime, you can get early access to the final draft of the white paper directly from the link below.

– Enjoy

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

Running Microsoft Business Critical Application on Virtual SAN 6.0

VSAN-BCAVMware Virtual SAN 6.0 enables customers and partners to host Microsoft business critical applications such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, SharePoint, etc with consistent performance levels and constant availability. As part of the effort to extend the awareness of VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 ability to host business critical applications we have put together a solution white paper which covers the design, and configuration of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server 2014, and SharePoint 2013 and tested the solution’s capabilities and supported features of these Microsoft business critical applications on Virtual SAN 6.0 as Proof of Concept.

In this technical white paper we describe how concurrent Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server workloads are configured to deliver the performance levels they demand as a Tier 1 application on VMware Virtual SAN. In the paper we cover the configuration procedure for Exchange Server 2013 with Database Availability Groups (DAG), SQL Server 2014 with AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 on an eight-node VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster.

This proof of concept and test consists on the deployment and configuration has all three applications deployed in the same VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster, along with other management components such as Active Directory and DNS servers. We used industry-standard test tools for both Exchange Server and SQL Server to generate simultaneous application load on the storage subsystem. During our testing and analysis, we discovered that performance for Exchange Server 2013 and SQL Server 2014 running on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 was comparable to that of enterprise-class network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) storage.

Continue reading

VMware Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin

VSAN Health Check LogoIntroducing the Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin, a tool designed to deliver a simplified troubleshooting and monitoring experience of all things Virtual SAN for vSphere Administrators. This plugin delivers over thirty different health checks specifically for Virtual SAN ranging from hardware compatibility, networking configuration, operations, advanced configuration options, storage device, and virtual machines.

The plugin enhances the Virtual SAN customer support and user experience by providing the ability for customers to join VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP is a program design to improve the quality, reliability, and functionality of Virtual SAN and its services. The membership to the CEIP is an optional feature that can be enabled or disabled at any point in time through the Virtual SAN Health check plugin user interface.

Continue reading

vSphere Virtual Volumes Getting Started Guide – New White Paper

vSphere Virtual VolumesHot off of the press: New vSphere Virtual Volumes Getting Started Guide white paper. This new paper provides a summarized description and overview of vSphere Virtual Volumes and its components and how to configure them.

These are the main topics that are covered:

  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Components
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Requirements
  • Configuring vSphere Virtual Volumes
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Interoperability
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes CLI Commands

The paper goes over quick configuration scenarios of every vSphere Virtual Volumes components through native vSphere workflows and wizards in order to get you started and working with vSphere Virtual Volumes in a heartbeat.

You can view the paper directly from the vSphere Virtual Volumes product page or download it from the link below:

VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes: Getting Started Guide

– Enjoy

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

SDS – The Missing Link – Storage Automation for Application Service Catalogs

VMware-SDSAutomation technologies are a fundamental dependency to all aspects of the Software-Defined Data center. The use of automation technologies not only increases the overall productivity of the software-defined data center, but it can also accelerate the adoption of today’s modern operating models.

In recent years, a subset of the core pillars of the software-defined data center has experienced a great deal of improvements with the help of automation. The same can’t be said about storage. The lack management flexibility and capable automation frameworks have kept the storage infrastructures from delivering operational value and efficiencies similar to the ones available with the compute and network pillars.

VMware’s software-defined storage technologies and its storage policy-based management framework (SPBM) deliver the missing piece of the puzzle for storage infrastructure in the software-defined data center.

Continue reading

What’s New with Virtual SAN 6.0?

Software-Defined Storage is making waves in the storage and virtual infrastructure fields. Data and infrastructure are intertwined, and when they’re both brought together, companies can cut down on expenses and increase productivity.

Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect, Storage and Availability, recently hosted a webinar, discussing how VMware is approaching Software-Defined Storage (SDS) and virtualization in recently announced VMware updates, including updates to VMware Virtual SAN 6.0.

Software-defined storage offers organizations the ability automate, distribute and control storage better than ever before. SDS can provision storage for applications on demand and without complex processes. It also allows for standardized hardware, reducing costs for businesses everywhere.

To bring the customers the best software-defined storage experience to realization, we had to update VMware® Virtual SAN™. And we did just that. With VMware Virtual SAN 6.0, we introduced several new features with SDS in mind:

  • Software-defined storage optimized for VMs
  • All Flash architecture
  • Broad hardware support
  • The ability to run on any standard x86 server
  • Enterprise-level scalability and performance
  • Per-VM storage policy management
  • And a deep integration with the VMware stack

There’s a lot more to unpack from the latest updates to our VMware solutions. For a more in-depth guide to what’s new and how it affects you, watch the webcast here!

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

For more information about VMware Virtual SAN, visit http://www.vmware.com/products/virtual-san.