vSAN Stretched Clusters & VM Swap Files

My buddy Pete Koehler put together a good post a few days ago about SPBM Policies with vSAN Stretched  Clusters: vSAN Operations: Use separate SPBM policies for VMs in stretched clusters

In that post, he covers definition changes from Number of Failures to Tolerate (FTT) which was available in pre vSAN 6.6 builds, to Primary Failures to Tolerate (PFTT) in vSAN 6.6 and higher. This change was added to address the addition of local protection within a Stretched Cluster. This is accomplished using the secondary rule, Secondary Failures to Tolerate (SFTT), to determine the local protection within a Stretched Cluster Fault Domain (Preferred or Secondary).  Pete covers this in the above post.

A question came up last week specific to the behavior of a VM’s swapfile in vSAN when using vSAN Stretched Clusters. There has been some confusion with my documentation on StorageHub, which I’m currently updating, but I wanted to post something specific to how a VM’s swapfile behaves.

I’ve setup a Stretched Cluster with a single VM on it for a little clarity. Once site is “Denver” and one is “Colorado Springs” in my demo environment. Since I’ve moved to CO, I figured I’d use some naming that has local flair.

Pre vSAN 6.6 Stretched Cluster Behavior (vSAN 6.1, 6.2, & 6.5)

In vSAN Stretched Clusters before 6.6, each object had 1 component in each Fault Domain (Preferred/Secondary) and a Witness component on the vSAN Witness Host. *If an object is greater than 255GB in size, it will be broken into multiple components (on each site) for every increment of 255GB.

Here’s a standard policy for Pre-vSAN 6.6 Stretched Clusters:

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VMworld 2017 Session Voting

Just a quick post asking for your votes for some sessions I’ve submitted and/or been included in.

Successful vSAN Stretched Clusters [1118]
GS Khalsa, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

This session will provide a deep dive into using Stretched Clusters with VMware vSAN. Topics covered will include the foundation of vSAN Stretched Clusters, the latest updates, recommendations, and failure scenarios. For those interested in implementing Stretched Clusters with vSAN, this will be the session not to miss.

Automating vSAN Deployments at any scale [1119]
Kyle Ruddy, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer, VMware
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

This session will cover some of the mechanisms and workflow requirements when deploying vSAN in small or large deployments. This will include methods using the vSAN Management API as well as PowerCLI to deploy vSAN. Guidance around the how and why will be included to better ensure successful deployments of any size, from the smallest to largest clusters.

Interpreting performance metrics in your vSAN environment [1206]
Pete Koehler, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

VMware vSAN is designed to deliver extraordinary performance to your data center. But how do you know it is performing well? And what are some of the ways you can diagnose the root cause of issues when performance doesn’t seem to be what you expected. This session is for the vSAN administrator who is responsible for delivering applications and services powered by vSAN. Learn how common metrics can be used to determine the demands of individual workloads, and their impact on the vSAN powered environment they run in. Learn how to identify anomalies versus patterns of behavior that might warrant further investigation, and remediation.

Dr. Sheldon Coopers Fun with vSAN [1241]
Aaron Dumbrow, VMware
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Storage costs account for 50% of capital budgets and 75% of the challenges in most modern healthcare environments. Taking into consideration the cost of storage networking, devices, and maintaining complex storage environments, not to mention the exponential growth and retention of these environments. Budgets are too high, systems too complex, and teams too siloed to sustain future healthcare IT needs. vSAN provides an Enterprise storage solution for Healthcare environments, eliminating unnecessary complexity, adding additional functionality, and opening the new dialog for storage and virtualization teams. Because it is built into the kernel of the hypervisor, vSAN can take advantage of additional performance gains, and simplified management.

Continuous Availability with vSAN [1482]
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Sumit Lahiri, VMware

Understand the design implications and options for deploying vSAN across 2 sites. Best practices, caveats and pitfalls

Successful vSAN for Remote Offices and Branch Offices [1994]
Jeff Hunter, Staff Technical Marketing Architect – Storage and Availability, VMware
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Are you looking to deploy vSAN to 1 or more remote or branch offices? Come to this session to see how easy and cost effective vSphere and vSAN can be for your Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) requirements. Have a few locations? Or a few hundred? More? See how vSphere and vSAN can be the most cost effective ROBO combination.

Running the vSAN Witness Appliance in vCloud Air [2463]
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

Looking to deploy vSAN Stretched Clusters or 2 Node and don’t have a place to run the vSAN Witness Appliance? Attend this session to learn how to run the vSAN Witness Appliance in VMware’s vCloud Air. This session will cover the process of vCloud Air configuration as well as vSAN Witness Appliance preparation and deployment on vCloud Air. This will be a deep dive session and expects attendees to be familiar with vSAN Stretched Clusters or 2 Node vSAN.

Advanced vSAN Design Workload Considerations [2610]
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Christian Rauber, Solutions Architect, VMware
Bradford Garvey, Solutions Architect, VMware
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Vuong Pham, VMware

vSAN offers revolutionary enterprise storage, but there are key designs principles to consider for specific workloads. You have migrated your workload onto vSAN. Now what? A deeper discussion beyond Hybrid vs. All Flash. How to implement vSAN for Exchange, Oracle, SQL. How vSAN features implementation: FTT, Fault Domains, Clusters, SBPM — All decisions that impact your organization and meeting performance requirements. Adoption of vSAN is accelerating at a faster pace share key success strategies. Notes from the field and lab to maximize your success.


Thanks for the consideration, and I hope these sessions are something that VMworld attendees are looking for.


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VMworld 2016 – Barcelona Bound

Just a quick note… If you are going to VMworld 2016 in Barcelona, keep your eyes open for me.

Always happy to talk tech with customers, partners, and fellow engineers about the industry as well as what we’ve got going on at VMware.

If you are interested in some of the things we’re doing in VMware Storage, I’ve got a couple sessions you might not want to miss:

  • Meet the Experts –
    Tuesday 18 OCT @ 1100/Wednesday 19 OCT @ 1400
    I’ll be available to have conversations about VSAN, Storage, VMware, or whatever.
  • Understanding the Availability Features of Virtual SAN (STO8179) –
    Wednesday 19 OCT @ 1100
    Should be a great session, along with GS Khalsa, where we discuss more about the inner workings of VSAN from an availability perspective.
  • Virtual Volumes: Why? (STO8422) –
    Wednesday 19 OCT @ 1700
    Come find out more about Virtual Volumes, and how they change the way storage is consumed in a vSphere environment. I’ll be joined by Tom O’Neill of Dell EMC who will discuss some of the benefits of VVOLS.
  • Running Business Critical Applications and the Software Defined Data Center on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and VSAN (STO9607-SPO) –
    Tuesday 18 OCT @ 1700
    A collaborative session with myself, Patric Chang of Western Digital, David Klee of Heraflux Technologies, and Jonathan Flynn of SanDisk, where we discuss the importance of Hyper-Converged Infrastructures in today’s Business Critical Applications. We’ll be a bit off the cuff and unscripted, so come and join the conversation. The more the merrier!

So if you are in Barcelona and these sessions look interesting, please sign up for one of the sessions, or keep your eyes open for me and say hello or have a conversation.

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VMworld 2016 – Submitted Sessions – How about a vote?

Just a quick post asking for your votes for some sessions I’ve submitted and/or been included in.

  • Successful Virtual SAN 6 Stretched Clusters (7557) – Are you a VMware vSphere customer looking at using Virtual SAN in a stretched cluster configuration? Are you already familiar with stretched clusters using other storage technologies? This session will discuss how Virtual SAN can be used in stretched cluster scenarios. We will address some of the differences from other storage technologies, as well as some of the requirements and parameters when looking to implement Virtual SAN stretched clusters. You will leave the session with a better understanding of how Virtual SAN can easily and effectively fulfill the technical requirements of the stretched cluster use case, without many of the technical challenges associated with traditional storage. This session will include requirements, recommendations, failure scenarios, and more, promising to have something for new admins as well as seasoned infrastructure professionals.
  • Building NoSQL environment with VMware Virtual SAN (8167) – NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra have become the operational databases for the modern age, introducing scale and flexibility never seen before . Leveraging Virtual SAN provides an open Software-Defined Storage platform which can easily scale to the needs of these NoSQL databases while providing the enterprise availability, management and advanced data services. This session will cover the basics of NoSQL and dive into best practices of configuring VMware Virtual SAN for MongoDB and Cassandra. (submitted by Tarik Dwiek, EMC)
  • Choosing the right Virtual SAN hardware: Components, Certifications, and Ready Nodes (8696) – Virtual SAN, VMware’s radically simple software defined storage offering, combined with VMware vCenter and vSphere, make up the core components of the software defined datacenter. Virtual SAN runs on commodity x86 server platforms, which come in a variety of sizes and configurations. To help customers and partners select the best configurations, including Ready Nodes or individual components, it is important to understand the certification process and the different tools available to select the best mix of compute and storage for a successful Virtual SAN deployment. (submitted with Abid Saeed, VMware)
  • Dive Deep into Virtual SAN Architecture (8875) – It’s no secret that VMware Virtual SAN is taking the IT world by storm. If you’d like to get to know more about its features, functionality, business benefits, and use cases, this is your session. Seamlessly embedded in the hypervisor, Virtual SAN delivers enterprise-ready, high-performance shared storage for VMware vSphere Virtual Machines. This deep dive will cover the following: Latest features and enhancements in the recently-announced Virtual SAN 6.2 Overview of Enterprise availability features Storage management and troubleshooting capabilities New hardware options available with Virtual SAN.
  • Successful ROBO Design with vSphere and Virtual SAN (8880) – VMware Virtual SAN is radically simple storage for vSphere that is taking the IT world by storm. While it can scale up very easily, it is also a very good fit for Remote Office Branch Office use cases because it provides high performance and ease of management at a great cost. If you’d like to get to know more about how to design a distributed Virtual SAN configuration for a multiple site configuration, this is the session. This session will cover topics such as host sizing, network topology, and licensing from start to finish.

If you are voting on VMworld sessions, I’ll politely ask that you vote on these, especially if you think you’d find value in the content.

Much appreciated!

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