Technology Short Take #10

Welcome to Technology Short Take #10, my latest collection of data center-oriented links, articles, thoughts, and tidbits from around the Internet. I hope you find something useful or informative!

Networking

  • Link aggregation with VMware vSwitches is something I’ve touched upon a great many posts here on my site, but one thing that I don’t know I’ve ever specifically called out is that VMware vSwitches don’t support LACP. But that’s OK—Ivan Pepelnjak takes care of that for me with his recent post on LACP and the VMware vSwitch. He’s absolutely right: there’s no LACP support in VMware vSphere 4.x or any previous version.
  • Stephen Foskett does a great job of providing a plain English guide to CNA compatibility. Thanks, Stephen!
  • And while we are on the topic of Mr. Foskett, he also authored this piece on NFS in converged network environments. The article seemed a bit short for some reason. It kind of felt like the subject could have used a deeper, more thorough treatment. It’s still worth a read, though.
  • Need to trace a MAC address in your data center? CiscoZine provides all the necessary details in their post on how to trace a MAC address.
  • Jeremy Stretch of PacketLife.net provides a good overview of using WANem. If you need to do some WAN emulation/testing, this is worth reading.
  • Jeremy also does a walkthrough of configuring OSPF between Cisco and Force10 networking equipment.
  • I don’t entirely understand all the networking wisdom found here, but this post by Brad Hedlund on Nexus 7000 routing and vPC peer links is something I’m going to bookmark for when my networking prowess is sufficient for me to fully grasp the concepts. That might take a while…
  • On the other hand, this post by Brad on FCoE, VN-Tag, FEX, and vPC is something I can (and did) assimilate much more readily.
  • Erik Smith documents the steps for enabling FCoE QoS on the Nexus 5548, something that Brad Hedlund alerted me to via Twitter. It turns out, as Erik describes in his post about FCoE login failure with Nexus 5548, that without the FCoE QoS enabled fabric logins will fail. If you’re thinking of deploying Nexus 5548 switches, definitely keep this in mind.

Servers

  • In the event you haven’t already read up on it, the UCS 1.4(1) release for Cisco UCS was a pretty major release. See the write-up here by M. Sean McGee. By the way, Sean is an outstanding resource for UCS information; if you aren’t subscribed to his blog, you should be.
  • Dave Alexander also has a good discussion about some of the reasoning behind why certain things are or are not in Cisco UCS.

Storage

  • Nigel Poulton tackles a comparison between the HDS VSP and the EMC VMAX. I think he does a pretty good job of comparing and contrasting the two products, and I’m looking forward to his software-focused review of these two products in the future.
  • Brandon Riley provides his view of the recently-announced EMC VNX. The discussion in the comments about the choice of form factor (EFD) for flash-based cache is worth reading, too.
  • Andre Leibovici discusses the need for proper storage architecture in this treatment of IOPs, read/write ratios, and storage tiering with VDI. While his discussion is VDI-focused, the things he discussed are important to consider with any storage project, not just VDI. I would contend that too many organizations don’t do this sort of important homework when virtualizing applications (especially “heavier” workloads with more significant resource requirements), which is why the applications don’t perform as well after being virtualized. But that’s another topic for another day…
  • Environments running VMware Site Recovery Manager with the EMC CLARiiON SRA should have a look at this article.
  • Jason Boche recently published his results from a series of tests on jumbo frames with NFS and iSCSI in a VMware vSphere environment. There’s lots of great information in this post—I highly recommend reading it.

Virtualization

What, you didn’t think I’d overlook virtualization, did you?

Before I wrap up, I’ll just leave with you a few other links from my collection:

IOBlazer
Backing up, and restoring, VMware vCloud Director provisioned virtual machines
RSA SecurBook on Cloud Security and Compliance
Hyper-V Live Migration using SRDF/CE – Geographically Dispersed Clustering
The VCE Model: Yes, it is different
How to make a PowerShell server side VMware vCenter plugin
VMware vSphere 4 Performance with Extreme I/O Workloads
VMware KB: ESX Hosts Might Experience Read Performance Issues with Certain Storage Arrays
vSphere “Gold” Image Creation on UCS, MDS, and NetApp with PowerShell
Upgrading to ESX 4.1 with the Nexus 1000V
My System Engineer’s toolkit for Mac

That’s going to do it for this time around. As always, courteous comments are welcome and encouraged!

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  1. Stephen Foskett’s avatar

    Thanks for the linkage and kind words!

    That NFS article felt short because it was short! Hah! It’s still a topic worth thinking about: Can NFS serve in a converged environment? I’d love to hear your opinion! (or did I overlook it?)

    Stephen

  2. slowe’s avatar

    Stephen, you didn’t miss my opinion; I didn’t provide it. It’s definitely a topic worth thinking about and talking about. At some point in the near future I’ll publish my thoughts on NFS in converged network environments.

  3. Paul’s avatar

    Scott – Your tech short takes are some of my favorite posts. I’ve been looking for more info on creating server side vCenter plugins and that link is perfect! Thanks for that.

    The Mac toolkit is cool and the post about tracing a MAC address throughout the datacenter is pretty useful too. Coincidentally, I had to do just that in a Nexus 1000v and UCS environment (post coming this weekend).

    Keep em coming!

    Paul

  4. slowe’s avatar

    Paul, thanks for the feedback! It’s always good to hear that readers are finding the content useful. I’ll do my best to keep creating useful posts!