Does Software iSCSI on vSphere support IPsec?

This came up in a conversation today. Does VMware’s Software iSCSI implementation support Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) in vSphere 5.1? Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) secures IP communications coming from and arriving at an ESXi host. Although KB article 1021769 states that IPv6 is compatible with Software iSCSI, it doesn’t state whether or not IPsec is supported with Software iSCSI. To find this information, you have to reach for the vSphere Security Guide. Under the section ‘Securing iSCSI Devices Through Authentication’, it states: ESXi does not support Kerberos, Secure Remote Protocol (SRP), or public-key authentication methods for iSCSI. Additionally, it does not…

Adaptive Queueing vs. Storage I/O Control

This post is to look at two different technologies available in vSphere to manage the queue depth on your ESXi host(s). A queue determines how many outstanding I/Os can be sent to a disk. In the case of vSphere environments, where many hosts can be doing I/O to the same shared disk device, it can be helpful to throttle the LUN queue depth from time to time when congestion arises. In this post, we will compare and contrast Adaptive Queues with Storage I/O Control (SIOC).

QLogic Mt. Rainier Technology Preview

I was fortunate enough yesterday to get an introduction to QLogic’s new Mt. Rainier technology. Although Mt. Rainier allows for different configurations of SSD/Flash to be used, the one that caught my eye was the QLogic QLE10000 Series SSD HBAs. These have not started to ship as yet, but considering that the announcement was last September, one suspects that GA is not far off. As the name suggests, this is a PCIe Flash card, but QLogic have one added advantage – the flash is combined with the Host Bus Adapter, meaning that you get your storage connectivity and cache accelerator…

Heads Up! VOMA – ERROR: Trying to do IO beyond device Size

This is a short note on trying to use VOMA, the vSphere On-disk Metadata Analyzer, on a dump taken from a VMFS-5 volume which was upgraded from VMFS-3. This is not an issue if VOMA is run directly on the volume; it is only an issue if a dump is taken from the volume and then you try to run VOMA on the dump. It may error during phase 1- ‘Checking VMFS header and resource files‘ with an error ‘ERROR: Trying to do IO beyond device Size‘. When a VMFS-3 is upgraded to VMFS-5, a new system file, pb2.sf, is…

Condusiv V-locity 4 – New caching feature

I recently got hold of a copy of the new V-locity 4 product from Condusiv which was released last month. Condusiv is the new name for Diskeeper, whom you may have heard of before. I first came across them as a provider of software which specialized in optimizing I/O, primarily by preventing file fragmentation on NTFS in a Windows Guest OS. I blogged about them in the past on the vSphere Storage Blog after some discussions around defragmentation in the Guest OS. The new feature takes a portion of memory and uses it as a block cache. I did some…

Heads Up! Storage DRS scheduler removes rules

One of my friends over in VMware support just gave me a heads-up on this issue. It affects virtual machines with anti-affinity VMDK rules defined (for keeping virtual machine disks on different datastores in a datastore cluster) when changing the Storage DRS automation level via scheduled tasks. The rule will be removed if you use the Storage DRS scheduler to change Storage DRS automation level from automatic to manual and then back to automatic. The result is that a VM which had an anti-affinity rule and has its VMDKs on different datastores could end up with its VMDKs on the…