I'm told by my storage people there is a built in utility for LUN migrations which makes it really quite straightforward.
vSphere has a data recovery plugin but to be honest it doesn't seem to fit our environment due to the large number of VM's we're backing up. You almost have to have a second storage area for the backed up VM's but that's a lot of space to maintain and a short amount of time to perform backups. Like I said earlier, I was just brought onboard but I'm going to look into multiple backup schedules or something because right now that data recovery VM just isn't cutting it.
If you're talking about Storage vMotion, no, I was reffering specifically about migrating the LUNS themselves. But yes, our current plan is to present new storage from the XIV to vSphere as new datastores (I was told 1TB LUNS and no higher!) and then use Storage vMotion to move the VM's to the new SAN. Right now it's just a matter of identifying the critical VM's and making sure that they aren't moved until we've seen a couple of other VM's go flawlessly.
Anyone else hit me up because I'm knee-deep in this now.
Alright, mid-project, so here's an update:
- IBM CE's came out and setup the XIV as expected.
- We had heating issues immediately! Make sure you get the heat output on the XIV and talk to your datacenter cooling team, this thing runs so hot it's unbelievable.
- In order to cool our datacenter we had to force on the 4th cooler, and it's barely keeping it under 74 degrees.
- We also purchased a n6040 IBM Storage System, which is actually just a re-branded NetApp. In fact, I think IBM simply changed the front face-plate, TBH.
- This thing has 1TB of SSD "Flash Cache", which is supposed to speed up pretty much all traffic due to the read speed.
- A NetApp (or Network Appliance) is basically a gateway device for other storage. So, you buy a NetApp and then you can add any amount of storage you want by connecting to it on the backend through the NetApp. In our case, we are connecting to the XIV.
- The NetApp can act like a SAN or a NAS device or a combination of anything you want.
- I'm EXTREMELY IMPRESSED with the NetApp and will be attending training later to learn more about the CLI functions (GUI-only so far).
- The NetApp is also the gateway for our VMware datastores.
- This is the most important part of it all. With the NetApp as our head in front of the XIV, we are seeing nearly 60-70% data deduplication on our datastores. *Oh yeah, the NetApp offers datadedupe as well:)
More to come later as I test. Right now we've made several new datastores on the NetApp (hosted XIV space) and I'll post more once I have IOPS and read/write speed info as we're migrating our first server this weekend!
I am not a storage guy, but that is maybe why I like the XIV. It is easy to manage.
At the place I used to work at we had all EMC SANs. They were pretty good, but it would always take a fair while to provision storage, as the SAN people had to write up and QA scripts to add storage. Now with the XIV it is a 2 second job.
There are more disk failures, but it is easily manageable.
I guess the main advantages of EMC is you will always get the new features first, for obvious reasons. XIV currently does not support VAAI on vSphere.
True, XIV doesn't currently support VAAI but I'm sure it will soon (https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/anthonyv/entry/vmware_vsphere_4_1_vaai_and_xiv3?lang=en)
This current lack of support hasn't caused us any issues in our environment as we're using vStorage API with NetBackup and the backups are working great, no agents and good performance
My personal view is that I think XIV is a great fit with VMWare as it makes the whole infrastructure so easy to manage and scale as required. XIV is never going to be the fastest performing storage in the world, but I don't see that as an issue as if you really need the true high end performance for your servers/storage, generally you wouldn't be putting those types of servers into VMWare anyway.
The other great thing about XIV is that it lifts some of the smoke and mirrors around managing storage as no longer can the SAN guys complain about how hard their lives are as with XIV it's so easy
IBM now has VAAI support on XIV.
I have some great news regarding VAAI support for XIV.
Let me detail the current situation:
- VMware has approved the IBM driver for VAAI and we can now release it to the public. The IBM_VAAIP_MODULE plugin will be available shortly from the ibm.com website. When the release URL is available I will update this post. In the meantime you can get the driver from your XIV TA (Technical Assistant) or IBM Account Team. If they have somehow missed the news, get them to talk to their XIV Product Manager (or they can always talk to me!).
- The VMware Hardware Compatibility guide found here shows that VMware support the three VAAI primitives with XIV, if you are using ESX 4.1 or ESX 4.1 U1 and your XIV is on firmware release 10.2.4 or higher.
- XIV firmware release 10.2.4a is available for install. Installation of this firmware is non-disruptive (concurrent) and will be performed by IBM.
- The VAAI driver and installation of the 10.2.4a code are all supplied free of charge.
So what should your plan be?
- Ensure VAAI is disabled on your ESX hosts.
- Talk to your local XIV TA or IBM Service Representative (SSR) and arrange to have 10.2.4a firmware installed.
- When 10.2.4a code is installed, you can then begin installing the VAAI driver on each of your ESX 4.1 servers. You will need to reboot each server to install the driver.
You can go larger on your data stores, in the XIV console you would set them to 2181 for a perfect 2TB lun. VAAI in 10.2.4.a and the appropriate drivers will give you a better bang for your buck. I'd use 8MB block as well.
there is a newly released vcenter plugin that gives you the ability to manage/create luns from vcenter as well.