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vSphere – Networking – ESXi Single NIC VDS Management Migration

Well, I wasn’t sure how to name this blog as VMware continues to use all kinds of different lingos for all of their bells and whistles. I had the unique opportunity to begin working with migrating management interfaces or also know as vmkernel interfaces around from VSS to the DVS switching. This present a lot of struggles but it seems to me that VMware has really improved this functionality in the later versions of vSphere. I recall running into many kinds of issues when doing this on 4.0. So far using a vCenter 5 server with a mix of 4.1 and 5.0 host testing has proved to be seamless and non-interruptive. However, I would still highly recommend considering all your options and testing this method THOROUGHLY before ever touching production environments.

I was able migrate a single physical NIC running ESXi management from a VSS to a VDS. This video covers how I did that. The reason for the video was because I got all kinds of senseless google links when trying to search for something documented. So, I did myself a favor and published one.

Remember, this is a test and this is only applicable for me to use in a few environments. In most cases I use redundant NICs. Now the real kicker about this is that to migrate from a VDS to a VSS requires a bit more thinking and planning. Especially if you only got access to a single PNIC. Maybe I will cover that some other time… for now try to use two. Also, this may be a solution for environments running single 10GB and need to use PVLANS or centralize managment.

HDS Storage Best Practices – What you need to know

Here are some notes I find useful for anyone wanting to learn more about the latest that HDS has to offer. Please note the date of this post and that something are subject to change.

1.Thin Provisioning > Unmap primitive WILL not be availible until Q1 2012

PER HDS > Reason being is that the UNMAP primitive when issued from VMware ESXi (vSphere 5) causes all the workloads on the Provisioned Storage Pool
to take a performance hit.  This is because the UNMAP is issued with a “high priority”.

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2007427

The KB provides how to disable this feature.. It IS NOT disabled by default.  This is a command ran locally on each ESXi 5 host.

2. sVmotions, VMDK deletions on various storage platforms with ANY thin provisioned Arrays will always be showns as space allocated. (The space is never reclaimed) To counter this negative effect UNMAP was introduced however is not production ready and causes problems.

3. Round – Robin PSP – is the HDS best practice for multi-pathing. HOWEVER we cannot do any clustering (MSCS or Oracle RAC) with this plug-in or AKA – Physical Compatible Raw Device Mappings. (VMs accessing physical SAN LUNS vs. VMFS) However HDS has released HDLM which is the HDS branded VMware Multi-Path Plug in and you can do both with this plug-in.

4. Block Size on HDS is 42MB – with vSphere 5 unified block size of 1 MB HDS arrays have to delete more blocks due to the unified block sizing. Stated that proper alignment is important between SAN, VMFS, and VMs.

5. Tier 1 Applications need special consideration depending on the use case – we may need to look at dedicating a particular level of Guaranteed I/O or creating seperate Dynamic Storage pools to meet the workloads. There is HDS documentation for using VSP with vCloud Director however it doesn’t cover application workloads > waiting for these from HDS as we virtualize MANY different workloads in our cloud and it needs to scale easily on demand.

7. vCenter plug in – more to come..

8. I/O and measurements for performance on the SAN side is done through Performance Tuner from HDS. More to come.

9. No firmware update should be needed on the HDS side for VSP array to utilize the two new vSphere 5 VAAI primitives. Not sure about AMS…

10. VASA is coming quickly and this will give customers the visibility and deeper reporting for other things especially for VMware environments using HDS storage.

11. HDS recommend doing VMware Guest OS’es as Thick and doing San array thin.  However there is not a huge gain in performance between the two.  Our direction is to use Thin on Thin provisioning for reporting purposes, and etc..

For more HDS white papers and such you get to those here under a resources tab:
Hitchi Data Systems VMware resources

***Disclaimer: The thoughts and views expressed on VirtualNoob.wordpress.com and Chad King in no way reflect the views or thoughts of his employer or any other views of a company. These are his personal opinions which are formed on his own. Also, products improve over time and some things maybe out of date. Please feel free to contact us and request an update and we will be happy to assist. Thanks!~

VMware vSphere Management Tools

All I can say is “Whew!”. I am definitely looking forward to this.

So I am hoping to test some new products.

Criteria:

  1. What free tools the vendor offers?
  2. Capacity Management
  3. Reporting (Access and Automation)
  4. Monitoring
  5. Other Features
  6. Overall Cost (Licensing Model)

Tools:
(NOTE: The order is not specific to favorites or a product being the best. Also noted are the free tool they offer)

  1. vKernel – vScope
  2. Veeam One – Monitoring and Reporting)
  3. VMTurbo – Community edition
  4. Solarwinds – VM Monitor

Again, if you may know of any other products drop me a line and I see if we can add them to the list. There will be a review, rating, and follow up after testing and working with the products.

***Disclaimer: The thoughts and views expressed on VirtualNoob.wordpress.com and Chad King in no way reflect the views or thoughts of his employer or any other views of a company. These are his personal opinions which are formed on his own. Also, products improve over time and some things maybe out of date. Please feel free to contact us and request an update and we will be happy to assist. Thanks!~

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