What is it: 

“The vVNX Community Edition (also referred to as vVNX) provides a flexible storage alternative for test and development environments.”

SDS = Software Defined Storage!!
Download a full-featured version of vVNX available for non-production use without any time limits.”
File type: *.ova
File Size: 2.1 GB
Release date: 5/4/2015
Version: 3.1.2

Download here! https://www.emc.com/products-solutions/trial-software-download/vvnx.htm

Architecture and functionality:

White Paper details: vVNX Community Edition https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-44552

Installation Guide: https://community.emc.com/docs/DOC-42029


Before you can obtain and activate the trial vVNX license, you must have completed the following tasks:

  1. Registered to create a product support account.
  2. Downloaded the vVNX software.
  3. Installed vVNX.
  4. Launched Unisphere.
The Configuration  runs when you log in to Unisphere for the first time.
  1. Note the vVNX system UUID provided on the License dialog in the Configuration Wizard.
  2. Go to the Electronic License Management System (ELMS) download page at www.emc.com/auth/elmeval.htm
  3. Click Obtain evaluation license for vVNX.
  4. Enter the vVNX system UUID and select vVNX as the product type. 
  5. Click Download to save the license to your local system.
    Note: An email confirming that you have successfully obtained the evaluation license is sent to the email address you provided when you registered.
  6. Return to the License dialog in the Configuration Wizard and click Install License File
  7. Locate the license file, select it, and click Upload to install and activate it. 

Note: Do not repeat this procedure once you have saved the license and received the confirmation email. If you try to enter the vVNX system UUID again, you will receive a “Duplicate UUID” error message.

VNX and NFSv4

Just a note to self: (Actually when discussing NFS with your customer)

If you are using VNX make sure you use OE 7.1 and greater. Why??

NFS4 is enabled by default but just not turned on!!

$ server_nfs <movername> -v4 -service -start where: <movername> = name of the Data Mover

There are other considerations to implement NFSv4

  • NFSv4 Domain
  • Access Policy: Mixed is recommended
  • Delegation Mode off
  • You can even restrict access to NFSv4 only, as normally a file system is exported to all versions of the NFS protocol

Please see:

EMC White Paper: h10949-configuring-nfsv4-vnx-wp.pdf

Software Defined Storage: VMware VVOL

Closer to reality… Closer to GA

Yesterday VMware announced public beta2 for vsphere6 and VVOL.

Why separate Beta programs?

While vSphere 6 can be leveraged ontop of most existing hardware that supports vSphere 5.5; not all storage vendors will be ready for VVOL.

All major storage vendors will be supporting the new VVOL feature. And the impact of this is very big.

But let’s start with some background information….

What is VVOL

**please note the capital V 🙂

VVOL is a new paradigm — a standard, a model, template for storage. You won’t be doing storage like you have in the past; well not 100% the same. Sure you will have the traditional tasks a storage admin will have to do for fabric based storage arrays.. but what makes things really interesting is what I call the integration point.

Currently Storage arrays are not VM aware; VVOL changes that. I guess you can call it adding more “intelligence” to your storage.

The conversation is storage meet this VM/Application. It isn’t about just consuming a LUN, but more about making a VMDK a native object on the storage system.

This point/ intersection is where the conversation should grab your attention.

I won’t try to recap what the status quo is today for storage and vmware, but know this: it is complex. Time consuming at a high operational cost and requires specialized training to ensure availability, management of SLA: performance and capacity.

Very important reference reading: (much more detailed information)

Cormac Hogan’s blog:


Duncan Epping:


Chad Sakac



VMworld 2013 VVOL Session

VMworld 2012 VVOL Session


And when you are ready… go and DO THE BETA! (or at least join the beta community and learn all you can!!)

Rawlinson shows you all about the beta and examples of storage vendors using VVOL



Open Source tool: Vagrant + vmware Fusion +EMC ScaleIO = ?

Open Source tool: Vagrant OPENSOURCE. Learn it. Use it. Software tools are great and sharing tools and supporting the OpenSource community is a good thing. This is part of a multi-part post. I will share my experience setting up ScaleIO in my vmware Fusion Lab. First find a tool to make provisioning quicker, more consistent, and automated. Tool: Vagrant From the vagrant website:

Vagrant provides easy to configure, reproducible, and portable work environments built on top of industry-standard technology and controlled by a single consistent workflow to help maximize the productivity and flexibility of you and your team. To achieve its magic, Vagrant stands on the shoulders of giants. Machines are provisioned on top of VirtualBox, VMware, AWS, or any other provider. Then, industry-standard provisioning tools such as shell scripts, Chef, or Puppet, can be used to automatically install and configure software on the machine.”

more later..   vagrant and more about


Intro to ScaleIO


EMC ScaleIO at a Glance

EMC ScaleIO is a software-only solution that uses application hosts’ local disks to realize a virtual SAN that is comparable to or better than external SAN storage, but at a fraction of the cost and complexity. ScaleIO makes a convergence of the storage and application layers possible, ending up with a wall-to-wall single layer of hosts. The lightweight software components of ScaleIO are installed on the application hosts alongside applications like databases and hypervisors.

Breaking traditional barriers of storage scalability, ScaleIO scales out to hundreds and thousands of nodes. ScaleIO’s performance scales linearly with the number of application servers and disks. With ScaleIO, any administrator can add, move, or remove servers and capacity on demand during I/O operations. ScaleIO helps ensure the highest level of enterprise-grade resilience while maintaining maximum storage performance.

ScaleIO natively supports all the leading Linux distributions, Windows Server and hypervisors and works agnostically with any SSD, HDD, and network. The product includes encryption at rest and quality of service (QoS) of performance. ScaleIO can be managed from both a command-line interface (CLI) and an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI). Deploying ScaleIO in both greenfield and existing data center environments is a simple process and takes only a few minutes.”

VMware vSphere with Operations Management

What a title! Operations Management  How do you define Operations management?

Can it be one system (ESX host or 1000?) How many VMs are running? How many vCenters do you run? How much storage do you have?

What: But more important is: What are you charged with? What is your responsibilities? How can you answer questions respective to your area(s) of responsibility? Can you answer questions related to your infrastructure?

OK. What about the next level of questions related to the above?  You may know what you run (hopefully) but how is it running? Is it running with maximum efficiency? Can you improve how things are running? Where are your bottlenecks? At which level? VM? Storage? Network? Host? You can determine that in about 60-90 seconds for  a single VM, a single host, a few DataStores.

What tools are in your toolkit? perfmon, esxtop, vcenter performance tab, vsom (vcops) other???


Now things are getting interesting… Data collecting is good. That is step one.

Now sorting and analyzing data is the next level. What about data correlation? Data analysis?

Root Cause Analysis (Why, why, why, why, why, why, why? aka “The 7 Why’s” … to drill down and find the answer) RCA is exhausting and time consuming. It burns up your man hours aka OpEX. How large is your team/ staff to address this question? And then the next quadrant.. Data Trending? Can you be proactive? Can you make more than a SWAG? How accurate is your predictive prowess? What is your strategy to handle these questions? I work with many customers looking to answer these questions. Scope and scale of responsibility can be overwhelming. I do know that VSOM does help and more often than not does answer the above questions and MORE.


Operations Management

 VSOM  Badges   Badges..

We don’t need “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” Actually you do.

When you understand the mindset Health Risk and Efficency or just for short H.e.R.E.   The approach to the vsphere management is very visual. Very quick and very dynamic.

*** Badges are not Metrics. Badges are MORE.


Performance, Capacity and Configuration INFORMATION – A single view. QUICK and Informative.
Analytic algorithms – beyond normal parameters… RED is bad!
VSOM. .Deploy the vApp…!
You’ve now employed a FTE (Full Time Employee) That just keeps working and working for you.

Health  — Operations

Immediate issues – Anomonilies & Faults

Risk — Short Term health
Forward looking issues, may come up if not addressed soon
Efficiency  — Long Term Health
Where improvements can be made
VSOM uses a multi-dimensional analysis. There are more facets, properties of an object monitored than a single dimension. i.e. is it on or off. How long it it on. What kind of health does it have? Can it access the resources defined for it? Can it meet the demand the object wants for the associated resources it needs? i.e. disk access? network access? compute access? Is this being throttled by a bottleneck somewhere?
How is your Virtual Environment? I call this the compute ecosystem.
Score card
“immediate Issues”
“Future Issues”
– Time remaining
  • when resources exhausted
-Capacity remaining
# VMs deployed
# VMs powered on.
# VMs remaining can be deployed
Longer time period vs workload (instantaneous)
Reclaimable Wastes “Right-sizing” of VMs. Maximize. Run Hotter.
Where do you want your operations to be be set. Are you running at the level you can manage? Are your end users consuming resources effectively??
  • above or below optimum
  • reduce VM sizing

Learn more vmware education Class 

Read a Book or for your online reference



How is your digital kungfu?? 🙂

More later..