Archive for March, 2014
I was recently lucky enough to get ahold of a Tintri VMstore T540 (here are the specifications) to use in my test lab, so I thought some unboxing and setup pics would be appreciated. The plan is to beat on the T540 a while and get a good idea of how long it takes to setup and how many IOPS it can deliver. I’ll be using Horizon View and vCAC on it over the coming weeks and see how it handles noisy neighbors. Hat tip to Justin Hakimi over at Tintri for setting this up.
I was originally going to use this in my home lab, but it was too loud, so I worked with Brett Wish @vrazorback to get it setup in our Austin office.
It took longer to grab the pics and do this write up than it took to set the unit up. If you’re not doing anything fancy like link aggregation, its a half hour, tops.
Yes, it was heavy.
Top view of one of the two controller blades.
Here is the motherboard model number, X8DTS-F. This is an older demo unit, however, so your milage may vary.
The fans are LOUD. My wife got pretty pissed.
The unit comes with 8 x 300 GB (MLC) RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers and 8 x 3 TB RAID6 hot-plug 3.5” carriers for 13.5TB usable. The promised IO from flash is > 99%, i’ll be putting this to the test in the next few posts.
Rack and stack complete.
Pardon the glare. Here is the Tintri unit mounted in the fishbowl at our Austin office. One of the beauties of working for a VAR/Integrator is that we are truly hardware neutral (we get to play with all the nice toys).
The setup is pretty straight-forward. Use the KVM dongle that is provided and connect to the blade on the right (from the rear). There is a short console session required to give the appliance a management IP address and the usual other network details- there is an idiot-proof set of instructions for this part. Open a browser and hit the address you entered.
The main page comes up with a Getting Started window. This makes it simple to see the NFS mount info you need for vSphere.
The array was previously configured, so we’ll need to change the IP address for the NFS ports. We are waiting some new Arista 10G switches, so we will be leaving Jumbo Frames off and use a 1GB switch and see how it performs (it was instantly obvious that the network was the bottleneck)
Here is the main console before we messed it up with a bunch of VMs.
Connect to vCenter
I’ll list the steps, but this is really easy.
We have some security options, I’ll use to keep VDI hosts separate from server stuff.
We don’t have a replication license or a second array to use for a replication partner. We’d love to detail a SRM deployment on Tintri. Justin, do you have another one of these laying around? Just kidding. Well, kinda.
The alerts section is a little different. You can set the types of email alerts that are sent by moving a slider bar. There are three settings:
- Get Alerts Only
- Alerts & All Notices
Add the usual To/From email addresses and an internal relay server. Optionally, click on “more” to configure mail server login and SSL settings.
The array can also send SNMP traps and do Syslog forwarding.
Autosupport is no longer optional- they’re virtually expected these days. Enabling it is as simple click to a check box. I think we’ll leave this unchecked during stress testing.
Configure DNS and then check out the LACP options. We’ll be playing with these at both 1GB and 10GB.
Add the Tintri Datastore to vCenter
Add a Network File System and click Next.
Enter the server address, the folder name and a meaningful datastore name.
As you can see, it’s dead easy to add a pretty significant amount of fast storage to your virtualized datacenter. I’ll be doing some follow up posts on stress testing this puppy and how it interacts with Horizon View and vCloud Automation Center. We’ll also compare and contrast with some other storage platforms out there.
It has suddenly got a lot easier to get your VMware Certified Professional! The Install, Configure and Manage class is the prerequisite for the VCP exam. I’ve always liked the fact that a real class with a lab was a prerequisite for the entry level VMware exam. It keeps the VCP meaningful and avoids the creation of a lot of paper tigers, like the MCSE went through back in the day.
However, there is a lot of deserving people that can’t get into the class, which often carries a $2000-3000 price tag. While there is some online options which mitigates travel expenses, a lot of employers won’t foot the bill for their people to attend the class. They’re afraid if their employees get the VCP, they will understand the value of their certification and leave. Sometimes you have to move out to move up, after all! These employers, often SLEDs (State & Local Government and Education), fail to see that it can be even worse if their staff doesn’t get training and they stay.
Now there is another option in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Collin County Community College now has official VMware training offered at a fraction of the cost of larger training facilities- under $700. The classes are not offered in one week-long class, but spread over Monday and Wednesday nights from 6pm to 10pm CST. The course will run for 5 weeks to cover the necessary 40 hours for the Install, Config, and Manage class. Check out the Collin County Community College’s website, and the Spring Semester Catalog.
As the DFW VMUG leader, its a pleasure to get the word out. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask the partner community to help me fund scholarships for deserving administrators and engineers. I’ll be setting up the criteria for those that can demonstrate financial need for this chance. Members of the DFW VMUG, particularly people that work for SLEDs, will be candidates. For you partners out there, I encourage you to contact me about helping the user community grow. The next class starts March 17th, so reach out to me via email dfwvmug (at) gmail.com or on Twitter @bchristian21 if you want to help the next generation of VCPs get rolling.
Edit: I just found out that there is a Northlake class too! http://www.northlakecollege.edu/schedule/Pages/CE-SP14.aspx
There is a course where you can actually get college credit http://hb2504.dcccd.edu/Syllabi/2014SP-ITNW-1413-73426.pdf