Compare and Contrast – VSAN and VVols

VVolsEarlier this month I had the opportunity to meet with a number of VMware customers in both Singapore and in the UAE. Most of the sessions were enablement and education type sessions, where there was a lot of white-boarding of VSAN (VMware’s hyper-converged infrastructure product) and Virtual Volumes (VVols – Software Defined Storage or SDS for the storage arrays). This wasn’t a sales session; I’m not in sales. The objective of these sessions was simply to educate. I guess when you are immersed in this stuff 24×7, it easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone is well versed in this technology, and that’s simply not the case.

captain-vsanWith both virtualization teams and storage teams in the room at the same time, it was important to show the building blocks with each approach, as well as to compare and contrast the advantages of the different storage solutions over the other. As I repeatedly delivered the same session, I thought it might be useful to share my thoughts with a broader audience, in the guise of this blog post.

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VSAN 6.2 Part 10 – Problematic Disk Handling

disk-failureIn this post, I want to talk about a feature called Problematic Disk Handling. Some history behind why we have such a feature can be found in this post. In VSAN 6.2/vSphere 6.0 U2, Problematic Disk Handling has been improved so that it will unmount a problematic disk/diskgroup for two reasons:

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Cohesity Data Platform 2.0 is out

cohesityCohesity have released their next version (2.0) of the Cohesity Data Platform. I met Cohesity at VMworld 2015, and  I wrote about my first impressions of the solution in a blog post from back in August 2015. In a nutshell, Cohesity are positioning their Data Platform as hyper-converged secondary storage. They want to stop the silo’ing of different storage for backups, file shares and analytics in the data center, and offer you a single platform for all of your secondary storage needs. Now they are ready with the next version, so lets take a quick look at what is coming in this new release.

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Where are they now? Recent changes in the storage space

watnThe storage space has been a very exciting space over recent years. There have been so many new start-ups and new innovations, that it becomes difficult to keep track sometimes. More recently, there has been a lot of news around mergers, acquisitions and IPOs in the storage industry. It got me thinking about a lot of the changes we have seen over the past 3-4 years in the storage market. Just for my own interest, I went back over many of my blogs, and the various conversations I had with people at various VMworld events and VMUG meetings, and tried to see where a lot of these companies/products are now, and what they are currently doing. Now, I am not going to mention every single vendor here. I’m simply trying to highlight the ones that were acquired or merged or indeed IPO’ed (and in some cases are no longer with us) during this period.

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A closer look at Datrium

datriumDatrium are a new storage company who only recently came out of stealth. They are one of the companies that I really wanted to catch up with at VMworld 2015. They have a lot of well-respected individuals on their team, including Boris Weissman, who was a principal engineer at VMware and Brian Biles of Data Domain fame. They also count of Diane Green, founder of VMware, among their investors. So there is a significant track record in both storage and virtualization at the company.

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A first look at Cohesity

cohesityI mentioned in an earlier post that Cohesity were one of the vendors that I wanted to check out at VMworld 2015. These guys have only literally exited stealth. Just yesterday, I sat in on a webinar from Nick Howell, who I know extremely well from his days in technical marketing over at NetApp. Nick has now joined Cohesity as the role of an evangelist, which I think is a great move on Cohesity’s part. On Nick’s webinar, he introduced us to the vision behind Cohesity’s product, what they hope to fix in a customer’s environment and some teasers regarding where the direction “may” be going in the future.

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Handling VSAN trace files when ESXi boots from a flash device

I’ve been involved in a few conversations recently regarding how VSAN trace files are handled when the ESXi host that is participating in a VSAN cluster boots from a flash device. I already did a post about some of these considerations in the past, but focused mostly on USB/SD. However SATADOM was not included in this discussion, as we did not initially support SATADOM in VSAN 5.5, and only announced SATADOM support for VSAN 6.0. It seems that there are some different behaviors that need to be taken into account between the various flash boot devices, which is why I decided to write this post.

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