Comments
yourfanat wrote: I am using another tool for Oracle developers - dbForge Studio for Oracle. This IDE has lots of usefull features, among them: oracle designer, code competion and formatter, query builder, debugger, profiler, erxport/import, reports and many others. The latest version supports Oracle 12C. More information here.
Cloud Expo on Google News
SYS-CON.TV
Cloud Expo & Virtualization 2009 East
PLATINUM SPONSORS:
IBM
Smarter Business Solutions Through Dynamic Infrastructure
IBM
Smarter Insights: How the CIO Becomes a Hero Again
Microsoft
Windows Azure
GOLD SPONSORS:
Appsense
Why VDI?
CA
Maximizing the Business Value of Virtualization in Enterprise and Cloud Computing Environments
ExactTarget
Messaging in the Cloud - Email, SMS and Voice
Freedom OSS
Stairway to the Cloud
Sun
Sun's Incubation Platform: Helping Startups Serve the Enterprise
POWER PANELS:
Cloud Computing & Enterprise IT: Cost & Operational Benefits
How and Why is a Flexible IT Infrastructure the Key To the Future?
Click For 2008 West
Event Webcasts
Storage According to the VMware Admin: SDRS, SIOC, VASA & Storage vMotion
SystemAdmins were generally the early embracers and end users of VMware ESX

SystemAdmins were generally the early embracers and end users of VMware ESX as they immediately recognized the benefits of virtualization. Having been bogged down with the pains of running physical servers such as downtime for maintenance, patching and upgrades, they were the natural adopters of the bare metal hypervisor. The once Windows 2003 system admin was soon configuring virtual networks and VLANs as well as carving up Storage datastores, quickly empowering them as the master of this new domain that was revolutionizing the datacenter. As the industry matured in its understanding ofVMware, so did VMware's recognition that the networking, security and storage expertise should be broadened to those that had been involved in such work inthe physical world. Along came features such as the Nexus 1000v and VM vShield that enabled the network and security teams to also plug into the ‘VM world' enabling them to add their expertise and participate in the configuration of the virtual environment. With vSphere 5, VMware took the initiative further by bridging the Storage and VMware gap with new features that Storage teams could also take advantage of. Despite this terms such as SIOC, Storage DRS, VASA and Storage vMotion still seem to draw blanks from most Storage folk or are looked down upon as ‘a VMware thing'. So what exactly are these features and why should Storage as well as VM admin take note of them as well as work together to take full advantage of their benefits?

Firstly there's Storage DRS (SDRS) and in my opinion the most exciting new feature of vSphere 5.SDRS enables the initial placement and on-going space & load balancing of VMs across datastores that are part of the same datastore cluster.  Simply put think of a datastore cluster as an aggregation of multiple datastoresinto a single object and SDRS balancing the space and I/O load across it.

In the case of space utilization, this takes place by ensuring that a set threshold is not exceeded. So should a VM reach say 70% space threshold, then SDRS will movethe VMs via Storage vMotion to other datastores to balance out the load.

Storage DRS based on Space utilisation

The other balancing feature which is load balancing based on I/O metrics, uses the vSphere feature Storage I/O Control (SIOC).In this instance SIOC is used to evaluate the datastores in the cluster by continuously monitoring how long it takes an I/O to do a round trip and then feeds this information to Storage DRS. If the latency value for a particular datastore is above a set threshold value for a period of time, then SDRS will rebalance the VMs across the datastores in the cluster via Storage vMotion. With many Storage administrators operating ‘dynamic tiering’ or ‘fully automated tiering’ at the back end of their storage arrays, it’s vital that a co-operative design and decision is made to ensure that the right features are utilized at the right time.

Storage DRS based on I/O latency

While most are aware of vMotion’s capabilities of seamlessly migrating VMs across hosts, Storage vMotion is a slightly different feature that allows the migration of running VMs from one datastore to another without incurring any downtime. In vSphere 5.0,Storage vMotion has been improved by enabling the operation to take place a lot quicker.

It does this by using a new Mirror Driver mechanism that keep blocks on the destination synchronized with any changes made to the source after any initial copying. The migration process then does a single pass of the disk, copying all the blocks to the destination disk. If there are any blocks that have changed this copy, the mirror driver will then synchronise from the source to the destination. It’s this single pass block copy that enables Storage vMotion to take place a lot quicker, enabling the end user to reap the benefits immediately.

Storage vMotion & the new Mirror Driver

As for the new feature named VASA, this has a focus around providing insight andinformation to the VM admin about the underlying storage. To explain VASA inits simplest terms is a new set of APIs that enables storage arrays to provide vCenter with visibility into the storage’s configuration, health status and functional capabilities. VASA also allows the VM admin to see the features and capabilities of their underlying physical storage. It allows the admin to see details such as the number of spindles for a volume, the number of expected IOPSor MB/s, the RAID levels, whether the LUNs are either thick or thin provisioned or even if there are any deduplication or compression details. By leveraging the information provided by VASA, SDRS can also utilize this to make its recommendations onspace and I/O load balancing. Basically VASA is a great feature that ensures VMadmins can quickly provision storage to VMs that are most applicable to them.

This leads onto the feature termed Profile Driven Storage. Profile Driven Storage is a feature that enables you to select the correct datastore on which to deploy yourVMs based on that datastore’s capabilities. So building a Storage Profile, can happen in two ways, one is that the storage device has its capability associated automatically via VASA. The other way is that the storage device’s capability is user-defined and manually associated.

VASA & Profile Driven Storage

With the User-Defined option you can apply labels to your storage, such as Bronze, Silver & Gold based on the capabilities of that Storage. So for example once a profile is created and the user-defined capabilities are added to a datastore, you can then use that profile to select the correct storage for a new VM. If the profile is compatible with the VM’s requirements it is said to be compliant, if they do not, then the VM is said to be non-compliant. So while VASA and profile driven storage are still a new feature, their potential is immense especially in the future, as storage admin can potentially work alongside VM admins to help classify and tier their data.

As mentioned before Storage I/O Control or SIOC is a feature that enables you to configure rules and policies to help specify the business priority of each VM. It does this by dynamically allocating I/O resources to your critical application VMs whenever there’s an I/O congestion detected. Furthermore by enabling SIOC on a datastore you can trigger the monitoring of device latency as observed by the hosts. As SIOC takes charge of I/O allocation to VMs it also by default ignores

Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding (DSNRO). Typically it’s DSNRO that sets the Queue Depth on the hypervisor layer but once SIOC is enabled it consequently takes on this responsibility basing its judgements onthe I/O congestion and policy settings. This offloads a significant amount of performance design tasks from the admins but ultimately still requires the involvement of the Storage team to ensure that I/O contention is not falsely coming from poorly configured Storage and highly congested LUNs.

SIOC ignores Disk.SchedNumReqOutstanding to set the Queue Depth at the hypervisor level

So while these new features are ideal for the SMB they may still not be the sole answer to every Storage / VMware related problem related to virtualizing mission critical applications. As with any new feature or technology their success relies in their correct planning, design and implementation and for that to happen a siloed VM or Storage only approach needs to be evaded.

Read the original blog entry...

About Archie Hendryx
SAN, NAS, Back Up / Recovery & Virtualisation Specialist.

Latest Cloud Developer Stories
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions n...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructur...
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it's important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. "Fly two mis...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performa...
As Cybric's Chief Technology Officer, Mike D. Kail is responsible for the strategic vision and technical direction of the platform. Prior to founding Cybric, Mike was Yahoo's CIO and SVP of Infrastructure, where he led the IT and Data Center functions for the company. He has more...
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Subscribe to Our Rss Feeds & Get Your SYS-CON News Live!
Click to Add our RSS Feeds to the Service of Your Choice:
Google Reader or Homepage Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe with Bloglines Subscribe in NewsGator Online
myFeedster Add to My AOL Subscribe in Rojo Add 'Hugg' to Newsburst from CNET News.com Kinja Digest View Additional SYS-CON Feeds
Publish Your Article! Please send it to editorial(at)sys-con.com!

Advertise on this site! Contact advertising(at)sys-con.com! 201 802-3021



SYS-CON Featured Whitepapers
ADS BY GOOGLE