BURA DR Storage Trending Vembu

Today is World Backup Day and…..(Sponsored Post)

Today is world backup day, which was created as a way to remind people of the importance of backups and to have them publicly pledge that they will start taking reliable backups of their data frequently.

Working in this field for some time, I have also had my own share of losing data in the past (ironic given my profession) and not being able to restore.

Interestingly enough, it is estimated that around a 1/3 of people have never backed their data up so are seriously exposed to data loss, and those who have backed up – chances are they havent tested these any may not be able to restore when needed. One study found that while 57% of IT managers have a backup solution in place, 75% of them were not able to restore all of their lost data when they tried to.

To combat this and provide a reliable backup and restore solution to this ongoing problem, our friends over at Vembu are offering offer 10% flat discount on all new purchases of Vembu BDR suite by clicking this link.

Also, remember to celebrate World Backup Day by using this hash tag! #WorldBackupDay

 

Best Practices Data Management Storage Thought-Leadership

Data Quality and Governance – why should you care?

Working in data storage in my earlier years, there was always an element of what type of data would be stored on the storage we would architect so that we would get a feel for the performance and capacity required to hold that data – this discussion would naturally lead onto data management, its lifecycle and what it needs to do once it expires.

In a bid to expand the conversation (and sometimes the sale), someone in the room would always ask about data quality, and what software do we have to help to ensure that high data quality exists throughout the complete lifecycle of the data when it is created and stored.

The outputs are only as good as the inputs, and if you feed an analytics engine or database dirty data then you can expect to fall down a rabbit hole – especially if your organisations relies heavily on this information to make key business decisions.

Take a look at the following statistics that I came across a year or so ago (I’m glad I saved this):

All of these factors can have huge implications on achieving business results, not surprisingly over half of the errors are attributed to having no data at all! So how does one prevent making bad decisions with bad data?

It all starts with how you architect data collection points and its relevant data types – take a web form for example. Now I know if you are reading this, then no doubt you would of had to fill in a web form multiple times during your life, whether it is to create a new account on a new social media platform, or to fill in a survey. You might of noticed that some of the drop down boxes only allow certain syntaxes and formats in the bid to ensure accurate data – like typing an email address without the @ sign should not be accepted.

If these measures are not in place, then the end result is a bunch of useless data that is not accurate and likely going to cause your organisation headaches (you can’t email a prospect with no @ in their email).  This leads to lost sales, mistakes, and a lot of administration time trying to clean the data.

My next post in this area will dive a little deeper, and provide some fundamentals on how your organisation can architect a robust data quality and management strategy.

 

Amazon Web Services Cloud CxO Microsoft Storage Thought-Leadership Trending Virtualization

A new year brings…………..?

Good new year to you!  I trust that if you are reading this then you survived the Christmas and New year break and hopefully took some time off to spend it with family and friends.

Last year, brought a ramp up in the adoption of Cloud services among many organisations  – probably not as much as a lot of folks thought to warrant the term ‘shift’, but certainly the maturity of what we perceive to be cloud computing (and what it is not) led to more and more firms asking themselves – How we can do this better and more cost effectively?

This is largely due to the massive number of vendors in the ICT universe, now marketing their offerings as “cloud-ready” –  Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, and HPE are some of the notable larger players who are now aligning to this new phenomenon along with other smaller vendors now claiming to offer a path to adopting cloud computing.

One of the pitfalls of heading down the cloud path is that companies are finding out that some legacy services simply cannot transform. More often than not, this is due to the fact that the hardware platforms that exist in newer public cloud providers do not resemble their on-premises infrastructure and architecture.

The fallout from this difference is that their most critical applications are no longer performing as expected, proven or even supported leaving their business at risk.  So a lot of companies want cloud, but simply cannot (or perhaps will not) transform to be able to adopt it due to this risk.

Let me pose a question to you – if you are considering cloud but have held off until now due to the unknown risks associated with the change).  “What is the fundamental reason for the reluctance?”

Perhaps cost is an inhibitor, or perhaps it is the unpredictability of the transformation and how things are going to look and perform on the other side that has kept your business from traveling down the cloud road.

Whatever it is, it is not always possible that you can lift and shift all services to the cloud – at a conservative view, for every single CPU associated with Oracle Database, there is at least three CPU’s of other workloads tied to that database which relies on it.  When you put it in this context, the task at hand to transform your business to be cloud-enabled seems enormous!

My next post will cover what Oracle is doing in regards to this transformation and managing change and risk by providing predictability and like-for-like performance for your Oracle database environment as well as other workloads you may have.

I will further discuss Oracle’s view on the journey to the cloud and how it can help you:

 

  1. Streamline Enterprise IT on-premises to be cloud ready should you ever need it
  2. Expand your Private Cloud
  3. Deploy a Hybrid Cloud
  4. Bring Public Cloud onto your Premises
  5. Lift and Shift to Public Cloud

Stay tuned!

Oracle Personal Storage Thought-Leadership Trending vExpert Virtualization VMWare

Update – A hiatus? Yes please!

Happy new year! I hope that my readers have had a good break and are fully refreshed to hit 2016 running, I know for me it is going to be a defining year after 2015. (its now March and 2015 seems a long time ago!). I have not blogged for a while and have been fairly absent from Twitter as well as LinkedIn. So where did I fall off the radar to? HIATUS!

A hiatus?

For the last six months, I have been taking a hiatus (going to be honest here and say I was not familiar with this word originally):

noun, plural hiatuses, hiatus

1.a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.

(Retrieved 27th February from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/hiatus)

 

This resulted in resigning from my job and making a “bucket list” which included seeing more parts of Australia I have never seen before as well as New Zealand. Sightseeing, Hiking, Wine tasting in different regions, Driving, Kayaking, Cycling, Swimming, Salmon fishing were some of the activities I did whilst on my break.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller#Instagram

 

So what is next?

I have had a lot of people ask me what next for me, and I am please to announce I have agreed to join the team at Oracle Australia, focusing on all things storage cloud, analytics and virtualisation.

My role as Principal Technologist will see me dealing with customers of all sizes across all sectors across Australia and New Zealand , and helping them to plan new I.T services through Oracle cloud as well as working with channel partners in delivering top solutions to their customers.

Why Oracle?

Simply, The People, Technology and Possibilities:

The People

Haven spoken to a lot of the people I would be working with in this role, I gained a clear view and appreciation that there are some very dedicated and enthusiastic people on board which is truly exciting and invigorating – when you are surrounded with that enthusiasm and those positive attitudes, how can one not be inspired.

I spoke to the leadership team and got the feel that it was the right type of leadership to work for (extremely important to me); there is so much opportunity to build a really successful business through partners and customers. The truth is, the group is a start-up business within a massive corporation which gives off a real sense of start-up culture and vibe.

The Technology,

If we look at the most recent Integrated Systems Magic Quadrant published by Gartner as of August 2015, we see that Oracle along with VCE, Nutanix and HP are real contenders in the converged infrastructure market which is rising to be the future of storage platforms as we know it.

Yes, there are still companies that are focusing just on the next evolution of storage (flash), but some of these contenders will struggle as customers are no longer wanting just storage and are looking for real-world integrated packages that are proven and backed by strong ventures. There will be storage startups exiting the market this year.

intgegrated_systems_magic_quadrant_august_2015

 

The Possibilities

I like to build and grow businesses, and the Oracle storage business has so much potential to grow with some pretty impressive tech so evangelizing and educating customers and partners on why this technology can really help their I.T challenges seemed like a fun way to spend my 9-5.

Lastly, Oracle is a huge multinational and traditionally not known for storage – so the opportunity to learn other platforms and technologies other than storage was attractive. Whilst I do not think I will end up as a DBA type, I do know that their application stack sit in the Enterprise space so being able to be exposed to these platforms would be a fresh breath of air.

vExpert 2016 – Evangelist

VMW-LOGO-vEXPERT-2016-k

I am proud to be recognized again in this elite group by VMware, this will be my fourth camp receiving the Evangelist award, and although I have not been posting as much content as I have in previous years, I plan to step it up in 2016 as a new opportunity has arisen which I plan to use to engage the community.

What is really cool is that not all vExperts are alike, they are no longer posting similar content due to VMware diversifying their portfolio . This is resulting in mass generation of rich content in all aspects of VMware! We have vExperts in Server virtualization, Desktop virtualization, Network Virtualization, Automation etc. and the list has grown phenomenally since I first got awarded a few years back. A special shout out to Corey Romero for his hard work in keeping this program running.

For a more complete list please visit http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2016/02/vexpert-2016-award-announcement.html

Thats it for now, my next posts will be focused on Oracle ZFS and some of the best practices and learnings I come up with around that! Stay tuned!

 

3PAR HP NetApp Storage Veeam Virtualization VMWare

The Value of Veeam and Storage Array Integration

Time and time again, I get asked by partners and customers what is the value prop behind Veeam Backup and replication integrating with the various storage arrays for offload operations.   Why is there value there? I usually respond by stating that Veeam integrates with specific SAN arrays to let them perform the “heavy-lifting” when creating a backup job resulting in a lot faster backup and restore operations? By why is having quicker backup and restore options that important?

At Veeam, we speak about the 3 C’s of Backup challenges, Cost, Complexity and Capabilities.  Inherent to backup architecture and environments that is considered “legacy” do these challenges exist – Why?  The obvious reason is no doubt that these environments have grown organically and have never really been designed for the type of workloads that we are seeing in todays world. What is troubling is that customers simply get use to these environments and subsequently “accept” the pitfalls of having technology that has been retrofitted for newer trends and workloads – particularly for customers that are new to virtualisation, backup could be an issue that they don‘t realise they need to address.

For example, if a customer wants to restore a single virtual machine, how would they go about that with a conventional backup solution? With Veeam Backup and Replication it is extremely simple. Veeam has great momentum in the market and when you position it with primary storage arrays such as HP 3PAR or NetApp FAS systems  with their unique integration points. These represent the “heavy-lifter” I mentioned earlier in this post, getting a more suitable device to handle specific tasks – for those who are familiar with virtualisation, think vStorage APIs for Array Integration or VAAI – certain storage operations that get offloaded to compliant storage arrays is very similar.

How do we do it?  Veeam Software is an innovative provider of data protection solutions for VMware vSphere and Windows Server Hyper-V environments, and offers integration with HP 3PAR InformOS and NetApp ONTAP based arrays as of version 8 of our backup and replication platform. Veeam Explorer for SAN Snapshots enables IT administrators to recover whole virtual machines and application data directly from SAN snapshots, including HP 3PAR snapshots and NetApp SAN snapshots. This capability enables administrators to quickly restore any or all of a Virtual Machine directly from SAN snapshots, which can be taken throughout the day with very little impact on production systems. This enables short recovery point objectives (RPO) for the most common recovery scenarios: users accidentally deleting data, users deleting emails,  and system updates gone wrong. This in turn provides a better return on investment in both your backup infrastructure as well as your storage infrastructure as its hardware utilisation increases making sure you get maximum use out of your investment, and reducing costs by not having to fork out for more CPU power to handle backup jobs.

Here are the key capability points for Veeam and Storage Array integration: It is fast –  customers will be able to recover an entire VM or individual items in 2 minutes or less. It is flexible – Storage Administrators can restore exactly what they need -quickly and easily: a full Virtual Machine, individual guest files, individual Microsoft Exchange items, Microsoft Active Directory objects. In addition, it is also agent-free; there are absolutely no agents to deploy on virtual hosts or within Virtual Machines so upgrading the software in the future is straight forward. By having this architecture and ease of use, IT administrators can see a reduction in complexity and management of their backups.

So more aggressive RPO’s using compliant SAN based snapshots mean that quicker restore options and lower RTO’s are achievable using Veeam.

Note: Veeam currently supports HP 3PAR and HP StoreVirtual for snapshot integration, NetApp FAS systems will be supported in version 8.0 which is due out in the next month or so.

 

3PAR Conference HP Storage Veeam

#Veeam at the #HP Storage Summit, Macau 25/26th June 2014 #Veeam_APAC #HPStorage

This week, I had the privilege of attending HP’s storage summit in Macau, China.   The event focused on enterprise storage market trends, product announcements from HP Discover and where HP Storage are heading in terms of their  infrastructure stack and strategy. The event hosted approximately 350 customers and I felt it was received extremely well by all. I got to catch up with old friends and have some great chats over dinners and drinks which was an added bonus.

Veeam APJ at the Summit

This year, Veeam Asia-Pacific and Japan was Gold sponsor of this event, Veeam Backup and Replication v7 has  great product integration and support for HP 3PAR StoreServ snapshots as well as HP StoreVirtual snapshot support giving customers the ability to tap into and leverage array based snapshots through the Veeam GUI.  Myself and Don Williams, VP of Asia Pacific and Japan, Veeam Software each did an video interview talking about the HP and Veeam Alliance and where the value of working with both HP and Veeam is.  UPDATE: Video  added – >

IMG_0171 IMG_0170 IMG_0169 IMG_0146

Highlights for me

  • For me, the networking with the HP Storage staff was invaluable. Having worked with a lot of these folk in my last role it made me realise even more how passionate and enthusiastic they were about where HP Storage is going and the Converged Infrastructure Stack story.
  • Speaking to a lot of customers as well and had some really fruitful discussions, this was another highlight for me as the usual question I got is “What does Veeam do”.  Meeting these questions with a great conversation around Veeam, Virtualisation and HP was simply outstanding.
  • Trying to speak and discuss the value of Veeam and HP Integration to non-English speaking customers was a challenge. Makes me think I should probably learn a new language! Thankfully, we had two technical resources on board that spoke Japanese and Chinese to aid in this area.
  • Keynotes – As ever, its very unique to hear from Global leaders of a particular company, and was good to see David Scott, SVP of HP Storage as well as my good friend Dale Degan, WW Product Marketing Manager for Software Defined Storage make the trip down to present.

In closing

A fun week, lots of information and a successful first outing in my new role, I can’t wait for the next one!

3PAR BURA Conference CxO HP Storage Veeam

HP Storage Summit – Macau, China June 25-26

Next week HP is holding a two-day event that offers focused storage solution sessions in Macau starting on June 25th, HP is a very special Alliance partner for Veeam and I am honored to be attending and representing the Veeam/HP partnership. This will be my first event as the new Veeam Alliances Manager for Asia-Pacific & Japan so am really excited to be attending.

Join HP partners and customers to hear from various HP Technical Experts and Leadership as they speak about the recent announcements from last weeks HP Discover event held in Vegas.

Veeam APAC is also proud to be a Gold sponsor of this event, and will have a booth on-site that has the latest and greatest information on our software suite and its integration with HP Storage Products. If you are heading to this event, and wish to catch up. Please get in contact -> andre.carpenter@veeam.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!
For more information->

http://www8.hp.com/sg/en/events/storage-summit-2014/overview.html

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control Storage Module for #VMware vCenter, v.7.3.1 now available

 

HP Insight control plugin for vCenter is the go-forward VMware vCenter management integration plug-in for HP Storage. In addition to managing all HP block storage arrays, this vCenter plug-in also manages HP servers and virtual connect networking with the Server module. HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server integrates with both VMware vSphere Client and VMware’s new vSphere Web Client.

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter enables the VMware administrator to quickly obtain contextual information about HP storage directly from vCenter. Available as a no-charge download, this functionality provides the VMware administrator the ability to easily see and manage how virtual machines relate to data stores and individual disk volumes.

By providing the ability to clearly view and directly manage these relationships between virtual machines, data stores and HP Storage, the VMware administrator’s productivity increases, as does the ability to ensure quality of service.

Features and Benefits

  • Fully compatible with the latest version of VMware, vSphere 5.5
  • Monitor and manage the physical / virtual relationships between VMware Virtual Machines, ESX servers and HP Storage
    • Map the VMware virtual environment to HP storage and provide detailed contextual storage information
    • Create / expand / delete VMware data stores
    • Create virtual machines from a template
    • Clone virtual machines from an existing virtual machine
    • Delete an unassigned volume
    • Integrated with vSphere Client and the new vSphere Web Client
    • Visualize complex relationships between VMs and storage.
    • Easily manage peer persistence for HP 3PAR StoreServ

What’s New in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter

  • HP Insight Control Storage Module for VMware vCenter v.7.3.1 April 2014
    • Support for the new MSA 1040
    • Support for HP 3PAR Inform OS 3.1.3
    • Bug fixes

Download here: SW Depot.

Note: Licensing for the storage module is enabled as part of the download and installation sequence. The server module requires Insight Control licenses.

3PAR HP Hyper-V Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for vSphere 2.5 and Hyper-V 2.0 #VMware #Microsoft

What are they?

HP 3PAR Application Suite of solutions eases administration by providing rapid, efficient online backup and recovery of application specific databases. These software packages enhances the functionality of HP 3PAR Virtual Copy software to allow dozens of VMware VM, Hyper-V VM, Exchange, SQL or Oracle  snapshots to kept online economically allowing for extended or frequent recovery points. Using an easy-to-use graphical user interface these snapshots can then be used to quickly restore Exchange, SQL or Oracle  instances or databases, or to non-disruptively back them up to tape for near-continuous data protection.

HP have just announced the availability of the following Recovery Manager Application suites for 3PAR (Along with Oracle, SQL and Exchange releases):

  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware vSphere (2.5.0)
  • HP 3PAR Application Suite for Microsoft Hyper-V (2.0.0)

 

What’s new in these two particular product releases?

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware v2.5

•       Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for VMware ESXi 5.1u1, 5.5

•      Integrated with Insight Control for VMware vCenter – No more standalone RMV package

•       RM for VMware is a part of ICV4C plug-ins which also includes Server component, Storage component

•       New web client support for IC4VC Plugin integration – supports all new features

•       Host Explorer for VMware is no longer a part for RMV package

•       Standalone VI client – still supported

•       Updated Documentation – Linking objects through hyperlinks in the UI. Users can jump easily between objects.

•       Support for RM Diagnostics Tool

 

HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V v2.0

Support for 3PAR OS 3.1.2MU2, 3.1.2MU3, 3.1.3(pre-enabled)

•       Support for Windows Server 2012 R2

•       Support for 3PAR VSS HWP 2.3

•       Enhanced restore of Virtual Machines using repository backups

•       Ability to take snapshot on remote array using 3PAR Remote Replication

•       Replication modes supported – Synchronous and Periodic Asynchronous

•       RMHV (International version) now supports Japanese local environment (localised Windows versions)

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for VMware links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5335618

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5335618

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Software Suite

 

HP 3PAR Application Suite for Hyper-V links

Home Page     :   http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/storage-software/product-detail.html?oid=5386539

Manuals           :   http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/public/psi/manualsResults/?sp4ts.oid=5386539

Download       :   HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for Hyper-V

3PAR HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

#HP Insight Control for #VMware vCenter Server 7.3 Now Available! Includes HP OneView support!

HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server, which is available as a single download, seamlessly integrates the manageability features of HP ProLiant, HP BladeSystem, HP Virtual Connect and HP Storage into the VMware vCenter console.

By integrating HP Converged Infrastructure management features directly into VMware vCenter, administrators gain insight and control of their HP infrastructure supporting their virtualized infrastructure  —reducing the time it takes to make important change decisions, manage planned and unplanned downtime and do lifecycle management.

Today HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3 with support for HP OneView is available!

HP Insight Control

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s new in HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3?

  • HP OneView support: HP OneView and HP Insight Control licensed hosts are managed under one single VMware  plug-in: HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter Server 7.3. All previous features are now available for HP OneView managed hosts.
  • Grow a cluster consistently and reliably with HP OneView profiles/HP OneView reference host in 5 easy steps. When engaged, the process fully automates the application of an HP OneView profile on selected servers, server provisioning is then used to deploy the selected ESXi build and the VMware host networking configuration is applied at the end to match the server Virtual Connect profile configuration.
  • Coordinated and schedulable firmware deployment.  Now uses HP OneView or HP SUM to deploy a firmware baseline.  The process can be scheduled and host VM’s are evacuated and returned to the normal state using VMware maintenance mode to maximize availability
  • Cluster level host networking configuration.  Host networking configuration (introduced in 7.2) mitigates networking configuration differences between the host and Virtual Connect profiles, this feature is now expanded so that simple click yields the same effect at a VMware cluster level
  • New HP Enclosure view delivers greater simplification in understanding the relationship between the physical and virtual
  • Simplified initial configuration of the plug-in credentials aiming at reducing initial configuration errors 
  • Enhanced Storage Management
    • Full HP 3PAR Recovery Manager for VMware Integration
    • HP 3PAR StoreServ Peer Persistence management
    • Enhanced provisioning wizard for volumes
  • Simplified Configuration Management
    • Visualization of  peer persistence configuration
    • Graphical relationship representation between VMs and volumes

*As a reminder, VMware is moving away from the classic application based client to the a new web client, as such, new features are only implemented in the new web client.

Web Resources (updates will be live on Feb 18th, download available today!)

  •  HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server web page and download information

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release)

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter

  • HP Insight Control for VMware vCenter server documentation (includes latest docs for this release.

www.hp.com/go/icvcenter/docs

 

Enjoy folks, this is really cool stuff – I can’t wait to run it up in my home lab!

3PAR HP Storage

Removing a 3PAR Virtual Volume from within a VVSET

When using 3PAR VVSet, 3PAR InForm OS does not allow the removal of a Single Active VLUN if the VLUN template is created with a VV set originally. For those who arent familiar,  a VVSet is generally used for cluster configurations when a set of hosts all need to see the same VLUNS.

Using the IMC or CLI, removing a VLUN from a VLUN template created a VV set will result in all active VLUNs created by the template being removed which is not a desired result.
But alas, there is a work around as explained here.

 

Work Around:

Remove a single VV from the vvset. This will leave all the VV through the VV set VLUN template exported except the VV that is removed from the VV set.

 

Let’s jump into the CLI:

CLI%   removevvset  vvsetname volume_name

To find the setname, please run the showvvset command.

 

You can use the 3PAR InForm Management Console (IMC) interface for this as well. Please make sure you are using the latest 3PAR GUI (IMC) which you can download @ http://www.hp.com/go/hpsoftwareupdatesupport

 

The High-level GUI steps are:

 1)      Click on provision

2)      Click on vvset to edit

3)      Right click on the vvset

4)      Remove

 

HP 3PAR InForm OS 3.1.2 Command Line Interface:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03618134&hsid=53975427&sz=3369226

 

HP 3PAR VMware ESX Implementation Guide:

http://sawpro.atlanta.hp.com/km/saw/view.do?docId=emr_na-c03290624&hsid=53975481&sz=4151286

3PAR HA HP Storage

#HP #3PAR Persistent Ports #HPStorage

My writeup on HP 3PAR Persistent Ports is now live on the HP Official Website!

Have a read! Thanks to my pal Calvin Zito @HPStorageGuy for publishing on his blog.

http://t.co/FzJr4lgerE

 

3PAR EVA HP Servers Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage and Server Module vCenter Plug-in 7.2.3

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

3PAR Cloud Flash HP Performance Storage

This crazy thing called Flash

The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450

 

Earlier this year (I actually wrote this post to co-incide with the announcement but it has sat in my draft box ever since – my bad…), we announced the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 – A purpose built flash optimised 3PAR array designed for the environments wheres things can get a little ….. crazy.     Crazy in the sense where the application is demanding up and above the “usual” performance requirements architects typically see with other workloads – File serving, VMware (which is mixed and sometimes unpredictable)-even SQL and Exchange environments are part of the “usual” suspects when it comes to architecting for IOPs.  We also announced a number of other enhancements throughout this launch including QOS and Recovery Manager for Hyper-V environments.

The need for lower latency and faster response.

Not all applications and subsuquently IO’s are created equal, flash is purposefully design for the applications which require sub-millisecond and high-end IOPS for performance intensive environments.  the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 clocks in approximately 550,000 IOPS with a latency of under .7ms. And the 7450 uses an 8-core Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge processor running at 2.3Ghz, compared to the previous 6-core 1.8Ghz model

Flash Virtual Environments “Flirtual” 🙂

Virtual powers cloud, Cloud powers Services, and providing services are all about meeting SLA’s.  Delivering a service is one thing, delivering a service well and quickly with a guaranteed satisfaction level is another.

3PAR Family

Cloud-hosting services may benefit from 3PAR 7450 for their customers who require those latency times and IOPS I mentioned earlier in this post.  However I must stress that the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 is NOT a one size fits all, consider the following graphic on where it sits within the 3pAR family. Additionally, check out my post on the other 3PAR 7000 members here.

The purpose of me making this emphasis is that there is one family,  and subsequently one operating system, so a multi-3PAR environment means you can shift workloads between the different arrays using HP 3PAR Peer Motion – or as we call it Storage Federation – check out this brief on Peer Motion covering the requirements and supported O/S . Note: Tiering at the cache and hard-drive levels only occur within the one array, meaning Dynamic Optimisation\Adaptive Optimisation cant (yet) identify a suitable tier on a separate 3PAR to place a particular volume.
But back to the 3PAR 7450 specifically.

All cached up – Cache Handling and Cache Offload on 3PAR

The software on the HP 3PAR 7450 uses a page size of 16K for cache, what that means is that it can handle up to 16K of read and\or write IO’s for serving data from cache. So without flash,  if we had a read operation of 8KB, we check to see if we can serve out of cache, if it is not there – we retrieve the data from  back-end disk to serve the request and then store it in cache for future use. This can result in a slightly higher latency if spinning disk is used.

But we are talking flash here!!!  Let’s take a look how an all flash array may do this same request. Same example, a 8K read request comes through, if it is not in cache, again 3PAR software looks to the backend storage to serve the request but as there are no spinning drives or concept of disk heads aligning. So from Flash to Cache, we call this Adaptive Reads –  8K of data is read from the flash drives back into cache at super speeds. More granular examples such as 4K result in even less data being read (but still the right amount), only 4K of data gets transported enabling even higher backend throughput making it super efficient.

The same goodness extends to write operations but altered slightly to allow fragmented writes,  for IO’s smaller than 16K, such as 8K – we would only write 8K to the flash drives, we don’t flush the whole 16K.  If we did, we would see the flash drives getting hit more than what is required . Flash has a limited lifetime, writing as little data as possible is best for this reason.

But wait theres more………Just as HP 3PAR Dynamic and Adaptive Optimisation provides policy driven “autonomic” movement of data blocks based on utilisation levels at the CPG level. We extend these ideas into the cache and flash tiers on the 7450. So

To be flash is to be expensive

But Flash storage is traditionally expensive and comes in different flavours SLC and MLC – one more reliable and expensive than the other (I’ll save this discussion for a separate post), Why would a CIO splash out thousands of dollars without proper justification as to why a certain response time is required – in fact I still see situations where Infrastructure architects are speccing flash with capacity in mind, flash is NOT about capacity given the price points  so it should not be treated as such. IOPs per GB is the wrong way to look at it given the tiering solutions there are out there these days that assist in storage efficiencies. IOPS per IO is a suggested followed by meeting capacity requirements.

For more information on HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450, please visit http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/disk-storage/product-detail.html?oid=5386547#!tab=features

 

3PAR Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP Insight Control Storage Module 7.2.1/7.2.2 and VMWare vCenter

Uh oh!! a bug in HP Insight Control 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 Storage Plugins with 3PAR environments.

Confirmed with both IC4VC 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 storage plugins with 3PAR 3.1.2 MU2

If using the plugin to perform a “New Datastore” action at the Cluster level, when the volume is presented to all hosts in a cluster in one go, Inserv will take the WWNs of the other hosts in the cluster and strip them from that host entry and apply them to the first host entry in the cluster.

This results in an immediate halt of any VMs running on the subsequent members of the cluster and the ESXi hypervisor itself, assuming boot-from-san, having its rug pulled out from under it – PSODing.

This will be fixed with 7.2.3 of the plugin,due out very soon

Update:

7.2.3 available now!

https://h20392.www2.hp.com/portal/swdepot/displayProductInfo.do%3FproductNumber%3DHPVPR

3PAR Best Practices HP Performance Storage Virtualization VMWare

Technical White Paper – HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices – June 2013, Rev.3 released


Quick note – The latest revision of this technical white paper has been released – although a minor release I still recommend  if you are running VMware vSphere 5 on a 3PAR StoreServ array – do yourself a favour a take a read!  And please if you havr any feedback, contact me so I can look at including in the next release.

You can download this whitepaper at the following link http://h20195.www2.hp.com/V2/GetPDF.aspx/4AA4-3286ENW.pdf

 

About the Technical White Paper 

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.  This white paper outlines best practices on how to set up HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage with VMware vSphere 5.1 as well as how to take advantage of HP 3PAR StoreServ’s unique features such as vSphere integration, HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning technologies, Dynamic and Adaptive Optimization, and Recovery Manager for VMware to create a world class virtualized IT and application infrastructure

 

3PAR DR HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP 3PAR peer persistence v1: peering into the persisting world of 3PAR

 

Time for a technical deep dive – As you may or may not know, HP 3PAR boasts a sexy array-based software feature set. You’ve probably heard me rave on about it in other posts and podcasts I have done.  I’ve worn this fan-boy cap for a while now and spoken about our leading thin suite.

 

Some 3PAR software features perhaps don’t get as much limelight as our thinning capability or wide striping but they are extremely supportive and tell a great benefit story, especially in the area of High Availability (HA) or Business Continuity (BC). These features are array based and are called peer persistence, peer motion, persistent ports and persistent cache.

 

The names appear similar but they mean different solutions so let’s take a look at some of these concepts and how they work particularly with the vSphere platform—starting with peer persistence.

 

Spotlight on HP 3PAR Peer Persistence

Another way to look at peer persistence is to tie it back to something that has been around for a while in the virtual world – VMware vMotion technology.

 

So what vMotion does for local site workloads, peer persistence does for geographically disparate data centres, meaning it offers transparent site switchover without the application knowing it has happened. It provides a HA configuration between these sites in a metro-cluster configuration.

 

Peer persistence allows you to extend this coverage across two sites, enabling use of your environment and load balancing your virtual machines (VMs) across disparate arrays. Truly a new way to think of a federated data center in this context IMO.  Note, this implies an active\active configuration at the array level but not at the volume level, which is active\passive which infers hosts paths to the primary volume and secondary volume

 

Transparent switchover and Zero RPO/RTO

What does it mean to offer “transparent site failover”? In the context of 3PAR peer persistence, it simply means that workloads residing in a VMware cluster can shift from site 1 to  site 2 without downtime. This makes aggressive RPO\RTOs an achievable reality.

This is particular fit for mission-critical applications or services that may have this RTO/RPO of 0.

PeerPersistenceSetup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: I mention VMware for this as this particular technology only currently supports VMware hosts (vSphere 5.0+) and not vMSC.

 

How does it do it?

Peer persistence leverages HP 3PAR remote copy synchronous to manage the transfer of the remote from local site to remote site and gain acknowledgement back to the host operating system (vSphere in this instance). Today the switchover is a manual process executed via the 3PAR CLI (the automated process is coming later this year).

 

Working with VMware vSphere, this allows your ESXi cluster to virtually span across data centers. So in the above figure VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage A and other VMs are being serviced by HP StoreServ Storage B  but all are existing in the same VMware data center.  Moving VMs between sites would typically need a reset, but peer persistence removes this limitation by continuous copying or shadowing the VM on the remote volume via RC and switching over the volumes logically.

 

I’ll write the high level process with the above figure 1 in mind without any pretty pictures:

 

  • Host can logically see both HP StoreServ Storage arrays by means of stretch fabric.
  • VM resides in Site 1, on Volume A. Volume A’s partner (Volume B) is being presented to Host B in Site 2 and can be considered active but not primary.
  • The primary and secondary volumes are exported using different Target Port Groups supported by persona 11 (VMware).

 

This presentation is possible via Asymmetric Logical Unit Access or ALUA allowing a SCSI device (Volume A in this instance) to be masked with same traits (Source WWN).

 

Provided this configuration exists, the process is:

  1. Controlled switchover is initiated by user manually via CLI on primary array. Using ‘setrcopygroup switchover <groupname>’
  2. IO from the host to the primary array is blocked and in flight IO is allowed to drain.
  3. The remote copy group is stopped and snapshots are taken on the primary array.
  4. The primary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  5. The primary array sends a remote failover request to the secondary array.
  6. The secondary array target port group is changed to transition state.
  7. The secondary array takes a recovery point snapshot.
  8. The secondary array remote copy group changes state to become primary-reversed (pri-rev).  At this point the secondary volume will become read/write.
  9. The secondary target port group is changed to active state.
  10. The secondary array returns a failover complete message to the primary array.
  11. From here, The primary array target port group is changed to standby state and any blocked IO is returned to the host with the following sense error: “NOT READY, LOGICAL UNIT NOT ACCESSIBLE, TARGET PORT IN STANDBY STATE”
  12. The host will perform SCSI inquiry requests to detect what target port groups have changed and which paths are now active.  Getting your host multipathing configuration is very important here!
  13. Volume B is now marked primary and hosts continues to access the volume via the same WWN as before. Host IO will now be serviced on the active path to the secondary array without the host application even knowing what happened!

 

What you need

Here’s your list:

  • A WAN link between your two data centers should not have more than 2.6ms latency. This is important as remote copy synchronous needs to be able to send the write and wait for an acknowledgement within a given time frame.
  • One thing to note is that previously, vMotion used to be supported only on networks with round-trip (RTT) time latencies of up to 5 ms but with VMware vSphere 5 introduced a new latency-aware Metro vMotion feature that increases the round-trip latency limit for vMotion networks from 5 ms to 10ms.  The requirement for 5ms seems to be a thing of the past moving forward allowance cool things like spanned virtual data centres in this regard.
  • The ESXi hosts must be configured using 3PAR host Persona 11.
  • Host timeouts need to be less than 30 seconds. This time does not include the subsequent recover and reverse operations so leave some headroom.
  • The WWNs of the volumes being replicated have to be the same. Therefore, ALUA is also a requirement
  • From a 3PAR-licensing point of view, you need 3PAR remote copy synchronous, and Peer persistence of course which is licensed on a per array basis as well.

 

Peer persistence supportability

For now, HP 3PAR Peer persistence is only available for VMware clusters:  vSphere 5.x and up. More platforms to be supported in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Closing

So Peer Persistency is a HA solution that removes barriers traditionally found in physical data centers .  This is not the single entity defining a virtual data centres, but simply acting as just one of the pillars supporting it allowing virtualization and storage to not be constrained by physical elements anymore like in the past.  To this end, achieving a more aggressive BC plan is becoming more realistic.

 

For more on Peer persistence, please check out this service brief: HP 3PAR Peer Persistence—Achieve high availability in your multisite federated environment

Best Practices Data Migration HP Storage

Sometimes Data migration is inevitable. High costs and increased business risks don’t have to be.

Every major initiative for optimizing data center performance, decreasing TCO, increasing ROI, or maximizing productivity – including consolidation, virtualization, clouds, server upgrades, tiered storage, data analytics and BI tools – involves storage data migration.

 

Data has an incalculable value, and its loss can have significant impact. As Frost & Sullivan says in a recent Executive Brief, “one would expect that storage data migrations should be approached with the same attention a museum lavishes on a traveling Rembrandt exhibit.”   To expand on this, in 2012 it was estimated that $8 billion dollars worldwide was spent in data migration services.

 

A research white paper published in December 2011 entitled “Data Migration – 2011″ by Philip Howard from Bloor Research shows the average cost for a data migration project is $875,000, so to extrapolate the value and criticality on these types of projects should be fairly straightforward. Overrunning project budget, or rolling back a failed migration due to lack of planning,  are normal occurrences – in fact this same study proposes that the average cost of a project overrunning its budget is $268,000.00 – approximately 30% of the average cost of a data migration project.

 

Between 1999 and 2007, 84% of data migrations went over budget and overtime; this is astronomical and costly – and it can get very tricky when trying to pinpoint just why did the data migration project go over budget and over time. More often than not, it is usually down to lack of experience and planning (and I do believe that experience and planning should come in the same sentence.)

 

And there are potentially serious risks involved. Recent studies show that migration projects nearly always have unwanted surprises: 34% of migrations have data missed or loss,  a further 38% have some form of data corruption.

 

And probably the biggest risk associated with migrations is that 64% of migration projects have unexpected outage/downtime.  Now, tie this back to a research paper put forward by Vision Solutions in 2011, which shows that the typical cost of downtime can reach nearly 6.5 million dollars per hour for some in the Brokerage service industry, and up to 2.8 million dollars per hour for those in the Energy Industry.  To really understand this and put it in context, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why we migrate.

 

Why do we migrate data?

The migration of data isn’t typically something an IT manager or CIO does for fun, end of the day it will cost money and time. Ageing infrastructure or the need for a particular technology feature that’s not available on the current infrastructure are just a couple of the reasons why people migrate. In my experience, it’s all of the above. CIO’s are constantly (or should be) looking at new and innovative ways to reduce footprint and drive down environmental costs, such as data centre space and power, as well as expose newer and greater technological advancements within a given product set.  Newer product releases for infrastructure seldom take a step back when it comes to form factor and power draw.

 

So do customers who perform migrations achieve their overall goals? Not exactly…As I mentioned above, those undertaking DIY migrations typically have surprises which result in a heavier investment in staff to try and remediate those surprises, subsequently resulting in a project budget that is exceeded. Yes, 54% of the time a project budget is overrun due to these challenges but I’m not here to throw stats at you – I’m here to raise the awareness that if not properly planned and executed, your data migration project (as big or small as it may be) will run into at least one of these surprises.

 

HP Data Migration Services can help you address those challenges and risks. Each data migration project has astorage and data migration project manager assigned to make sure everything goes smoothly. We understand that storage infrastructures are typically multivendor, which is why our service is vendor-agnostic. We work to keep costs down and help you avoid the common pitfalls and risks of data migration.

To learn more about the new HP Data Migration Service, check out this online presentation. You’ll learn about the typical project flow and your migration technology options. Data migration is not usually just a simple copy-and-paste exercise.

 

Read more about HP Storage Migration Consulting.

 

You can learn more about ways to ease the pain of data migration at HP Discover 2013.

3PAR Best Practices HP Storage VMWare

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and VMware vSphere 5 best practices whitepaper

 

When supported with the correct underlying storage platform, server virtualization delivers greater consolidation, administrative efficiency, business continuity and cost savings. As a result, server virtualization is not only transforming the data center, but also the businesses that those data centers fuel. However, these transformative results depend on enterprise class storage to deliver the performance, availability, and flexibility to keep up with the dynamic and consolidated nature of virtualized server environments.

HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage is the next generation of federated Tier 1 storage and was built from the ground up to exceed the economic and operational requirements of virtual data centers and cloud computing environments by providing the SAN performance, scalability, availability and simplified management that clients need. It does this through an innovative system architecture that offers storage federation, secure multi-tenancy, built-in thin processing capabilities, and autonomic management and storage tiering features that are unique in the industry.

When deployed together, VMware vSphere and HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage deliver a compelling virtual data center solution that increases overall resource utilization, provisioning agility, application availability, administrative efficiency, and reduces both capital and operating costs.

 

Download here

 

Feedback welcome

 

EVA HP Storage Thin

HP EVA to HP 3PAR Online Import

What is it?

Now this is really cool, at a high level these new announcements now give you the risk free incentive to move your current workloads residing on an HP EVA P6000 to HP 3PAR and benefit from a leading storage platform.

 

HP EVA to HP 3PAR Import

So if you are currently running an existing HP EVA box and love the new HP 3PAR platform. I introduce to Online Import!

 

Online Import migrates volumes from a HP P6000 EVA to an HP 3PAR StoreServ system

Volumes are migrated online, minimally disruptive or offline depending on host OS, and best of all you can migrate full to thin volumes (and back again)

 

Online Import from EVA to 3PAR directly from EVA Command View:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seamlessly move from your legacy HP EVA array to the new 3PAR architecture, and reek the benefits that it has to offer virtual environments including:

 

Thin Conversion

Go thin on the fly! The migration will be performed enabling the reclamation of 128MB regions using the hardware based Gen4 ASIC magic, allowing in-line, wire-speed “fat-to-thin” conversions compatible with any host volume.

Zero Detection.

Stay thin! As data is written to new 3PAR LUN, provided you have zero detect on your existing thick LUNs will shed the weight and become thin!

Note: There are still some operating systems that do not support the automatic reclamation of space using the T10 UNMAP command. Have a read on my VMware-related post on this notion here.

Storage Tiering – LUN and Sub-LUN (Block)

Automatic data-driven and policy-driven response to data placement. Simply put – busy workloads reside on faster disk to service the IO queue, and less busy reside on cheaper disk. Just simple!

Licensing

There is a 180 day time based Peer motion shipped free, this license time starts at installation time, so if the license is enabled at the factory then it will start to tick down.

The license will generate appropriate alerts once the 180 days is drawing close.

Alternatively there is a permanent license too!

 

What is the difference between the existing Peer Motion and Online Import

The fundamental difference between these two offerings is based on the source array:

  • Peer Motion deals with HP 3PAR to HP 3PAR arrays only whereas
  • Online import deals with HP EVA to HP 3PAR arrays.

 

The other difference that one is disruptive (associated outage for cutover) and one is non-disruptive.  I still recommend VMware Storage vMotion over disruptive methods if time is not an issue for obvious reasons.

 

Supportability – EVA to 3PAR Import roadmap

 

So what’s the catch?

Of course with any migration, there are pre-requisites and requirements some are obvious and some are not.  The main pre-requisites are

  • Current version of OI supports only EVA x400 series running min firmware XCS09534000 to EOS/P7000

 

  • Destination array: HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 or 10000 running HP 3PAR OS 3.1.2 (not 3.1.1!!)

 

  • So there is no Online Import license for F- and T-Class, meaning F- and T-Class cannot be target for Online Migration …. However we can use the Peer Motion license for F and T (associated costs).

 

  • vDisks that are larger than 16TB cannot be migrated (unsupported size on 3PAR presently)
  • All vDisks presented to a host are migrated (no subset selection possible…..yet)

 

  • No support for HPUX hosts and\or clusters

 

  • Does not support Linux or Solaris clusters (Windows and VMware ESXi clusters only)

 

  • Can only migrate one HP EVA and one host at a time

 

  • Access to a box with HP P6000 Command View 10.2 to facilitate the migration which also has FC connectivity to source P6000 EVA and has IP connectivity to destination HP 3PAR StoreServ system over TCP ports 5781 (3PAR Events) and 5783 (3PAR Secure CLI).

 

How do I get it?

Easy! Online Import is part of the “Typical” Install Set for HP P6000 Command View 10.2

3RD party array -> HP 3PAR

So what happens if you are running a 3rd Party Array and wish to transition to HP 3PAR?  No problem, get in touch with our storage consulting team who has a vast amount of experience in this solution.

Have a read of my HP MPX200 post to gain an insight on the method we use, fast, risk-free and best of all giving you the ability to go thin on conversion.

 

Need a hand? Sure! Try our Storage Consulting Migration Services.

Get in touch, we have start-up services and care packs to make the ordering part simple!

 

HP EVA to HP 3PAR StoreServ Acceleration Service

That’s its folks, Some REALLY cool stuff has just been announced, Move to an awesome new storage platform and use a risk-free way to transition from your current EVA to it.

My colleague Francis Scarfi did a good write up on this service

 

Follow me on twitter @andrecarpenter

 

Cloud HP Storage Thin Virtualization VMWare

Introducing the new kids on the block… HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, at HP Discover in Frankfurt, we announced a new line of HP 3PAR storage systems boasting smarter architecture, higher storage capacity and greater performance for customers.

Built for converged infrastructure, cloud and virtual environments

Without being bias, I believe the HP 3PAR architecture holds a cutting edge story like no other. With full mesh architecture and the ability to scale as your virtual environment grows, 3PAR simply rocks. OK, that does make me sound like I have drunk the cool aid a tad, but a lot of customers like converged infrastructure models -that’s why 3PAR is in synch with our server stack and VMware technologies through management plugins.

 

Take a read why I think 3PAR architecture is a great platform for VMware environments and also read about our VirtualSystem offering in this space. And also Learn about other HP converged storage announcements in HP Discover in Frankfurt this week.

 

So without further ado, lets introduce these new kids:

 

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200

The new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 series is the entry level 7000 series model in the family. This model offers a 2-node architecture, and up to 144 drives (SSD, SAS , NL) with a maximum capacity of 250TB raw. Perfect for the home offices of small to medium size businesses.

On the connectivity side of things, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7200 offers up to 12 8GB FC ports and up to 4 x 10Gb ISCSI host ports with an additional 2 built-in ports dedicated for HP 3PAR remote copy replication use.

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400

Need more grunt than the 7200 model? Enter the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 model. This model offers up to 4-node architecture with up to 480 drives (SSD, SAS, NL) for simply awesome tiering capability through the use of our Dynamic Optimisation and Adaptive Optimisation automated tiering functionality. With a maximum capacity of 864TB of raw space, this puppy won’t see you running out of space anytime soon.

For connectivity, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7400 offers up to 24 8GB FC ports and up to 8 x 10Gb ISCSI host ports with an additional 4 built-in ports dedicated for HP 3PAR remote copy replication use.
Stay tuned for SPC-1 benchmark results on this model.

 

What is the difference between the two 7000 series models?

Technically speaking, the number of drives supported, maximum capacity and port counts are the major differences, with the 7400 model offering more than the 7200 model across all accounts.

Both support RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 6 giving you the flexibility to choose, and not locking you into just one.

Take a look at the back of one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The good thing to remember is that both models have support for our HP 3PAR software packages, which means that you can get the most out of your environment.

 

Still the same cool architecture and guarantees you’ve known from before…

 

System wide striping for greater performance – Everything touches everything, full mesh performance, write-cache mirroring, smart I/O processing for mixed workloads.

Gen4 ASIC for hardware based thinning – Good for those Eager-zero thick VMDKs and removing the excess “fat” from thick LUNs .

But wait there’s more, these bad boys also support HP 3PAR Dynamic and Adaptive Optimisation – policy-based autonomic LUN and sub-LUN meaning it will put your virtual machines on the right storage tier at the right time resulting in a cost-effective way to store your data.

 

Double VM density – guaranteed!

With the unique system wide striping, and support for mixed workloads (whether virtual or not), we can guarantee you twice the density of VM’s over legacy arrays. We have such tight support with VAAI primitives such as atomic test and set that we can offer HW-assisted locking on VMFS volumes as well as superior performance through Adaptive optimization.

 

Learn more about HP 3PAR Get Virtual Guarantee Program

 

50% less capacity – guaranteed

The key is in the magic sauce – GEN4 ASIC offering Silicon-level integration with VMware VAAI primitives such as Write Same for thin conversion/detection and Space Reclamation to keep virtual environments thin!

Support for VMware stuff?

You bet! These new models have Remote Copy Integration for VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) and Peer Persistence Integration with VMware MetroCluster.

HP 3PAR Management Plugin for vCenter

Given the recent announcements and developments released in vSphere 5.1 (read my post here on these), the plugin will be available via new Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter.   This will be the one stop management plug-in for all HP Storage and HP Servers. Calvin Zito did a really good overview on this plugin and its capabilities, be sure to take a read.

The HP Insight Control Storage Module for vCenter v.7.1 is available free from the HP Software depot – download it here

 

Technical Specifications

Supportability

The HP 3PAR StoreServ models are supported on the following hosts:

  • Citrix XenServer
  • HP-UX
  • IBM AIX
  • Microsoft Windows Server, including Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Oracle Linux (UEK and RHEL compatible kernels)
  • Oracle Solaris
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise
  • VMware vSphere

Need a hand? Sure!

HP Technology Services can assist in getting you up and running as well as any migration services you may require. Get in touch with myself or check out these pre-canned services.

 

HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 Storage Installation and Startup Service:

This carepack service can help you plan and deploy the new HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 into operation with up to two hosts connected to the virtual volumes

A final oriental session ensures you are comfortable with the new platform.

 

HP 3PAR Best practices whitepaper for VMware vSphere 5.x

In closing, HP 3PAR is optimally built for virtual environments, if you have a VMware farm and looking to get more out of your environment –  take a look at the official BP document.

 

Download this whitepaper here.  Or get in contact with myself, as I am always happy to answer questions.

 

Storage VMWare

APAC Virtualization Podcast – Episode 62 – VSA

Join Craig Waters (@cswaters1), Chris Trioni – (vArchitect, VCE), John Martin (Principal Technologist, NetApp), Cormac Hogan (Senior Marketing Architect for Storage, VMware) and myself (Solutions Architect, HP) where we will discuss the recently announced Software Defined Datacentre (SDD) and where storage fits into the whole story.

Start Time (GMT+11): 17/10/12 9:00 PM Sydney time (EDT)

 

More information can be found here:

http://apacvirtual.com/2012/10/12/episode-62-virtual-storage-appliance-vsa/

 

Follow the guys on twitter:

@andrecarpenter – Andre Carpenter

@cswaters1 – Craig Waters

@life_no_borders – John Martin

@christroiani – Chris Troiani

@VMwareStorage – Cormac Hogan

Storage Virtualization VMWare

My first VMworld 2012 – A wrap

VMworld 2012 was held in San Francisco, USA  in August this year.  This was to be my first (and hopefully not last) VMworld conference,  I have a lot of memorable moments from the whole trip – probably too many to list here but nonetheless it was a very memorable trip.  The flight over and back was full, not cool for a relatively tall fella like myself.

I met some brilliant minds in the industry, and got to go to my first NFL game ever (Thanks @vStewed!) as well as doing a podcast with a good colleague of mine Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy), you can listen to the podcast at this link.

 

Some of my favourite sessions:

STO1430: Tracking Down Storage Performance Issues: A Customer’s Perspective http://goo.gl/uTtH8

Speaker Keith Aasen, NetApp, Scott Elliott, Christie Digital

 

STO2980: vSphere 5 Storage Best Practices @ http://goo.gl/pbP0g

Speakers: Chad Sakac, EMC Corporation, Vaughn Stewart, NetApp

 

VSP1800: vSphere Performance Best Practices http://goo.gl/I6lPc

Speaker: Peter Boone, VMware

 

Over 300+ sessions available for download @

http://www.vmworld.com/community/sessions/2012/

 

Now, onto some of the major new announcements that are worth a mention:

 

vRam goes vByeBye

Probably the biggest announcement made at VMworld 2012 was that VMWare has decided to drop the vRAM memory model that came out last year with vSphere 5.0.

This meant each edition of the vSphere tool had a virtual memory cap for each license, and if you needed more virtual memory for your ESXi host, you had to buy enough licenses to cover the total virtual memory in use by your VMs. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of it as I liked the simpler per socket approach as did a lot of VMware customers.

 

Monster VM’s now with more monster!!

The new release of ESXi has a bigger, faster, stronger CPU virtualization method, VMware refer to this method as ” virtualized hardware virtualization” or “VHV” for short, which  offers guest operating systems running inside of the VM “near native access to the physical CPU.”

New specs offered with this release of vSphere include 64 vCPU, up to 1TB RAM, 1 million IOPs out of a single VM.  All of this whilst still keeping the efficiencies we have all come to love with vSphere.

 

Shared Storage? Doesn’t matter!

Another important announcement is the capability to perform a virtual machine live migration between two separate physical servers  without the need of those physical hosts being attached to the same storage. Traditionally this requirement has been around since vMotion came out with ESX Server, but now VMware has redesigned it so that the memory state and files with the metadata describing a powered on VM can be transferred between hosts using their DAS.

 

No more desktop client…. 

vSphere 5.1 now comes with a new Web-based client that you can use instead of the Windows-based application that or the Linux-based virtualized console . This new web console snaps into vCloud Director, the cloud orchestration tool sold by VMware. Pity for IOS users as this new web client requires Adobe flash 🙁

I am curious as to how VCP certification will change given that the questions revolve heavily around the desktop client GUI.

 

Storage vMotion goes parallel!

Storage vMotion now supports up to four parallel disk copies per VM. Nuff said.

See What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Storage for more.

 

vCenter Single-Sign-On (SSO) 

vCenter Single Sign-on is a new feature in 5.1 that means you no longer log directly into vCenter Server but with a security domain defined in your vSphere environment.

Previous versions of vSphere meant you needed to log into vCenter Server directly, you were authenticated with the provided username and password against the Active Directory configured for vCenter Server

A point to note is that vCenter SSO is an additional component in the vSphere suite, but is required before any other vSphere 5.1 component (not ESXi) is installed or upgraded to 5.1.  The idea is that it will run as an additional service on top of vCenter service so there is no need to start re-architecting or working out the impact that it may have to your virtual environment

 

In closing.

VMworld 2012 was simply outstanding, the quality of the sessions and the solutions exchange were remarkable. You can find a link ,  I look forward to the next one I have the opportunity to go to and especially to meeting more people and catching up with in the industry we have come to love.

For a quick overview on Whats new content, please visit this link,

 

HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

What is VM Density?

What is it?

VM Density used to be (and still is) referred to as the following three contextual definitions related to performance:

  • Number of VM’s that can run on a certain number of physical CPU’s
  • Number of VM’s or workloads running on a host
  • Number of VM’s or workloads running on a single datastore.

What is the business benefits for me?

Storage CapEx – In order to cater for a certain workload IO requirement you need the right mix of spindles to achieve that requirement.  Running more workloads on less spindles can decrease the initial CapEX spent and TCO is also reduced for a variety of reasons.

Server CapEx – By getting the best efficiency and optimal configuration allows the customer to run more VM’s on less physical servers.  So customers may not need to spend more CapEx buying extra servers, this provides particular benefits in TCO such as power, maintenance as well as licensing.

Licensing benefits – By having less hosts, customers generally spend less on host licensing.

 

So how do I optimise my VM density? Enter HP 3PAR

At HP, we introduced the HP 3PAR Get Virtual Guarantee earlier this year, which is a program to guarantee you will double your VM density from a IOPS perspective over your legacy solution if you shift to 3PAR.

So here is a hypothetical situation to explain the guarantee

If you are currently running an environment with workloads of say 30,000 IOPS (collectively), we guarantee we can provide an array that can handle at least 60,000 IOPS for those workloads.

Cool huh?

Small print – If you are running your virtual machines in an environment such as FusionIO or SSD’s then this guarantee will not apply.

 

Whats the secret sauce to this?

HP 3PAR Wide striping – Each physical drive within an HP 3PAR is broken up into chunklets which in turn is made up into RAID groups, so when data (VM’s in this example) is written, the blocks are striped to every single spindle in the array using these chunklets.  This approach aggregates the storage which of course pools the IOPS allowing better performance.

HP 3PAR has been designed from the ground up for virtual and cloud environments, with its VAAI, ASIC and thin provisioning capabilities contributing it really is one of best VMware integration stories on the market.

Refer back to my specific blog post on HP 3PAR Wide Striping here

 

Migration?

Interested but not sure how you may transition to HP 3PAR? Get in touch, HP Technology Consulting can provide expert storage consulting about how to get the job done.

 

HP Storage Thin VMWare

Building the business case to choose HP 3PAR – The Ninja’s way.

One of the cool things I get to do in the HP storage consulting business is show customers the potential savings they may profit from simply by moving across to an HP 3PAR storage array. This assessment nicknamed the Capacity Savings Assessment is backed by HP’s Get Thin Guarantee and can really show what the move to 3PAR can do for your business.

This assessment can help you evaluate your data utilisation rates and provide reports on capacity, power, cooling and even floor space savings.

This can introduce a range of benefits to your business such as smaller footprint, smaller electricity bill, less management overhead etc.

 

Here is what some pages from the sample report looks like:

So how does it do this? it scans the host’a filesystem and reports allocated vs used vs freespace.  To report accurate potential thin savings, the environment must not be thin provisioned already (no point in thinning out an already thin environment right!)

Current support host sets are Windows (any flavour), Unix, Linux and VMware vSphere 4/5.

Key reporting includes Capacity Utilisation, Disk Space Usage, Summary of the 3PAR configuration and a comparison of a 3PAR configuration with the current environment.

From a VMware perspective, the newest release no longer uses VMware PowerCLI  to obtain the information, instead it utilised vSphere’s native SDK and can scan NFS datastores.

 

 

 

 

To help justify a business case of what this means in $ value, consider the following page:

Now I ran this on my home lab, so the statistics aren’t staggering but I hope you get the point.

The aim here is to by going thin will mean less storage which can mean less power and less datacentre costs!  which of course can mean cost savings.

So onto the technical stuff.

What network ports does it use?

Windows: port 135 (RCP/DCOM)

Linux: port 22 (SSH)

ESX: port 443 (HTTPS)

 

How much network traffic will there be?

Network traffic resulting from a capacity scan is marginal. Testing shows less than 4KB per scanned host.

 

What permissions does it require?

Windows: User account must have Read Security and Remote Enable permissions on WMI namespace root\cimv2

Linux/Unix: User Account must be enabled for SSH login and have permission to run the df and lshal commands.

ESX server: User account must have vCenter browse privilege.

 

Will it add overhead?

No, the discovery tool is a lightweight tool, the execution overhead is marginal, typically less than 5% CPU utilization.

 

Intrigued? Why not contact me and organise a free assessment on your storage and VMware environment. If you are not in my area, contact me anyway as we have ninja champions all over the world.

 

 

 

HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

HP 3PAR Management plugin for VMWare vCenter

 

What is it?

The HP 3PAR Management Software Plug-In for VMware vCenter is a vSphere vCenter management console plug-in that allows easy identification of HP 3PAR virtual volumes used by virtual machines and datastores.

 

What does it do?

It can provided a single pane view of the virtual machines and the 3PAR virtual volumes resources they are attached to.  It can show capacity, usage, thin and thick properties on a volume basis and also the disk type the virtual volumes are made up of.  The beauty of this plugin is that you do not need to login to the inform console to view the virtual volumes mapped to your ESXi hosts. Note: It does not allow you to provision\manipulate the storage from this GUI – Inform Management console is still required for that!

 

A peek at the interface

 

This screenshot really does say it all, you can see how much savings you are getting with using the 3PAR thin suite functionality, you can also see the name of the virtual volume that the VMFS is housed on making it easier for administrators to locate and map virtual machines, trouble shoot and provide reports.

And of course, it shows you whether or not you are getting the most out of your EZT VMDKs, by showing the status of the Zero Detection engine on the array ensuring your 3PAR stays thin!

And best of all, the plugin is free!

For more information on this great plugin please visit here or contact me

 

HP Storage Virtualization VMWare

T10 UNMAP in VMware vSphere and 3PAR

What is T10 UNMAP?

UNMAP is a SCSI command used to reclaim space from blocks that have been deleted by a virtual machine (OS or application).

In vSphere 5, UNMAP is used for space reclamation of deleted data after common operations

This is particularly beneficial and important in thinly provisioned environments as it allows the storage array to realise these are unwanted or unused blocks and to return them to the free capacity pool.

 

What makes UNMAP important?

HP 3PAR thrives on the thin suite and it supports UNMAP as of Inform OS 3.1.1, however the first release of vSphere 5.0 had some issues where there were unexpected timeouts when the UNMAP command was issued from the ESXi host during an operation.

So when an operation like storage v-motion or a virtual machine is deleted, a copy or movement of data is kicked off essentially leaving behind deleted blocks, HP 3PAR can only realise this so long as UNMAP is started to reclaim those blocks. Since administrators are using storage v-motion on a day-to-day basis, the impact can be huge.

 

So what do you do?

Disable it until VMware release a fix – expected in the next patch release.

Use a manual command such as sdelete on Windows or dd on Linux to write zeros at the file system level, The 3PAR’s ASICs will pick these zeros up so long as zero detect is enabled.

 

How can UNMAP be disabled?

Support for UNMAP in our storage arrays is enabled by default and cannot be disabled by customers. In vSphere support for UNMAP is enabled by default but can be disabled via the command line interface.

esxcfg-advcfg –s 1 /VMFS3/EnableBlockDelete

 

This can be completed automatically by installing ESXi 5.0 Patch 02. For more information, see VMware ESXi 5.0 Patch Image Profile ESXi-5.0.0-20111204001-standard (2009330).

 

Summary

  • This issue only affects thin provisioned arrays in the 3PAR family
  • UNMAP is a SCSI command standardized within T10 SCSI command set – It is not specifically a vSphere 5 feature
  • This Issue only occurs when using ESXi 5.0 and 3PAR arrays that have the latest firmware.
  • Customers can still reclaim space without UNMAP using the 3PAR arrays zero detect functionality should they disable UNMAP
  • A patch is available that resolves this issue
EMC Storage

An interesting view from two years ago…

 

Data growth – IDC believes that the Digital Universe will grow by 44 times that of 2009 by 2020. IBM estimates that data and content is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 64% a year or more. (Zettabyte = 1 trillion gigabytes).”

Source: IDC Digital Universe Study, sponsored by EMC, May 2010.

EMC HP NetApp Storage

Gartners Magic Quadrant – “Magic Quadrant for Midrange and High-End Modular Disk Arrays.”

 

Gartner is an independent provider of IT and research advice, Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Midrange and High-End Modular Disk Arrays assesses storage vendors on their “ability to execute” and “completeness of vision.”  Placing the candidates into one of the four quadrants each representing different definitions.

So what does this mean?

Legend
  • Leaders execute well against their current vision and are well positioned for tomorrow.
  • Visionaries understand where the market is going or have a vision for changing market rules, but do not yet execute well.
  • Niche Players focus successfully on a small segment, or are unfocused and do not out-innovate or outperform others.
  • Challengers execute well today or may dominate a large segment, but do not demonstrate an understanding of market direction.

And to be selected, the vendor must meet the following criteria:

  • The vendor must have midrange and high-end modular disk array storage systems commercially available and have active references that are using them in production scenarios.
  • The vendor must generate at least $25 million in annual midrange and high-end modular disk array hardware revenue.
  • The vendor must actively market its branded midrange and high-end modular disk array products in at least two major regions (for example, North America and EMEA, or Japan and Asia/Pacific).
  • The vendor must sell its branded midrange and high-end modular disk array products to user organizations via its direct sales force or through a reseller partnership sales channel.

from http://www.gartner.com/technology/research/methodologies/research_mq.jsp

From an HP perspective –  Gartner included the following HP Storage solutions:

  • HP 3PAR
  • HP LeftHand
  • HP Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA)

So let’s dissect this and see what changes have occurred since the last period.

Certainly, there has been massive movement shown in this graph , EMC and NetApp’s gap closed slightly and HP’s ability to execute position increased dramtically as did its position in the visionaries quadrant, this is no doubt due to the acquiring, development and rise of it’s 3PAR platform.
There hasnt been much movement from HDS, Dell seems to have taken a sideways step in some ways, IBM remains static since the last period. Its hard to really say who really leads in this view,  NetApp and EMC are  “Leaders” and are performing or executing really efficiently  however HP are also leaders and appear to have a better understanding of the market and where it is going.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I look forward to the 2012 version of this research release, it surely shows there is a healthy competitive environment for this area of technology. Well done to the leading four storage Vendors – EMC, NetApp, HP and IBM.

 

HP Storage

HP Storageworks MPX200 Migration.

So being part of the extended HP APJ Storage Consulting team, I wanted to share my thoughts on a preferred way to migrate between 3rd Party arrays and HP.

Having worked with the leading storage vendors in the world, I have seen many methods of migration during my delivery days.  There are obviously industry best practices to which customers typically tend to go for as directed and guided by the storage vendor, but then there are customers who prefer to do it themselves (usually utilising host based methods over array based methods).  There are obvious caveats of this,  host based migration tends to be a lot slower and places loads on the host handling the migration.
There there is SAN based migration, where a customer would have to usually purchase some form of license that gets enabled on the storage array itself,  this tends to be expensive (unless you get a very generous Sales Manager that lends a customer a license for the duration of the migration).

Enter, HP Storageworks MPX200 appliance for migration services.

What is it?

The HP Storageworks MPX200 appliance is a purpose built device that can assist in Database/Storage/Application migration from one storage array to another.

Best of all, it has heterogeneious array data migration capability!

Features

  • The MPX200 can have both 1GbE and 10GbE iSCSI connectivity, as well as 4/8Gbps FC, FCIP for SAN over WAN.
  • MPX200 includes remote online/offline data migration for support between two data centres and asynchronous replication.
  • Disaster recovery (DR) capabilities
  • Online/Offline migrations. There are some points to note around this though.
  • Schedule migration jobs.
  • Supported on heretogenous FC storage arrays – NetApp, EMC, Hitachi, IBM and of course HP.
  • Fully supported with Brocade and Cisco FC fabrics – this is because the architecture is built on QLogic FC HBA technology.

Use-Case Scenarios

When to use to migration to HP 3PAR

  • Heterogeneous Migrations
  • Consistent way to reclaim unused blocks across all major OSs, Space reclamation tools will prepare dirty blocks for Thin Provision

When to use to migration to HP XP

  • Convert Thick Luns to Thin Provisioned Luns using Space reclamation tools and MPX200 capability
  • Heterogeneous Migrations
  • User wants to cut over from old to new after migration is successfully complete

When to use to migration to HP EVA

  • Convert Thick Luns to Thin Provisioned Luns using Space reclamation tools and MPX200 capability
  • Heterogeneous Migrations

When to use to migration to HP P4000

  • Migrate FC storage to P4000 ONLINE/OFFLINE
  • Convert Thick luns to Thin provisioned luns

Performance

This is the cool part, you can migrate data online/offline at 4TB/HR with a  single blade and 8TB/HR full chassis between heterogeneous storage arrays using a user friendly data migration GUI.

Offline Migrations

  • No downtime required to plan & configure, Migrations up to 4TB/Hr
  • Server with less than 1TB storage can be migrated in 1 Hr. application downtime
  • Reduces implementation time – saves money
Online Migrations
  • Insert MPX200 into the Data path without application down time during migration
  • Downtime only when cutting over to new storage
  • Keeping Source data “Current” through out the migration process – User can always fall back

Licensing
Of course I leave this bit for last, it is really straight forwards and different licenses for different cases.

Capacity or Per-TB Licenses

  • “Fills the petrol tank”. Unused capacity will be available for next job
  • Can be installed at anytime, adding new license doesn’t overwrite remaining license capacity

Per-Array Licenses

  • Unlimited Data migration for a specific array
  • Many sources to one target
  • One source to many targets

Supported topology One

Supported topology Two 

Example topology for best performance

MPX200 patches into the same fibre channel switch as the source and destination array.

HP Storage VMWare

HP 3PAR Dynamic Optimisation and VMWare vSphere

In a nutshell, HP 3PAR Dynamic Optimisation Software is a software license/product enabled on the storage array itself that can provide a non-disruptive way to make changes to storage volumes hosted on the HP 3PAR Storage System.

Storage administrators can move volumes between different drive types or tiers (SSD, Fibre Channel, SATA/Nearline), leveling volumes as new drives are added into the array, all without outages or impacting any hosts that the system is busy serving I/O to.

So how is this good for virtual environments? It can be used to move running VMs between different tiers without impacting what the virtual machines are doing.

Similarly, as new drives are added to the array, the LUN that ESX is using can be striped across the new drives on the fly without taking an outage at the ESX server level. VMWare’s vMotion technology offers somewhat similar functionality, but at the host layer.

Dynamic Optimization works at the storage layer, which can be used to optimize storage service levels while VMware vMotion can be used to optimize CPU utilization across multiple hosts.  Very similar to storage vMotion but all on the array itself!!

Pretty cool!