An Introduction to Flash Technology

As many of you are aware, VMware made a number of announcements at VMworld 2012. There were three technical previews in the storage space. The first of these was on Virtual Volumes (VVols), which is aimed at making storage objects in virtual infrastructures more granular. The second was Virtual SAN (VSAN), previously known as Distributed Storage, a new distributed datastore using local ESXi storage. The final one was Virtual Flash (vFlash). However, rather than diving into vFlash, I thought it might be more useful to take a step back and have a look at flash technologies in general.

Heads Up! VSA & Quad Port NIC Support

There was a recent discussion on the forums around the supportability of quad port NICs when deploying the vSphere Storage Appliance. There is an error thrown by the installer when the ESXi host only has a quad port NIC. The error states that the VSA installer ‘Failed to configure network on host’ because it ‘Could not find 2 NICs on the system’. However there is a workaround to allow VSA to install when the ESXi host(s) only contain a single quad port NIC. This is only available on VSA 5.1.x.

An Introduction to Coraid

Another session that I attended during the UK National VMUG earlier this month was an overview of Coraid Technology from Max Brown, one of Coraid’s System Engineers based in the UK. My first introduction to Coraid was at VMworld 2011 & I did a short overview of their AoE (ATA over Ethernet) solution here. I wanted to get along to this session to see what had changed since then. In a nutshell, Coraid present SAN storage as local storage via AoE. How do they do that? Well, Coraid provide the HBA, the AoE initiator software  (which must be installed on…

NFS Best Practices – Part 2: Advanced Settings

Following on from part 1 of the NFS Best Practices, part 2 is going to look at tuning from a vSphere perspective. As mentioned, our objective is to update the NFS Best Practice white paper which is now rather dated. There are quite a number of tunable parameters which are available to you when using NFS datastores. Before we drill into these advanced settings in a bit more detail, it is important to understand that the recommended values for some of these settings may (and probably will) vary from storage array vendor to storage array vendor. My objective is to…

NFS Best Practices – Part 1: Networking

There is a project currently underway here at VMware to update the current Best Practices for running VMware vSphere on Network Attached Storage. The current paper is a number of years old now, and we are looking to bring it up to date. There are a number of different sections that need to be covered, but we decided to start with networking, as getting your networking infrastructure correct will play a crucial part in your NAS performance and availability obviously.

WHIPTAIL Announce 4.1.1 Update

Last week, I presented at the UK National VMUG. I took the opportunity to catch up with Darren Williams (Technical Director, EMEA & APAC) of WHIPTAIL who was also presenting at the event. My first introduction to WHIPTAIL came last year when I first met Darren at another user group meeting, and I posted about their XLR8R array on the vSphere storage blog. Darren & I discussed the changes which WHIPTAIL has undergone in the past 12 months since we last spoke, including the launch of a new range of scale out storage arrays, as well as the new features…