Quite a few customers have been asking how they could get massive cache on their Cisco UCS blades. It is really quite simple – with three steps to follow in UCSM:
1. Configure “Local Storage Configuration Policy”
The B200M4 blades are equipped “FlexFlash”, dual SD slots for installing ESXi. Ensure “FlexFlash” is enabled for the local storage configuration policy. Two SD cards are recommended for redundancy. Leveraging FlexFlash to install and boot ESXi will eliminate the need to configure RAID for the local SSDs. Therefore, “No RAID” can be selected as the the mode of operation for the local SCSI controller. There is absolutely no need to log into the SCSI controller BIOS during blade boot up – just configure the policy once, and use it across the board with each blade server in the chassis.
2. Attach policy to service profile template
Two simple settings to apply:
a)ensure the template is created as an “updating template”: any updates to the template will automatically roll out changes to all blades that are attached to the service profile template
b)ensure the local storage configuration policy defined in step 1) above is selected within the service profile template
3. Power on the blades and enjoy massive cache for your VMs
Two blade slots with 1.6TB SSD drive each will give your VMs ~3.2TB of raw flash capacity. With DVX data reduction (inline dedupe and compression) of 5X, each ESXi host can enjoy over 15TB of effective cache. Don’t worry about setting application policies to enable/disable cache, or pin certain applications volumes/LUNs to flash – just use more, and think less.
Want to learn more, come visit our booth @VMworld!
Several customers have inquired about space reclamation in vSphere environment – let’s dive into this interesting topic for a bit.
Why does space reclamation matter?
Reason is fairly straightforward, after a VM gets deleted or storage vMotion from one datastore to another, it’d be a good idea to free up the space on the storage array so they could get used by others.
How does one perform space reclamation and keep track of the status?
Continue reading Space Reclamation in vSphere 5.5 with Nimble Storage
More and more customers are asking about using the VMware vDS (vNetwork Distributed Switch) with Nimble Storage – let’s spend a few minutes going over some common questions as well as usage best practices. This info will also fold into the next version of our VMware best practices guide.
Continue reading vSphere + Nimble: Standard vSwitch migration to vDS
More and more customers are inquiring about how to do boot-from-SAN with Nimble Storage (save a few bucks on having to buy local SAS/SSD disks) – fortunately, we got both in our playground. Here it is, step-by-step checklist/instructions…
*The setup is configured to attach Nimble directly to the fabric interconnects with two subnets defined (one for each 10G interface of the controller) – if you attach the Nimble to a pair of access layer switches such as Nexus 5k with vPC, then dual subnets is NOT needed. Remember, even though the FIs are configured as a cluster pair, the cluster interconnect interfaces between the FIs DO NOT carry data traffic, thus, the need for dual subnets for both FI connections to be active to the Nimble array
Continue reading iSCSI Booting UCS blade/rack server with Nimble Storage
In a super hurry and bored at the same time? Check out a two minute video summarizing key best practices for deploying vSphere on Nimble Storage – it was created using a subscription based software called Sparkol Videoscribe…I personally find it pretty easy to use (at least the basic shape/flow/features), as a true whiteboard RSA style production one would have taken me days to create. The whole video creation took about 90 minutes, which includes 30 minutes of ramp-up time on using the tool for the first time. Enjoy! If folks find it useful, I’d create additional ones for Site Recovery Manager & VDI.
VMW + Nimble Best Practices RSA Style
This is a vSphere on Nimble best practices express guide – for those that are on-the-go or too busy to read our 20+ page best practices guide, this is a quick and dirty express edition. Keep in mind this one is specific to VMDK ONLY. We will have in-guest attached one in the near future.
Here we go, feedback/additional questions welcome.
Continue reading VMware vSphere on Nimble Best Practice Express Edition