coho-logoIt has been a while since I had blogged about anything outside of VMware and today’s announcement by Coho Data seemed like a good time to venture outside.

Coho Data, has been chugging along quietly (to learn more about them, and seemed to have racked up quite a impressive funding.

They recently announced their Series C funding link in Coho Data series C funding article and it seems not just that.

Coho Data is now entering the All-flash vendor foray with this announcement: Coho Data All-Flash. It is always interesting to see such young vendors like Coho Data make such promising progress. Can’t wait to see what else they have to offer in the future.

 – Enjoy
For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

VSAN Health Check LogoIntroducing the Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin, a tool designed to deliver a simplified troubleshooting and monitoring experience of all things Virtual SAN for vSphere Administrators. This plugin delivers over thirty different health checks specifically for Virtual SAN ranging from hardware compatibility, networking configuration, operations, advanced configuration options, storage device, and virtual machines.

The plugin enhances the Virtual SAN customer support and user experience by providing the ability for customers to join VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP is a program design to improve the quality, reliability, and functionality of Virtual SAN and its services. The membership to the CEIP is an optional feature that can be enabled or disabled at any point in time through the Virtual SAN Health check plugin user interface.

The plugin also introduces a new feature called the Virtual SAN Support Assistant. This feature allows vSphere Administrators to upload Virtual SAN log bundles directly to their respective support request opened with VMware Global Support Services (GSS).

The health check plugin tool is simple and easy to use and its installed in two very phases:

  • Phase 1: Deploy and install the vCenter Server extension and back services
  • Phase 2: Deploy the ESXi extensions onto all host that are members of a Virtual SAN cluster

Once installed, the plugin can be used to verify and validate the health of a Virtual SAN cluster by performing a series of individual checks to examined and identify if there are any issues with the Virtual SAN cluster in any of the category listed below:

  • Virtual SAN HCL health
  • Cluster health
  • Network health
  • Data health
  • Limits health
  • Physical disk health

VSAN-Health Check

Each health check category is composed of a series of individual checkpoints that can be run directly from the vSphere Web Client at any time by clicking on the Retest button. The plugin remains true to the design principals of Virtual SAN by keeping everything very simple and easy to manage.

The Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin is available for both versions of the vCenter Server (Windows and Linux). The plugin can be downloaded from the Virtual SAN product download page under the drivers and tool section.

For a quick demonstration of the plugin installation procedure take a look at the demo below. For more detailed information please visit the VMware Virtual SAN Health Check release note page. You can also download the Virtual SAN Health Plugin manual directly from this Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

vSphere Virtual VolumesHot off of the press: New vSphere Virtual Volumes Getting Started Guide white paper. This new paper provides a summarized description and overview of vSphere Virtual Volumes and its components and how to configure them.

These are the main topics that are covered:

  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Components
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Requirements
  • Configuring vSphere Virtual Volumes
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes Interoperability
  • vSphere Virtual Volumes CLI Commands

The paper goes over quick configuration scenarios of every vSphere Virtual Volumes components through native vSphere workflows and wizards in order to get you started and working with vSphere Virtual Volumes in a heartbeat.

You can view the paper directly from the vSphere Virtual Volumes product page or download it from the link below:

VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes: Getting Started Guide

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

Tier-What!Ladies and gentlemen, here it is…… the moment has finally arrived. Today I’m proud to make publicly available the VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 All Flash Configuration Utility 1.0.

This community utility is designed for the to simplify the configuration process of the Virtual SAN All-Flash configuration. As some of you may or may not know, Virtual SAN 6.0 introduces a two-tier architecture model with the all flash configuration (caching tier and a capacity tier). For which two different types of flash devices, with different endurance qualifications, are used for different purposes. Since both, tiers are composed of flash based devices, the devices that will be utilized in the capacity tier need to be marked and identified by ESXi as such.

Today, the procedure for making the capacity devices is performed from one of the two command line interface utilities which are ESXCLI and RVC. While marking the device from either of the command line utilities is a simple procedure doing that manually from the command line can become a tedious task. I arrived at the realization of this while working on my 64 node all flash cluster that I normally refer to in demos as “The BigDaddy.”

Once you start dealing with a lot of flash devices, maybe even hundreds of them, a simple utility with an extremely easy to use interface can very handy. I got together with Brian Graf and Alan Renouf (the masters of the PowerCLI automation universe and VSANChampions) and put this utility together. For the funny details on how I came up with this utility read Brian’s Post. Thanks Brian for all your handwork debugging the tool for us. Read Full Article →

VMware-SDSAutomation technologies are a fundamental dependency to all aspects of the Software-Defined Data center. The use of automation technologies not only increases the overall productivity of the software-defined data center, but it can also accelerate the adoption of today’s modern operating models.

In recent years, a subset of the core pillars of the software-defined data center has experienced a great deal of improvements with the help of automation. The same can’t be said about storage. The lack management flexibility and capable automation frameworks have kept the storage infrastructures from delivering operational value and efficiencies similar to the ones available with the compute and network pillars.

VMware’s software-defined storage technologies and its storage policy-based management framework (SPBM) deliver the missing piece of the puzzle for storage infrastructure in the software-defined data center.

Challenges – Old School

Traditional data centers are operated, managed, and consumed in models that are mapped to silos and statically defined infrastructure resources. However, businesses lean heavily on their technology investments to be agile and responsive in order to gain a competitive edge or reduce their overhead expenses. As such, there is a fundamental shift taking place within the IT industry, a shift that aims to change the way in which data centers are operated, managed, and consumed.

In today’s hardware-defined data centers, external storage arrays drive the de-facto standards for how storage is consumed. The limits of the data center are tied to the limits of the infrastructure. The consumers of storage resources face a number of issues since traditional storage systems are primarily deployed in silos: each with unique features and unique management model. They each have their own constructs for delivering storage (LUNs, Volumes), regularly handled through separate workflows and even different teams. Which means that the delivery of new resources and services requires significantly longer periods of time.

Critical data services are often tied to specific arrays, obstructing standardized and aligned approaches across multiple storage types. Overall, creating a consistent operational model across multiple storage systems remains a challenge. Because storage capabilities are tied to static definitions, no guarantees for performance, risks of multi-tenant impacts, all disks treated same, and OPEX tied to the highest common denominator.

storage challenges-silos

Read Full Article →