The Virtualization Practice

Storage Networking

Storage Networking focuses upon virtualizing the storage and the SAN while collapsing and simplifying the management and performance of storage. This includes the role of storage virtualization in the Software Defined Data Center, and the comparison of pooled local storage options with traditional network attached storage (NAS) and fiber channel attached storage. Covered vendors include VMware, EMC, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, Tintri, and Nutanix.

StorageNetworking

Storage Security is not only about Encryption, which is just one aspect of Storage Security requirements for the virtual and cloud environments. It is also about increasing defense in depth and knowledge of what is touching your storage environment. As well as providing security around those touch points and to a great extent auditing and protecting the data residing within the storage devices regardless of where the devices live: within the virtual environment or within a cloud.

StorageNetworking

I recently had the joys of helping deal with an All Paths Down (APD) situation which presented itself when removing a LUN from all the hosts in a cluster. If you do not detach the device first, which will also initiate an unmount operation before you physically unpresent the LUN from the ESX, it causes an APD situation to happen. ADP is when ESXi server no longer has any active paths to a device. When the device is no longer present and you rescan the adapters ESXi server will still retain the information on the removed devices and hostd will continue to try to open a connection to the disk device by issuing different commands like read capacity and read requests to validate the partitions tables are set. If SCSI Sense codes are not returned from a device (you are unable to contact the storage array, or the storage array that does not return the supported “SCSI codes”), then the device is in an All-Paths-Down (APD) state, and the ESXi host continues to send I/O requests until it times out.

CloudComputing

EMC VSPEX is a converged infrastructure offering targeting private clouds offered through EMC and VMware VAR’s. This focus upon the channel makes this the first “private cloud in a box” that is explicitly designed for VAR’s and SI’s to take to their mid-market customers. As such the potential for such an offering is huge. However it is highly likely that the success of VSPEX will be clouded by EMC’s less than stellar track record with the channel, and the complete absence of management software from the offering.

DesktopVirtualization

Dell continues its expansion into the cloud and virtual desktop market with the announcement on Monday that it has reached agreement with Wyse Technologies to acquire the company.

Dell has had a long partnership with Devon IT,the Dell OptiPlex FX 130 and FX 170 thin clients and the Dell FX100 Zero Client are OEM editions of the Devon IT TC2, TC5, and TC10. Dell also OEMs Devon IT’s VDI Blaster software thin-client and its Echo Management Console software. All of which are considered to be high quality products. So if Dell already has access to its own thin client products and management software why did it need a thin client vendor of its own, and why didn’t it pick Devon IT instead of Wyse.

StorageNetworking

There are many different types of metrics pertaining to storage and IO that can be grouped into Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy (PACE). Every application or workload has some characteristics attribute of Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy that can be further broken down into metrics that are more detailed.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part IV: What type of SSD is best for your needs.

Let us continue to look at what SSD to use for different environments and build off the other parts of this series of articles. Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash Solid State Devices (SSD) with part II discussing endurance and performance. Part III looked at SSD options for virtual servers, VDI or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, usage and configuration criteria. So which SSD options are best for which environments?

Microsoft100x30

Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3 may blow up the entire rationale for EMC owning VMware. Cheap storage for virtualization enabled by new Microsoft features will force VMware to embrace cheap storage as well. This will precipitate the commoditization of the storage market, and accelerate the pace of virtualization and cloud computing.

ApplicationVirtualization

While participating in the GestaltIT Virtualization Field Day #2, I was asking PureStorage on whether or not SSD based storage was throwing hardware at a problem that is better fixed, by changing the code in question? What brought this thought to mind was the example used during the presentation which was about database performance. This example, tied to a current consulting problem, where fixing the database improved performance by 10x. This alleviated the need for over all storage improvements. So the question remains, is using SSD, throwing hardware to solve a basic coding problem?