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Microsoft: #VMware Suffering From Public Cloud Identity Crisis #IaaS #PublicCloud #HybridCloud

March 29, 2013 Comments off

http://www.crn.in/news/cloud/2013/03/18/microsoft-vmware-suffering-from-public-cloud-identity-crisis

Microsoft is stepping up its long-running campaign against VMware, calling attention to its own vast experience in running public cloud services…

VMware threw a coming out party for its public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service, inviting investors to hear about what amounts to a major strategic shift for the company….

…Microsoft, described VMware’s new offering, called vCloud Hybrid Service, as “just another example of how IT vendors have been rearranging the furniture to more effectively deliver what they already have on the shelf.”…

HP #3PAR & Virtualization #HPStorageGuy #HPStorage #HPConverge

March 28, 2013 Comments off

Courtesy of  Paul Haverfied  via Courtesy of Calvin Zito HPStorageGuy Blog

 

HP #3PAR – VMware Environments #HPStorageGuy #HPStorage #HPConverge

March 28, 2013 Comments off

Courtesy of Calvin Zito HPStorageGuy Blog

Read the full blog article here: http://bit.ly/Vl9Ase    Plus  this article: 7 reasons why HP 3PAR is the best storage for VMware

The traditional RAID era and how the storage world has changed

…The spindle count in RAID groups were calculated by storage architects based on host IOP workload requirements. There was no real concept of throwing all spindles into one big “pool”, and then carving and provisioning storage from that pool.

The architecture is similar to this example image depicting the traditional era; each RAID group was more or less dedicated to one particular workload.

Traditional RAID

Things have changed since then, thus the concept of shared pools or shared storage was born; this was to drive initiatives like cloud computing, deduplication (if your array supported it natively), and storage tiering amongst other things. By having this shared pool of resources, workloads were “spread out” across the storage resources thus generating a bigger pool of grunt to draw from.

HP 3PAR does this in the form of wide striping, breaking storage down into “chunklets”.

Chunklets
The term chunklets may sound like some sort of breakfast cereal, but although not of the food variety the concept definitely still holds some nutritional value for your storage requirements. Here’s how they work:

  • An HP 3PAR array is populated with one or more disk types; these can be either Fibre Channel, SATA, or SSD. In order to provision storage from these drives to a host, there needs to be a Common Provisioning Group (CPG) created; this serves as a template for creating LUNs. Typically, the CPG needs to be of the same disk type and the same RAID characteristics.
  • From there, LUNs can be created and provisioned to the host. When ESXi hosts starts storing virtual machine data – whether its virtual disks data or meta data to the LUN – each physical drive is broken down into 256 MB chunklets that the LUNs can use to store the data.
    One point to note is that there is also chunklets for distributed sparing as well.
    As an example, for a single 600Gb drive you will have 2400 chunklets at your disposal for virtual machine use (600Gb*1024Mb/256Mb). When you add more shelves of drives, the picture gets bigger as does the performance.

Wide Striping
From physical disks right through to the LUNs that are provisioned to the ESXi host, the result is that the chunklets are created across all of the spindle types in the array as defined in the CPG. This system wide allocation super charges performance for virtual workloads.

wide striping

chunklets

Multi Raid? Sure!

One hard question as a storage architect to answer is “what type of RAID shall I use for this virtual environment?”. This question is typically answered with the usual “It depends” response. Different workloads call for different strategies as different RAID types have different RAID penalties\performance considerations.

There is a consensus in the industry to consider the following rules of thumbs (these are only rules of thumb and are not best practices in any form):

  • RAID 1/0 – Usually higher write intensive random workloads suit this.
  • RAID 5 – Arguably one of the best all-rounders, offering a good balance of performance and redundancy. Modest random workloads are a good fit.
  • RAID 6 – HP 3PAR offers double parity protection in the form of RAID-MP, offering a higher redundancy (double failure) than RAID 5 but at the cost of usable storage and performance because of the added write penalty.

…Regardless of which RAID type is used, making a write I/O takes time. The quicker the write is made, the better the latency and throughput and the less write penalty is observed.

Dynamic Optimisation (DO) and Adaptive Optimisation (AO)

The end result is that your data gets automagically spread across all disks and all disk types in the 3PAR, with hot regions on fast disks and cold data on slow disks. The whole performance capability of the entire array is made available to all of your data automatically; this is how virtual workloads should be stored!

Optimisation

In Closing.

Here’s the key takeaway to remember….The main contributor of an array’s performance is determined by how many disks of each disk type is installed in the array, the more drives you have in the CPG then the more throughput and overall IOPS is available to all of your VMFS datastores and subsequently your virtual machine workloads….

vMotion over Distance and Stretched VLAN across L3 WAN – Cisco OTV is your Answer @stretchcloud

March 24, 2013 1 comment

Not a new article, but this topic came up in debate for a current project working on but illustrated the point nicely of when you dont have L2 across sites and must use routed networks.

Below courtesy @stretchcloud. Read the article here: http://stretch-cloud.info/2012/07/vmotion-over-distance-and-stretched-vlan-cisco-otv-is-your-answer/

…I will talk about how do you stretch the VLAN onto a different DC.

Yes, I am talking about Cisco OTV. Cisco’s OTV provides a mechanism to transport native Layer-2 Ethernet frames to a remote site. With a standard Layer-3 WAN, there is no way to bridge layer-2 VLANs, and as a result, communication between two sites must be routed. Because of the routing aspect, it is not possible to define the same VLAN in two locations and have them both be actively transmitting data simultaneously.

Because OTV can operate over any WAN that can forward IP traffic, it can be used with a multitude of different underlying technologies. It provides mechanisms to control broadcasts at the edge of each site, just as with a standard Layer-3 WAN, but also gives you the ability to allow certain broadcasts to cross the islands. OTV only needs to be deployed at certain edge devices, and is only configured at those points, making it simple to implement and manage. It also supports many features to optimize bandwidth utilization, provide resiliency and scalability.

Let’s look at how OTV operates. Here we have two sites separate by a standard Layer-3 WAN connection. OTV is deployed across the WAN by configuring it on an edge switch at both sites. Each end of the OTV “tunnel” is assigned an IP address. Both OTV switches maintain a MAC-to-Next Hop IP table so that they know where to forward frames in a multi-site configuration.

When a host at one site sends a frame to a host at the other site, it can determine the MAC address of the other host, since it is on the same VLAN/network. The host sends the Ethernet frame, which is accepted by the OTV switch and then encapsulated in an IP packet, sent across the WAN, and subsequently decapsulatedby the remote OTV switch. From here, the Ethernet frame is delivered to the destination as if it had been sent locally.

Concept in Practice: Workload Relocation Across Sites

In the event that there is a planned event that will impact a significant number of resources, services must be moved to an alternate location. Unfortunately, because the networks are disjointed, there is no way to seamlessly migrate virtual servers from one location to another without changing IP addresses. As a result, Site Recovery Manager is used to provide an offline migration to the second site, and update DNS records to reflect the new IP addresses for the affected servers. Once the event is complete, another offline migration is performed to restore services to the primary site.

Concept in Practice: vMotion over Distance with OTV & Stretched VLANs

By using OTV in this situation, instead of having to use SRM to emulate a disaster situation, vMotion can be used to migrate the VMs from one site to the other. While this migration is still an offline event, it does provide a much simpler solution to implement and manage by allowing the VM to maintain it’s network identity in either location.

In addition to addressing the initial challenge, OTV provides additional benefits. By having two functional sites with the same network attributes, it is possible to split workloads for services, providing fault tolerance and redundancy. So, if the primary site does have a planned event, failing resources over to the second site may not even be necessary. It also allows the infrastructure to scale by having added ESXi servers operational at the second location to distribute the load.

HP CloudSystem and Partners: Which cloud management tool to use? #Matrix #HPCloudSystem #MOE

January 16, 2013 Comments off

HP ASE Converged Infrastructure Architect Official Exam Certification Guide #Matrix HPCloudSystem #MOE #HPExpertOne

January 16, 2013 Comments off

Description:
This HP ExpertOne book will help you prepare for the Architecting the HP Matrix Operating Environment (HP0-D20) exam. You will learn key technologies and the HP Converged Infrastructure solutions as you prepare for the HP ASE – Converged Infrastructure Architect V1 certification. Acquiring this certification validates your ability to transform data centers bringing together server, storage, and networking functions into an integrated and managed pool of IT resources. This guide will continue to serve as a useful reference to analyze customer requirements and recommend the correct HP Converged Infrastructure solution.

https://h30590.www3.hp.com/product/HP+ASE+Converged+Infrastructure+Architect+Official+Exam+Certification+Guide+Exam+HP0-D20-Hardcover-8383

#VMware KB – required TCP and UDP Ports

August 22, 2012 Comments off

This article provides information on the ports required for VMware products…

TCP and UDP Ports required to access vCenter Server, ESX/ESXi hosts, and other network components

Categories: Virtualisation, VMware
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