Pure Storage adds vCenter Web Client Plugin, VAAI, iSCSI & more to new release

Pure Storage are an all-flash enterprise storage company. I first met these guys at VMworld 2011 and was quite impressed by their product. Like many Flash Array vendors at the time, there wasn’t a great amount of vSphere integration features. However, with this latest release of Purity v2.5, Pure Storage are addressing this and more. I had a chance to meet and discuss these new features with Matt Kixmoeller & Ravi Venkat of Pure Storage recently. Not only are they now VMware-Ready certified, but they’ve got a whole bunch of integration features. Let’s have a look at the features that…

vSphere 5.1 Storage Enhancements – Part 8: Storage I/O Control

Storage I/O Control (SIOC) was initially introduced in vSphere 4.1 to provide I/O prioritization of virtual machines running on a cluster of ESXi hosts that had access to  shared storage.  It extended the familiar constructs of shares and limits, which existed for CPU and memory, to address storage utilization through a dynamic allocation of I/O queue slots across a cluster of ESXi servers. The purpose of SIOC is to address the ‘noisy neighbour’ problem, i.e. a low priority virtual machine impacting other higher priority virtual machines due to the nature of the application and its I/O running in that low…

vSphere 5.1 Storage Enhancements – Part 7: Storage vMotion

Let’s begin this post with a recap of the Storage vMotion enhancements made in vSphere 5.0. Storage vMotion in vSphere 5.0 enabled the migration of virtual machines with snapshots and also the migration of linked clones. It also introduced a new mirroring architecture which mirrors the changed disk blocks after they have been copied to the destination, i.e. we fork a write to both source and destination using mirror mode. This means migrations can be done in a single copy operation. Mirroring I/O between the source and the destination disks has significant gains when compared to the iterative disk pre-copy…

vSphere 5.1 Storage Enhancements – Part 5: Storage Protocols

There are a number of storage protocol enhancements in vSphere 5.1. Boot from Software FCoE vSphere 5.0 introduced a new software Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) adapter. A software FCoE adapter is software code that performs some of the FCoE processing & can be used with a number of NICs that support partial FCoE offload. The software adapter needs to be activated by the vSphere administrator before it can be used, similar to Software iSCSI.

vSphere 5.1 Storage Enhancements – Part 4: All Paths Down (APD)

All Paths Down (APD) is a situation which occurs when a storage device is removed from the ESXi host in an uncontrolled manner, either due to administrative error or device failure. Over the previous number of vSphere releases, VMware has made significant improvements to handling the APD, the All Paths Down, condition. This is a difficult condition to manage since we don’t know if the device is gone forever or if it might come back, i.e. is it a permanent device loss or is it a transient condition.