Military, Storage, Virtualization

Help the Wounded Warrior Project – EMC’s 5th Annual #v0dgeball

I Want You!That’s right, that time of year is approaching… VMworld US 2013.

For the past 4 years, EMC has sponsored a v0dgeball (Translated Dodgeball for people with a virtual affinity) tourney at the US VMworld Conference.

In those 4 years, v0dgeball participants, spectators, & contributors have raised over $30,000 in donations for the Wounded Warrior Project. Not too shabby, but we can do better.  So here we are again with EMC’s 5th Annual v0dgeball Tourney.

A quick recap from last year:


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Storage, Virtualization

Configuring the EMC Isilon NAS VAAI Plugin for vSphere 5.0/5.1

Isilon OneFS 7.0 has been out for a couple months.  OneFS 7.0 has brought some additional features to Isilon, particularly toward VMware vSphere support.

I blogged about VASA support in another article: Configuring the EMC Isilon VASA Provider.

This article is going to focus on how to configure the NFS VAAI Plugin for Isilon when used with VMware vSphere 5.

Here are the basic technical requirements to get the plugin working:

  • An Isilon cluster running OneFS or higher
  • VMware vSphere 5.0
    • I have used vSphere 5.1 without issue
    • *I have heard of several situations where 5.0 does not work successfully
      until upgraded to 5.0 Update 2
    • **I have not seen this work with vSphere 5.5 (as of early September 2013)
  • A SmartConnect zone configured for the presented datastores
  • NFS mounted datastores being presented from the Isilon cluster using the SmartConnect zone name (can be short or FQDN)
  • All IP addresses in the Isilon pool must be “Allowed IP addresses” in the NFS Client settings in ESXi

The installation process is not 100% straight forward according to the Release Notes, which require a login to get to.  I’ll try to provide a little clarification here.


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Citrix, VBS, VDI, Virtualization, Windows

A few BGInfo VBScripts for my VMs

I saw Ivo Beerens’ blog post about using BGInfo and VMware View: Display the protocol used on the VMware View desktop background and it made me think of some of the scripts I’ve used. I figured I would share them.

I’ve used BGInfo for years, and have collected several scripts that I have used for various pieces of info that isn’t always the easiest to get from either the Windows registry or other places.  When I worked for a Service Provider, it wasn’t uncommon to have systems spread across different Windows versions, multiple time zones, 64 or 32 bit, etc.

Here are some of the scripts I regularly used when I was an Administrator.

System Type – Displays the Hardware Manufacturer & Model Type

Const wbemFlagReturnImmediately = &h10
Const wbemFlagForwardOnly = &h20

'*** Connect to this PC's WMI Service
Set objWMI = GetObject("winmgmts:\\.\root\CIMV2")

'*** Query WMI for Hardware
Set items = objWMI.ExecQuery("SELECT * FROM Win32_ComputerSystemProduct", _
"WQL", wbemFlagReturnImmediately + wbemFlagForwardOnly)

For Each item In items
strSystemType = item.Vendor & " " & item.Name 'What we're after

If Len(strSystemType) = 0 Then strSystemType = "Not Found in WMI"

echo strSystemType


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Software Defined, Virtualization

Software Defined <insert term here> & how to make Mogy proud

I have had a pretty diverse range of responsibilities in my career before coming to EMC. I have worked in fast food restaurants, pizza joints, department stores, an Avionics shop, an Internet provider, a Comm center, a state funded academic program, several insurance companies, a couple financial companies, and most recently EMC.

Despite the wide variety of places I have worked since I became of working age, the overall goals (from an abstracted and simplistic method) are pretty much the same. Provide a product or service the provides value to the customer while doing so in an effort to achieve an expected result. Again, this is a simplistic view, but a fairly accurate one. (more…)

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Storage, Virtualization

How does vSphere recognize an Isilon NFS Datastore when using a SmartConnect Zone Name?

As one of the more Isilon-centric vSpecialists at EMC, I see a lot of questions about leveraging Isilon NFS in vSphere environments.  Most of them are around the confusion of how SmartConnect works and the load balancing/distribution it provides.

Not too long ago, a question arose around mounting NFS exports from an Isilon cluster, and the methods to go about doing that.

Duncan Epping published an article recently titled How does vSphere recognize an NFS datastore?

I am not going to rehash Duncan’s content, but suffice to say, a combination of the target NAS (by IP, FQDN, or short name) and a complete NFS export path are used to create the UUID of an NFS datastore.   As Duncan linked in his article, there is another good explanation by the NetApp folks here: NFS Datastore UUIDs:  How They Work, and What Changed In vSphere 5

Looking back at my Isilon One Datastore or Many post, there are a couple ways to mount NFS presented datastores from an Isilon cluster if vSphere 5 is used.  Previous versions of vSphere are limited to a single datastore per IP address and path.

Using vSphere 5, one of the recommended methods is to use a SmartConnect Zone name in conjunction with a given NFS export path.

In my lab, I have 3 Isilon nodes running OneFS 7.0, along with 3 ESXi hosts running vSphere 5.1.  The details of the configuration is:

  • Isilon Cluster running OneFS
  • SmartConnect Zone with the name of
  • SmartConnect Service IP of
  • Pool0 with the range of & 1 external interface for each node
  • SmartConnect Advanced Connection Policy is Connection Count
  • NFS export with the following path
    • /ifs/nfs/nfsds1
  • vCenter Server 5.1 on Windows 2008 R2 with Web Client
  • 3 ESXi hosts running vSphere 5.1


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