Posts Tagged ‘sVMotion’

VMworld 2012 Announcements – Part I

August 27th, 2012

VMworld 2012 is underway in San Francisco.  Once again, a record number of attendees is expected to gather at the Moscone Center to see what VMware and their partners are announcing.  From a VMware perspective, there is plenty.

Given the sheer quantity of announcements, I’m actually going to break up them up into a few parts, this post being Part I.  Let’s start with the release of vSphere 5.1 and some of its notable features.

Enhanced vMotion – the ability to now perform a vMotion as well as a Storage vMotion simultaneously. In addition, this becomes an enabler to perform vMotion without the shared storage requirement.  Enhanced vMotion means we are able to migrate a virtual machine stored on local host storage, to shared storage, and then to local storage again.  Or perhaps migrate virtual machines from one host to another with each having their own locally attached storage only.  Updated 9/5/12 The phrase “Enhanced vMotion” should be correctly read as “vMotion that has been enhanced”.  “Enhanced vMotion” is not an actual feature, product, or separate license.  It is an improvement over the previous vMotion technology and included wherever vMotion is bundled.

Snagit Capture

Enhanced vMotion Requirements:

  • Hosts must be managed by same vCenter Server
  • Hosts must be part of same Datacenter
  • Hosts must be on the same layer-2 network (and same switch if VDS is used)

Operational Considerations:

  • Enhanced vMotion is a manual process
  • DRS and SDRS automation do not leverage enhanced vMotion
  • Max of two (2) concurrent Enhanced vMotions per host
  • Enhanced vMotions count against concurrent limitations for both vMotion and Storage vMotion
  • Enhanced vMotion will leverage multi-NIC when available

Next Generation vSphere Client a.k.a. vSphere Web Client – An enhanced version of the vSphere Web Client which has already been available in vSphere 5.0.  As of vSphere 5.1, the vSphere Web Client becomes the defacto standard client for managing the vSphere virtualized datacenter.  Going forward, single sign-on infrastructure management will converge into a unified interface which any administrator can appreciate.  vSphere 5.1 will be the last platform to include the legacy vSphere client. Although you may use this client day to day while gradually easing into the Web Client, understand that all future development from VMware and its partners now go into the Web Client. Plug-ins currently used today will generally still function with the legacy client (with support from their respective vendors) but they’ll need to be completely re-written vCenter Server side for the Web Client.  Aside from the unified interface, the architecture of the Web Client has scaling advantages as well.  As VMware adds bolt-on application functionality to the client, VMware partners will now have the ability to to bring their own custom objects objects into the Web Client thereby extending that single pane of glass management to other integrations in the ecosystem.

 

Here is a look at that vSphere Web Client architecture:

Snagit Capture

Requirements:

  • Internet Explorer / FireFox / Chrome
  • others (Safari, etc.) are possible, but will lack VM console access

A look at the vSphere Web Client interface and its key management areas:

Snagit Capture

Where the legacy vSphere Client fall short and now the vSphere Web Client solves these issues:

  • Single Platform Support (Windows)
    • vSphere Web Client is Platform Agnostic
  • Scalability Limits
    • Built to handle thousands of objects
  • White Screen of Death
    • Performance
  • Inconsistent look and feel across VMware solutions
    • Extensibility
  • Workflow Lock
    • Pause current task and continue later right where you left off (this one is cool!)
    • Browser Behavior
  • Upgrades
    • Upgrade a Single serverside component

 vCloud Director 5.1

In the recent past, VMware aligned common application and platform releases to ease issues that commonly occurred with compatibility.  vCloud Director, the cornerstone of the vCloud Suite, is obviously the cornerstone in how VMware will deliver infrastructure, applications, and *aaS now and into the future. So what’s new in vCloud Director 5.1?  First an overview of the vCloud Suite:

Snagit Capture

And a detailed list of new features:

  • Elastic Virtual Datacenters – Provider vDCs can span clusters leveraging VXLAN allowing the distribution and mobility of vApps across infrastructure and the growing the vCloud Virtual Datacenter
  • vCloud Networking & Security VXLAN
  • Profile-Driven Storage integration with user and storage provided capabilities
  • Storage DRS (SDRS) integration
    • Exposes storage Pod as first class storage container (just like a datastores) making it visible in all workflows where a datastore is visible
    • Creation, modification, and deletion of spods not possible in vCD
    • Member datastore operations not permissible in VCD
  • Single level Snapshot & Revert support for vApps (create/revert/remove); integration with Chargeback
  • Integrated vShield Edge Gateway
  • Integrated vShield Edge Configuration
  • vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • New Features in Networking
    • Integrated Organization vDC Creation Workflow
    • Creates compute, storage, and networking objects in a single workflow
    • The Edge Gateway are exposed at Organization vDC level
    • Organization vDC networks replace Organization networks
    • Edge Gateways now support:
      • Multiple Interfaces on a Edge Gateway
      • The ability to sub-allocate IP pools to a Edge Gatewa
      • Load balancing
      • HA (not the same as vSphere HA)
        • Two edge VMs deployed in Active-Passive mode
        • Enabled at time of gateway creation
        • Can also be changed after the gateway has been completed
        • Gets deployed with first Organizational network created that uses this gateway
      • DNS Relay
        • Provides a user selectable checkbox to enable
        • If DNS servers are defined for the selected external network, DNS requests will be sent to the specified server. If not, then DNS requests will be sent to the default gateway of the external network.
      • Rate limiting on external interface
    • Organization networks replaced by Organization vDC Networks
      • Organization vDC Networks are associated with an Organization vDC
      • The network pool associated with Organization vDC is used to create routed and isolated Organization vDC networks
      • Can be shared across Organization vDCs in an Organization
    • Edge Gateways
      • Are associated with an Organization vDC, can not be shared across Organization vDCs
      • Can be connected to multiple external networks
        • Multiple routed Organization vDC networks will be connected to the same Edge Gateway
      • External network connectivity for the Organization vDC Network can be changed after creation by changing the external networks which the edge gateway is connected.
      • Allows IP pool of external networks to be sub-allocated to the Edge Gateway
        • Needs to be specified in case of NAT and Load Balancer
    • New Features in Gateway Services
      • Load balancer service on Edge Gateways
      • Ability to add multiple subnets to VPN tunnels
      • Ability to add multiple DHCP IP pools
      • Ability to add explicit SNAT and DNAT rules providing user with full control over address translation
      • IP range support in Firewall and NAT services
      • Service Configuration Changes
        • Services are configured on Edge Gateway instead of at the network level
        • DHCP can be configured on Isolated Organization vDC networks.
  • Usability Features
    • New default branding style
      • Cannot revert back to the Charcoal color scheme
      • Custom CSS files will require modification
    • Improved “Add vApp from Catalog” wizard workflow
    • Easy access to VM Quota and Lease Expirations
    • New dropdown menu that includes details and search
    • Redesigned catalog navigation and sub-entity hierarchy
    • Enhanced help and documentation links
  • Virtual Hardware Version 9
    • Supports features presented by HW9 (like 64 CPU support)
    • Supports Hardware Virtualization Calls
    • VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI
    • Memory overhead increased, vMotion limited to like hardware
    • Enable/Disable exposed to users who have rights to create a vApp Template
  • Additional Guest OS Support
    • Windows 8
    • Mac OS 10.5, 10.6 and 10.7
  • Storage Independent of VM Feature
    • Added support for Independent Disks
    • Provides REST API support for actions on Independent Disks
      • As these consume disk space, the vCD UI was updated to show user when they are used:
      • Organizations List Page
      • A new Independent Disks count column is added.
      • Organization Properties Page
      • Independent Disks tab is added to show all independent disks belonging to vDC
      • Tab is not shown if no independent disk exists in the vDC.
      • Virtual Machine Properties Page
      • Hardware tab->Hard Disks section, attached independent disks are shown by their names and all fields for the disk are disabled as they are not editable.

That’s all I have time for right now.  As I said, there is more to come later on topics such as vDS enhancements, VXLAN, SRM, vCD Load Balancing, and vSphere Replication.  Stay tuned!

Align Datastore Names With VM Names Using Storage vMotion

September 30th, 2009

Does it bug you when the registered names of your VM do not match the folder and file names on the datastore? It can be difficult to identify VMs when browsing the datastore if the folder and file names do not match the VM name. Or maybe the VM names generally match what’s on the datastore but there are some case sensitivity discrepancies. I for one an uncomfortable with these situations. While fixing the problem by bringing the datastore folder/file names into alignment with the VM name isn’t impossible, the process is painful when done manually and requires an outage of the VM.

Here’s a simple trick I’m sure many may already be aware of. I remember hearing about it quite a while ago (I don’t remember where) but had forgotten about it until today. Let VMware Storage VMotion take care of the problem for you. During the Storage VMotion process, the destination folder/file names are synchronized with the name of the VM on the fly with no outage.

For example, let’s say we create a VM with a registered name of “old_name”. The datastore backing folder has the name of “old_name” and the files inside are also prefixed with “old_name”.vmdk, .vmx, etc.

Now we go ahead and change the name of the VM to “new_name” in vCenter. The datastore backing folder and files still have the “old_name” and now obviously don’t match the registered VM name.

To bring the datastore backing folder and file names back in synchronization with the registered VM, we can perform a Storage VMotion. In doing so, the backing folder and files will be dynamically renamed as they land on the new datastore. In this case, they will be renamed to “new_name”.

This solution is a heck of a lot easier than powering down the VM and renaming all the files, as well as modifying the corresponding metadata in some of the files.

Update 9/27/11: As reported by Gary below and validated in my lab, this trick no longer works in vSphere 5.0 with respect to file names within the folder.  As an example, after renaming the VM in vCenter inventory and then subsequently Storage vMotioning the VM, the destination folder name will match the VM however the .vmx and .vmdk files inside will not.  This is unfortunate as I have used this trick method many times.

Update 11/7/12: Over a year later, vSphere 5.1 is shipping and this feature is still disabled.  VMware KB Article 2008877 has not been updated since the launch of vSphere 5.1 If I were a customer, I’d be upset.  As an avid user of the product, I’m upset as much about the carelessness and complacency of VMware as I am about the disabling of the feature.

Update 12/21/12: Duncan Epping reports Storage vMotion file renaming is back in vSphere 5.0 Update 2.  Read more about that here.  This is a wonderful birthday present for me.

Update 1/25/13: Duncan Epping further clarifies that Storage vMotion file renaming in vSphere 5.0 Update 2 requires an addition to the advanced setting in vCenter (Add the key “provisioning.relocate.enableRename” with value “true” and click “add”).  Read more about that here.  Duncan further hints that Storage vMotion file renaming may be coming to vSphere 5.1 Update 1.  No promises of course and this is all just speculation.

Update 4/30/13: Duncan’s prophecy came to realization late last week when VMware released vSphere 5.1 Update 1 which restores Storage vMotion file renaming.  As pointed out by Cormac here and similar to the update above, an advanced setting in vCenter is required (Add the key “provisioning.relocate.enableRename” with value “true” and click “add”).

Andrew Kutz joins Hyper9

February 28th, 2009

This news is a little over a week old but I just found out two nights ago while reading vExpert profiles and it’s definitely worth repeating.

Andrew Kutz is a recently named vExpert by VMware, Inc. and a well known developer in the VMware community. Andrew has authored a number of VirtualCenter plugins, of which the most famous might be his free Storage VMotion (sVMotion) plugin which provides VMware administrators a GUI interface to hot migrate VM storage from one LUN to another. Andrew has received well deserved praise for his work because he makes the lives of VI administrators easier.

Hyper9 is a startup company in Austin, TX that works in the virtualization infrastructure management space, developing tools that automate the management of virtualization in the datacenter. Hyper9 recently secured an additional round of investment funding and it would seem they are totally serious about delivering quality products to the virtualization community in the hiring of Andrew Kutz. What can we expect out of this? Given what I’ve seen from Andrew in the past, I’ll guess the future will be plugin based architecture which I think makes a lot of sense and is probably what the majority of the community wants.

Congratulations to both Andrew Kutz and Hyper9. I look forward to your accomplishments with great anticipation!

Read the official announcement from Hyper9 here.

KB1008130: VMware ESX and ESXi 3.5 U3 I/O failure on SAN LUN(s) and LUN queue is blocked indefinitely

January 19th, 2009

I became aware of this issue last week by word of mouth and received the official Email blast from VMware this morning.

The vulnerability lies in a convergence of circumstances:

1. Fibre channel SAN storage with multipathing
2. A fibre channel SAN path failure or planned path transition
3. Metadata update occurring during the fibre channel SAN path failure where metadata updates include but are not limited to:

a. Power operations of a VM
b. Snapshot operations of a VM (think backups)
c. Storage VMotion (sVMotion)
d. Changing a file’s attributes
e. Creating a VMFS volume
f. Creating, modifying, deleting, growing, or locking of a file on a VMFS volume

The chance of a fibre channel path failure can be rated as slim, however, metadata updates can happen quite frequently, or more often than you might think. Therefore, if a fibre channel path failure occurs, chances are good that a metadata update could be in flight which is precisely when disaster will strike. Moreover, the safety benefit and reliance on multipathing is diminished by the vulnerability.

Please be aware of this.

Dear ESX 3.5 Customer,

Our records indicate you recently downloaded VMware® ESX Version 3.5 U3 from our product download site. This email is to alert you that an issue with that product version could adversely effect your environment. This email provides a detailed description of the issue so that you can evaluate whether it affects you, and the next steps you can take to get resolution or avoid encountering the issue.

ISSUE DETAILS:
VMware ESX and ESXi 3.5 U3 I/O failure on SAN LUN(s) and LUN queue is blocked indefinitely. This occurs when VMFS3 metadata updates are being done at the same time failover to an alternate path occurs for the LUN on which the VMFS3 volume resides. The effected releases are ESX 3.5 Update 3 and ESXi 3.5 U3 Embedded and Installable with both Active/Active or Active/Passive SAN arrays (Fibre Channel and iSCSI).

PROBLEM STATEMENT AND SYMPTONS:
ESX or ESXi Host may get disconnected from Virtual Center
All paths to the LUNs are in standby state
Esxcfg-rescan might take a long tome to complete or never complete (hung)
VMKernel logs show entries similar to the following:

Queue for device vml.02001600006006016086741d00c6a0bc934902dd115241 49442035 has been blocked for 6399 seconds.

Please refer to KB 1008130.

SOLUTION:
A reboot is required to clear this condition.

VMware is working on a patch to address this issue. The knowledge base article for this issue will be updated after the patch is available.

NEXT STEPS:
If you encounter this condition, please collect the following information and open an SR with VMware Support:

1. Collect a vsi dump before reboot using /usr/lib/vmware/bin/vsi_traverse.

2. Reboot the server and collect the vm-support dump.

3. Note the activities around the time where a first “blocked for xxxx seconds” message is shown in the VMkernel.

Please consult your local support center if you require further information or assistance. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this issue may cause you. Your satisfaction is our number one goal.

Update:  The patch has been released that resolves this