There are many occasions where the information displayed in the vSphere client is not sufficient to display all relevant information about a particular storage device, or indeed to troubleshoot problems related to a storage device. The purpose of this post is to explain some of the most often used ESXCLI commands that I use when trying to determine storage device information, and to troubleshoot a particular device.
Last week I had the opportunity to catch up with Mike Koponen and Dean Steadman of Fusion-io. I had met with Mike and Dean at VMworld 2013, and spoke to them about the Fusion-io acquisition of NexGen storage earlier last year, and what plans Fusion-io had for this acquisition. Well, the result is ioControl Hybrid Storage, and we discussed some of the architecture of ioControl as well as a number of vSphere integration points.
A short and sweet post today. In vSphere 5.0, VMware introduced support for 16Gb FC HBAs. However these HBAs had to be throttled down to work at 8Gb. In 5.1, VMware supported these 16Gb HBAs running at 16Gb. However, an important point to note is that there was no support for full end-to-end 16Gb connectivity from host to array in vSphere 5.1. To get full bandwidth, you possible had to configure a number of 8Gb connections from the switch to the storage array.
With the release of vSphere 5.5, VMware now supports 16Gb E2E (end-to-end) Fibre Channel.
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All Flash Arrays continue to make the news. Whether it is EMC’s XtremIO launch or Violin Memory’s current market woes, there is no doubt that AFAs continue to generate a lot of interest. Those of you interested in flash storage will not need an introduction to SolidFire. These guys were founded by Dave Wright (ex-RackSpace) and have been around since 2009. I have been trying to catch up with SolidFire for sometime as I’d heard their pitch around Quality of Service on a per volume basis and wanted to learn more, especially how it integrated with vSphere features. Recently I caught up with Dave Cahill and Adam Carter of SolidFire to have a chat about SolidFire in general and what the VMware integration points are.
Just thought I’d bring to your attention something that has been doing the rounds here at VMware recently, and will be applicable to those of you using QLogic HBAs with ESXi 5.x. The following are the device queue depths you will find when using QLogic HBAs for SAN connectivity:
- ESXi 4.1 U2 – 32
- ESXi 5.0 GA – 64
- ESXi 5.0 U1 – 64
- ESXi 5.1 GA – 64
The higher depth of 64 has been this way since 24 Aug 2011 (the 5.0 GA release). The issue is that this has not been documented anywhere. For the majority of users, this is not an area of concern and is probably a benefit. But there are some concerns.
Another storage vendor that I finally managed to catch up with at this year’s VMware Partner Exchange was Tegile. I was curious about the name, and I learnt that Tegile was a merging of the terms Technology and Agility. Tegile is another vendor that I have seen at various events, but have not had an opportunity to catch up with them in person and learn about their products. This time, I got an opportunity to catch up with Rob Commins (VP of Marketing) and Mike Recker of Tegile, and put a few questions to them.
Last week, I was at our VMware Partner Exchange event in Las Vegas. Apart from my own break-out session on vSphere 5.1 storage features, I wanted to catch up with a number of our partner vendors who are doing cool things in the storage space. One of these vendors is Dot Hill, a company from Longmont, Colorado, who have been making storage arrays for a considerable amount of time now, but one which does not seem to get a huge amount of exposure. I caught up with Matt Alsip, the Technical Marketing Manager at Dot Hill, to put my customary set of questions to him about their products and how their arrays integrate with vSphere.