A first look at vSphere with Kubernetes in action

In my previous post on VCF 4.0, we looked at the steps involved in deploying vSphere with Kubernetes in a Workload Domain (WLD). When we completed that step, we had rolled out the Supervisor Control Plane VMs, and installed the Spherelet components which allows our ESXi hosts to behave as Kubernetes worker nodes. Let’s now take a closer look at that configuration, and I will show you a few simple Kubernetes operations to get you started on the Supervisor Cluster in vSphere with Kubernetes. Disclaimer: “Like my earlier posts, I want to be clear, this post is based on a…

Read-Write-Many Persistent Volumes with vSAN 7 File Services

A few weeks back, just after the vSphere 7.0 launch event, I wrote an article about Native File Services in vSAN 7.0. I had a few questions asking why we decided on NFS support in this initial release, and not something like SMB or some other protocol. The reason is quite straight-forward. We are positioning vSAN as a platform for both traditional virtual machine workloads and newer containerized workloads. We chose NFS to address a storage requirement in Kubernetes, namely a way to share Persistent Volumes between Pods. To date, the vSphere CSI driver only provisioned block based Persistent Volumes…

Track vSAN Memory Consumption in vSAN 7

One of the most common requests in relation to vSAN performance is how much CPU and memory does vSAN actually consume on an ESXi host, i.e. what is the overhead of running vSAN. Through the vSAN Performance Service, we have been able to show both host and vSAN CPU usage for some time. However, up to now, we have only been able to show host memory usage, and not overhead attributed to vSAN. It has also been extremely difficult to determine how much memory vSAN required.  Way back in 2014, with the first vSAN version 5.5 release, I wrote this…

Native File Services for vSAN 7

On March 10th 2020, we saw a plethora of VMware announcements around vSphere 7.0, vSAN 7.0, VMware Cloud Foundation 4.0 and of course the Tanzu portfolio. The majority of these announcements tie in very deeply with the overall VMware company vision which is any application on any cloud on any device. Those applications have traditionally been virtualized applications. Now we are turning our attention to newer, modern applications which are predominantly container based, and predominantly run on Kubernetes. Our aim is to build a platform which can build, run, manage, connect and protect both traditional virtualized applications and modern containerized…

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…

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…

CNS – not just for vSAN

After a very eventful VMworld, we received lots of questions about CNS, the Cloud Native Storage feature that was released with vSphere 6.7U3. Whilst most of the demonstrations and blog articles around CNS focused on vSAN, what may have been missed is that this feature also works with both VMFS and NFS datastores. For that reason, I decided to create some examples of how CNS can also bubble up information in vSphere about Kubernetes Persistent Volumes (PVs) created on both VMFS and NFS datastores. Let’s begin by creating some simple policies to tag my VMFS datastore and my NFS datastore.…