Monday, November 30, 2015

VMware Perspective - Go Away Zombie NIC!!!

Hi Friends,

I was doing some NIC manipulation on one of my virtual machines for some Horizon View testing I was doing.  After I finished changing the NIC on the golden image I did some work on the guest OS, powered it off and took a snapshot so I could point Horizon View to the new image.  After I started cloning the new desktops I realized I had forgot to change the NIC back so the desktops could talk to my private network.  Crud!

Not a big problem, I'll just edit the golden image in vCenter and switch the NIC back to have the NIC I want and take a new snapshot...  Hey!!  I deleted you!  Go away zombie NIC!!!

Hmmm, maybe it's because I did the change in the vCenter client and not in the vCenter webclient?

Hmmm, no looks good....  Hmmm, maybe check the vCenter client???

No, looks good....

Well, I'm outta ideas!  Time to check my buddy Google!

I found this discussion on the VMware Communities that said to check the snapshots because VMware would remember old configurations if the Snapshot was still there.  Ah Ha!  The snapshot I took!!

I deleted the snapshot that had the zombie NIC in it and.....

So long zombie NIC!!!

I hope this was helpful!  Thanks Google and VMware Communities!!

Until Next Time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Nimble Storage - So Easy Even I Can Do It - Part Deux - Setup

Hi Friends,

As promised, here's the first blog in the new series:

Nimble Storage - So Easy Even I Can Do It - Part Deux

Today we're going to go through Setup and it couldn't be easier!

Once you've got your array racked, stacked and powered you can setup the array in a couple ways.  If you want to install it through the serial cable, you can do that, but I prefer using the Nimble Setup Manager!  This way I can configure it from the comfort of my own cube, it's warmer and less noisy than the datacenter.

If you haven't downloaded the Nimble Setup Manager, head over to InfoSight.  Click on the download cloud and select Integration Kits, Windows Toolkit and grab the latest software version.

This is a pretty cool pack of software.  It has the Setup Manager and the Connection Manager.  I'm just going to cover the Setup Manager today.

Install the Windows Toolkit on a Windows machine on the same network the array has been plugged into.  The Setup Manager will detect the new array on the network.  How cool is that?!?!

Launch the Nimble Setup Manager by clicking on the icon.

I still can't get over how cool this is!  There's my array!  Select the array you want to configure and click next.

You'll get this information box telling you what IP address your browser will go to to access the array.  Yep, I know that's not a good looking IP address, don't worry, trust the Setup Manager and click OK.  :-)

Now we need to make a decision, is this a stand-alone array or do we want to join it to an existing group?  Let's start off with a stand-alone array and in another blog I'll show you how joining an existing group works.

We'll need to enter in some information now.

1. Array Name
2. Group Name
3. Management IP
4. Netmask
5. Default Gateway
6. Domain Name
7. Admin Password

If this is a stand alone array the array and group names are just names you'd like to call the array and what the group the array belongs to is called.

The management IP is the IP address you're going to use to administer the array.  Don't worry about data IP's just yet, but we will need them soon.

The netmask, default gateway and domain name will depend on your environment.

Enter in a password for your array.  If you don't like it, you can always change it later, but don't forget it!  :-)

Next you should see this message telling you you're ready to proceed to the next steps using the management IP you just entered!

Cool, now you'll be greeted by the Nimble Storage Login Page.  Enter in the password you just entered.

Now we're going to setup the advanced networking.  Remember when we put in the Management IP?  Well, we can use Management for management and data, but this is more of a temporary configuration and it's better to separate the traffic.  We'll use 10gig ports for data and 1gig ports for management.  So on this page we need to do a couple things.  We need to change the Traffic Type from Mgmt + Data to just Mgmt and add our data subnets using the Add Data Subnet button.

Now we're looking good!  I've switched Management to Mgmt only, I've added two data networks called iSCSI-A and iSCSI-B and have configured them to be Data only.  You'll need a couple of IP addresses for your Data Discovery.

Notice the Management subnet no longer has a Discovery IP address?  That's by design since it will no longer be serving data and will only be used for management.

And you'll notice I also highlighted MTU.  I've selected Standard, but you can select Jumbo Frames if you're using them.

Now that we've created our subnets we need to assign them to ports.  In my image all the ports are 1gig.  On newer arrays 10gig ports would be available for you.  It's super easy to select what subnet you want for each port, just click the pull down and select one.

And here's a finished Network Settings.  I've put Management on eth1 and iSCSI-A and iSCSI-B on eth5 and eth6.  Remember we had to put in an IP address for our data subnets?  Those were for discovery and those will be the ones you use to let clients discover your Nimble array.  The Data IP Address is the actual IP data will go over.

Diagnostic IP's are in case something happens to the management IP and you need a direct way to connect to the individual Controllers.

Now we put in our Domain Name and DNS Servers.  If you only have one DNS server, that's fine.

Select your Time Zone and the name or IP address of your NTP server.

Remember all the blogs I've written about the excellent Nimble Support and InfoSight?  Well here's how you get all the information to them.  Put in a From Address, that's who emails will be from and a To Address, who receives them.  If you want Nimble Support to be aware of your array and all the goodness that comes along with it, select Send event data to Nimble Storage Support and Send AutoSupport data to Nimble Storage Support.  If you're not able to use these features, talk with your Nimble Account Manager.

That's it!  You're ready to rock and roll!

I hope you've enjoyed the first part of my Nimble Storage - So Easy Even I Can Do It - Part Deux!  Be on the look out for the next blog.

Until Next Time!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Nimble Storage InfoSight To The Rescue!

Hi Friends,

If you’ve followed my blog for some time now you might have read an article or two about a product Nimble Storage created called InfoSight.  Hey, if not, we’re all busy and I’ll forgive you this time…

If you’d like to learn more about InfoSight visit the Nimble Storage website, but here’s a small bit about the coolness of InfoSight, taken from the Nimble Storage website.

At the heart of InfoSight is a powerful engine comprised of deep data analytics applied to telemetry data gathered from Nimble arrays deployed across the globe. More than 30 million sensor values are collected per day per Nimble Storage array.The InfoSight Engine transforms the millions of gathered data points into actionable information that allows customers to realize significant operational efficiency through: 

  • Maintaining optimal storage performance
  • Projecting storage capacity needs
  • Proactively monitoring storage health and getting granular alerts

One of the more difficult things as a Sys Admin is keeping an eye on all of your servers and storage.  It seems Sys Admins are always being told to do more with less and let’s face it; it can be a bit overwhelming trying to keep on top of every problem unless it’s something big and nasty.  And none of us want it to get to that point!  With Nimble Storage InfoSight, we’ve got your back!   

I was in a meeting today with one of the Nimble Storage Sales Engineers and he told me an InfoSight story that I thought was so cool that I asked him to be a guest blogger.  With that, I’d like to introduce Mark Antonaccio.  Take it away Mark!

Thanks Neil! This story starts back in May of this year. I had just started as an SE at Nimble, and right away I experienced the power of predictive analytics and the value it could bring to my customer. I’ll leave this customer unnamed, but I can say that they are a global leader in the payments industry. They have multiple Nimble storage arrays, and they use InfoSight to proactively manage the performance and capacity of each. Here’s the story:

Our customer received an email from Nimble support that notified them of a new software release. I met with them to discuss upgrading their arrays to the latest version, informing them that it would provide new functionality, including per-volume encryption and cache pinning. I also opened a ticket with Nimble support to determine if any additional steps would need to be taken as part of the upgrade. Here’s what we found out - the array was actually blacklisted and was currently not eligible to be upgraded. InfoSight showed that we needed to correct a latency issue due to cache underprovisioning and possible sequential I/O contention. So right away, InfoSight saved us from moving forward with the upgrade and possibly inducing performance problems in a production environment. Now, we needed to dig deeper and find the root cause. Our wonderful Nimble support folks were on the case, and they quickly found the cause of the cache issue. Log volumes were being placed into cache with no benefit, reducing the available cache space for DB volumes that could utilize it. These log volumes were misconfigured within the Nimble array. There was a straightforward, non-disruptive, and simple fix that could be performed by one of our capable Storage Architects. We wrote a script that automated the creation of a new performance policy that did not cache data, and applied it to all of the log volumes. We then saw the cache utilization drop, clearing the way for the upgrade to take place.

That is awesome Mark!  Thank you so much for sharing this story with my readers!  I can't say enough cool things about InfoSight.  Knowledge is power and InfoSight gives you the knowledge and power you need to keep your environment running in tip-top shape!

Until Next Time!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Nimble Storage - So Easy Even I Can Do It - Part Deux - Introduction

Hi Friends,

It's been awhile since I wrote the "So Easy Even I Can Do It" series for Nimble Storage.  When I started we were on 1.x CASL code and lots has changed, but not how easy it is to setup a Nimble Array.  Yes, there are more features and yes there are a few more steps, but it's still super easy to do.

Be on the lookout for the NEW and improved Nimble Storage - So Easy Even I Can Do It series!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BrainWavez Episode 33: OpenStack – Everything You Wanted To Know, But Were Afraid To Ask

Hi Friends,

Got a great BrainWavez episode for you today!  I talk with Jay and Binh about OpenStack!  What it is, what are the components that make up OpenStack, what it means to the cloud market and how Nimble Storage is getting involved.  We had a great time recording this episode and it's filled with great OpenStack information!  Huge thanks to Jay and Binh!!

For iTunes users: [iTunes]
For everyone else: [mp3]