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Opening Acts 2014 Storage Panel – VMworld 2014 August 28, 2014

Posted by wholmes in Software-Defined Storage, VMworld.
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VSAN Memory Minimums for Home Lab April 19, 2014

Posted by wholmes in VSAN.
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Recently there has been discussion on twitter around memory utilization of Virtual SAN for home labs scenarios. While VSAN was not designed to target home labs (Virtual SAN was designed for the enterprise) , it can be a very useful platform in enabling high performance home labs without requiring external storage. Recently Jason Nash published a blog post around his findings around memory utilization in his home lab, and his findings sparked some discussion around how VSAN memory utilization is allocated.

VSAN does have a minimum amount of memory required per host, based on the number of disk groups, and disks within each disk group. The larger the number of disk groups, and HDDs per disk group, the higher the memory utilization, up to a 10%. VSAN is designed to use no more than 10% of memory per host, even with the maximum amount of disk groups and disks. Once you have at least 32GB of memory in a host, you can support the configurable maximum, but with less memory per host, there is a sliding scale of the number of disks and disks groups that can be supported.

Below is a table detailing the minimum memory configuration based on number of disk groups and disk per disk group. This may be particularly relevant for those trying to use VSAN in a home lab.

Number of Disks

Number of Disk Groups Number of Disks per Disk Groups Minimum Memory per host
2 HDD 2 Disk Groups 2 HDD Per Disk Group 6 GB
5 HDD 5 Disk Groups 5 HDD Per Disk Group 8 GB
10 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 12 GB
15 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 16 GB
20 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 20 GB
25 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 24 GB
30 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 28 GB
35 HDD 5 Disk Groups 7 HDD Per Disk Group 32 GB

My VMware Certification Story – VCDX#15 October 31, 2013

Posted by wholmes in Certification, VCDX.
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Three Hosts, two VSAN Datastores! October 31, 2013

Posted by wholmes in Software-Defined Storage.
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For those of you who have been testing out VSAN, you may realize that a VSAN cluster only supports one scale-out datastore across participating hosts. Well, while working on an internal Virtual SAN lab setup,  and following my colleague William Lam’s excellent vCenter bootstrap instructions,  I got into a situation where I had a single node vsanDatastore with my vCenter Server Appliance residing on it, and a VSAN enabled vSphere cluster with a second vsanDatastore(1).

So how do I add my single node VSAN host to the existing cluster to achieve a minimum supported VSAN configuration of 3 nodes and a single vsanDatastore? The solution was rather straightforward.

If you try to drag and drop your VSAN single node host into the existing VSAN cluster, this will fail as the VSAN UUIDs will conflict. You would see an alert similar to the below text.

“VSAN cluster UUID mismatch (host: 529d886b-37db-72d6-3511-bfd9843b3f95, destination: 52694edb-6aac-c30f-94e4-              3bb30174d0b0) ”

To resolve this conundrum, first I made sure vMotion and VSAN kernel ports were enabled on all three hosts, and migrated my vCenter Server Appliance from vsanDatastore (on the single node) to vsanDatastore(1) within the vSphere cluster.

Next, I went to the command line on the single node VSAN host, and ran the following command.

     esxcli vsan cluster leave

At this point, the single node vsanDatastore will have been destroyed, and you should now only see one vsanDatastore(1) within the vSphere Web Client Datastores inventory list.

At this point, you can now drag and drop your single node host into the vSphere cluster, and if your VSAN cluster is set to Automatic, all the disks within the single node will be automatically added to the cluster!

As I delve further into the product, I have been very impressed with the stability of VSAN, especially in scenarios where some troubleshooting is required.

Happy Halloween!

Need Your Input on the Future Direction of the Software-Defined Datacenter October 30, 2013

Posted by wholmes in Uncategorized.
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VMware is looking for feedback on the customer journey towards the software-defined data center. Key to this is how automation and policy fits into your data center. Please fill out the following quick survey (should take no longer than five minutes) to have a direct impact on the future direction of VMware products and services. Thank you for your participation!


Mapping IT Architecture Transformation to Business Priorities — The VCDX Way October 22, 2013

Posted by wholmes in Network, Security, Software-Defined Storage, VCDX.
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Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself September 27, 2013

Posted by wholmes in Career, Uncategorized.

After spending the last three years as a member of VMware’s Global Technology Solutions focusing mainly on the creation of various cloud infrastructure services offerings, I am excited to announce I will be embarking on a new journey within VMware as a Senior Technical Marketing Architect focusing on storage and availability reference architectures and solutions.

It will be great to work more closely with my esteemed Technical Marketing teammates Cormac Hogan, Ken Werneburg, Rawlinson Rivera, Jeff Hunter, Mike Foley and the soon to be joining Gurusimran Khalsa (yes Gurusimran, you will still have to sort the M&Ms, but don’t worry, I don’t eat candy so you can give my share to someone else 😉 ).

As many have noticed, there is a tremendous amount of excitement around VMware’s VSAN, and that excitement is well warranted and I believe will become a fever pitch as the solution approaches GA. This is a very transformative time in the IT industry, with multiple agents of change driving both technology and operational advances within the datacetner.  One of the primary change agents, the vision of the software-defined storage, and its tie into software-defined compute and network stacks, is being lead head on by VMware with technologies such as VSAN, vVOL,____, _____.

But, as with any change comes the need to properly understand how to fit this new enabling technology within your current or future datacenter. The need to provide reference architecture guidance on how these new technologies can be efficiently designed, integrated and deployed with complimentary technology will be greater than ever. I am excited to begin working with partners and helping customers along the journey into software-defined storage and ultimately the SDDC, addressing  the business needs of customers in the present, while also helping to drive forward what is to come.

Cloud Security Presentation at SXSW March 19, 2012

Posted by wholmes in Cloud, Security.
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I had a great experience last weekend presenting “Securing the Cloud – What’s Your Cloud Entry Point?” during the SXSW interactive conference in Austin, TX. Most people in the Virtualization community are not aware that SXSW includes a very large annual technology conference that attracts over 20,000 annually. This is in addition to a SXSW film and of course the SXSW music festival.

It was great to see a decent size audience attend on an uncharacteristically rainy cold Austin day, with over 200 attendees. This speaks to the fact that VMware, virtualization, and Cloud are gaining mindshare within more than just the typical infrastructure admin community. With technologies such as Cloud Foundry and vFabric at the PaaS Layer; Horizon Mobile, SlideRocket, Socialcast, and the upcoming Project Octopus and AppBlast at the SaaS and End-User-Compute layer to compliment our IaaS Cloud solutions, we have a large and growing number of products that allow for multiple entry points into the Cloud, each with their own security considerations.

Below is a link to my presentation (on SlideRocket) with audio the audio link. Feel free to leave comments within the SlideRocket Presentation. (One of the cool features of SlideRocket!).

Presentation Slides: http://portal.sliderocket.com/vmware/SXSW-2012

Audio: http://audio.sxsw.com/2012/podcasts/10-HIL-Securing-The-Cloud-Whats-your.mp3

Session Description http://schedule.sxsw.com/2012/events/event_IAP13577

Session Abstract:

The move to cloud computing is still froth with questions about the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data moved to the cloud. These questions, and their answers, differ depending on the cloud entry point chosen by the end-user. Potential cloud entry points include Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, or Software-as-a-Service (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS) cloud computing solutions. This presentation will review the current state of affairs around cloud computing security, and delve into security considerations end-users should make for each of the differing cloud solution entry points

Are You Ready For Cloud? December 5, 2011

Posted by wholmes in Cloud.

The following VMware Cloud Readiness Self-Assessment consists of twenty questions in the following categories to gauge your organizations readiness in adopting cloud computing. Once submitted, a custom report will be generated, providing guidance and next steps in your cloud journey.  Go here now to start the assessment, or view a sample report here.

  • Strategy – Aligning business needs with IT capability.
  • Process – Streamlining and automating processes to achieve business agility.
  • Architecture – Establishing an enterprise architecture for this new IT infrastructure.
  • Technology – Designing and deploying your technology infrastructure from virtualization to cloud.
  • People and Governance – Creating the roles and skills necessary to ensure company-wide adoption, and the accountability framework and policies for stakeholder collaboration.

Are You Ready For Some vOdgeball!! August 26, 2011

Posted by wholmes in VMworld.
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VMworld 2011 is almost upon us, and with it comes the formation of the most elite group of vOdgeball players to ever grace the floor of the Las Vegas Sports Complex.

Even hurricane Irene could not stop the formation of the greatest collection of vOdgeball talent ever assembled.

So who are these mighty vOdgeball warriors? I would like to introduce the VMware vRammers. With five VCDXs, the Director of the VMware Center for Compliance, and a galactic star hero as members, this is a team that does not lack firepower. The vRammers are ready to take on all challengers.

Team Profile:

Wade “vHammer” Holmes – VCDX #15 – co-captain
John “vChewie” Troyer – Galactic Star Hero – co-captain
Thomas “vTerminator” Kraus – VCDX #32
Chris “Bring It” Colotti – VCDX #37
Ben “vSlayer” Lin – VCDX #45
Jason “#DCQuake” Langone – VCDX #54
George “vThug” Gerchow – Director, VMware Center for Policy & Compliance
Tony “vDunn” Dunn
Jordan “vMJ” Jeffery

So come out and support the VMware vRammers, and be sure to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project.

For more information on what exactly vOdgeball is, and for more details, see link below.

When: Sunday, August 28, 2011 7:00PM-10:00PM PDT
Where: Sportscenter of Las Vegas 121 East Sunset Road Las Vegas, NV