Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A new opportunity

August 6, 2013 1 comment

Regular readers have probably noticed that this blog has been dark for a few months. Life has been busy having been married about 10 months now, and along with that a new career opportunity popped up that was too good to turn down. I have updated my “About” page to fully disclose my new role and employer, which I believe is important to do as everybody has bias in some way, shape, or form, whether we like to admit it or not. What I love about my new role (with CDW) is the opportunity to have significant exposure to a large array of technologies and manufacturers, which allows me to “keep it real” so to speak when talking with customers. That being said, there are technologies that I don’t get much exposure to. Additionally, though I go thru training and maintain accreditation/certification in a wide variety of storage technologies, like anyone I can tend to gravitate to what I know best, which dates back to my years as a storage administrator/architect.

So, with that being said, let the blogging resume, albeit at what will probably be a somewhat slower pace as life just keeps getting busier and time keeps flying faster.

Categories: Uncategorized

SRM for VNXe is here (NFS only)!

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

SRM for VNXe is here (NFS only)!

FINALLY!   VNXe finally supports VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)!  Since I’ve been critical of this lack of support in the past, I wanted to make sure I posted this link to add visibility.   Note:  this is technically a “preview” and is not 100% certified by VMware yet, therefore it is not downloadable thru the official site for VMware SRA’s.    

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

VMFS-5 Heap Size

January 9, 2013 Leave a comment

Nick and I troubleshooted this issue for a client back in December. He beat me to the punch on blogging about it 🙂 This was the first time I had heard of heap size, and I hope it’s the last!

Categories: EMC, Uncategorized, VMware

Wedding planning and blogging do not mix

September 19, 2012 2 comments

Just a quick note to update my readers – the Hoosier Storage Guy is dark until early Oct when I return from my honeymoon. Wedding planning has consumed my life for the past several months, hence no posts since July, and I’m on a much needed break in Hawaii right now.

Categories: Uncategorized

EMC VNX OE 32 (i.e. Flare 32) is finally here!

July 17, 2012 2 comments

It sure would’ve been nice to see this sooner, but better late than never.  Finally, we get to see the really good stuff that has been in the works for sometime and takes a great product and makes it even better.     This is a key update for any existing EMC VNX customers (though I recommend waiting 1-2 quarters before upgrading) and any new VNX customers.   

The key updates include:

  • Support for mixed RAID types in a storage pool
  • A new Flash 1st auto-tiering policy
  • New RAID templates to support better efficiency – such as changing RAID6 protection scheme from 6+2 to 14+2.
  • In-family data-in-place upgrades – bringing back the capability that existed within Clariion to essentially do a head-swap and grow to the next model. 
  • Windows Branch Cache support for CIFS/SMB file shares
  • Load-balancing and re-balancing within a storage tier
  • VNX Snapshots now provides write-in-place pointer-based snapshots that in their initial release will support Block LUNs and require pool-based LUNs. 


You can read more here:


Categories: Uncategorized

March 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Great article here for VNXe customers to get more detailed performance stats


The latest Operating Environment upgrades have already brought some improvements to the statistics that are shown through the Unisphere GUI. The first VNXe OE that I worked with was showing only CPU statistics. Then along with update 2.1.0 Network Activity and Volume Activity statistics came available. I was still hoping to get some more statistics. IOps and latency graphs would have been nice additions. So I did some digging and found out that there is actually lots of statistics parameters that VNXe gathers but those are just stored in the database, maybe for support purposes.

Where is the data stored?

When logging in to the VNXe via SSH using service account and listing the content of the folder /EMC/backend/perf_stats you will see that there are several db-files in that folder.

Now when opening the file with notepad it is quite clear what kind of databases those are:

How to read…

View original post 551 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

March 18, 2012 Leave a comment

Great article here on the Aussie Storage Blog on why NL-SAS > SATA.

Aussie Storage Blog

Here are two common statement I often hear from clients:

  1. I don’t just want SAS drives, I also want SATA drives.  SATA drives are cheaper than SAS drives.
  2. Nearline SAS drives are just SATA drives with some sort of converter on them.

So is this right?  Is this the actual situation?

First up, if your storage uses a SAS based controller with a SAS backplane, then normally you can plug SAS drives into that enclosure, or you can plug SATA drives into that enclosure.    This is great because when you plug SATA drives into a SAS backplane, you can actually send SCSI commands to the drive plus you can send native SATA commands t00 (which is  handy when you are writing software for RAID array drivers).

But (and this is a big but) what we do know is that equivalent (size and RPM) SAS drives perform better than SATA drives…

View original post 725 more words

Categories: Uncategorized

Implemented virtual desktops? Please contribute to this survey!

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Storage IOPS are one of the most important considerations for sizing a virtual desktop environment.    Most folks do not have a good handle on the breakdown of writes vs. reads in their Windows desktop environment, which is incredibly important to know when implementing virtual desktops since it has a huge impact on disk array performance when using RAID5.    Think a “heavy” I/O user uses about 20 IOPS during steady-state workload?  Not if you’re using RAID5 disk!   It can actually be as high as 70 back-end IOPS.

Originally, many VDI vendors posted numbers indicating that the mix of writes vs. reads in a desktop environment was about 50/50 (which is still way more writes than the average server workload that usually follows the 80/20 rule in favor of reads).     I’ve also seen 60/40 and 70/30 thrown about more recently.    Andre Leibovici (, a well-known authority on VDI, is regularly seeing steady-state workloads approaching 80% writes.    In that scenario, your 20 IOPS heavy-user ends up generating 68 IOPS on the RAID5 disk array, thanks to the write overhead of RAID5.   ((20 x 80%) x 4) + (20 x 20%) = 68.

The best way to continue to get clarity on this topic is going to involve gathering more data from real-world customers.   This is where your help is much needed if you have implemented virtual desktops, even if it’s just a POC so far.    Please click the link below and follow the instructions on how to contribute to this survey.

The VDI Read/Write Ratio Challenge



Categories: Uncategorized

Great FREE tool for VM file system alignment

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This is big IMO. One of the “vSpecialists” at EMC (a technical team in the field that focuses on evangelizing EMC-VMware integration) has just released a FREE tool that can correct file system alignment in your VMware environment.  Note: The tool is not limited to just EMC customers.

File system alignment is a problem that exists for many folks. It lurks in the background causing excessive disk I/O on the arrays of those who are unbeknownst to its existence. In smaller shops, it may not be a huge deal if you’re not pushing a lot of IOPS, although I would still recommend doing it just to avoid performance challenges later.

An excerpt from the announcement:

“The idea of creating this came from the lack of a decent free alignment tool out there for VMware admins. Most every other one at there was either something you had to purchase or you had to be a customer of the vender to get access to it. And even after getting access these tools were either (in my opinion) limited in what they did, how they did it, or had become obsolete in a console-less vSphere 5 architecture.

For those they don’t know, alignment with Virtual Machine disks on top of Storage Arrays has been a performance issue for a long time. I won’t go into long detail explaining the problem or the benefits to alignment. There are great posts by Duncan ( and Kevin( on what the issues are and some of the tools available.”

Get a copy of the tool here:

Categories: Uncategorized

Your source for vSphere 5 updates…

July 13, 2011 Leave a comment

vSphere 5 was announced yesterday and will be GA in the not too distant future.   My colleague Dave Lawrence, the virtualization practice director at RoundTower Technologies and a former VMware SE, runs the popular blog.   He’s currently posting lots of updates summarzing all the new features you need to know about.   I highly recommend that any VMware and Storage admin go check it out as there are lots of changes in vSphere 5 that can affect both worlds.

Here’s the link to send you straight there:

Also be sure to follow him on Twitter at

The Hoosier Storage Guy will go dark as I head out on vacation for a while.   Enjoy your summer everyone!

Categories: Uncategorized