Thursday, January 31, 2013

PVS - To Virtualize Or Not To Virtualize, That Is The Question

Hi All,

In the past we always recommended putting PVS on a physical machine due to the demands put on the box.  Lately we've really been changing our tune and I believe storage has really enabled a change for the better.  I'm sure you've noticed that not only servers have been getting faster, but protocols attaching storage to those servers is just awesome.  I still can't get over 10 gigabit, I remember when 100 megabit was fast! 

The number of users per PVS server is really going to vary, but let's say 500 users.  Rachel and I recently did some testing where we virtualized our PVS servers and were able to boot 500 Windows 7 32 bit machines over a 10 gigabit pipe, using PVS 6.1 on vSphere 5.1 on a PVS server with 4 virtual CPUs and 8 gigs of RAM.  The machines booted quite well and we didn't see any problems.  FYI, we've got a paper that will discuss this in a lot of detail coming soon!

A friend of mine once told me when he's doing an assessment he looks for the bottleneck and he NEVER wants the bottleneck to be his technology.  The great thing about virtualizing your PVS server is you can use storage to make PVS faster and easier to administer!  NFS with screaming fast 10 gig networking speed that you can't do with a physical machine and now with oplocks and SMB 2.1 you use your PVS server to cache your vDisk AND store it on a CIFS share for super easy administration!  As always just my thoughts. :-)  If you have PVS or are thinking of implementing, give virtualization a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sharing is Caring – Even More Now!

Hi All,
A little while back I talked about a cool new product from Citrix called ShareFile.  I’ve been getting to play with the technology and a new feature they call the StorageZones Connectors for network shares.  I have to say, another super cool feature! What this allows me to do is get access to internal network shares alongside my ShareFile content, from the ShareFile for iPad/iPhone app

Use Cases you ask?  Say I’m an executive giving speeches and demonstrations around the globe, and storing my content in ShareFile for instant access from any device.  What if I need to pull some historic data off a file share inside our network? No problem, I can access the content from my ShareFile app on the iPad.
Here’s a screenshot from my phone.  I’ve logged into ShareFile, but I need to log into my StorageZone to access these files.

Once I log in, here are three files on my network share.  I can download them and view them now, from a mobile device! 

For more information please visit the Citrix website.
Until Next Time!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Getting to Know Your Controller

Hi All,

Before you start booing and throwing fruit, I'll be the first to admit, I've been a MAJOR slacker!  I know it's almost been a whole month since my last post so let's make peace and be friends. :-)  Anywho, I suppose this post will be another in the NetApp basics, since the two commands are easily overlooked, but extremely helpful!

Today I'm going to talk about AutoSupport and Sysconfig.

AutoSupport will help turn this unhappy guy into the happy guy below!

Before AutoSupport

After AutoSupport
For those that don't know, AutoSupport is NetApp's way of making sure you're controller and disks are happy.  If anything fails AutoSupport will send an email out to NetApp, which will open a case and depending on your support level, a support engineer will be contacting you before you even know anything is wrong!  You can also include other folks in the email, so if you're a system administrator that likes to keep up to date on their environment, you too will get the email.

AutoSupport commands can be found in the System Manager GUI or at the CLI.  For the CLI, they are under "options autosupport" for 7-Mode and under "system node autosupport" for my Clusted ONTAP friends.  You'll need to setup things like your mailhost, who's going to receive them, and than you're ready to go!  Here is a great knowledge base article written by James d'Angelo explaining all the fields and in depth setup steps.

I highly recommend setting this feature up unless your controller doesn't have access to the outside world, or you don't want NetApp to know certain details about your controller.  If you've got questions, contact your account manager, they'll be able to help!

Now how about Sysconfig?  Sysconfig is one of those commands that does so much and asks so little in return.  Say you want to know what's inside your controller, and I mean EVERYTHING!  At the CLI, if you do a "sysconfig -a" in 7-Mode or "system node run -node <nodename> -command sysconfig -a" for my Clustered ONTAP friends.  You will be rewarded with a HUGE amount of information.  ONTAP version, hardware, firmware, what's in each slot, disk drive numbers, etc, etc, etc.  Also a great way to see some of the health statistics of your controller.

So a couple of simple commands that are easily overlooked, but really help to make our lives easier.

Until Next Time!



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I've been away for awhile, but I'm back with some great news!  Rachel and I have been working with our good friends at Citrix and they've released a new VDI reference architecture paper.  5000 users on XenDesktop 5.6 running Hyper-V and NetApp storage on 7-Mode.  Congratulations to the Citrix team on a great paper!  Highly recommended!

I hope everyone had a great holiday season and New Years!  What did you end up doing?  My wife and I went to the National Yo-Yo Museum up in Chico California. :-)  It's located inside Bird in Hand and I have to say, what an awesome store and people!  We spent WAY too much time in the store and it wasn't enough.  The people were super helpful and friendly, we can't wait to go back!  If you happen to be near Chico or looking for an awesome new yo-yo, deffinetly check them out!  Here's a photo of Tiny Rider sitting on the worlds largest wood yo-yo!!

Rachel and I are working on some great some stuff, so it should be a great 2013!  Keep an eye out for new posts.

Until Next Time!