Yesterday was my first day at VMworld 2014. As usual with this event, there are simply so many interesting announcements that it is hard to keep track. However, for me, there were a few things which stood out in the storage space worth calling out. These are specifically VMware focused products and features. I know that many of our partners have also made announcements in the storage space, but for today I concentrated solely on VMware. There are the two that really caught my attention.
On a recent trip to VMware in Palo Alto, I found some time to visit with a good pal of mine, Vinay Gaonkar, who is now the Product Manager for XtremIO over at EMC. Vinay used to be a storage PM at VMware (he worked on the initial phases of VVols), and we worked together on a number of storage items in various vSphere releases. It’s been almost 2 years since I last spoke to the XtremIO folks (VMworld 2012 in fact, when the product still had not become generally available), so I thought that this would be a good time to catch up with them, as we are in the run up to VMworld 2014.
Although I didn’t attend EMC World this year, there were a lot of interesting announcements. I managed to catch up with Matt Cowger (who sorts of sits between both the EMC & VMware camps) and ran through some of the main highlights from this year’s conference. There has been a lot written about EMC World already (and I mean a lot) so I’m going to try to keep the highlights to a minimum, and provide links to where you can read more.
I’ve been doing a bit of work over the past number of weeks on the adapters for vCenter Operations (vC OPs) with my old pal Paudie. We are working on vCenter Operations 5.8 and using a vSphere 5.5U1 environment. Since we have a Brocade Fibre Channel switch and an EMC VNX array in our lab, I wanted to get the Management Pack for Storage Devices (MPSD) and the Brocade SAN Analytics Management Pack deployed, and see what information we could glean from those extension packs. When we completed the configuration, we were able to go into the vC OPs customs view and see details like the following Brocade – Health Overview and Storage Components Heatmap:
Caution: We spent a lot of time trying to figure out why the MPSD adapter would not connect to the CIMOM service on Brocade’s Network Advisor. This boiled down to networking/DNS configuration issues. The MPSD release notes for vC OPs describe the issue. As they say, I should have RTFM. Anyhow, here are the steps we went through to get this setup going. I’m afraid it is rather long, but hopefully you will find the information in here useful.
Thanks to our friends at EMC, I was recently given the chance to attend a session on EMC’s new storage acquisition, ScaleIO. This acquisition generated a lot of interest (and perhaps some confusion) as VMware Virtual SAN product seemed to play in that same storage area. My good friend Chad Sakac over at EMC wrote about this some 6 months ago in his evocatively titled blog post VSAN vs. ScaleIO fight! Chad explains where, in his opinion, each product can be positioned and how EMC/VMware customers have a choice of storage options. His article is definitely worth a read. I wanted to learn more about the ScaleIO product and share this with you.
I’ve been presenting at a number of conferences over the past number of weeks/months, both internal and external. While a lot of my sessions have focused around Virtual SAN (VSAN), I got a number of questions around whether or not the new Software Defined Storage product from EMC, ViPR, competes with or complements Virtual SAN. Since ViPR 1.0 is now available (since September), and a new release of ViPR is due out before the end of the year, I thought I’d take a closer look at what ViPR is all about and try to answer that question.
Hmm, it seems to be the week that’s in it for storage issues. After publishing the DELL EQL & VMFS issue earlier this week, I have now been given a heads-up on an EMC VNXe & iSCSI issue. The symptoms are ESXi hosts being unable to boot from an iSCSI LUN on the VNXe or ESXi hosts losing connectivity to iSCSI datastores.