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.

Some highlights from VMworld 2016

With Virtual SAN gaining huge momentum, I had a pretty busy VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas, and I didn’t have too much free time this year to immerse myself in the Solutions Exchange. However there were a few folks that I did want to catch up with as I had heard that they have some cool new features added to their product sets. So I made a bee-line to check them out. Let me know if you found anything else interesting. I might have a little more time in VMworld Barcelona to check out the solutions exchange and see what…

A primer on App Volumes and AppStacks on VSAN

Last week I wrote a post on Horizon View 7 on VSAN. That was all about showing the policies that were associated with the different desktops that can be deployed. I did mention that while one could use vmFork/Instant Clones for desktops, they did not include any sort of persistence. I did add a caveat to say that you could provide persistent storage to these desktops using App Volumes. In this post, I wanted to give some details on App Volumes, and the different moving components one will need if they want to deploy View desktops with App Volumes. However,…

Snapshot Consolidation changes in vSphere 6.0

This is something I only learnt about very recently, and something I was unaware of. It seems that we have made a major improvement to the way we do snapshot consolidation in vSphere 6.0. Many of you will be aware of the fact that when they VM is very busy, snapshot consolidation may need to go through multiple iterations before we can successfully complete the consolidation/roll-up operation. In fact, there are situations where the snapshot consolidation operation could even fail if there is too much I/O. What we did previously is used a helper snapshot, and redirected all the new…

I/O Scheduler Queues Improvement for Virtual Machines

This is a new feature in vSphere 6.0 that I only recently became aware of. Prior to vSphere 6.0, all the I/Os from a given virtual machine to a particular device would share a single I/O queue. This would result in all the I/Os from the VM (boot VMDK, data VMDK, snapshot delta) queued into a single per-VM, per-device queue. This caused I/Os from different VMDKs interfere with each other and could actually hurt fairness. For example, if a VMDK was used by a database, and this database issued a lot of I/O, this could compete with I/Os from the…

A closer look at Datrium

Datrium are a new storage company who only recently came out of stealth. They are one of the companies that I really wanted to catch up with at VMworld 2015. They have a lot of well-respected individuals on their team, including Boris Weissman, who was a principal engineer at VMware and Brian Biles of Data Domain fame. They also count of Diane Green, founder of VMware, among their investors. So there is a significant track record in both storage and virtualization at the company.

Migrating a VM with snapshots to/from VSAN

In Virtual SAN 6.0, a new snapshot format was introduced called vsanSparse. This improves snapshot functionality by leveraging the new VirstoFS on-disk format used with VSAN 6.0. I had a question recently about what would happen if I migrated a VM with a traditional vmfsSparse/redo log type snapshot. The question was whether or not it would be converted to the new vsanSparse format. Similarly, what if a VM with a vsanSparse snapshot was migrated from VSAN to a traditional VMFS/NFS datastore? Would it also be converted between formats? I decided that the only way was to try it out.