Heads Up! VAAI UNMAP issues on EMC VMAX

We just got notification about a potential issue with the VAAI UNMAP primitive when used on EMC VMAX storage systems with Enginuity version 5876.159.102 or later. It seems that during an ESXi reboot, or during a device ATTACH operation, the ESXi may report corruption. The following is an overview of the details found in EMC KB 184320. Other symptoms include vCenter operations on virtual machines fail to complete and the following errors might be found in the VMkernel logs:

WARNING: Res3: 6131: Invalid clusterNum: expected 2624, read 0 
[type 1] Invalid totalResources 0 (cluster 0).[type 1] Invalid  
nextFreeIdx 0 (cluster 0).
WARNING: Res3: 3155: Volume aaaaaaaa-bbbbbbbb-cccc-dddddddddddd 
("datastore1") might be damaged on the disk. Resource cluster  
metadata corruption has been detected

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VMware certify new memory channel attached storage on vSphere 5.1 & 5.5

This is an interesting announcement for those of you following emerging storage technologies. We’ve been talking about flash technologies for some time now, but for the most part flash has been either an SSD or PCIe device. Well, we now have another format – DIMM-based flash storage device. And VMware now supports it.

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A closer look at Fusion-io ioControl 3.0

fusion-io_logo-300x133Last 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.

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A closer look at NetApp clustered Data ONTAP

netapp-logoI’ve been having some interesting discussions with my friends over at NetApp recently. I wanted to learn more about their new clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 features and its new scale-out functionality. In the storage array world, traditional scale-up mechanisms usually involved either replacing disk drives with faster/newer models or replacing old array controllers with newer controllers. In worst case scenarios, fork lift upgrades are required to do a technology refresh of your array. Another approach, scale-out, is fast becoming the accepted way of handling storage requirements going forward. Scale out storage is now big news. With scale-out, you simply add additional resources to your already existing shared storage pool.

Over the past year I have been to a number of VMUGs (VMware User Group) meetings and have sat in on some of the NetApp sessions on their clustered Data ONTAP release. NetApp have also realized that the demand is there for scale-out, and they have introduced their very own unified scale-out storage solution called clustered Data ONTAP. Basically, this allows you to take a bunch of different NetApp storage array models and cluster them together to provide a single, unified and virtualized share storage pool. Using clustered Data ONTAP 8.2, NetApp customers can now increase scalability using a scale-out rather than a scale-up approach. Let’s look at clustered Data ONTAP and some of the new features it brings in more detail. Continue reading

A closer look at SolidFire

solidfireAll 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.

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COHO Data – out of stealth today!

cohoThere is a new storage vendor on the block – COHO DATA – who just exited stealth and launched their new product with the tag ‘Storage for the Cloud Generation’. I had the opportunity recently to catch up with Andy Warfield, co-founder and CTO of COHO DATA. Andy has a long history of involvement with storage and virtualization. A graduate of Cambridge University in the UK, he was involved in XenSource where he developed much of the low-level storage integration mechanisms for external storage arrays like NetApp and DELL EqualLogic. Andy gave me an in-depth interview related to their new product, and why certain development directions were taken by COHO DATA.

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Heads Up! EMC VNX, Recoverpoint and VAAI

I just got a notification about this myself today. Apparently there is some interoperability issues with VAAI (vSphere APIs for Array Integration) & EMC RecoverPoint on EMC VNX arrays. It looks like the VNX Storage Processor (SP) may reboot with Operating Environment Release 32 P204 in a RecoverPoint environment.

EMC have just released today a technical advisory – ETA emc327099 – which describes the issue in more detail but is basically advising customers to disable VAAI on all ESXi hosts in the RecoverPoint environment while they figure this out. Hopefully it won’t take too long to come up with a solution to allow VAAI run in these environments once again.