What’s in the vSphere and vSAN 6.7 release?

Today VMware unveils vSphere version 6.7, which also includes a new version of vSAN. In this post, I am going to highlight some of the big-ticket items that are in vSphere 6.7 from a core storage perspective, and also some of the new feature that you will find in vSAN 6.7. I’ll also cover some of the new enhancements coming in Virtual Volumes (VVols).

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI), Sustainability and Green IT

I’m sure it will come as no surprise to many readers that virtualization has brought (and continues to bring) huge benefits with regards to data center efficiency. I’m sure you are all aware of how virtualization allows you to do more with your servers; no more single server – single application paradigms. No longer do you have huge amount of compute resources left idle on your servers. By being able to run many operating systems and many applications simultaneously on the same single server (server consolidation), virtualization brought a halt to server sprawl and data center expansion for many of…

Upcoming VMUG webinar – vSphere 6.5 Core Storage

A quick note to let you know that I am co-presenting on an upcoming VMUG webinar with my good pal, Cody Hosterman, from Pure Storage. The subject is vSphere 6.5 Core Storage, and this is very much the same topic that we presented at VMworld 2017. We will cover new limits, deed dive into VMFS-6 and VAAI enhancements (including automated UNMAP), cover what’s new in NFS and iSCSI, and then finish with an overview of what we’ve done in the NVMe space. The webinar takes place on Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 11:00 AM US Central Standard Time. Cody and…

A change to sub-blocks on VMFS-6

Something that I only just recently noticed is that we have made a change to the sub-blocks structure on VMFS-6, compared to VMFS-5. Sub-blocks are small allocations on a VMFS volume, and they are used to back small files. They were introduced as a space-saving measure to prevent using a full file block to back a very small file. To put this simply, when a file is created on VMFS, it is initially backed by a sub-block, and when the file grows above the size of a sub-block, it is switched to being backed by a file block (this has…

VMFS-6 Large and Small File Blocks – what are they?

When vSphere 6.5 released towards the end of 2016, it introduced a brand new version of VMFS, VMFS-6. VMFS probably needs little in the way of introduction at this stage, it being VMware’s flagship filesystem for over 10 years at this point. There is an older VMFS whitepaper available here if you are new to VMFS and want to get more of an overview. Now VMFS-6 introduces two new internal block sizes concept for file creation. These are referred to as LFB (Large File Blocks) and SFB (Small File Blocks) and are used to back files on the VMFS-6 volume.…

Does enabling encryption on vSAN require on an-disk format change?

vSAN 6.6 shipped earlier this year. It comes with a new on-disk format to support, among other things, data at rest encryption (also known as DARE). This is version 5 of the on-disk format. I’ve been asked this question a number of times over the past week, so I thought I would quickly write a few words on whether or not enabling encryption on vSAN 6.6 requires an on-disk format change, more commonly referred to as a DFC. Now this post is not going to cover vSAN encryption in any great detail; I just want to answer this one question…

My first look at Unikernels on vSphere

Dear reader, if you are like me, you may only be getting to grips with containers and how they compare to the virtual machine approach of running applications. While there has been a lot of buzz around containers, I’ve heard some rumblings around Unikernels, but to be honest, haven’t really been paying too much attention to them. That was until my recent visit to Norway, where I was speaking at the Oslo VMUG. One of the sessions delivered at that VMUG was by Per Buer who is CEO of a company called IncludeOS. IncludeOS are one of a handful of…