#FeedForward

We all enjoy going to our local VMUG meetings and hearing about new cool products but even more we love hearing from our follow peers. The community sessions are one of the strongest things of the VMware User Group.

I remember hearing about how people built their own self service portal years in advance of vCloud Director and vCAC and listening to real life experiences.

What we need is more community sessions. A lot of guys have so much to share, but not all feel confident about it. This if what #FeedForward is all about. Instead of getting Feedback (after the presentations is done, and it is possible the only time you will present it) There is much more value into getting Feedback in advance hence #FeedForward. This will make sure your presentations will improve and that you will enjoy presenting your own cool story.

Mike Laverick is the man behind the program. A new landing page was just created. http://www.vmug.com/feedforward

 People can express the intention to either:

  • Becoming a Mentor and reviewing presentations for VMUG events
  • Sharing a presentation at a VMUG event
  • Serving on a Committee to promote FeedForward

If you want to help mentor your fellow VMUG’ers og present your self please sign up on the website.

I am personally a #FeedForward Mentor and have already helped a few guys before their first presentation.

Danish vExperts of 2014

A year has passed and VMware just announced the vExperts of 2014. A total of 754 were selected. This was my fifth straight year as a vExpert. A big thank you to VMware for showing their appreciation of the community work I have been doing.

I would like to congratulate all vExperts, but a special congratulation goes to the danish vExperts. I have spotted the following people on the list:

  • Frank Brix Pedersen
  • Liselotte Foverskov
  • Kenneth Hansen
  • Nicolai Sandager
  • Mikael Korsgaard
  • Gert Kjerslev
  • Heino Skov
  • Mads Fog Albrechtslund
  • Anders Mikkelsen
  • Enrico Laursen
  • Rasmus Haslund

I had hoped to see Michael Ryom and Terkel Olsen on the list, they have put a lot of hard work into their blogs and I am sure we will see them soon on the list.

 

vFrank.org is now a Top 50 Virtualization blog

Eric Siebert posted the results of the Top VMware & Virtualization blogs yesterday. You can find the result here

This years top 10 looks like this. Once again a well deserved winner is Duncan Epping with his eminent blog Yellow Bricks.

Screenshot 2014-03-28 12.11.24

For me personally this year was a pleasant surprise to me. I made it into number 32! That is 66 positions better than last year. Thanks for anyone who choose to vote for me. vFrank is now a top 50 virtualization blog!

Screenshot 2014-03-28 12.10.03

 

 

PernixData Top 20 Frequently Asked Questions

During my first two months as a Systems Engineer for PernixData I have seen a lot of similar question from customers and during POC engagements. All  good and valid questions. I felt like it would be a good thing to share it with everybody out there who are looking into PernixData FVP. 

 

Top 20 FAQ on PernixData FVP:

 

Q1: What is PernixData FVP?

A: PernixData FVP is a kernel module installed inside the ESXi hypervisor that uses local flash as a transparent cache to accelerate virtual machines storage performance.

Q2: What storage protocols does PernixData FVP support?

 

A: PernixData FVP supports block storage. FC, FCoE and iSCSI

Q3: What about NFS support?

 

A: Currently there is no support for NFS as the backend storage.

Q4: What version of VMware is supported with PernixData FVP?

A: As of writing PernixData FVP supports vSphere 5.0 and 5.1.

 

Q5: What about support for vSphere 5.5 and the new Web Client?

A: vSphere 5.5 and full web client support is coming soon. It is currently in beta. You can request access to the beta here: http://beta.pernixdata.com

 

Q6: What kind of Flash devices do you support?

A: We support every flash device that is on the VMware’s HCL list. This could be PCIe or SSD drives.

 

Q7: So PernixData FVP is a caching solution. Is it only Read cache it supports?

A: PernixData FVP supports Write Through (Read) and Write Back (Read & Write) caching.

 

Q8: Write Back caching, how do you make sure I don’t lose data in case of host or SSD failure?

A: PernixData gives you the option to choose 1 or 2 replicas partners. If you choose two your write data will be acknowledged from three SSD in three different hosts.

 

Q9: What network do you use for replication traffic. Can I select another one?

A: PernixData by default selects your vMotion vmkernel adapter. You can choose another one and put it on a dedicated vSS/vDS with dedicated physical nics.

  

Q10: Does PernixData FVP work with DRS, HA, vMotion etc.?

A: PernixData has full support for all VMware clustering features. The administrator will still be able to vMotion, use HA in case of a host failure and DRS can distribute the virtual machines.

 

Q11: Wow! Impressive, there must be some VMware features you do not support?

A: PernixData does not accelerate Raw Device Mapped disks (RDM) and PernixData does not support VMware fault tolerant protected virtual machines.

 

Q12: What VMware licenses do I need to get started with PernixData FVP?

A:  PernixData supports any VMware vSphere license. It does not matter if it is Essentials, Standard, Enterprise or Enterprise plus.

 

Q13: Is it complicated to install?

A: PernixData FVP is a very simple install. It consists of a management server running on windows, the FVP host extension installed inside the VMkernel and a plugin for the vSphere Client.

 

Q14: So I have bought two SSD’s for my hosts in my cluster. How should I configure my RAID controller? Is RAID0 good for performance and RAID1 good for security?

A: You should not configure RAID0 or RAID1. Keep it simple and direct attach the disks as JBOD. If JBOD is not possible then configure a RAID0. For best performance we prefer not to use the RAID controller at all.

 

Q15: How much flash cache do I need in each ESXi host?

A: This is not a simple question to answer. It depends on the working set of the virtual machines. As of writing we see most customers going with 200/400GB flash pr. host.

 

Q16: So I have been running PernixData for some time now, how do I know if I need more flash?

A: Inside the PernixData tab in vCenter we show you the eviction rate. If you see evicted data it means you can benefit from more flash.

 

Q17: Do I need the same flash type and size in every ESXi host?

A: PernixData is very flexible. It is a good design to use similar flash type and size to get predictable performance. But if you want to add 1TB Enterprise flash in one server and 200GB consumer flash in another we won’t stop you.

 

Q18: What kind of workloads can I accelerate with PernixData FVP?

A: Because PernixData is a clustered solution with WT and WB cache you can protect any workload. It does not matter if it is VDI or normal servers.

 

Q19: What kind of latency can expect for my virtual machines with PernixData?

A: It depends on the flash device and the workload. But microseconds and very low milliseconds range.

 

Q20: How do I get started with your software if I want to try it?

A: You can request a free trial on www.pernixdata.com and try it out for 60 days. During the trial you have access to a Systems Engineer from PernixData who will help you out with any questions you might have.

PernixData FVP 1.5 Beta Available

Good news, we just released our Beta program for the upcoming FVP 1.5 release. You can apply for the Beta Program here:

https://beta.pernixdata.com/

Version 1.5 adds support for vSphere 5.5. Full support for the vSphere Web Client is available. If you are still running on vSphere 5.0 or 5.1 you will still use the vSphere Client C# client.

If you want to find out what PernixData is all about, please register for the beta and provide feedback.

VMware VCA Certification 50% Discount Voucher

VMware is still pushing their adoption of the VCA Certifications. You can use the voucher below to get 50% discount. The code will be valid until January 31st.

Voucher: VMRT6B404C7B

You have three VCA Certifications to choose from. The voucher is valid for all three.

VCA-Cloud (Cloud) sign up: http://mylearn.vmware.com/quiz.cfm?item=47439
VCA-DCV (Datacenter) sign up: http://mylearn.vmware.com/quiz.cfm?item=47428
VCA-WM (Workforce Mobility) sign up: http://mylearn.vmware.com/quiz.cfm?item=47438

The VCA Certification can be taken online from anywhere. All you need is internet and a browser. 

New job as PernixData Systems Engineer

Pernixlogo

I have an announcement to make. After 5 years working as a VMware Trainer and Consultant and going independent with my own business vFrank Consultant I got a offered a great challenge.

The challenge was: Work for PernixData as the first Systems Engineer in Europe and help all of the new customers coming aboard. This was a challenge I could not resist.

For those who do not know PernixData is software you install in the vmkernel of your ESXi hosts. You then add some local flash/ssd to your hosts and this will be transparently used as Write and Read cache for your VM’s. This software is so cool that it even works with vmotion and HA. 

If you want to learn more about it, drop me a mail or check out www.pernixdata.com

Hopefully you will get as excited about the product as I am.

Ultimate New Year’s Resolution from Veeam

Exclusively for the virtualization community, Veeam raffles great prizes that will improve IT Pros daily working experience!

Join the raffle and be fully equipped for 2014!

Register now to get one of the following prizes:

  • Tablet of your choice: Android, iPad or Surface
  • Class of your choice: Microsoft Training or VMware Education Services course
  • Event of your choice: TechEd or VMworld in your geography (pass, no travel)
  • Home lab with HP and Netgear products: one mega server, ReadyNAS Pro, SSDs and amazing WiFi router
  • Software kit: MSDN subscription, Veeam NFR licenses and VMware vSphere

Make sure to register before Dec. 24 to enter raffle!

You can check out the competition here: http://go.veeam.com/ultimate-new-years-resolution.html