A closer look at X-IO

xio2My first introduction to X-IO was via Stephen Foskett’s Tech Field Days. They piqued my interest and I added them to the list of storage vendors that I wanted to check out at VMworld 2014. I started to research these guys a little more, and learnt that they are closely related to Xiotech, a SAN company that I dealt with on occasion when I worked in technical support for VMware back in the day. It seems that Xiotech acquired Seagate’s spun-out Advanced Storage Group in 2007. The guys then began to work on a different product to the Xiotech team, namely the Intelligent Storage Element or ISE array. The Xiotech products were discontinued in 2012 (although the name continues to appear on the VMware SAN/Storage HCL), and the focus was placed on the ISE products. I was a bit confused when I saw that X-IO were not listed on the HCL directly, but after checking with Blair Parkhill, VP of Tech Marketing at X-IO, it seems that they still use their incorporated name, Xiotech.

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New mclock I/O Scheduler in vSphere 5.5 – Some details

schedulerMy colleague Duncan wrote a post relatively recently around the new mclock I/O scheduler which VMware introduced in vSphere 5.5. He also mentioned some caveats with the new scheduler, especially around the I/O size (32K) used with the IOPS setting, which may lead to some unexpected behaviour. As Duncan mentioned, the reason for introducing the new scheduler is primarily to provide a better I/O scheduling mechanism that allows for limits, shares and reservations. Unfortunately, we didn’t do a very good job of announcing this change in I/O scheduling, or documenting the behaviour, and it has led to a number of additional questions from our customers. I hope to address some of these here.

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Some useful NSX Troubleshooting Tips

nsx-logoI’ve been working on some Disaster Recovery (DR) scenarios recently with my good pal Paudie. Last month we looked at how we might be able to protect vCenter Operation Manager, by using a vApp construct and also using IP customization. After VMworld, we turned our attention to NSX, and how we might be able to implement a DR solution for NSX. This is still a work in progress, but we did learn some very useful NSX troubleshooting commands that I thought would be worth sharing with you.

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PowerCLI 5.8 Release 1 – new SPBM cmdlets

powercli58Yesterday saw the release of vCloud Suite 5.8. While there are quite a few new enhancements to the VMware product line in this release, what really jumped out at me were the new PowerCLI cmdlets for Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM). SPBM is a critical component of VIrtual SAN (VSAN), and will play a major role in the Virtual Volumes (VVols) feature which has been tech previewed at VMworld 2014. VVols will enable our storage array partners to implement out Software Defined Storage vision –  you can read more about there. So what are the new cmdlets for PowerCLI in the 5.8 release?

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vSphere 5.x, NFS, VAAI-NAS & IPv6 Support

ipv6A short note to clarify something that has come up a number of times in recent weeks here at VMware. There have been a number of discussions about whether or not we support NFS over IPv6 on vSphere 5.x,  and again, on whether or not we support the VAAI-NAS primitives in the same context.

VAAI is an API for offloading tasks to the storage array, but for offloading tasks to NAS arrays, storage vendors need to create  their own plugins for the ESXi hosts to achieve this. You can learn more about VAAI-NAS by clicking here. So what about IPv6 support and NFS? And VAAI-NAS?

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A closer look at Kaminario

kaminarioAs many of you are aware, I was at VMworld in San Francisco last week. I wrote a number of articles about some VMware storage announcements, such as EVO:RAIL, VAIO and VVols. However there were, as usual, quite a number of storage vendors at this years conference. One of the vendors that I really want to learn more about was Kaminario, an all flash array vendor that I’d heard a lot of things about. I had the pleasure of spending some time at the Kaminario booth with Shai Maskit who is a senior Product Manager with Kaminario. I posed my usual set of questions to learn a bit more about their AFA products. Continue reading

2014 VMware Fling Contest – Call For Entries

2014 fling contestIt’s that time of year once again. The 2014 VMware Fling Contest is now open.

Do you have an idea on how certain features or functionality could be improved upon? Can you think of an app that would make the life of a system administrator so much easier? Do you have a repetitive task that you wished you could have automated in your vSphere environment? Or a decision-making tool for certain tasks? We are looking for you, our customers & users, to propose ideas for new VMware Flings.  Our panel of judges will pick the winner.  Previous winners include the Proactive vCops for DRS and DRM fling,  and last year the winner of the 2013 Fling Contest proposed a fling to help automate the migration path from a Windows-based vCenter Server to a vCenter Server Appliance-based platform. This is currently under development and is something we should see release very soon.

 The 2014 VMware Fling Contest URL is https://flingcontest.vmware.com. The competition is open until November 14th, 2014. Our VMware judging panel will review all the submissions and will declare the winner on December 14, 2014.