Browsing Posts in vStorage

One of the interesting message from the Open Storage Summit EMEA 2012 is that (for Nexenta and other several companies/organizations) the ZFS if probably the perfect filesystem for storage systems. For Nexenta this is a core part of their NexentaStor solution and products and their are still thinking that is (also today) the best choice. But what is ZFS? It’s a combined file system and logical volume manager designed by Sun Microsystems on 2005 for OpenSolaris. One really interesting aspect is that ZFS is implemented as open-source software, licensed under the Common Development and Distribution […]

In the previous post we have discuss on how convert from VHD (used for example in Microsoft Hyper-V) to VMDK format (used in VMware products). Now let’s see how to convert from the other side. There are several tools to make this V2V operation:

As you probably already know a VM is incapsulated with a set of files that define VM properties and objects. Some of those files are the virtual disks files and each vendor use its own format: VMware use the VMDK and Microsoft & Citrix use the VHD format. Note that there could be more sub-types (for example for the VMDK files, but we will explain in future posts). To convert between different format you can use some kind of converter to perform a virtual to virtual (V2V) task.

There are some cases, like for test and/or labs (but not only), where could be useful convert a local storage to a shared storage compatible with VMware vSphere (or other hypervisors). For local storage inside the host, the simplest solution is look for a virtual appliance that is designed for this scope (search for VSA – Virtual Storage Appliance). For a storage hosted on a Linux/Unix machine, probably the simplest solution is share the space with the NFS Server (of course it will be limited only to VMware vSphere). And when the storage is on […]

A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. In addition, a “best” practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. But, as well described by Frank Denneman in his post, best practices are never absolute, they depends on your specific case.

With a vSphere 5 upgrade there is an important vDesign decision: if you already have some VMFS3 datastores could be better upgrade them to the new version of build new datastores directly with VMFS5? The upgrade procedure is quite fast and friendly and could be applied to a live datastore, so seems that there isn’t a big different between an upgrade or a clean format. But usually the recommendation is to re-format each LUN to VMFS-5 rather than upgrade it. This will fix a number of issues, including:

One of the “issue” with vmdk in thin format is that they start “small” and then grow when you add new data… But when you delete some data, the vmdk file size is not reduced. To be honest this issue is more related to the guest file systems that does never delete the block data, but only the metada (or some of them). Of course at guest OS level you will see the right disk usage, but this will probably not match the one that you see at VMware level (that usually will be bigger).

vStorage API Introduced for the first time in vSphere the vStorage API are specific functions to permit an integration more thight with external storage functions. Note that there also other integration module that are coverd in the PSA framework. For more information see: What Is New in VMware vSphere™ 4: Storage What’s New in VMware vSphere™ 5.0 – Storage vSphere Storage API – Storage Awareness (VASA) This is a new set of APIs introduced in vSphere 5.0 that will enable VMware vCenter Server to detect the capabilities of the storage array LUNs/datastores, making it much easier […]

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