VMware #vSAN 6.6 – Features and expectations based on field-experience

The release of vSAN 6.6 came with a tremendous ‘what’s new feature set’ brining VMware’s software-defined storage and hyper-converged solution to the next level. Many bloggers out there in the community did a great to job to explain the details of the following new features:

  • Removal of the Multicast requirement
  • Encryption using existing KMS solutions (KMIP 1.1 compatible)
  • Stretched Cluster enhancements (changing of witness hosts and secondary level of failure protections within a site)
  • Re-synchronization enhancements (including throttling)
  • Web Client independant vSAN monitoring User Interface
  • Performance enhancements
  • Maintenance Mode enhancements including more information and prechecks
  • New ESXCLI commands (that can be used with PowerCLI, e.g. to easily get smart data of the physical devies)
  • and many more…

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#VMworld Europe 2016: New Products and Product updates (including vSphere 6.5 / vSAN 6.5)

[Update] During the conference I added further information and links to the specific new features, etc.

I am honest right now. I was a little disappointed when I attended the VMworld in the US from an announcement perspective. The whole situation changes a few months later during #VMworld EU in Barcelona. The ‘VMware announcement season was opened by the interesting (and maybe unexpected) deep partnership with Amazon’s AWS.

During the General Session VMware did not stop with their announcements and Pat Gelsinger talked among other about new products within the VMware portfolio:

  • vSphere
  • vSAN
  • vRealize Automation
  • vRealize Log insight
  • Site Recovery Manager
  • vRealize Operations

For sure the announcement of vSphere 6.5 is the most interesting one since we were quiet disappointed with the 6.0 release and the announcement feature are removing some of the constraints we had so far in architecting our environments.


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vSphere: Get (hyperconverged) SMART information via #PowerCLI and #ESXCLI

Scooby Doo can doo-doo, but Jimmy Carter is SMARTer

Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 13.55.55

Ok, that was weak… let’s still try to turn this blog post around to a good one and let me show you how you can be SMARTer by getting relevant SMART information out of your local disk devices within your ESXi host (Which can be really useful for vSAN / hyperconverged environments with local devices).

Thanks to Get-ESXCLI (v2) we are able to access easily the local ESXCLI tool via PowerCLI 6.3 R1++. Since there is a ESXCLI Namespace Method to access the SMART data of local disks we are going to use this in the following script.

# Change Parameter 
$vCenter = 'vcsa01.lenzker.local'
$ClusterName ='CL01'
$outputfile = 'c:\temp\smart.csv'
Connect-VIServer $vCenter
$resultList = @()
$Cluster = Get-Cluster -Name $ClusterName
$ESXs = $Cluster | Get-VMHost | Where {$_.ConnectionState -eq 'Connected'}
Foreach ($ESX in $ESXs){
$scsidevs = $ESX | Get-Scsilun | Where {$_.isLocal -eq $True -AND $_.canonicalName -notmatch 'mpx'}
$esxcli = $ESX | Get-ESXCLI -v2
$arguments = $esxcli.storage.core.device.smart.get.CreateArgs()
foreach ($scsidev in $scsidevs){
write-host "Gathering Smart-Data from $scsidev.canonicalName"
$arguments.devicename = $scsidev.canonicalName
$smart = $esxcli.storage.core.device.smart.get.Invoke($arguments)
$healthstatus = ($smart | Where {$_.Parameter -contains 'Health Status'}).Value
$readerror = ($smart | Where {$_.Parameter -like'Read Error Count'}).Value
$writeerror = ($smart | Where {$_.Parameter -contains 'Write Error Count'}).Value
$temperature = ($smart | Where {$_.Parameter -contains 'Drive Temperature'}).Value
$resultList += New-Object -TypeName PSCustomObject -Property @{
esx = $ESX.Name
devname = $arguments.devicename
healthstatus = $healthstatus
readerror = $readerror
writeerror = $writeerror
temperature = $temperature
} | Select esx, devname, healthstatus, readerror, writeerror, temperature
$resultfile = $resultList | export-csv -Path $outputfile -notype

et voila…it will discover all local devices and exports the relevant information into a CSV file.

get-smart output

you can find the script here.

VMware #vSAN Queue Depth: Call for input/discussions

During the week I was at a customer site that is using vSAN 6.2 as foundation for their upcoming virtual desktop infrastructure (Seems like 2016 is really really the year of the VDI). I love vSAN and believe that at the moment it’s a great fit for many dedicated use-cases within the virtualization field.

During some load- & failover tests of the vSAN installation I realized something regarding the IO-queues within the vSAN-stack and to be honest, I am not quiet sure what the risks, mitigations and therefore the correct actions are.

We open a VMware ticket in parallel, but if you have any more in-depth knowledge about this topic, please let me know since this might be interesting to more of people (since the number of vSAN implementations is increasing).

Since the integration of flash/SSD in the performance/cache tier of vSAN the performance is great compared to classical HDD-based solutions.

To ensure a good performance level Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan talked about the queuing topics within some blog posts or the offical vSAN troubleshooting reference manual (great document btw.).

Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 09.40.18


Screen Shot 2016-06-10 at 09.40.36

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