vPivot

Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Storage Performance Analysis: SingB Case Study

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Prepare to get deep into storage.

In the past few weeks I had the pleasure of getting deep into a customer’s performance problem.  Ultimately we identified some interesting issues in the environment that we traced back to an overloaded array.  Like most performance problems, the complaints started at the application layer and then shifted to vSphere.  Like many configurations, it was difficult to pinpoint why the storage was slow.  But EMC account teams pride themselves in customer responsiveness. We assembled a small team to help out. I was amazed and grateful that experts from our midtier specialists in Australia, Malaysia, and India all pitched in on the analysis!

If you are a VMware administrator you may choose to leave the nuts and bolts of storage management to your storage teams.  While this article talks about those nuts and bolts, I ask you to read on.  A little knowledge about how your array works will make you an awesome VMware administrator.  It will help you work with your storage administrators to get the most out of your array.  When your array is at its best, so are your virtual machines.

The analysis you below is the product of tools EMC can run against your EMC storage in a very short time.  The data collection took 24 hours in this case.  But the figures I will show were auto-assembled in minutes.  This is one of the many cool things an EMC technical consultant or one of our partners can do for you.

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VMware Thin Disks on EMC Virtual Provisioning

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Even before I left VMware for EMC I was being asked to comment on “thin on thin”: the use of VMware thin VMDKs on virtually/thin provisioned storage.  As a VMware employee I recommended VMware’s thin provisioning but referred to storage vendors for their own best practices.

Now, as a member of the storage vendor community, I will answer for EMC. I will do so with detailed text from an outstanding TechBook I recently discovered on EMC’s Powerlink. This paper, Using Symmetrix Storage in VMware vSphere Environments (Version 7), provides incredible detail on the relationship between VMware thin disks and Symmetrix virtual provisioning. Its guidance is clear and simple.

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Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5

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I was recently re-watching the classic cultural assessment of our friends down under, Bart vs. Australia. Among the other completely accurate portrayals of our Aussie friends, you will see MPs slopping pigs, the Prime Minister drinking beer from an inner-tube on a lake, and of course The Boot. All of this got me thinking of the Melbourne stop in EMC’s five-city Pre-sales Conference Roadshow that finished a week ago. VMware partially sponsored this event and its fantastic SE and one of my good friends, Pete Marfatia, gave an electrifying presentation on the top 10 reasons to upgrade to vSphere 5.

In this entry I want to share with you VMware’s top 10 list that Pete presented with Tim Hartman. I have provided a PDF version of their presentation on my blog in case you want more detail. Feel free to contact me, your local VMware SE, or a vSpecialist if you want more information. Now, on to the top 10!

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vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA)

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I am currently in Beijing halfway through a five city roadshow to present and listen to EMC’s technical pre-sales team. One of my roles in this traveling show is to talk about vSphere 5, and all of the great things EMC is doing to make it even better for customers. A big part of my talk is centered around the new vStorage API for Storage Awareness, or VASA. I think this new API is going to provide value far beyond what most people realize.

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