Archive for September, 2014

Micron P420 Setup for PernixData

John Lucio over at Micron was kind enough to hook me with a couple of Micron P420 PCIe SSD cards to test in my lab. I do a lot of work with Horizon View and my poor little NAS wouldn’t be able to handle linked clones without PernixData, so I was excited to see the difference between a PCIe SSD and the regular SSDs I use.
 
Here is the Micron P420. For an IT guy, this is pure crack.
Image
 
It was easy enough to fit on my SuperMicro X9SCM-IIF-O motherboard. I have plenty of room for the SSD and a 4-port NIC add-on card. I could probably cram some more cards in there if I had to.
Motherboard
 
Once I booted up, I went to the PernixData Tab on the Hosts and Clusters view of my vCenter C# client. I’m down-reved to to ESX 5.1 for some View work I am doing. No, I don’t use the web client if I can avoid it!
 
The first thing to do is click Create Flash Cluster so that I have some fault tolerance for my caching:
Create Flash Cluster
 
I have a cluster, now I Add Devices:
Add Devices
 
 
I pick the 2 Micron cards, which showed up with no fuss:
Select Devices
 
 
You can select all if you need to for a large deployment:
Select All Devices
 
 
The click Add Datastores and pick which LUNs you want to add horsepower to. Make sure to pick Write Through as the write policy, that’s where the sauce is.
 Write Through
 
Here is how much data was kept from hammering my NAS, it really adds up! App01 runs the vHipster Minecraft server, so all is good.
Flash Usage
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Awesome Home Lab Giveaway at the September 16th DFW VMUG Regional User Conference

I’m excited I got a chance to build an awesome home lab giveaway for one lucky winner at the UC coming up! I have to give a huge thanks out to all the partners that helped financially with this, including Justin Hakimi @justinhakimi at Tintri, John Lucio at Micron, and Tim Harless at Sigma Solutions.
Here is the details on the hardware and software. BTW, everything is on VMware’s compatibility list.

VMware licenses

A huge thanks to Corey Romero @vCommunityGuy at VMware for a license bundle. It includes everything to pass any test:
  • IT Business Management Suite 8
  • vCloud Suite 5
  • Horizon 6
  • vCenter Log Insight 2
  • vCenter Operations Manager 5 for View
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager
  • vCenter Operations Suite 5.6
  • vCenter Server 5
  • Virtual SAN 5.5

PernixData

As usual, Brad Farmer @bfarmdawg and Tee Glasgow @teeglasgow are helping out the DFW VMUG with a PernixData license.

Networking

My own home lab uses Cisco Meraki, and I just had to score a Meraki Lab Kit for the giveaway. It is so easy to use, I would be worried if I was a Network guy. It’s a complete Cloud-based networking kit- the config is blown down to the devices from Cisco’s cloud. It comes with:
MX60
  • Stateful firewall
  • Auto VPN™ self-configuring site-to-site VPN
  • Active Directory integration
  • Identity-based policies
  • Client VPN (IPsec)
  • 3G / 4G failover via USB modem
  • Layer 7 application visibility and traffic shaping
  • Application prioritization
  • It even has MDM! Manage your kids iPads!
MS220-8P (eight port) managed switch (trunking, yea!)
  • 8 port gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 × SFP for 1G uplink, non-shared
  • MS220-8P includes 124 W PoE / PoE+
MR16
  • Wireless access point
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n
SG 200-08
  • Consumer grade switching, for added ports.

Servers

2 x ProLiant MicroServer Gen8 Ultra Micro Tower Servers
The boxes have 16GB of RAM and I added SSDs for running PernixData. After adding a 4 port NIC card there is 7 ports, including an iLo port. This can be used in a variety of configurations. If the winner gets another Gen8 down the road, they could easily get vSAN rocking.
Image

Storage

I owe a huge thanks to Chase over at Synology for making it possible to include a DiskStation DS1813+ 8 bay enclosure. Combining this with a PernixData FVP clustering will just scream.
Image

Miscellaneous

Also included are patch cables, power strips, and bootable USB thumb drives on the board. I went ahead and installed ESXi already, mainly to make sure everything worked. It’ll be up to you to get the rest working!
One final thing. Whoever wins this owes me 4 blog posts about their experience settings this up at home.

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