A brief overview of the new Virtual SAN 6.1

captain-vsanWith the announcements just made at VMworld 2015, the embargo on Virtual SAN 6.1 has now been lifted, so we can now discuss publicly some of the new features and functionality. Virtual SAN is VMware’s software-defined solution for Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI). For the last number of months, I’ve been heavily involved in preparing for the Virtual SAN 6.1 launch. What follows is a brief description of what I find to be the most interesting and exciting of the upcoming features in Virtual SAN 6.1. Later on, I will follow-up with more in-depth blog posts on the new features and functionality.

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Nexenta promotion for VSAN customers

nexenta_partnerlogoJust in time for VMworld 2015, the guys over at Nexenta have given me a heads up on a new promotion that they are doing for Virtual SAN (VSAN) customers. Nexenta are giving away complimentary licenses for their NexentaStor product, which will allow Virtual SAN customers to do file services on top of VSAN.

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A first look at ClearSky Data

clearskyI had a heads-up recently on a new company, ClearSky Data, who only exited stealth today. I want to make it clear that I have not yet been briefed by the folks from ClearSky, but I am definitely hoping to chat with them at VMworld 2015 (they’ll be at booth 441). Therefore a lot of what I have in this post is conjecture on my behalf. It seems to me that their goal is to help change how enterprise IT teams buy, manage and optimize their storage. Instead of consuming traditional storage arrays (alongside backup and disaster recovery (DR) infrastructure) in data centers, they want customers to reconsider another approach with ClearSky. However they do realize that while the current storage clouds offer great scalability and economics for archives and infrequently used data, they’re not so good for primary storage workloads. So how can this be addressed?

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vROps Management Pack for Storage Devices 6.0.2 is GA

Today sees the release of the vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices (MPSD) version 6.0.2. This is exciting for me as it means that vROps now has management and monitoring features for Virtual SAN 6.0.  The management pack comes with a set of default dashboards for Virtual SAN clusters, as well as the ability to monitor and create proactive alerts/notifications based on VSAN events.

I took the vROps Management Pack for a spin a little while back, and used it on my own lab cluster. Included below are a few of the features that it has.

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New storage vendors to check out at #VMworld 2015 (SFO)

vmworld2015As usual, there have been loads of things happening over the last 12 months in the storage space. The Solutions Exchange at VMworld is always a great place to meet new storage startups, and get some further information on their respective products and innovations. This year, I’ve made a note of a few startups that I wish to catch up with at VMworld 2015 and find out what issues are they trying to address with their technology, and why should a customer choose  their solution over some of the others in the storage space.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am not endorsing any of these vendors. This is simply technology that I am interested in, and something I want to learn more about at VMworld. I’d urge any readers attending VMworld to do the same. For those not attending, my goal is to learn enough about these new startups so that I can write an article about them at some point (if I haven’t already done so).

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Is VSAN for you? It’s never been easier to check…

captain-vsanA common question we receive when we meet with customers and talk about Virtual SAN is “whether or not VSAN is going to be able to run my particular workloads?” This is a great question to ask, as most customers are coming from a background of SAN or NAS storage arrays, fibre channel, FC switches, HBAs, CNAs, etc. Since VSAN is still relative new (18 months old at this point), being confident that this new product can successfully run existing virtual machines and applications is paramount. To that end, VMware has developed a number of tools that are simple to use and will provide customers with all relevant details on their current workloads, and whether or not these workloads will run on VSAN.

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Announcing Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin 6.0 Patch 1

health-checkAnnouncing some important news for VSAN 6.0 users, especially those using the VSAN Health Check Plugin.

If you are using the Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin version 6.0 (and if you use Virtual SAN 6.0, you definitely should be using it), there is a new patch now available.

Note that this new Health Check plugin version 6.0.1 release only requires the vCenter server to be updated. There are no new ESXi host side VIBs required. The patch comes as a new installable RPM for the vCenter appliance and a new MSI for Windows versions of vCenter server.

[Update] For the most part, once the RPM or MSI has updated, there should be no further action needed. However, there have been a few occasions where the health check reports that the VIBs on the ESXi host need to be updated. This can happen when EAM (ESX Agent Manager) does a check on the VIBs during a health service restart (e.g. when the post install script is run). This is simply rectified in a mater of seconds by clicking on the “Retry” button in the VSAN > Manage > Health view.

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