vExpert 2017 Announcements

Congratulations to those who have been recognised as vExperts and will be joining the group for the 2nd half of 2017!

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2017/08/vexpert-2017-second-half-announcement.html

Also congratulations to existing vExperts who have been recognised as experts in the 2 sub categories – NSX and vSAN!

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2017/08/vexpert-nsx-2017-award-announcement.html

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2017/08/vexpert-2017-vsan-announcement.html

 

I’m fortunate enough to be once again considered as a vSAN vExpert for this year! =)

Top vBlog 2017 Full Results

And after a couple of weeks of counting, the results of the Top vBlog for 2017 (sponsored by turbonomic) has been released by www.vsphere-land.com:

http://vsphere-land.com/news/top-vblog-2017-full-results.html

Congratulations to all 273 bloggers that make up the Top vBlog table!

Big congratulations to William Lam who takes the top spot this year… a great website I always refer to when in need of some CLI scripts to get some work done!

Also congrats to Vladan Seget and Cormac Hogan who finish 2nd and 3rd…. Vladan’s blog is particularly useful for those who are just starting out on their VMware journey as he covers all aspects of the VMware portfolio – and as an independent blogger he dedicates quite a lot of time in writing concise articles for his readers! Cormac as always is a great source of everything storage related within VMware, particularly vSAN – I always flick between him and Duncan Epping for up-to-date info around vSAN and storage!

This year I fortunate to again rank in the Top vBlog list, dropping 16 spots to 177…. which is still mighty impressive given I don’t dedicate as much time as I would like to blogging! Thanks to everyone who voted for me! =)

However, there are so many quality blogs out there which didn’t make it into the top vBlogs lists for some reason…. the likes of:

  • Emad Younis, who has great content on vCSA and migration.
  • Chanaka Ekanayake, who like me works within the Channel and has great content on VMware as well as other vendors.
  • Simon Todd, who’s a VMware SABU SE aligned to EMEA… some good stuff on vSAN.
  • Marco van Baggum, who writes some interesting articles on NSX (and also helps run the vExpert slack space)

It’ll be wrong not to also mention some vExperts who aren’t on the list like Christian Parker, Mathew Bunce….

… and the list goes on…..

Anyways, congrats to all…. we’re all winners as they say!

HCIBench 1.6.2 – Testing vSAN performance

Over the past month or so I’ve been running a number of performance tests on VxRail and vSAN solutions.

HCIBench is a brilliant tool to help end-users understand the type of performance that they can achieve with their vSAN solution.

It’s essentially an automation wrapper around the popular Vdbench tool. Vdbench is an utility specifically created to help engineers and customers generate disk I/O workloads to use for validating storage performance and storage data integrity. Vdbench is a complex beast to run, with lots of different variables that can be configured via CLI… so the HCIBench wrapper helps simplify workload profiles and makes it so much easier to run benchmark tests!!

Please note, HCIBench is a VMware Labs Fling and so there’s limited support available and it shouldn’t be used in production environments (although the latter is just to cover themselves). If I’m honest, the creators of HCIBench are pretty good at replying to comments and feedback!

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/hcibench

It’s definitely worth remembering that as a benchmark tool, it can’t quite simulate real-world workloads! However, if you understand how your workload behaves (ie block size, read/write ratio, etc) then you can get pretty close to creating a workload profile that matches your workload (albeit running a test at max. workrate rather than the bursty rate we see in real-life).

 

HCIbench was updated 2 days ago in response to the recent release of vSphere 6.5u1, and in my opinion is even cooler now that it can utilise the new vSAN Performance Diagnostic feature of vSAN 6.6.1 (API integration with the new Performance Diagnostics part of vSAN Cloud Analytics).

You can now run an HCIBench test and view detailed results of the test in Performance Diagnostics with supporting graphs – you’re able to select a goal for the test based on “Max IOPS”, “Max Throughput” or “Min Latency”, and then get details on potential issues found in the analysed data which you can then use to improve the workload profile you’re using in HCIBench.

Point your browser here for more info:
https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/07/31/what-to-expect-from-hcibench-1-6-2/

Note: You need to have Customer Experience Improvement Program(CEIP) and vSAN Performance Service turned on to get this feature enabled

More on vSAN Encryption

So not long after my article was published on SearchVMware, the guys at Virtual Blocks (VMware’s own storage blog) released 2 articles which went into vSAN encryption in a bit more detail.

https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/06/24/vsan-encryption-1/
https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2017/06/24/vsan-encryption-2/

It’s definitely worth noting that using hardware encryption does have an overhead whenever you need to rekey (eg when you need to rekey every drive), obviously because vSAN encryption is within the hypervisor this overhead is significantly reduced.

The First article simply goes over what vSAN encryption is all about, the second dives into more detail on how it’s setup, the trust model of the KMS, and also how the disk format is changed when vSAN encryption is enabled. I find this 2nd article very informative in trying to understand how vSAN encryption works.

There’s also a new KB that briefly goes over the different between vSAN encryption and VM encryption: Understanding vSAN Datastore Encryption vs. VMcrypt Encryption

Enjoy…. =)