PernixData FVP 2.0 Now Available

It is here! PernixData FVP 2.0. During the last couple of months I have been getting experience with this in my lab and at selected customers. In 2.0 we are introducing 4 new groundbreaking capabilities.

Distributed Fault Tolerant Memory (DFTM):

Now we support the use of RAM for read and write acceleration. We still support the use of flash of course. We are just giving extra options for acceleration. From my experience in my lab RAM is INSANELY fast. It did not matter what kind of IO I threw at it. It just consistently performed with extremely low latency. Just imagine reading and writing data from RAM with 0,08 millisecond!

NFS support

This one does not require a lot of explanation. Now we support NFS datastores. It is implemented in the same transparent fashion as block storage. So absolutely no changes is made to the VM or NFS datastore.

User defined fault domains

With the use of RAM we also see the need to define your fault domains. If you are using RAM for Write acceleration you would probably like to have a copy of the Writes on a second host placed in a another RACK/Blades chassis/Datacenter. With fault domains you can now define your physical boundaries and make sure exactly where the writes are replicated to. This of course also works with flash.

Adaptive Network Compression

When we send the Writes over the PernixData network (default is vMotion but any vmkernel will work, you decide) we have seen in 1Gb environments that it can be a problem. In FVP 2.0 we will take a look at the data to be sent, and if it makes sense we will compress before we send it over the wire. This brings down the latency of WB +1/+2 policy in a 1Gb environment.

You can read the full press release here:

http://www.pernixdata.com/press-release/pernixdata-introduces-new-enterprise-subscription-and-vdi-editions-fvp-software

 

 

PernixData Nordic Roadshow with Frank Denneman

If you are from Scandinavia this post is for you, please read on

I am happy to announce the PernixData together with Arrow ECS will be having morning seminars in Copenhagen, Oslo, Stockholm and Helsinki. The topic is using flash in the datacenter and where should it belong.  We have been so lucky to have Frank Denneman visit the Nordic’s and share his insightful perspective

The schedule for the week:

September 15th: Copenhagensign up
September 16th: Oslosign up
September 17th: Stockholmsign up
September 18th: Helsinkisign up

What is the seminar about

Using storage arrays for both performance and capacity is regarded as a natural design by many. This is easy, but almost always introduces issues with storage performance, regardless of the environment size.

Flash storage is seen as savior to storage I/O bottlenecks, but implementing flash can be confusing. Should it go in your SAN? Servers? Both? Furthermore what key features (e.g. write acceleration, clustering, etc.) are required to turn flash into an effective tool for accelerating storage performance across an entire data center?

Join us for this talk where Frank will highlight:

  • Pros and cons of various flash deployment methodologies
  • Best practices for using flash to accelerate storage performance
  •  How to measure results and ROI

We look forward to seeing you there!

VeeamON 2014 Conference

It is almost unbelievable. I remember 7 years ago when I was using Veeam FastSCP to transfer files to/from my ESX servers and Vizioncore vRanger was the program to use for Backups in a virtual environment. Now 7 years later no one talks about vRanger and Veeam is almost the de-facto standard for backups in a virtual environment. Veeam has more than 100.000 customers world wide and now they are moving to the next level by having their own backup and availability conference VeeamON in Las Vegas.

This is a huge accomplishment and it all came by having a great product, that simply worked and did what it should in a great but simple manner.

If you want to know what is going on the virtual world when it comes to availability you should spend your days at the Cosmopolitan in  Las vegas October 6th till October 8th.

If you are a current Veeam customer and want to improve the way you leverage their product click the picture below and sign-up! I highly recommend it.

 

Screenshot 2014-07-25 14.57.29 (1)

 

 

Netgear R7000 – Insane wireless performance

I have been running a WRT320N wireless router for the past few years. It has been rock solid and had no problem handling my 60/60mbit internet connection when using wired clients. The router was not so great at the wireless speed though. I have been running custom DD-WRT firmware on the router, because I like all of the customizations and possibilities it gives.

I decided it was time for look for a new router with good wifi. I live in an apartment complex so the air is crowded with accesspoints running in the 2.4ghz range. When checking the 5ghz range I did not find any other wireless networks. I eventually came out with the following requirements:

– Dual Band router. It should do 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ at the same time.

– Support all wireless generations B/G/A/N/AC

– Work stable with DD-WRT firmware

– Gigabit Switch

After a little research I quickly discovered the Netgear R7000. It was the number one router on smallnetbuilder.com in the AC1900 category. I moved on to the DD-WRT firmware and people stated it was stable with the “kong” builds. By looking at the specs and the forum this seemed like the perfect fit. I decided to give it a go and bought it right away.

When the router arrived the first thing I did was to flash it with DD-WRT Kong Build 24200. It was extremely simple, done through the web interface.

I configured the wireless networks and created:

– One 2.4 ghz network in “mixed mode”

– One 5 ghz network in “N/AC” mode

I then decided to test the wireless speed on both with speedtest.net. On the 5ghz network I instantly pulled 60mbit down and up! Hurrah! Finally the internet was my limitation and not the wireless network. I tried connecting to the 2.4ghz and I did not see the same performance. As I mentioned my neighbourhood is extremely crowded with wireless network and this hurts performance.

I then tried to copy some files from my local synology nas to my laptop and I experienced 20MB/sec! On my old router I used to see 4MB/sec on a very good day.

All in all, if you are looking for great wireless performance and something highly customizable but stable, then look no further than to the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 and flash it with DD-WRT

Screenshot 2014-06-14 00.46.39

Featured: Book Review – Learning Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere

This is a featured blog post by Mads Fog Albrechtslund orginally posted here

If you want to check out Veeam Backup Go here: http://www.veeam.com/vm-backup-recovery-replication-software.html

Disclaimer: I have received this book as a free review sample, with the only requirement that I would write a review of it here on my blog and post short reviews of it on amazon.com, goodreads.com and books.dzone.com. These should be unbiased and I was in no way obligated to write positive reviews.

Learning Veeam Backup and ReplicationThe book is available in both eBook and Print versions from Packt Publishing

I know Christian Mohn, the author of “Learning Veeam Backup & Replication for VMware vSphere” from Twitter (@h0bbel), his blog vNinja.net and I have also listened to a few of his podcasts, vSoup, which he does regularly with co-presenters Ed Czerwin (@eczerwin) and Chris Dearden (@ChrisDearden). [Read more...]

#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.