What’s in the vSphere and vSAN 6.7 release?

Today VMware unveils vSphere version 6.7, which also includes a new version of vSAN. In this post, I am going to highlight some of the big-ticket items that are in vSphere 6.7 from a core storage perspective, and also some of the new feature that you will find in vSAN 6.7. I’ll also cover some of the new enhancements coming in Virtual Volumes (VVols).

VMworld 2017 Session on vSphere 6.5 Core Storage now on YouTube

A quick note to let you know that the session that I delivered on day 1 of VMworld 2017 is now available on YouTube. The session is entitled “A Deep Dive into vSphere 6.5 Core Storage Features and Functionality” and I delivered this with Cody Hosterman of Pure Storage. Judging by the feedback, and the number of passing comments I received in the hallways at VMworld over the past 2 days, it seems that this session was very well received indeed. Hope you like it.

Improved block allocation mechanism on VMFS-6

Along with other improvements to VMFS-6, there is also a new block allocation mechanism which aims to reduce lock contention between hosts sharing the same VMFS-6 filesystem. To understand how lock contention could arise, it is important to understand that resources on VMFS are grouped into resource clusters; this is the same for VMFS-6 and earlier versions on VMFS. Resources could be file descriptors, sub-block, file block, pointer blocks, and so on. Historically, we have always tried to allocate different resource clusters to different ESXi hosts, which meant that only VMs running on the same host shared resources within the…

A change to sub-blocks on VMFS-6

Something that I only just recently noticed is that we have made a change to the sub-blocks structure on VMFS-6, compared to VMFS-5. Sub-blocks are small allocations on a VMFS volume, and they are used to back small files. They were introduced as a space-saving measure to prevent using a full file block to back a very small file. To put this simply, when a file is created on VMFS, it is initially backed by a sub-block, and when the file grows above the size of a sub-block, it is switched to being backed by a file block (this has…

VMFS-6 Large and Small File Blocks – what are they?

When vSphere 6.5 released towards the end of 2016, it introduced a brand new version of VMFS, VMFS-6. VMFS probably needs little in the way of introduction at this stage, it being VMware’s flagship filesystem for over 10 years at this point. There is an older VMFS whitepaper available here if you are new to VMFS and want to get more of an overview. Now VMFS-6 introduces two new internal block sizes concept for file creation. These are referred to as LFB (Large File Blocks) and SFB (Small File Blocks) and are used to back files on the VMFS-6 volume.…

vSphere 6.5 Core Storage White Paper Now Available

I’m delighted to announce the availability of a new vSphere 6.5 core storage white paper. The paper covers new features such as VMFS-6 enhancements, policy driven Storage I/O Control, policy driven VM Encryption, NFS and iSCSI improvements and of course new limit increases in vSphere 6.5. There are too many VMware folks to thank for putting this paper together, but you’ll find them all listed in the acknowledgements section. I do want to mention one person however; a very special thanks to Cody Hosterman of Pure Storage who spent a lot of time testing many of these new features, and…

What’s new in vSphere 6.5 Core Storage

Hello from VMworld EMEA in Barcelona. Well, we can finally talk about vSphere 6.5 today. In this post, I want to highlight a number of new and enhanced features that you will find in vSphere 6.5 related to core storage. I am not going to discuss Virtual SAN (VSAN), Virtual Volumes (VVols) or I/O Filter enhancements (VAIO) specifically in this post, although you will no doubt see some new features tie directly into the latter. Instead, I want to talk about those features that are specific to core storage.