A first look at vFile – Sharing a persistent volume between containers

Regular readers will have noticed that I have been doing a bit of work recently with docker swarm, and what you need to do to get it to work on VMs running on vSphere. The reason why I had taken such an interest is because I wanted to look at a new product that our Project Hatchway team have been cooking up, namely vFile. In a nutshell, vFile provides simultaneous, persistent volume access between nodes in the same Docker Swarm cluster. In some ways, it can be thought of as an extension to vDVS, the vSphere Docker Volume Service (from…

vRealize Automation SPBM Integration Solution v2.1.0 is out

Last week I wrote about the new vSAN management pack for vRealize Operations. This week sees another nice new storage feature/solution released. This time it is a solution to integrate vRealize Automation and Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM). For those of you who saw the VMworld 2016 keynotes, you may remember Yanbing Li demonstrating the ability to have a VM move to a completely new datacenter, based on storage policy compliance. In essence, if a VM exits compliance with its storage policy (for whatever reason),  vRealize Automation SPBM integration can initiate a migration of this VM  to a completely different…

Can Storage Policies be used with VIC?

The answer is an emphatic yes. One can absolutely use storage policies with vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC). However, there is currently no way to specify a policy at the docker CLI when creating a container (at this time). Therefore one would have to deploy the VCH, then deploy the container, and then finally modify the storage policy as appropriate. My understanding is that consideration is being given to a way to do this at deployment time, but at the present, it involves a number of steps. Let’s discuss them in turn.

Thank you – Top vBlog 2016 – #3

A Cháirde, I would like to say a quick thank you for once again voting for my blog in the annual vBlog ballot. It is very humbling that so many of you voted for my blog. Once again I came in at position #3, surrounded by such luminaries as Duncan Epping, William Lam, Frank Denneman and Chris Wahl. And to top it off, I also came in as #1 in the Best Storage Blog category. To say I’m thrilled is an understatement – so thank you. A special word of thanks also for Eric Siebert of vsphere-land.com for organizing all…

Recovering from a full VSAN datastore scenario

We had an interesting event happen on one of our lab servers this weekend. One of the hosts in our four node cluster hit an issue, which meant that the storage on that host was no longer available to the VSAN datastore. Since VSAN auto-heals, it attempted to re-protect as many VMs as possible. However, since we chose to ignore one of the health check warnings to do with limits, we ended up with a full VSAN datastore.

Read locality in VSAN stretched cluster

Many regular readers will know that we do not do read locality in Virtual SAN. For VSAN, it has always been a trade-off of networking vs. storage latency. Let me give you an example. When we deploy a virtual machine with multiple objects (e.g. VMDK), and this VMDK is mirrored across two disks on two different hosts, we read in a round-robin fashion from both copies based on the block offset. Similarly, as the number of failures to tolerate is increased, resulting in additional mirror copies, we continue to read in a round-robin fashion from each copy, again based on…

Supported network topologies for VSAN stretched cluster

As part of the Virtual SAN 6.1 announcements at VMworld 2015, possibly the most eagerly anticipated announcement was the support for a VSAN stretched cluster configuration. Now VSAN can protect your virtual machine across data centers, not just across racks (which was achievable with fault domains introduced in VSAN 6.0). I’ve been hearing requests from customers to support this since the initial VSAN beta, so it is definitely a welcome addition to the supported configurations. The obvious next question is how do I set it up. Well, first of all, you will need to make sure that you have a…