Software Defined, Storage, Virtualization, vSAN

Backup or Recover SPBM Profiles with PowerCLI

I work in the lab a lot.

One of the tasks that I often perform is:

  • Blowing away my VCSA (or Windows vCenter Server),
  • Redeploying it, and
  • Reattaching it to a cluster that is running vSAN.

As a result of a new VCSA deployment, only a few SPBM policies will be present. Any previously available SPBM polices are lost with the previous VCSA instance.


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Software Defined, Storage, Virtualization, vSAN

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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Software Defined, Virtualization, vSAN

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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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…)

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Software Defined, Storage, vSAN

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.


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