During our HP Bootcamp at VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) last week, I was able to watch a presentation by Jeff Boles, Sr Analyst from Taneja Group. Jeff talked about testing he had lead looking at VM density with HP 3PAR compared to a traditional array. While I've talked about VM density here on ATSB and have highlighted our "Double your VM density guarantee", Jeff had some great information that really brings the story home for me.
Jeff graciously agreed to chat with me and he talked through the same slides he presented at our Bootcamp. I've created a few different versions of the discussion with Jeff. It's about 20 minutes long and I have a YouTube version where I mixed the slides he used with the podcast.
HP along with VMware brought a few bloggers to VMworld. I really wanted to do a podcast with all of them but I only had time to do that with a couple of them. Chris Wahl is a vExpert, co-leads the Chicago VMUG, and is a VCDX (VMware Certified Design Expert). You can find him on Twitter as @chriswahl and his blog - one of the best VMware focused blogs out there - is at http://wahlnetwork.com.
I'm starting to pack up for my trip to Las Vegas and VMware Partner Exchange (PEX). I was able to slip in a podcast with a couple of guys that are active in the VMware community in Australia.
- You read a few blogs by Andre Carpenter (@AndreCarpenter on Twitter) here on ATSB and he's also posted a few blogs on other hp.com blogs. He also had his own blog prior to coming to HP, www.cloud-land.com. He's becoming an accomplished and well read blogger.
- As you'll hear in the podcast, Craig Waters (@cswaters1 on Twitter) is the Melbourne VMUG leader and also hosts APACVirutal podcast and his own blog where he does some great interviews he calls vCatchup (not to be confused with virtual ketchup).
My colleague Eric Siebert has a blog at vSphere-land.com. Eric was really involved in the VMware community, and was the top contributor to the community (helping with technical questions) for a long time. He started vSphere-land.com long before he came to HP as a resource to help others looking for VMware information and help.
For the last few years, vSphere-land has hosted a vote for the top VMware and virtualization blogs and voting is now open for this year. Last year, ATSB was honored to be voted number 33 overall and number 3 among storage blogs.
I'm sure Eric would appreciate getting lots of people to vote and I sure would appreciate loyal readers like you voting for ATSB - so let the voting begin! Head on over to vSphere-land and vote for your favorite VMware and virtualization blogs.
I've been so focused on our November 1 webcast that I haven't had much to say on the blog in a few days. But one thing worth pointing you to is the new version of HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter - it's version 7.1 in case your counting.
Also available is a new version of HP Insight Control for vCenter Server, which delivers powerful HP server management capabilities to VMware administrators, enabling comprehensive deployment, provisioning, monitoring, remote control and power optimization directly from the vCenter console.
More insight on Insight Control Storage Module
Here's a few bullets (yes, I'm copy/pasting from other information I have) talking a bit about what Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter can do:
By Andre Carpenter, Senior Solution Architect in Australia
My colleague Calvin Zito wrote a great blog recently talking about why he thought 3PAR is awesome for VMware. I agree with him and wanted to share a deep dive post on why I agree.
The traditional RAID era and how the storage world has changed.
I started my storage career doing design and implementation services in this era, not all raid groups were created equal, it seems (at least to me) that more thought and planning had to be put in back then because the arrays weren’t as capable and smart as they are today. There was no concept of automated storage tiering or shared storage pools for example.
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 carving and provisioning storage from that pool.
Last year at VMworld, VMware did an NDA technology preview for partners about their vision for the future of storage - something they called vVols (virtual volumes). While VMware is allowing partners working with them to talk about it and demonstrate early functionality, I want to be clear - this is still a technology preview and neither VMware nor HP is making any commitments on delivering this. So with that disclosure, let me tell you a bit about what it is.
Intro to VMware vVol
For awhile now, HP Storage has been working with VMware as a design partner to define and develop a VM-granular storage architecture to potentially replace vSphere’s VMFS/datastore model. This new model is called VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols). Virtual Volumes introduces a 1:1 mapping of VMs (more specifically VMDKs or VM LUNs) to storage volumes—in other words, each VM will be associated with its own, unique storage volume. With vVols we could finally have the VMDK representation in vSphere match the representation on storage.
As a result, the storage system could now have the ability to operate at the same level of granularity as vSphere, which means that vSphere could better leverage, and take advantage of, the native strengths and capabilities of modern, intelligent storage arrays, like HP 3PAR.
UPDATE: I'm trying a new communication format - the ATSB eBook. My first one includes screen shots of the vVol demo that I have on video. Check it out and expect more of these in the future.
It's pretty bold of me to suggest that HP 3PAR is the best architected storage for VMware - I'm biased and it is bold. But I say this because I think if you're looking at enterprise-class block based storage for VMware, you owe it to your company, your boss, yourself and your budget to include HP 3PAR in your evaluation. But I'm not the only person who thinks this.
HP 3PAR is a natural companion to vSphere
Narayan Venkat is the former VP Storage Product Management at VMware. Prior to moving to a new company, he said, "...from the outset of our partnership, the 3PAR platform has served as a natural companion to vSphere."
Check out the full blog post where I give seven reason reasons why I think HP 3PAR is the best storage for VMware.
Last week I found a white paper talking about VAAI on the P9500 and wrote a blog post based on it. Today, I found a whitepaper titled "Reduce resource and storage bandwidth consumption - simplify and significantly" with a subtitle of "VMware vSphere VAAI for the HP 3PAR Storage performance benefits". It has a great introduction to the VAAI primitives that can help improve performance so I thought I'd reproduce that for you on this blog post.
Introduction to VAAI
The vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) are one of the storage application programming interface (API) sets in vSphere 5.0. VAAI is an API that storage partners can leverage to enhance performance of virtual machine (VM) management operations by delegating these operations to the storage array. With hardware offload, ESXi hosts may perform certain operations faster and consume less host CPU and memory resources, storage fabric, and network bandwidth. VAAI includes high performance and scalable VM data path primitives. HP introduced VAAI support for the HP 3PAR Storage products starting with the HP 3PAR operating system(formerly InForm OS) v3.1.1 or 2.3.1 firmware release.
Click on the image to download the whitepaper.
I came across a white paper written by our VMware integration team talking about best practices for the VMware API for Array Integration (VAAI) plug-in for the P9500 and XP24000/XP20000 disk arrays with VMware vSphere 4.1 and it didn't have the normal pub number and I couldn't find it on the web - so I thought adapting it here would make for a good blog post. I'll have a link at the end where you can find info on using VAAI with vSphere 5.0.