Finding Hidden Time Bombs in Your VMware Connectivity

By Brett Allisontime bomb Brett

Do you have any VMware connectivity risks? Chances are you do. Unfortunately, there is no way to see them. That’s because seeing the real end-to-end risks from the VMware guest through the SAN fabric to the Storage LUN is a difficult thing to do in practice as it requires many relationships from a variety of sources.

A complete end to end picture requires:

  • VMware guests to the ESX Hosts
  • ESX hosts initiators to targets
  • ESX hosts and datastores, VM guests and datastores, and ESX datastores to LUNs.
  • Zone sets
  • Target ports to host adapters and LUNs and storage ports.

For seasoned SAN professionals, none of this information is very difficult to comprehend. The trick is tying it all together in a cohesive way so you can visualize these relationships and quickly identify any asymmetry.

Why is asymmetry important? Let’s look at an actual example:

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New Visibility into FAST/FAST-VP for Large Scale EMC Environments

Brett By Brett Allison

 

Chances are you don’t drive blindfolded. [url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/10453706][img]http://csaimages.com/images/istockprofile/csa_vector_dsp.jpg[/img][/url];[url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/10453712][img]http://csaimages.com/images/istockprofile/csa_plastock_dsp.jpg[/img][/url];[url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/8198330][img]http://csaimages.com/images/istockprofile/csa_vetta_dsp.jpg[/img][/url];[url=http://www.istockphoto.com/search/portfolio/10453708][img]http://csaimages.com/images/istockprofile/csa_printstock_dsp.jpg[/img][/url]However, we often run our complicated storage environments with very little visibility. Not by choice, but because status quo in the industry is to
find out about problems only after they are already impacting production users.

Why is this the case?  Well, have you ever tried to get an enterprise view of the health risks in your EMC FAST-VP environment using vendor tools? It’s not easy.

EMC’s FAST-VP or Fully Automated Storage Tiering – Virtual Provisioning technology, is designed to improve the overall performance and availability by placing the right blocks of data on the right drive technology.  This is enabled by policies created by storage administrators that apply tier capacity constraints to storage groups.  While there has been a significant amount of effort by EMC to simplify and generalize approaches for managing FAST-VP, and it can make a significant impact on performance and overall cost, it still can be a confusing solution. Continue reading