Getting started with Fusion-io and VSAN

I’ve been having lots of fun lately in my new role in Integration Engineering. It is also good to have someone local once again to bounce ideas off. Right now, that person is Paudie O’Riordan (although sometimes I bet he wishes I was in a different timezone 🙂 ). One of the things we are currently looking at is a VSAN implementation using Fusion-io ioDrive2 cards (which our friends over at Fusion-io kindly lent us). The purpose of this post is to show the steps involved in configuring these cards on ESXi and adding them as nodes to a VSAN…

Virtual SAN (VSAN) Announcement Review

Very exciting day today at VMware – Virtual SAN or VSAN has been officially announced. If you weren’t able to attend, here are some of the interesting parts of the announcement: 32 node support (up from the 16 node support announced at Partner Exchange last month, and up from the 8 nodes which we supported during the beta) 2 million IOPS (using IOmeter 100% read, 4KB block size). Also 640K IOPS achieved with 70/30 read/write ratio, 4KB block size and 80% random. 3200 virtual machines (100 per node) 4.4 PB of storage (using 35 disk per host x 32 hosts…

A closer look at Bull Storage Solutions

I thought it was about time that I looked at some of the larger storage vendors closer to home. One of these is of course Bull. This company is probably more familiar to those of us based in Europe rather than those of you based in the Americas or Asia Pacific. However VMware customers in EMEA will have seen them in the Solutions Exchange at VMworld Europe, where they have a reasonably large presence. After some conversation with my good pal Didier Pironet, whom I’ve met at a couple of recent VMUGs, I was introduced to Philippe Reynier who is…

A list of ESXCLI storage commands you can’t live without

There are many occasions where the information displayed in the vSphere client is not sufficient to display all relevant information about a particular storage device, or indeed to troubleshoot problems related to a storage device. The purpose of this post is to explain some of the most often used ESXCLI commands that I use when trying to determine storage device information, and to troubleshoot a particular device.

VSAN Part 17 – Removing a Disk Group from a Host

[Updated: 17th Feb 2016] Following on from my recent post on how to reclaim disks that were previously used by VSAN, I was asked how one can remove a disk group from a host that is participating in a VSAN [5.5] cluster. This is quite straight forward, but there is one minor caveat and it relates to whether the VSAN cluster has been setup in Automatic Mode or Manual Mode. If you want to learn more about the behaviour of the different modes, you can read up on it here.

VSAN Part 16 – Reclaiming disks for other uses

A number of customers have raised this question. How do you reclaim disks which were once used by VSAN but you now wish to use these disks for other purposes? Well, first off, if you are using some of the later builds of VSAN and you place the host into maintenance mode and remove the disk group from the host, this will automatically remove the partitions from the disks and you are good to go with reusing these disks for some other purpose. However, if you do something such as reinstall ESXi on the host but do not go through…

A closer look at vSphere Flash Read Cache – vFRC

I was going to make this part 11 of my vSphere 5.5 Storage Enhancements series, but I thought that since this is such a major enhancement to storage in vSphere 5.5, I’d put a little more focus on it. vFRC, short for vSphere Flash Read Cache, is a mechanism whereby the read operations of your virtual machine are accelerated by using an SSD or a PCIe flash device to cache the disk blocks of the application running in the Guest OS of your virtual machine. Now, rather than going to magnetic disk to read a block of data, the data…