Getting started with VCF Part 11 – External Storage

I got an interesting question recently on my VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) blog series. An observation was made that all of my posts highlighted vSAN as the storage for both the management domain and the workload domains. The question was whether other types of storage could be used in VCF. While we would always promote vSAN as the primary storage for VCF, the answer is yes, other storage types can be used. But I need to qualify this statement. The management domain always uses vSAN. This is automatically configured during the bring up process of the management domain and provides…

Getting started with VCF Part 5 – Commission Hosts

At this stage, we’ve done quite a number of tasks related to VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF). Our management domain is up and running, and we also have the vRealize Suite of products deployed (vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager, vRealize Log Insight, vRealize Operations Manager, and of course vRealize Automation). Our next step is to commission some new ESXi hosts so we can create our very first VI Workload Domain (WLD) which we can start using for production purposes. This post will look at the steps involved in commissioning the hosts. Note that in this example, I am going to commission ESXi…

First Class Disks/Enhanced Virtual Disks revisited

I have been receiving a number of queries lately with regards to First Class Disks (FCD) on vSphere, also referred to as Improved Virtual Disks (IVD). Some time back, I wrote a primer on FCDs and more recently I wrote about Safekeeper, a tool for interacting with FCDs which is available on GitHub as OpenSource. This may be why there has been an increase in awareness and I am seeing more questions about FCDs. In this post, I want to address some of the most common FCD/IVD questions that I have received to date. Feel free to leave comments if…

Velero and Portworx – Container Volume Backup and Restores

If you’ve been following my posts for the last week or so, you’ll have noticed my write-ups on Velero backups and restores using the new release candidate (RC). I also did a recent write-up on Portworx volumes and snapshots. In this post, I’ll bring them both together, and show you how Velero and Portworx are integrated to allow backups and restores of container applications using Portworx volumes. However, first, let’s take a step back. As was highlighted to me recently, all of this is very new to a lot of people, so let’s spend a little time setting the context.…

Getting started with Velero 1.0.0-rc.1

Last week, the Velero team announced the availability of release candidate (RC) version 1.0.0. I was eager to get my hands on it and try it out. Since it is RC (and not GA), I thought I would just deploy a fresh environment for testing.  The guidance from the Velero team is to test it out in your non-critical environments! On a number of Velero github sites, the links to download the binaries do not appear to be working, plus some of the install guidance is a little sparse. Anyhow, after some trial and error, I decided it might be…

Portworx, STORK and container volume snapshots

As I continue on my cloud native storage journey, I found myself looking at Portworx. The reason for this was down to the fact that Portworx provide a plugin for the Heptio Velero product, and I was interested to see how this behaved on top of my vSphere on-premises infrastructure. I’ve written about Velero a few times already, and done a few posts where I leveraged the Restic plugin for snapshot functionality. Thus, I wanted to see how Portworx achieved the same thing, and wanted to learn about bit more about STORK, Portworx’s Storage Orchestrator for Kubernetes. I’ve written about…

Minio S3 object store deployed as a set of VMs on vSAN

Some time back, I looked at what it would take to run a container based Minio S3 object store on top of vSAN. This involved using our vSphere Docker Volume Server (aka Project Hatchway, and the details can be found here. However, I wanted to evaluate what it would take to scale out the Minio S3 object store on top of vSAN, paying particular attention to features like distribution and availability, and to examine the various data services that can be provided by both vSAN and Minio. I also wanted to take advantage of the new host-pinning feature in vSAN…