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…

A closer look at VVol snapshot policies on Pure Storage with vSphere 6.7

I am in the very fortunate position of having access to a Pure Storage array, and this has been recently updated to support Virtual Volumes. With my new 6.7 vSphere cluster, I finally found some time to take a closer look at Virtual Volume (VVol) snapshots on the Pure array, something that I have been meaning to do for some time. For those of you who are new to Virtual Volumes (VVols), one of the major advantages is the granularity at which certain operations can now be done. In the past, we were always dealing with data services at the…

Taking snapshots with vSAN with failures in the cluster

I was discussing the following situation with some of our field staff today. We are aware that snapshots inherit the same policies as the base VMDK, so if I deployed a VM as a RAID-6, RAID-5, or a RAID-1, snapshots inherit the same configuration. However if I have a host failure in a 6-node vSAN running RAID-6 VMs, or a failure in a 4-node vSAN running RAID-5, or a 3-node vSAN running RAID-1, and I try to take a snapshot, then vSAN does not allow me to take the snapshot as there are not enough hosts in the cluster to…

A closer look at Portworx

Last month I had the opportunity to attend DockerCon17. One of the break-out sessions that I attended was from a company called Portworx. Portworx provide a solution for stateful docker container storage, which is what caught my interest. There are lots of companies who have already created docker volume plugins for their existing storage solutions, including VMware. However Portworx seem to be approaching this a bit differently, and are providing a layer of abstraction from the underlying host storage. So you might be using cloud (e.g. EBS from AWS), or SAN or NAS or indeed you might only have local…

Cloning and Snapshots on vSAN when policy requirements cannot be met

I was looking into some behavior recently to assist one of our partners. He described a situation that they observed during proof-of-concept testing. I thought it would be of benefit to highlight this behavior in case you also observe it, and you are curious as to why it is happening. Let’s begin with a description of the test. The customer has a 7-node vSAN, and has implemented RAID-6 erasure coding for all VMs across the board. The customer isolated one host, and as expected, the VMs continued to run without issue. The customer was also able to clones virtual machine…

A closer look at Cohesity 4.0

Last week, I had a chance to catch up with my pal, Rawlinson Rivera. Rawlinson and I worked closely on a lot of storage related stuff at VMware, but he has since moved on to pastures new, and is currently the CTO for the Global Field over at Cohesity. I’ve written about Cohesity a number of times on this blog. I think the first time I wrote about them was during VMworld 2015, just before the 1.0 product launched, and they were still pitching the idea of secondary storage and how they would take care of things like snaps, clones,…

Virtually Speaking Podcast Episode 34 – Core Storage

Many readers will be aware that John Nicholson and Pete Fletcha of the VMware Storage and Availability Tech Marketing team run a weekly podcast show called  Virtually Speaking. This week I am back as a guest on their show, alongside Cody Hosterman of Pure Storage. We discuss a lot of the new core storage features in vSphere 6.5, which were detailed in a co-produced white paper that we recently created. You can read about how to get the white paper here. You can listen to the podcast through the player below. I hope you enjoy it.