Recently I wrote a summary discussion on an Executive Brief by Frost & Sullivan (F&S) titled Beyond Overhead: How Your Backup and Recovery Architecture Can Contribute to Strategic Business Success., rather than duplicating the article here. The discussion post was published on the worldwide HP Transforming IT Blog site:

http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Transforming-IT-Blog/Achieving-Strategic-Business-Value-from-a-Sound-BURA/ba-p/148027

Would love to know your thoughts on this brief, I found myself mostly agreeing with the points F&S make, but of course have my own ideas as to what matters and what doesn’t in this case.  Do you?  If so feel free to comment! 

 

Stale NFS Mount in VMware ESXi 5.5

On October 25, 2013, in Servers, Virtualization, VMWare, by andre

So after successfully updating my vCenter and ESXi host to version 5.5, I proceeded to add back the NFS mount that had previously been mounted only to be met by the following error message:

The “Create NAS datastore” operation failed for the entity with the following error message. An error occurred during host configuration. Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to resolve hostname ‘nas.local”

At this stage, my DNS server was not up (and had not been for a while due to me being forgetful over the last few months) and I was mounting by IP Address so couldnt understand why it kept referring back to the hostname. Now the issue I have is that I have become perhaps too comfortable with the desktop version of the vSphere client so am still learning my way around Web GUI. Things have changed, just ask @nickmarshall9 who mentioned recently in a presentation he is still adapting to the new graphical world of vSphere Client Web style

For some reason, I was unable to see and unmount any dead\stale datastore mounts within the GUI, or the desktop client for that matter. If all else fails, go CLI!

  1. Enable SSH access (Off by default), refer to my previous post on how to do this here
  2. SSH into your box using an ssh client, I used terminal within MacOSX so naturally had to specify the root@ username
  3. run the command esxcfg-nas -l to list the volumes it thinks it has currently mounted (why these results do not filter up to the GUI astounds me)
  4. now to add a temporary entry into the hosts file,   vi /etc/hosts and add <ip address of NFS Server> <hostname>
  5. Save and exit vi
  6. esxcfg-nas -d <stale_NFS_mount>
  7. Delete the temporary entry that you added to the /etc/hosts file in Step 4 using vi
  8. You should now be able to add the NFS volume through the vSphere client
  9. Turn off SSH access

Simple solution, but one for a problem that seems more or less broken in the software stack.

 

This came up in an internal email and thought it might be of use to some customers. It depicts the maximum latency that HP supports when choosing your flavour of HP 3PAR Remote Copy replication (Remember to think about RTO). Note: This is latency, and has no hard distance, it all comes down to the link but as a rule of thumb fibre links have 0.005ms per km. May the force be with you!

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HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module for vCenter is plug-in for vCenter Server that allows HP storage arrays to be managed from a single pane of glass that is integrated into the vSphere client.

Available at no cost from HP, the plug-in can be installed once for the entire vCenter environment using a single, all-inclusive installer.

Let’s take a look at the storage component of this plugin, some of the key features as part of this component are:

  • Monitoring the status and health of HP storage arrays
  • Automated provisioning of datastores and VMs– Adding, removing, and expanding datastores on the fly
  • Creating VM from templates on new datastores
  • Using array-based snapshot and snap clone technologies to clone VMs, tapping into VAAI primitives essentially which speeds up operational tasks
  • Common provisioning and removal tasks.
  • Datastore mapping information

And yes, its supported with VMware vSphere 5.1 and from a storage stand point the following HP arrays:

  • HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage
  • HP MSA Storage
  • HP StoreVirtual Storage including the Virtual SAN Appliance
  • HP EVA Storage
  • HP XP Storage
  • HP StoreOnce Backup appliance

So what it gives you is true and fruitful information on your server farm. I was going to add some screenshots of the GUI here but my lab has temporarily taken a holiday so unable to run it up right now.

The good thing is, these two modules (server and storage) is bundled in one installation package and is very easy to install,  for customers running HP BladeSystem and any of our major storage arrays (3PAR, StoreVirtual VSA/Appliance, MSA, EVA and XP) .

Available @ https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do?productNumber=HPICE

 
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