Posts Tagged VMware View

Using SSDs for the “Swap to Host Cache” feature of ESX for VMware View running on Cisco UCS blades

Quite a mouthful, eh? If you have a chance to add some SSDs to your blades, though, I think you will be happy with the results. See the VMware vSphere 5.1 Documentation Center for details on how ESX uses write back cache for virtual machine swap files.

First, get some SSDs and put them in your B2XX series blades and configure a local disk policy. I was lucky enough to get two drives per blades, so I set the local disk policy to RAID1.

UCSMirror

You could go with RAID0, but I plan on using the local disks for A/V offload with vShield End-Point protection, so i wanted a bit more surety.

When the blade boots, you will be dismayed to see your new disks listed as “remote” during the ESX install. This is expected, see Scott Lowe’s post on it for an explanation. It isn’t a problem unless you are trying to use your disks for the ESX scratch disk- we are going to be using the disk for VM swapping, not the ESX Host, so we have one less step to do- see here for a vreference.

Finish your install and either drag the ESX box into vCenter or connect with the tools directly to the host. Create a new datastore from the local disks as you usually would. I recommend using a meaningful name, like _Local_SSD. If you use Host Profiles, you will want to uncheck the relevant checkboxes under Storage before pushing the Profile down to other hosts.

With your host selected, go to the “Configuration” tab and look under “Software”. You see a new link called “Host Cache Configuration”. Click it, and you will not see the disks you added.

Oh joy, we get to play with Putty. Connect to your host with Putty (don’t forget to turn on SSH in your security settings) and get ready to paste some commands. Leave your VMware tools showing “Storage”, you will want to refer back here for the super long naa numbers.

At this point, I could point out the numerous ways you could use PowerCLI, scripts or the vMA to do the same thing, but I think it better to learn how to do it from the command line first. Let’s get an understanding of the big list of values we are trying to manipulate first. We need to add a new value to the list of possible “Storage Array Type Plugins (SATPs)”. Refer to this great post by Stephen Foskett for more on SATPs and the PSA.

Type in “esxcli storage nmp satp rule list” into your putty session and hit enter to see all the SATPs your host knows about:

~ # esxcli storage nmp satp rule list

Name Vendor Model Description
——————- ——- —————- ——————————————————————–
VMW_SATP_ALUA_CX DGC CLARiiON array in ALUA mode
VMW_SATP_ALUA NETAPP NetApp arrays with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA IBM 2810XIV IBM 2810XIV arrays with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA Any array with ALUA support
VMW_SATP_ALUA IBM 2107900
VMW_SATP_MSA MSA1000 VOLUME MSA 1000/1500 [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP DEC HSG80
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSVX700 active/passive HP StorageWorks SVSP
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSV100 active/passive EVA 3000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AP HSV110 active/passive EVA 5000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_SVC IBM 2145
VMW_SATP_EQL EQLOGIC All EqualLogic Arrays
VMW_SATP_INV EMC Invista
VMW_SATP_INV EMC LUNZ Invista LUNZ
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV200 active/active EVA 4000/6000 XL
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV210 active/active EVA 8000/8100 XL
VMW_SATP_EVA HSVX740 active/active HP StorageWorks SVSP
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV101 active/active EVA 3000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV111 active/active EVA 5000 GL [Legacy product, Not supported in this release]
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV300 active/active EVA 4400
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV400 active/active EVA 6400
VMW_SATP_EVA HSV450 active/active EVA 8400
VMW_SATP_SYMM EMC SYMMETRIX EMC Symmetrix
VMW_SATP_CX DGC All non-ALUA Clariion Arrays
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1742* FAStT 700/900
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^3542* FAStT 200
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^3552* FAStT 500
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1722* FAStT 600/DS4300
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1815* FAStT DS4800
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1724* FAStT 100
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1726-* DS3X00
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1814* DS4000
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1818* DS5100/DS5300
VMW_SATP_LSI Universal Xport FAStT
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD3000 Dell MD3000
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD3000i Dell MD3000i
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage 9176
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D173
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D178
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D210
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D220
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D240
VMW_SATP_LSI STK OPENstorage D280
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC82
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC84
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr BC88
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B210
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B220
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B240
VMW_SATP_LSI STK BladeCtlr B280
VMW_SATP_LSI STK INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI STK FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage 9176
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D173
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D178
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D210
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D220
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D240
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI OPENstorage D280
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC82
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC84
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr BC88
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B210
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B220
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B240
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI BladeCtlr B280
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI LSI FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN CSM100_R_FC
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN FLEXLINE 380
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN CSM200_R
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_F
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_I
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN LCSM100_S
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN STK6580_6780 Sun StorageTek 6580/6780
VMW_SATP_LSI ENGENIO INF-01-00
VMW_SATP_LSI IBM ^1746* IBM DS3512/DS3524
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD32xx Dell MD3200
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD32xxi Dell MD3200i
VMW_SATP_LSI SGI IS500 SGI InfiniteStorage 4000/4100
VMW_SATP_LSI SGI IS600 SGI InfiniteStorage 4600
VMW_SATP_LSI SUN SUN_6180 Sun Storage 6180
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD36xxi Dell MD3600i
VMW_SATP_LSI DELL MD36xxf Dell MD3600f
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA HITACHI
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM 2810XIV IBM 2810XIV arrays without ALUA support
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA Fibre Channel Devices
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA iSCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM SAS SES-2 DEVICE IBM SAS SES-2
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA IBM 1820N00 IBM BCS RSSM
VMW_SATP_DEFAULT_AA HITACHI
VMW_SATP_LOCAL USB Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL IDE Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL RAID Block Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Parallel SCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Serial Attached SCSI Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Serial ATA Devices
VMW_SATP_LOCAL Unknown Devices

 

We need to add a line to end of this list, so that your SSD disk (which ESX is seeing as a SAS disk on the SAN) can use the “VMW_SATP_LOCAL” SATP. First, we need to get the naa of your drive. Look in the VMware tools at your disk, click on “Manage Paths” and you will see the naa number. In this case, mine is “naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e”. You can get this in Putty, but I like to check in the GUI, because Putty can be hard to read. Don’t bother typing it out, enter:

~ # esxcli storage nmp device list

That will list all of your data stores, you will want copy the naa number to your clipboard. If you are so bold as to start playing with SATPs while your SAN is connected, you will see all your datastores listed. Look for the one that matches the naa number you looked up, it will probably be the only one with VMW_SATP_LOCAL, and on Cisco UCS, it will likely have “Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)”

~ # esxcli storage core device list -d  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 94413
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Vendor: LSILOGIC
   Model: Logical Volume
   Revision: 3000
   SCSI Level: 2
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: degraded
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: false
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: false
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Thin Provisioning Status: unknown
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unsupported
   Other UIDs: vml.0200000000600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e4c6f67696361

The “Is SSD: false” is what we need to change. We want to add a new rule for the VMW_SATP_LOCAL SATP, one that has option=enable_ssd

~ # esxcli storage nmp satp rule add -s VMW_SATP_LOCAL --device  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e --option=enable_ssd

If you up arrow a few times and enter “esxcli storage nmp satp rule list”, you’ll see a new line at the bottom.

VMW_SATP_LOCAL       naa.600508e000000000bd5fc37cdb32b60d                 enable_ssd        user

Now unclaim the device

~ # esxcli storage core claiming unclaim --type device  --device naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

and finally reload and run the claim rules

~ # esxcli storage core claimrule load
~ # esxcli storage core claimrule run

Now lets see if it worked

~ # esxcli storage core device list -d  naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e

naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Display Name: LSILOGIC Serial Attached SCSI Disk (naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 94413
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e
   Vendor: LSILOGIC
   Model: Logical Volume
   Revision: 3000
   SCSI Level: 2
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: degraded
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: false
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: true
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Thin Provisioning Status: unknown
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unsupported
   Other UIDs: vml.0200000000600508e0000000006c793530aa10e80e4c6f67696361

You should now have a new disk listed under “Host Cache Configuration”.
HostCache

Pick an amount to use, saving a little room for A/V VMs if need be.
HostCacheConfig

Now add some VMs and browse the datastore to see your new swap files, and make sure to show the SAN guys on your team how you’re saving precious SAN resources.

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VMware View Deployment Spreadsheet

Update: Make sure to enter some text into the spreadsheet to make the fields populate.

This is a spreadsheet that automates almost all aspects of a VMware View deployment using Powershell and Concatenate. I built it mainly out of a desire to avoid using the Flash GUI that comes with View. It is slow and it makes me want to scream when I’m halfway through a 20-click wizard and I realize I need to look something up.

Be sure to keep this after using it- it doubles as your documentation. It is also everything you need to rebuild in a DR situation after restoring your templates and View servers.

It assumes you have deployed the View Infrastructure, have built some templates and taken snap shots. Look at each workbook left to right. Fill out the variables for you environment in the yellow fields, and use the grey fields to make scripts.  A further refinement would making a mail merge to spit all this into batch files for you. Copying and pasting into PowerGUI suffices for me.

Consistency

For each pool name entered, this will nest a Global AD Group into a Domain Local Group, add a space separated list of users to the Global Group, create an OU under a defined VDI OU, create a Resource Pool in vCenter, compose a Pool and then entitle the Global Group to the Pool.  This is set to create Floating Linked-Clone Automated Pools. If you wish to change this, feel free to edit this:

=IF(ISBLANK(‘Pool Sizing’!B9),””,CONCATENATE(“get-composerdomain | Add-AutomaticLinkedClonePool -pool_id “””, ‘Pool Sizing’!B9,”””  –displayName “””,’Pool Sizing’!C9, “”” -namePrefix “””,’Pool Sizing’!G9,”””  -resourcePoolPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/Resources/”,’View Object Names’!C9,””” -parentVMPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/vm/”,BaseImages,”/”,’View Object Names’!D9,””” -parentSnapshotPath “”/”,’Pool Sizing’!F9,””” -datastorespecs “”[Moderate,replica]/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/”,B9,”;[Moderate,OS,data]/”,Datacenter,”/host/”,Cluster,”/”,C9,””” -persistence “”Nonpersistent”””,” -organizationalUnit “”ou=”,’View Object Names’!E9,”,”,DesktopBaseOu,””” -minimumcount “””,’Pool Sizing’!H9,””” -maximumcount “””,’Pool Sizing’!I9,””” -headroomCount “””,’Pool Sizing’!J9,””” -refreshpolicytype “”Never”””,” -deletepolicy “”RefreshOnUse”””,” -powerpolicy “”AlwaysOn”””,” -vmFolderPath “”/”,Datacenter,”/vm”””))

Just make the GPOs for each Pool and you are set. Don’t create more than a Pool or two at a time, this will crater your environment if run too much at once.

Download the spreadsheet: vHipsterViewDeploymentTemplate

N.B. You have to start entering values to make code appear.

Be sure to consult the documentation if you need to modify anything.

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