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Nhowell
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@Duncan, First of all, thanks for the thorough comment, and for the books you and Frank have done on the topic. I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and they greatly improved my knowledge of the topic. As far as this post, I was just trying to warn people of the pitfalls of turning on SDRS haphazardly, because they DO exist, and if not careful, run the risk of making a huge mess. We can sit here and break down each individual component all day and have semantic arguments about why or why not, but at the end of the day, it IS about the customer, and I'm a firm believer of protecting them from the unknown. 1) UNMAP is awesome! It's unfortunate that it's VMFS only (to my knowledge). There is a lot of movement on our side on Space Reclamation enhancements as well. 2) Yes, but you only know what the datastore knows, correct? You do not know that the logical 1TB volume only has 100GB of free space remaining in the underlying aggregate. That was the point I was trying to make. 3) Properly thin-provisioned LUNs blow up and have to be restored from snapshots in most cases if they are run out of disk space. This is why so much care has to be taken when thin provisioning, and our best practices go into great detail about the Autogrow and Snapshot Delete functionality that was added in recent years to make this easy. 4) I can't answer that, only the customer can, and every customer's answer will be different. Having the ability to make this decision, and having options in both directions is what's important, not one being better than the other.
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As we've gone through the vSphere 5 beta program, Storage DRS is the one piece that has both fascinated us, as well as scared us. As you all know, I'm a huge fan of transparency, and I want to be crystal clear with this post. Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
Nick from NetApp... If you're using gParted, just a head's up that it also has a 1MB partition offset options. This means, with vSphere5, that Microsoft, Linux, and VMware have all standardized on 1MB offsets. This is good news.
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Today, VMware is setting a strategy to define and build a new category of software called “cloud infrastructure,” which is the full set of software that powers the enterprise customer’s private clouds as well as service provider customer’s public clouds. Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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I've just finished reading the newly published update to TR-3785. This was an extensive (...extensive!) effort, tri-branded, from NetApp, Cisco, and VMware, to give you a real-life example scenario of how to deploy Microsoft's "Big 3" in a robust, efficient, and flexible architecture. Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
@Jody Boy you nailed it! Everyone can sell you hard drives. Personally I want to buy mine from the company that can manage, maintain,and secure them (or the data on them) the best, in the most efficient and flexible way.
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It seems fitting that a post regarding a "revolution" would be posted around Independence Day. Rich Castagna, Editorial Director over at searchstorage.techtarget.com, posted a nice writeup a few days ago, and as a NetApp customer turned employee, I'd like to respond to some of his points. Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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It's an awesome feeling to be humbly rewarded for something you would likely do in your free time, whether you were getting paid for it or not. Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
Gents, I'm checking on download availability and will get back to you. As far as licensing goes, if you already have a support contract for DFM/Prot/Prov Mgrs, then it will be a free upgrade for you. The only thing that is different is that SMVI is being rebranded OnCommand Backup & Recovery for VMware. This option will be a per controller license charge the same way SMVI has been in the past. If you're currently already licensed for SMVI, you will be covered.
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Today, NetApp launched a new initiative around the journey to the Cloud, boldly stating that we are the foundation for which the cloud is built upon. Frankly, I couldn't agree more. All the things you know and love about NetApp being the leader in Flexible, Efficient storage for IT makes it the perfect foundation for your cloud journey. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
@Bert You're gonna stump me on the Linux questions for right now because, frankly, I haven't gotten a chance to PoC the Linux stuff for myself. So anything I talk about will be merely my best guess based on experience. I'm attending an internal field event this week and will have LOTS more info to share in the coming days, so stay tuned! That little disclaimer out of the way, I do have lots of experience with Oracle + Linux. From what I know, Linux is perfectly happy with "write-suspends" (via VMware snapshot) and the internal applications can be quiesced within their own mechanisms (i.e. Oracle "hot backup mode"). So, if you wanted to backup an entire Oracle DB, and a the Linux VM carrying it, SnapProtect would 'hot backup mode' the DB via the iDataAgent, quiesce the VM with a VMware snapshot, trigger the snap on the NetApp filer, remove the VMware snapshot, take Oracle out of hot backup mode. This is all very similar to how SnapManager for Oracle operates, but what you gain is backup of the WHOLE VM, not just the Oracle DB. Since the DB was in hot backup mode at the time the VM was quiesced, you get a defacto point-in-time recover point of the VM, the DB, or both.
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@Ryan Simpana has the same functionality as NetApp SnapProtect. We have OEM'ed CommVault's product as we think that highly of it, and are already intimately integrated with it. For existing customers, you would just keep Simpana, and add more NetApp storage on the backend for the varying replication scenario's, as you see fit.
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@Bert SnapProtect has its own VSS provider, in the form of a tiny agent that gets pushed into the VM, called iDataAgent. This guy is basically just a translator, and knows how to talk the talk with the likes of all tier1 apps (i.e. Oracle hot backup mode, ALTER DATABASE OPEN, etc) So, you can take a backup of just the app, or the entire VM, or both at the same time, and the agent will release the app back to its normal operating state. Restores absolutely work as you described, but better. You can restore different snapshots of db's, even to different instances (auth permitting). To your point about VMDK/file only, this is true, but I want to make sure you understand the context. We're trying to promote users to keep everything within the confines of their virtual environment. By sticking to using VMDK's inside datastores (let's say 10GbE NFS to your storage/ESXi) then you get all the bene's of NFS, and your Orcl/SQL/Exch VM's just think they have local disks. Keeps everything nice and neat. No more block storage headache. And performance will not suffer.
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@Fletch Great question on licensing! What I can tell you is that it is a per-controller license, just like all of the other NetApp products. What I can't tell you about is cost, because, frankly, I just don't know. I have reached out to people on the Stanford account about getting you set up with a demo and they should be contacting you!
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Last week, we unveiled our latest offering: SnapProtect. There was a lot of shock-and-awe concern and excitement, as well as a lot of what I like to call "unicorns and rainbows" theorycrafting going on, some positive, some negative-nancy. What I'm going to do here is post a sort of FAQ... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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I am a big fan of transparency. For that reason, I wanted to share with you my personal selections for which I voted for VMworld 2011, and add a little personal input as to why I voted for them. Now, before I began the massive undertaking that is reviewing all... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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Today, NetApp, Cisco, and VMware announced the latest in an array of FlexPod architectures, this time supporting SAP. Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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I'm happy to share that, as of Monday, the official CVD for MS Sharepoint on FlexPod was released. Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
You've moved all your VM's over to the new cluster with the vDS, and you've powered down your vCenter VM and SQL VM. Connect your VIC client directly to the host they reside on and unregister them (Right click, Remove from Inventory). Connect another VIC client directly to the new host you're adding them to and register them (Browse Datastore, find VM folder, right-click on .vmx file, Add to Inventory). Now, right-click on the VM, and Edit Settings. Select your vnic and look in the bottom right dropbox. In most cases, this will be empty (barring any kooky configuration you've done) meaning you cannot associate the vCenter VM with a portgroup in the vDS because....you guessed it....it's controlled/housed by vCenter and the vCenterDB. Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
Doh! Yes I did miss SnapRestore. I have an entire post around Snapcreator and I did hit SnapLock. :) Let me see what I can for old-man-SnapRestore.
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Since I still hear from new and/or potential customers frequently, asking me to help them understand what all of this "Snap" stuff is about, I thought I would take the time to write it all out here. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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It's really funny to me how most conversations around Cloud often times circle back to Virtualization 101. And most times, it's current VMware admins asking these sorts of questions about vCloud, still struggling to understand fundamentals. So I want to try to help. Why do we need it? What will... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
Cloud designs and architectures introduce many interesting topics of discussion when meeting with customers revolving around how they currently do things, as well as how we’re going to be doing things 5 years from now. How they should design their storage infrastructure, how the storage infrastructure integrates seamlessly with the next level of abstracted infrastructure, and backup. You can’t have a discussion around storage architectures [typically] with backup being mentioned or expressed as a concern. Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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One of the common threads that tend to come out when talking to non-technical people, not from my usual readers, but from their bosses, C-levels, and "decision makers," is: "What does that vCloud Director thing do for me, anyway?" I'm sure a lot of you have had these discussions yourself.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2011 at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
@Brian - Will certainly keep you in mind! @Jay - Without giving too much away, you are going to see tons of Tier 1 virtualization content here. Especially around Oracle.
Toggle Commented Mar 19, 2011 on New Beginnings at NetApp - Virtualization Arcade
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