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Archive for July, 2011

vSphere 5 moves the goalposts on LUN sizing for VMFS

July 20, 2011 1 comment

vSphere 5 will totally change the way you design/size your LUN’s for VMFS. Features like VAAI (Hardware Offloaded Locking), VMFS max size increasing up to 64TB, block size 1MB only, SDRS and Storage Profiles mean the old notions of VMFS design are no longer true.

Previously both SCSI reservations and the VMFS max size of 2TB placed a ceiling on LUN size but this ceiling has been removed. Although the ceiling is gone this doesn’t mean you should create 50TB VMFS’s, I suggest the number and size of vmdk’s will influence LUN size.

Good design principles still consider the workloads being placed on the LUN’s to correctly size VMFS’s but I expect average VMFS size to increase considerably from 500GB to 2TB on vSphere 4 up to say 2TB to 10TB or even larger depending on use case.

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Categories: VMware

VCP upgrade from VCP4 to a VCP5

July 18, 2011 3 comments

Update: Thanks to Scott and Joe for pointing out like VCP 3 to VCP4 there is approximately six month period where existing VCP’s need only sit the exam (until Feb 2012). This is great news!

So the upgrade path from VCP4 to VCP5 requires you attend a “Whats new V5” course (after Feb 2012). I personally have always found introduction courses a light on technical content and heavy on marketing and general features overview.

I would much prefer a specific upgrade course that was a heavy technical deep dive followed by a difficult exam. Considering VMware is will be requiring this course they must ensure that their customers and partners get value for money.

http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrReg/plan.cfm?plan=12457&ui=www_cert

Categories: VMware

vSphere 5 licensing changes

July 13, 2011 2 comments

Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard VMware announce the release of vSphere 5 today. I have spent a few hours sifting through the information on the new features and changes. There is a lot of great content been released today, from bloggers but more importantly on the Partner Portal. VMware have obviously invested a lot of time and resources in getting the content out so quickly and this is something other vendors should take on board.

Although there are a lot of great new features in vSphere 5, I believe its release will be remembered for the changes to the licensing model. This is shame as there are some great new features being released and these may well not get the focus they deserve. I totally understand why VMware made changes to the licensing model and the market has been expecting VMware to make some sort of change. As Intel continues to produce CPU’s with more cores and Servers are capable of being fitted with more and more RAM the old license model was doomed.

New Licensing Details:http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/vsphere_pricing.pdf

I personally believe the new licensing model (vRAM) is the right model but that the amount of vRAM allocated per license is in-adequate. Instead VMware should have used numbers that reflect what customers are using in their environments now (probably nearly twice what VMware decided).

In my experience, customers deploying VMware using new hardware with 4.1, Enterprise plus on dual socket servers would allocate between 96 to 146GB of physical RAM. Factoring in the over subscription of about 30% vRAM to physical RAM with 80% utilization of a host with 146GB of RAM. I would estimate about 152GB of vRAM total, divide that by two for Dual socket makes 76GB of vRAM per socket. Therefore to ensure customers who have existing infrastructure, that are looking to upgrade to vSphere 5 from 4.1 can without purchasing additional licenses, VMware should look to increase the vRAM to about 76GB for Enterprise Plus per processor.

The new licensing model will no doubt be attacked by many people, customers, competitors and partners but ultimately everyone should agree something had to change.

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