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vCloud Suite 5.1 upgrade suggestions

09/14/2012 Comments off

This information will probably be outdated quickly, but for now (9/14/2012), here are my suggestions and tips concerning vCloud Suite 5.1

  • If you plan to use Microsoft SQL Server for your SSO database, update the service configuration to listen on a static port.  vCenter Server and VUM use the .NET native SQL client, so they can deal with dynamic TCP ports on the SQL service, but SSO uses the Java SQL driver, which will require a static port (TCP 1433 by default)
  • Many administrators have had problems logging into their vCenter Server after installing SSO and upgrading vCenter Server to 5.1.  It appears that if the vCenter Server is a member of the domain, it may still try to use local credentials as the initial/default SSO source.  If your vCenter Server is a member of an Active Directory domain, be sure to locate/create a local admin account before upgrading vCenter Server to 5.1 so you can log on if you are affected by this issue
  • If you are running EMC Powerpath/VE on your ESXi hosts, do NOT upgrade to ESXi 5.1 yet.  The version of Powerpath/VE that works with ESXi 5.1 has not yet been released.
  • Despite the naming similarities, VMware View 5.1 is not compatible with vSphere 5.1.  Do not yet upgrade to vSphere 5.1 in your View environment.
  • The vCloud API for vCloud Director 5.1 is different from the API for vCloud Director 1.5.1.  If you have developed anything that consumes the vCloud API, you will probably have to make significant changes.  If you have vCO packages/workflows that use the vCloud API, you may be affected and should upgrade vCO and vCloud in a lab/test environment where you can update the objects appropriately first.
  • There is a new version of the Cisco Nexus 1000V for vSphere 5.1 that should be factored into your upgrade plan if your environment uses that component.
  • In vCenter Server 2.5-4.0, host passwords are encrypted in the database using an encryption key of 512-to-1024 bits. However, in 5.1, the encryption key must be 2048 bits. If it is not, the vCenter Services may not start. Check this KB article to see how to check and correct this issue.
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VMware I/O Analyzer 1.0.0 Review

12/16/2011 Comments off

Since I’m in the middle of replacing one storage array (EMC Celerra NS-120) with another (EMC VNX 5500), I’m interested in comparisons of I/O performance between the arrays and between the various LUN configurations.  VMware made the I/O Analyzer Fling available on December 5, 2011.  Hopefully, you know how to deploy the OVA, so I won’t bore you with those details and will simply start with “okay, I’ve got it installed per the instructions, now what?”

  • Using your vSphere Client, open a console on the IOAnalyzer VM you imported.  Logon as “root”, using “vmware” as the password.  This will take you to an ordinary gray screen.

    IO Analyzer Grey Screen

  • Back on the vSphere Client, make a note of the IP Address of the IO Analyzer VM and the host on which it’s running.
  • Launch Firefox or Chrome and point it to the IP address of the IO Analyzer.  It should come up with the “Home” screen.

    I/O Analyzer Home Screen

  • Click “|| Setup & Run ||” at the top to go to that area.
  • On the Setup & Run page, we’ll set the host to gather ESXtop statistics on and the parameters to pass to IOMeter running in the IO Analyzer VM.
  • Under “Host Credentials”, enter the host name or IP address of the host where the IO Analyzer VM is running, provide the root password and click “Add Host” to save the details.
  • Under “Guest/Worker to Workload Binding”, select the host under the Host Name dropdown.  Supposedly, the “Select VM” dropdown will enumerate the VMs on the selected host, but I never saw it behave like this.  Just choose one of the VM names listed – the name is just used in the formatting report and has no bearing on the results.
  • The “Workload Spec” dropdown lists the access pattern you want to use with IOMeter.  There are some that represent a Workstation, SQL or Exchange Server in addition to the percent read/percent random ones – pick one.
  • In the VM IP Address, provide the IP address of the IO Analyzer VM (same IP address your browser is pointed to) and click “Add Worker”
  • You may add additional workers/access patterns, but when I tried, these additional workers were not spawned on the VM and only used the last workload defined.
  • Enter a duration for the test to run in seconds – usually 120 and click “Run”.
  • Flip over to the console on the IO Analyzer VM and watch IOMeter launch

    IOMeter running on the VM

  • In IOMeter, you can choose the “Results Display” tab, set the Results since to “Last Update” and the Update Frequency to 2 to see the results while the test is progressing.  This is great for those of us with little to no patience.
  • When finished, IOMeter will close and the “Setup & Run” page of the Web UI will state “Run complete.  Goto results tab.”
  • Click the “|| Results ||” link at the top, select the most recent item from the Result Summary drop down and click “View Summary” to load the details.

    IO Analyser Results View

  • The IOMeter Results summary is obtained from the IOMetere running within the VM and provides Read & Write IOPS and MBPS.
  • The Host Results Summary is obtained from ESXtop against the specified host

You can compare the IOPS and MBPS from IOMeter and ESXtop to see what additional load the host is enduring.

To measure the performance of another LUN, simply use Storage vMotion to migrate the IO Analyzer VM elsewhere and rerun it.

My Observations

The VM dropdown thing is annoying, but not really crucial.  The tool will let you select a host unrelated to the VM and confound yourself.  You must logon to the VM on the console in order for it to fire off IOMeter and obtain the results.  It’s a little clunky; multiple workers are not spawned on the VM when selected in the Web GUI.  But, you can simply run IOMeter yourself in the VM and set your own params.

Coming Up

I’ll post my performance statistics for various LUNs and later compare them to the storage on the VNX5500  with and without- FAST cache.