Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

A Few Quick Thoughts on the VCE Coalition Announcement

VMware, Cisco, and EMC made their official announcement of the VCE Coalition and the joint venture Acadia this morning. You can read one of the press releases here via MarketWire.

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FCoE and VLAN Trunking on Nexus 5000

In my earlier post on how to configure FCoE on a Nexus 5000, one of the readers suggested in the comments that it was necessary to have the interfaces in VLAN trunk mode via the switchport mode trunk command. I didn’t pay that much attention to it because the interfaces were indeed in VLAN trunk mode.

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VM Hardware Version 7 and Windows Server 2008

Stu over at vInternals posted an article a couple of days ago about a problem he encountered with VMware vSphere and Windows Server 2008. Apparently, there is an unexpected behavior with Windows Server 2008 and VM hardware version 7 that is described in this VMware KB article. Stu, however, was seeing the behavior not on upgrading VMs from VM hardware version 4 to VM hardware version 7, but on new virtual machines created from the beginning with VM hardware version 7.

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VMware HA, VMware FT, and OS Clustering

With the release of VMware vSphere 4 earlier this year, VMware officially introduced VMware Fault Tolerance (VMware FT), a new mechanism for providing extremely high levels of availability to virtual machine workloads. As I’ve talked with customers, I’ve noticed a growing number of customers who are unaware of the differences between the types of high availability that VMware provides (in the form of VMware HA and VMware FT) and operating system-level clustering (such as Microsoft Windows Failover Clustering). Although both types of technology are intended to increase availability and reduce downtime, they are very different and offer different types of functionality.

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Setting Up FCoE on a Nexus 5000

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is receiving a great deal of attention in the media these days. Fortunately, setting up FCoE on a Nexus 5000 series switch from Cisco isn’t too terribly complicated, so don’t be too concerned about deploying FCoE in your datacenter (assuming it makes sense for your organization). Configuring FCoE basically consists of three major steps:

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How To Create a MetaLUN

MetaLUNs are a way of expanding a LUN for either additional I/O capacity (using a striped MetaLUN) or additional space (using a concatenated MetaLUN). A striped MetaLUN, as the name implies, stripes data across multiple component LUNs. Each of these component LUNs resides on a different RAID group, so creating a striped MetaLUN allows the MetaLUN to utilize all the spindles in all the RAID groups. A concatenated MetaLUN, on the other hand, fills up one component LUN before moving on to the next component LUN. I/O capacity is essentially unchanged, but storage capacity is expanded.

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Cutting Yourself on the Double-Edged Sword

Yesterday I published a short post titled “I/O Virtualization and the Double-Edged Sword”. In that post, I discussed how Xsigo was criticizing FCoE for “not going far enough” in the realm of I/O virtualization. Unfortunately, I didn’t do a very good job of really getting my point across, because the discussion rapidly turned into a discussion of the merits of various interconnect technologies and why one might win over the other. While that is a great discussion to have—and I’m thrilled my site can help further that discussion—it wasn’t really the key point behind my article. I/O virtualization was only the catalyst to prompt the original post.

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I/O Virtualization and the Double-Edged Sword

I recently came across this blog entry over at Xsigo’s new corporate blog, I/O Unplugged. A key phrase in this blog entry really caught my eye:

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New User's Guide to Managing Cisco MDS Zones via CLI

Toward the end of August 2009, I posted an article on how to configure Cisco MDS zones via the command-line interface (CLI). This article is a follow-up to that article; in this post, I’ll review some commands that are helpful in managing those zones.

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VMware Lab Manager Design Considerations

I've done a number of VMware Lab Manager white boarding sessions, and I want to share a few of my design notes and the reason for each. (Read more...)