Netapp links from

We have started looking at Netapp’s offerings this week, and I saw these links to blog posts at

Thanks to them.

Below are the links.

Using NetApp Deduplication with Block Storage

Building on my earlier article on setting up NetApp deduplication, I wanted to follow up with some information on using NetApp deduplication with block storage (LUNs presented via Fibre Channel or iSCSI).

Quick Guide to Setting up NetApp Deduplication

I’m relatively new to NetApp deduplication (formerly A-SIS), so this article won’t be an advanced treatise on NetApp deduplication or its deep inner workings. Instead, this is intended to be a quick guide to setting up NetApp deduplication for others, like myself, who may be familiar with Data ONTAP but not necessarily deduplication.

Managing LUN Space Requirements with NetApp Storage

f you’ve worked with Network Appliance storage before, you’re probably already familiar with the idea of snap reserve (storage space set aside to accommodate for Snapshots) and fractional reserve (used with LUNs). I’m going to hold the in-depth discussion of why you need snap reserve and fractional reserve for a different day, but I did want to pass on these commands that were shared with me by a colleague of mine. These Data ONTAP commands, available with Data ONTAP 7.2 or later (some commands are available in Data ONTAP 7.1), will help you manage the space requirements for LUNs on a NetApp storage area network (SAN).

How to Provision VMs Using NetApp FlexClones

When properly implemented and configured, VMware Virtual Infrastructure can make provisioning new servers a task that takes only minutes. In fact, in my own lab (running equipment that is, admittedly, several years old and woefully underpowered), I can provision new servers running Windows Server 2003 R2 in less than 10 minutes. That’s pretty impressive.

As impressive as those numbers may be (and I’m sure there are readers out there with even more impressive numbers), if we leverage some vendor-specific storage functionality we can achieve some really impressive times. For example, leveraging NetApp FlexClones could allow us to provision new VMs in seconds. Let’s take a quick look at how that’s done.

In this article, I’m going to discuss how to use FlexClones for provisioning new VMs in a VMware VI3 environment. This is not an exhaustive treatise on the subject, but rather an introduction to the process and some of the configuration that needs to take place in your environment. (Disclaimer: Use this stuff at your own risk.)

NetApp FlexClones with VMware, Part 1

The ability to quickly and easily create new virtual servers in VMware VirtualCenter (using templates and cloning) is a key feature that benefits a lot of VMware customers. A new server running Windows Server 2003 R2 in less than 10 minutes? Who wouldn’t like that functionality? (Some other day, perhaps we’ll discuss that very question.)

VMware’s cloning functionality is great in that it is completely storage-agnostic; it works the same on an HP EVA, a NetApp storage system, an EMC Clariion, or a homebrew iSCSI target. At the same time, VMware’s cloning functionality is not so great in that it is completely storage-agnostic. It doesn’t take advantage of any of the hardware-specific functionality. In this article, I’d like for us to look at one particular vendor Network Appliance and how using some vendor- and hardware-specific functionality (namely FlexClones) can provide some benefits.

NetApp FlexClones with VMware, Part 2

Part 1 in our series on NetApp FlexClones and VMware discussed in greater detail some of the advantages of using FlexClones for VM provisioning. In that article, we saw that using FlexClones can greatly reduce both the storage required for new VMs as well as the time required to provision new VMs, especially when the storage needed by the VMs is large. Both of these advantages can be very compelling.

However, in order to make an informed decision about whether we should use FlexClones we must also look at the disadvantages of this approach. In this part of the series, we’ll take a look at some of those disadvantages.

LUN Clones vs. FlexClones

My recent article on how to provision VMs using FlexClones prompted a reader to ask the question, “What about using LUN clones?â€� That’s an excellent question, and one that I myself asked when I first started using some of the advanced functionality of Network Appliance storage systems. I had expected that this question would come up, and so I’d already begun preparing an article discussing LUN clones vs. FlexClones. My thanks go to Aaron for prompting the discussion!

FlexClones Versus Deduplication with VMware Infrastructure

A number of times over the last few months, I’ve run into situations where NetApp’s FlexClone technology was being heavily pitched to customers interested in deploying, or expanding their deployment of, VMware Infrastructure.

Wow, what a great bunch of Information! Thanks Scott Lowe

As we look at Netapp more, I will post findings, and resources.


10Gbps Networking Performance on ESX 3.5 Update 1

Vmware has published a PDF titled: 10Gbps Networking Performance on ESX 3.5 Update 1


10 Gigabit Ethernet is expected to replace Gigabit Ethernet and become
the dominant Ethernet standard in the next few years. VMware ESX now
supports a number of 10 Gbps network cards and allows multiple virtual
machines to share a single physical NIC. This paper presents results
from our single-virtual machine and multi-virtual machine network
throughput experiments that show ESX can easily reach line rates on 10
Gbps links. The paper discusses how Jumbo Frames influence networking
performance, both on the receive and the transmit paths. The paper also
presents the results of our scalability experiments in which up to 16
virtual machines share a single 10 Gbps physical NIC and discusses the
allocation of bandwidth to different virtual machines.

PDF here

This is interesting, as it shows what the future of networking can allow ESX / ESXi to do.

Make VirtualCenter highly available with VMware Virtual Infrastructure

Jason at has a nice write up titled: Make VirtualCenter highly available with VMware Virtual Infrastructure

A few days ago I posted some information on how to make VirtualCenter high available with Microsoft Cluster Services.

Monday Night Football kickoff is coming up but I wanted follow up quickly with another option (as suggested by Lane Leverett): Deploy the VirtualCenter Management Server (VCMS) on a Windows VM hosted on a VMware Virtual Infrastructure cluster. Why is this a good option?

This is what I plan on looking at when we purchase our own Virtual Center Licensing. ( soon )
Jason did a great job on writing this up, and thank him for it.

Zenoss Security Announcement

Matt Ray has posted a Zenoss Security Announcement on the Zenoss Blog.

Zenoss has discovered a security vulnerability related to XML-RPC authentication which, in some cases, allows for un-authenticated method invocation in all versions of Zenoss Professional, Enterprise, Service Provider and Core.

Zenoss strongly recommends you patch this vulnerability immediately. All users should review this advisory, however, those customers who have installed Zenoss in a publicly available network may be at an increased risk.

Time to upgrade!

EDIT: as said my Matt Ray

This is for for pre-2.3 releases of Zenoss only

Monitoring ESX Servers with Zenoss

Leo’s Rambling’s has a write up on Monitoring ESX Servers with Zenoss This somthing I have done, but he has done a nice write up on the process.

We all would have seen the millions of blogs lighting up with the Zenoss 3 native VI3 monitoring announcement.

Me, I wasn’t so interested – I’ve been using Zenoss for VMware monitoring for the best part of a year – it ain’t that special. Really.

I’m going to show you how to do it though, maybe it’ll be interesting…

Make sure to check out the VMware Appliances on the Zenoss download page as well.

This will allow you un- experienced Linux user the benefit of running Zenoss.

DELL Equallogic VS Fiber Channel SAN

Criag at posted a article titled : DELL Equallogic VS Fiber Channel SAN

Economy Crisis this year has encouraged users to consider the ISCSI SAN Vs FC SAN today. Data Storage growth will never stop unless the business is stop. In order to keep the environment growth, the IT architect will have to provide a cost effective solution in the finance critical timing like now.

A great read, and yet another good article on iSCSI vs FC.

I would love to hear any comments.

Setting up PowerChute Network Shutdown in VMWare ESX 3.5

Motogobi – the mobile gobi posted a article titled Setting up PowerChute Network Shutdown in VMWare ESX 3.5

I currently admin a sizable VMWare ESX deployment hosting a couple dozen domains and over a hundred Windows servers. Most are for testing and could be rebuilt pretty quickly, but some are for production deployment – at least one of which is fairly irreplaceable.

This is something I have yet to work on in full force, thanks to Motogobi for posting this.

Heads-Up: VMware ESX Going Exclusively 64-Bit

Bob Plankers at The Lone Sysadmin posted a article titled Heads-Up: VMware ESX Going Exclusively 64-Bit

There are several mentions of this out in the blogosphere, plus it was talked about openly at VMworld by VMware staff in presentations and labs. It’s worth mentioning again because people don’t seem to be catching on:

Future versions of VMware ESX/ESXi will only run on 64-bit-capable CPUs.

You will still be able to run 32-bit guest OSes, but the ESX console OS will only work on CPUs capable of Intel VT & EM64T. This is a big deal”

If you think about this, and how it would effect you and your company, I tend to agree with Bob.

We are currently running a couple ESXi Servers that are 32 bit, and even if we replaced these with 64 bit counter parts at some point, I would like to put them into a test environment or use them in a future DR site.

Let me hear your comments about this.

Navisphere Quality of Service Manger Youtube Video

I am doing some self learning on EMC’s Navisphere product.

Here is there Navisphere Quality of Service Manger @ you tube.

From EMC’s Site

EMC Navisphere Quality of Service Manager works within your storage processor to measure, compute, and control I/O requests. With monitoring and archiving tools built in, Navisphere Quality of Service Manager provides a logical view of application performance on the array.

Use Navisphere Quality of Service Manager for CLARiiON management: monitor, limit, and set performance targets for applications running on your CLARiiON arrays. Quickly detect problems when they occur and immediately allocate resources. Navisphere Quality of Service Manager makes it easier to share storage systems and meet service levels, application by application.

Link of the product Here

Data Sheet Here

Hyperic HQ 4.0 Released!

Hyperic HQ 4.0 is released, and with the new features and promises, I’m going to download it right now, and give it a try.

New Capacity Planning and Application Management Features

A new capacity planning function automatically analyzes historical application and system performance and projects the future resource trends of any given management metric. This function allows users to quickly assess and predict future trends, and proactively manage capacity needs.

A new server communication design allows agents monitoring external resources to always initiate communication with the HQ Server in order to meet to security protocols and operate across firewalls. Despite the uni-directional communication, the agent still maintains a full range of capabilities including the ability to update and run diagnostics remotely, and issue corrective control actions such as a service restart or running garbage collection to free memory.

Additional Hyperic HQ 4.0 features include:

* New User Interface enhances usability and reduces the number of clicks to gain meaningful insight.
* Enterprise Dashboard portlets include a chart slideshow for key metric tracking and traffic light indicators for group availability and alerts.
* Automated agent upgrades eliminate manual agent update process.
* Script actions for alerts give users the power to automate actions based on HQ environment variables.
* Search enhancements allow users to search resources by name, group, availability and ownership.
* Downtime scheduling allow availability SLAs to take into account maintenance windows.
* JMX MBean query drills down into MBeans to review attributes and invoke operations.
* New HQ API with well documented, performant set of core operations for custom development.
* Plugin updates for Citrix XenServer, Exchange 2007, IBM MQ, VMware 3i/3.5, Zimbra 5.

It also looks to support the Amazon cloud!

is the main info page.

Here is a link to the data sheet