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.

All Paths Down!

StorageNetworkingI 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. Continue reading All Paths Down!

News: VMware Acquires Cetas for Big Data Analytics

On Thursday April 26 VMware announced that it has acquired Cetas, an early stage startup focused upon making access to advanced big data analytics much easier and cheaper. The obvious goal of this is that if you make something easier and cheaper, more of it gets consumed, which then allows more people to benefit from it. 25 years ago, mobile phones were expensive, the size of shoe boxes, and few people could afford to buy them and bother to use them. We all know how ubiquitous mobile phones are now, and this is entirely due to the democratization and commoditization of mobile phone access.

What Does Cetas Do?

Cetas makes it easy to apply advanced self-learning complex event processing technology to random sets of data. Furthermore it is built from the ground up to handle “big data” which means that it is designed to handle large data sets, large amounts of rapidly arriving data, and data that arrives at high rates of frequency (at or near real time rates).  VMware thinks that Cetas is good for three primary uses cases shown in the diagram below.

Cetas.Use .Cases

There are two very interesting problems that VMware could potentially address with Cetas. The first is that doing analytics at cloud scale (think of trying to analyze data about every virtual server at Amazon at the same time) is clearly a big data problem, and a challenging problem purely on the front of making the analytics work and be easy to use with data sets of that size.

The second has to do with Operational Performance and Application Performance data. Right now VMware collects data from its hypervisor at 20 second intervals and rolls that up into 5 minute intervals for access via the vSphere API. These intervals are too long, and the rollups obscure too much data, but until now VMware has not had any way to analyze the data to make it more useful. Cetas therefore can potentially solve problems that apparently the Integrien technology that VMware purchased a couple of years ago is not suited to address.

How is Cetas Deployed

Cetas is available as a cloud resident service (analytics as a service), or as an on-premise solution.



When we look back five years from now, we will probably conclude that the Cetas acquisition was one of the most significant acquisitions that VMware did. The Cetas technology is going to bring real time self-learning analytics to several layers of VMware’s management offerings over time. As soon as VMware gets into the business of producing and analyzing real time, continuous and deterministic management data the final nail will be driven in the legacy management solutions that sample and operate at 5 minute intervals.

EMC VSPEX vs. vBlock, or NetApp FlexPod. Can VMware VARs “Refuse” the Offer?

CloudComputingOn 4/12/2012, EMC in conjunction with technology partners VMware, Microsoft, Cisco, Brocade, Citrix and Intel announced EMC VSPEX. EMC VSPEX is an specification framework that allows multiple vendors to participate in providing “standard” building blocks for virtualized data centers and private clouds – targeted at accounts who need less than 250 virtualized servers and/or 2000 virtualized users (VDI) and delivered exclusively through EMC/VMware/Cicso/Microsoft/Citrix partners. The goal of this initiative is to provide the mid-market with cost effective, pre-certified, pre-integrated solution sets and leverage standard building blocks from leading vendors. In other words this is VCE/vBlock for smaller companies delivered through the distributor and VAR channels of the respective vendors. Continue reading EMC VSPEX vs. vBlock, or NetApp FlexPod. Can VMware VARs “Refuse” the Offer?

Dell to expand cloud and thin client business through Wyse acquisition

DesktopVirtualizationDell 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. Continue reading Dell to expand cloud and thin client business through Wyse acquisition

IO IO it is off to Storage and IO metrics we go

StorageNetworkingBy Greg Schulz, Server and StorageIO @storageio

IO, IO, it’s off to storage and IO metrics we go shifting gears a bit from the recent four part series around SSD topics for physical and virtual environment. A while back I did a post about Why VASA is import to have in your VMware CASA along with another piece about Windows boot IO and storage performance impact on VDI planning. Among other things those two pieces have in common is a theme around the importance of storage and IO metrics that matter. Continue reading IO IO it is off to Storage and IO metrics we go

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

By Greg Schulz, Server and StorageIO @storageio

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. Let us build off those and continue to look at what SSD to use for different environments. Continue reading SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part IV: What type of SSD is best for your needs.