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Storage Implementation in vSphere® 5.0

Book Description


Effective VMware virtualization storage planning and management has become crucial–but it can be extremely complex. Now, the leading VMware expert on storage completely demystifies the "black box" of vSphere storage and provides illustrated, step-by-step procedures for performing every key task associated with it. You’ll gain the deep understanding you need to make better storage decisions, solve problems, and keep problems from occurring in the first place.

Mostafa Khalil presents techniques based on years of personal experience helping customers troubleshoot storage in their vSphere production environments. With more experience than anyone else in the field, he combines expert guidelines, insights for better architectural design, best practices for both planning and management, common configuration details, and deep dives into both vSphere and third-party storage.

Storage Implementation in vSphere® 5.0 fully explains each storage connectivity choice and protocol supported by VMware, introduces Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA), and shows how to build on PSA with multipathing, failover, and ALUA. It thoroughly introduces Storage Virtualization Devices (SVDs) and VMDirectPath I/O, and shows how to drive powerful improvements in performance, flexibility, and manageability with VMFS 5 and VAAI.


  • Understanding how FC, FCoE, and iSCSI interact with VMware vSphere 5

  • Implementing specific VMware capabilities on storage hardware from each leading vendor

  • Avoiding, recognizing, and fixing misconfigurations and other problems

  • Using third-party MPIO plug-ins certified with vSphere 5 and PSA

  • Maximizing availability through multipathing and failover

  • Implementing fixed and round-robin multipathing on arrays with ALUA support

  • Monitoring and optimizing virtual storage performance

  • Managing vSphere-compatible file systems: VMFS and NFS

  • Taking full advantage of VMDirectPath I/O

  • Implementing heterogeneous storage configurations

  • Presenting abstracted storage through virtual disks and Raw Device Mappings (RDMs)

  • Using VMFS 5 to simplify management and improve scalability in large-scale environments

  • Sharing storage and migrating more easily across multiple VMware vSphere instances

  • Optimizing storage performance with VAAI-compliant devices

Mostafa Khalil, Senior Staff Engineer with VMware Global Support Services, specializes in storage integration for virtual environments. He has worked for VMware for 13 years and supported all VMware virtualization products since Workstation for Linux 1.0 beta. Khalil has worked on most enterprise storage vendors’ solutions and received engineering-level training for many of them. He has presented at every VMworld, and at VMware Partner Exchange, VMware User Group, and USENIX.

ISBN-13: 978-0-321-79993-7

ISBN-10: 0-321-79993-3

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. VMware Press
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents At A Glance
  6. Contents
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. About the Author
  10. We Want to Hear from You!
  11. Reader Services
  12. Part I. Storage Protocols and Block Devices
    1. Chapter 1. Storage Types
      1. History of Storage
    2. Chapter 2. Fibre Channel Storage Connectivity
      1. SCSI Standards and Protocols
      2. Summary
    3. Chapter 3. FCoE Storage Connectivity
      1. FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet)
      2. FCoE Initialization Protocol
      3. FCoE Initiators
      4. Overcoming Ethernet Limitations
      5. Protocols Required for FCoE
      6. 802.1p Tag
      7. Hardware FCoE Adapters
      8. How SW FCoE Is Implemented in ESXi 5
      9. Configuring FCoE Network Connections
      10. Enabling Software FCoE Adapter
      11. Removing or Disabling a Software FCoE Adapter
      12. Troubleshooting FCoE
      13. Parting Tips
      14. Summary
    4. Chapter 4. iSCSI Storage Connectivity
      1. iSCSI Protocol
      2. Summary
    5. Chapter 5. vSphere Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA)
      1. Native Multipathing
      2. Storage Array Type Plug-in (SATP)
      3. Path Selection Plugin (PSP)
      4. Third-Party Plug-ins
      5. Multipathing Plugins (MPPs)
      6. Anatomy of PSA Components
      7. I/O Flow Through PSA and NMP
      8. Listing Multipath Details
      9. Claim Rules
      10. MP Claim Rules
      11. Plug-in Registration
      12. SATP Claim Rules
      13. Modifying PSA Plug-in Configurations Using the UI
      14. Modifying PSA Plug-ins Using the CLI
      15. Summary
    6. Chapter 6. ALUA
      1. ALUA Definition
      2. Summary
    7. Chapter 7. Multipathing and Failover
      1. What Is a Path?
      2. Where Is the Active Path?
      3. LUN Discovery and Path Enumeration
      4. Sample LUN Discovery and Path Enumeration Log Entries
      5. Factors Affecting Multipathing
      6. Failover Triggers
      7. Path States
      8. Path Selection Plug-ins
      9. When and How to Change the Default PSP
      10. PDL and APD
      11. Path Ranking
      12. Summary
    8. Chapter 8. Third-Party Multipathing I/O Plug-ins
      1. MPIO Implementations on vSphere 5
      2. EMC PowerPath/VE 5.7
      3. Hitachi Dynamic Link Manager (HDLM)
      4. Dell EqualLogic PSP Routed
      5. Summary
    9. Chapter 9. Using Heterogeneous Storage Configurations
      1. What Is a “Heterogeneous” Storage Environment?
      2. Scenarios of Heterogeneous Storage
      3. ESXi 5 View of Heterogeneous Storage
      4. Summary
    10. Chapter 10. Using VMDirectPath I/O
      1. What Is VMDirectPath?
      2. Which I/O Devices Are Supported?
      3. VMDirectPath I/O Configuration
      4. Practical Examples of VM Design Scenarios Utilizing VMDirectPath I/O
      5. What About vmDirectPath Gen. 2?
      6. Troubleshooting VMDirectPath I/O
      7. Summary
    11. Chapter 11. Storage Virtualization Devices (SVDs)
      1. SVD Concept
      2. Summary
  13. Part II. File Systems
    1. Chapter 12. VMFS Architecture
      1. History of VMFS
      2. Summary
    2. Chapter 13. Virtual Disks and RDMs
      1. The Big Picture
      2. Virtual Disks
      3. Creating Virtual Disks Using the UI
      4. Creating Virtual Disks Using vmkfstools
      5. Raw Device Mappings
      6. Listing RDM Properties
      7. Virtual Storage Adapters
      8. Virtual Machine Snapshots
      9. Snapshot Operations
      10. Reverting to Snapshot
      11. Linked Clones
      12. Summary
    3. Chapter 14. Distributed Locks
      1. Basic Locking
      2. Summary
    4. Chapter 15. Snapshot Handling
      1. What Is a Snapshot?
      2. What Is a Replica?
      3. What Is a Mirror?
      4. VMFS Signature
      5. Effects of Snapshots on VMFS Signature
      6. How to Handle VMFS Datastore on Snapshot LUNs
      7. Resignature
      8. Force Mount
      9. Sample Script to Force-Mount All Snapshots on Hosts in a Cluster
      10. Summary
    5. Chapter 16. VAAI
      1. What Is VAAI?
      2. VAAI Primitives
      3. Full Copy Primitive (XCOPY)
      4. Block Zeroing Primitive (WRITE_SAME)
      5. Hardware Accelerated Locking Primitive (ATS)
      6. Thin Provisioned APIs
      7. NAS VAAI Primitives
      8. Enabling and Disabling Primitives
      9. VAAI Plug-ins and VAAI Filter
      10. Listing Registered Filter and VAAI Plug-ins
      11. Listing VAAI Filters and Plug-ins Configuration
      12. Listing VAAI vmkernel Modules
      13. Identifying VAAI Primitives Supported by a Device
      14. Displaying Block Device VAAI I/O Stats Using ESXTOP
      15. The VAAI T10 Standard Commands
      16. Troubleshooting VAAI Primitives
      17. Summary
  14. Index
  15. Add Page