VASA – Error while removing an entry for the provider in the providerCache

Some time ago, I hooked our Virtual Volume (VVol) capable storage array up to a vSphere 6.5 cluster. I did a few preliminary tests, such as adding the VASA (vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness) Provider, creating the VVol datastore, observing the creation of the Protocol Endpoints (PEs), and of course creating some virtual machines as a set of VVols. All went flawlessly. Then, like many other lab tests, I got distracted by a number of other things. In the meantime, the storage array vendor announced support for an updated VASA version, and we had the storage array updated to accommodate…

Registering the Pure Storage VASA Provider

Hot on the heels on Pure Storage’s recent announcement on Virtual Volume (VVol) support, I wanted to take a closer look at their VVol implementation for myself. Thanks to the support team over at Pure, they were able to very quickly update our lab array to the latest release that has support for VVols. Once this upgrade was complete (which was all done remotely), I wanted to go ahead and register the VASA provider with my vCenter server. You can read more about the role of VASA here. I wanted to step through the process manually, rather than use the…

Big news from Pure Storage

There was lots of big news yesterday from our friends over at Pure Storage. First of all, we had an announcement about their Virtual Volume (VVol) implementation going GA. This is very exciting for me, and I look forward to testing it out in our lab. The implementation is a VASA 3.0 implementation, which means support for array based replication (ABR). My good pal Pete Fletcha did a great write-up on the announcement here. And of course, Cody Hosterman of Pure Storage also gives us his low-down on what this VVol implementation means to him. One thing is for sure,…

Compare and Contrast – VSAN and VVols

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to meet with a number of VMware customers in both Singapore and in the UAE. Most of the sessions were enablement and education type sessions, where there was a lot of white-boarding of VSAN (VMware’s hyper-converged infrastructure product) and Virtual Volumes (VVols – Software Defined Storage or SDS for the storage arrays). This wasn’t a sales session; I’m not in sales. The objective of these sessions was simply to educate. I guess when you are immersed in this stuff 24×7, it easy to fall into the trap of believing that everyone is well…

Losing the VASA Provider and/or vCenter Server in VVols

With the release of vSphere 6.0 earlier this year, VMware introduced the eagerly anticipated VVols or Virtual Volumes. As we see more and more traction around VVols, a specific question has come up a number of times already. The question is basically: “What happens to VVols if I lose my VASA Provider or my vCenter Server, or indeed both of these components? Will I still have access to my devices?”.

VM Snapshots with VSS – Traditional versus VVols

In some previous posts, I highlighted how VVols introduces the concept of “undo” format snapshots where the VM is always running on the base disk. I also mentioned that this has a direct impact on the way that we do snapshots on VMs that support VSS, the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service. But before getting into the detail regarding how VVols is different, it’s worth spending some time understanding whats going on when VSS is called to quiesce applications when a traditional snapshot is taken. If you try to research this yourself, you’ll find that there is very little information…

More Virtual Volumes (VVols) and Snapshots goodness

Well, I got so many questions about my previous articles on a new way of doing snapshots with VVols that I decided to take the time and get even deeper into their behaviour. In this setup, I take a Windows 2008 Guest OSĀ running in a virtual machineĀ  deployed on an NFS datastore, and I compare it to an identical VM deployed on a VVol datastore. This is purely from looking at how we do snapshots. Remember with VVols, snapshots always run on the base disk, compared to the traditional way of doing snapshots where the VM always run on the…