Thank You vMuch, Virtualization Community!

About a month ago, I was having a conversation with a former college classmate, Mr. Jason Hurd, about his technology class outside of Atlanta, GA. Jason is a technology teacher that is looking to getting his students engaged in programming/coding skills, with some focus on robotics, as well as coding in general.

Delta-Tau-Delta-crestThe Catalyst
I ran into Mr. Hurd at the Delta Tau Delta, Zeta Chi Chapter‘s 30th Anniversary celebration. We are both Alumni members of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Zeta Chi Chapter (University of Southern Mississippi).

I know a lot of people equate being in a fraternity to parties, being crazy college kids, and so on. I’d say that we did a bit more than that. In the 30 years of the Zeta Chi Chapter, we’ve raised over $600,000 for various charities, with most going to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, of which I’m very proud of.

Now back to the story. Mr. Hurd and I were talking about technology. He asked if I had ever heard of a Raspberry Pi. I indicated that I had, and that I had 3 of them (various models). He mentioned that he was putting together a program to get his students engaged in writing code for controlling robots and/or robotic control systems.

rpiHe mentioned that he had a Raspberry Pi, and was thinking of going that direction. I thought, what a good platform! If I recall correctly, that’s that the Raspberry Pi was originally intended for!  He mentioned that he didn’t have enough funding to get everything started, and asked if would be willing to contribute my Raspberry Pi’s I had. Sure! Anything to help a brother!

I’ve had several Raspberry Pi’s over the years. I bought my first, was given one as part of a SimpliVity vExpert Giveaway, and my old boss even gave me one. They were sitting in my desk drawer, along with various other pieces of tech I had collected over the years. I was happy to contribute them. They weren’t doing me any good. Why not help some kids out?

Jason said that he was looking for 15 Raspberry Pi’s. It felt good getting him 1/5 the way there.  That number of 15 was for 30 kids, with two kids sharing a each Raspberry Pi.

The Virtualization Community comes to the rescue.
As other virtualization folks had gotten Raspberry Pi’s over the years, and likely weren’t doing anything with theirs either, I mentioned what Mr. Hurd was trying to accomplish on the vExpert Slack. I immediately got responses from people including Jason Shiplett, Marcus Puckett, and Jason Benedicic. It was easy to send a U.S. address to Jason (Shiplett) & Marcus, but Jason (Benedicic) would likely have a more difficult time shipping his Raspberry Pi from outside the U.S. to a U.S. address.  I had never setup an Amazon publicly facing list before. Once I got that setup, Jason (Benedicic) was able to buy one, which was shipped to me, which I re-shipped to Mr. Hurd.  I later realized that I could put Mr. Hurd’s address in the list as a destination, and remove myself as a middleman. (more…)

Read more

Virtual SAN 6.2 & PowerCLI – Sparse Virtual Swap files

One of the Space Efficiency features of Virtual SAN 6.2 that is available for both All-Flash and Hybrid configurations, is the introduction of Sparse Virtual Swap files. Swap files on Virtual SAN by default, are created with the .vswp 100% reserved. In a thin provisioned/guaranteed capacity perspective, it could be said that they effectively Lazy Zeroed Thick (LZT).

Virtual Swap files (.vswp) are created when a virtual machine doesn’t have a memory reservation equal to the amount of memory the virtual machine is configured to use. In short, a VM with 4GB of RAM configured, with no memory reservation will create a 4GB .vswp file. If a reservation is used, then the .vswp file will be the configured amount of memory minus the reserved amount of memory. The same VM with 4GB of RAM, along with a 2GB reservation, will create a 2GB .vswp file.


Read more

Virtual SAN Site Locality in low latency Stretched Clusters/2 Node Configs

2NODEI was working with a customer last week, going over the configuration, setup, and requirements of Virtual SAN 6.1 when deploying a 2 node configuration. “Technically” this is a 2 node stretched cluster, comprised by two data nodes and a witness. Really a 1+1+1 configuration.

One of the reasons for the call, was some confusion about the setup, which is fortunately documented in the Virtual SAN 6.1 Stretched Cluster Guide. Cormac Hogan created the initial content, and I took care of a few updates, as well as adding some additional content specific to 2 node configurations, which are common in Remote Office/Branch Office type deployments.

I pointed the customer to the DOM Owner Force Warm Cache setting in the Stretched Cluster guide.


Read more

VSAN, SPBM Compliance, & PowerCLI

I very often tear down/distress my “lab” environment while working on docs/testing code/trying to replicate issues/etc. I was trying to recreate an issue the other day and decided to replace my vCenter Appliance. I deleted the VCSA, but left some of the other VMs, as they had some services I needed like DNS.

After deploying the a new VCSA, I noticed an error in the Cluster’s Monitor tab, under Virtual SAN, specific to my VSAN objects.  The Compliance status for all my old VM’s was “Out of Date.”

I clicked on a single VM, picked my VM storage policy, and selected the VM home and clicked OK. I could have just as easily selected Apply to all. Not hard, but potentially time consuming in the case of a lot of objects.



Read more

VMware Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster Sizing Guidance

StretchedWith the release of Virtual SAN 6.1 in September, Stretched Clusters and 2 Node support was introduced. There has been some general guidance given around sizing some of the bandwidth between sites, as well as between the sites and the witness.

How those bandwidth requirements are calculated hasn’t been publicly available. Site to site bandwidth is based on the number of writes a workload has, while site to witness bandwidth is based on the number of Virtual SAN components on a Virtual SAN datastore.

Working with the Virtual SAN Engineering team and Virtual SAN Product Management, we’ve put together a white paper on how these bandwidth requirements are calculated, as well as some examples.

Download the Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster Bandwidth Sizing Guidance white paper for more information on how to size bandwidth for Stretched Clusters and 2 Node configurations.

Read more