FlashStack Your Way to Awesomeness

You may or may not have heard about Pure Storage and Cisco partnering to provide solutions together to help our current and prospective customers using UCS, Pure Storage, and VMware. These predesigned and tested architectures provide a full solution for compute, network and storage. Read more here:

https://www.purestorage.com/company/technology-partners/cisco.html

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/accelerate-vdi-success-with-cisco-ucs-and-pure-storage

This results in CVD’s (Cisco Validated Designs)

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/ucs_flashstack_view62_5k.html

There are more coming for SQL, Exchange, SAP and general Virtual Machines (I call it JBOVMs, Just a Bunch of VM’s).

Turn-key like solution for compute, network, and storage

Know how much and what to purchase when it comes to compute, network and storage as we have worked with Cisco to validate with actual real workloads. Many times mixed workloads because who runs just SQL or just Active Directory. It is proven and works. Up in running in a couple of days. If a couple of months was not good (legacy way), and then 2-4 weeks (newer way with legacy HW) wasn’t good enough, how about 1-2 days? For reals next generation datacenter. Also, scale compute, network and storage independently. Why buy extra hypervisor licenses when you just need 5 TB of space?

Ability to connect workload from/to the publics clouds (AWS, AZURE)

I don’t think as many people know this as they should, but Rob Barker “Barkz” is awesome. He worked hard to prove out the ability to use Pure FlashArray with Azure compute. Great read and more details here:

Announcing: Pure Storage All-Flash Cloud for Microsoft Azure

Official Pure information here:

https://www.purestorage.com/resources/type-a/pure-storage-all-flash-cloud-azure-deployment-guide.html

Azure is ready now and AWS is in the works.

Ability to backup to the public clouds.

No secret here we are working hard to integrate with backup software vendors. Some have been slow and others have been willing to work with our API to make seamless backup and snapshot management integration with Pure and amazing thing.

Just one example of how Commvault is enabling backup to Azure:

http://www.commvault.com/resource-library/55fc5ff8991435a6ce000c9c/backup-to-azure-with-commvault.pdf

IntelliSnap and Pure Storage

https://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/v10/article?p=features/snap_backup/pure/overview.htm

Check how easy it is to setup the Commvault and Pure Storage.

Ease of storage allocation without the need of a storage specialist

If I have ever talked to you about Pure Storage and I didn’t say how simple it is to use or mention my own customers that are not “Storage Peeps” that manage it quite easily then I failed. Take away my Orange sunglasses.

If you are looking at FlashStack or just now finding out how easy it is now. Remember no Storage Ph.D. required. We even have nearly everything you need to be built into our free vSphere Plugin. Info from my here Cody Hosterman here.

The Pure Storage Plugin for the vSphere Web Client

Here is a demo if you want to see how it works. This is a little older but I know he is working on some new stuff.

Even better if you would like to automate end to end and tie the Pure Storage provisioning with UCS Director that is possible too! See here:

VMware Space Consumption on Thin Provisioned Data-Reducing Arrays

A common question I get from my customers is: Why does vSphere say my data store is full? when the array is 4% used? I usually make a quick explanation of how the VMFS file system has no clue that the block device underneath is actually deduping and compressing the data. So even though you provisioned 1TB of VM’s the Array might only write a fraction of that amount. This can get many different reactions. Anger, disbelief, astonishment and understanding. This post is to visually show that what vSphere is thinking is used on VMFS will not necessarily be reflected the same on a data reducing array (including FlashArray).

When vSphere says I am FULL

media_1466090762665.png

Even when the FlashArray says plenty of space

media_1466090873568.png

You can tell from my environment testing vRealize Automation and Orchestrator that there is a lot more being “used” in vSphere than is written to the array. In your head start to do the match though. 3.4 times 8.19GB does not equal 169GB. That is because we do not claim thin provisioning as actual data reduction. This includes any set of “zeros”. Space not provisioned to a VM at all, the empty VMFS space AND the empty space provisioned to a VM (lazy or eager zeros) not consumed or written to by the VM. Since my enironment is mostly empty VM’s you can see the Total Reduction is ridiculously high.

Some solutions.
1. Use Thin Provisioned VM’s with Automatic UNMAP in vSphere 6. Read more from Cody Hosterman here. Direct Guest OS Unmap in vSphere 6.
This will give closer accounting of VM provisioned space and space consumed on the array. It is still not aware of the compression and dedupe behind the scenes on the array.
2. vVols provide the storage awareness needed to let VMware know the actual consumption per VM. Come see at the Pure Storage booth at VMworld.

Use the plugin!

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At least you can quickly see that the 169.4GB will be reduced by 3.4:1 (for actual written data) all in one screen.