64TB VMDKs? Yes we can.

Here’s a tasty tidbit for you – in the just announced vSphere 5.5, we can now create 64TB VMDK files.  While much of vSphere 5.5 offers a 2x increase in configuration maximums over vSphere 5.1, the increase in VMDK size is a whopping 32x.  (It may actually be a bit less – I’m not sure if the -512B caveat comes into play on the virtual disk size for vSphere 5.5.  I didn’t think to test this out in the lab during my beta testing… the max size is actually 62.9TB as space is reserved in the containing VMFS for snapshots, metadata, etc.). Now just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  I … [Read more...]

PCoIP Packet Loss? Don’t Blame the Network!

Several months ago I was called into a new customer to diagnose some odd behavior in their VMware View environment. The organization was struggling with constant disconnects and generally poor performance on their View desktops. When users weren’t being randomly disconnected from their desktops, the users experienced lag when dragging windows between multiple monitors, ‘choppy’ graphics/video, and slow application launching. The problems occurred with local and remote users (both WAN and LAN could be involved).  The customer had done some troubleshooting, worked with VMware Support and the … [Read more...]

Multipathing Support in vSphere Standard Edition

A customer recently asked me if storage multipathing is supported in vSphere Standard Edition.  The customer had reviewed the vSphere Editions comparison chart at https://www.vmware.com/products/datacenter-virtualization/vsphere/compare-editions.html and saw that Standard Edition did not include the 'Storage APIs for Array Integration, Multipathing' feature.  While the answer was quick and easy, I saw a good chance to provide some detailed information to the customer to better equip them to make an informed purchasing decision and to run their vSphere environment in the long run.  So what is … [Read more...]

EMC ViPR Overview

EMC showed off ViPR (previously known as Project Bourne) at EMC World 2013. ViPR is EMC’s solution for Software Defined Storage (SDS), helping to round out the EMC² family’s (EMC, VMware, Pivotal, RSA) Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) vision. Dave provided our introductory coverage of ViPR here. Since being unveiled at EMC World, I’ve heard some confusion in social media circles over what exactly ViPR is – along the lines of ‘ask 10 people what ViPR is and get 10 different answers’. To try to clear up some confusion, here is a brief overview of ViPR. First, keep in mind that ViPR is not … [Read more...]

Pivotal Announcements

At EMC World yesterday, the newly formed joint venture between EMC and VMware, along with a strategic investment by General Electric (GE) was discussed by Paul Maritz (former VMware CEO) in the morning’s keynote address.  Pivotal combines intellectual property and engineering resources (1200 employees) from both EMC and VMware to focus on solving big and fast data problems.  Pivotal combines solutions such as EMC Greenplum and VMware Cetas to serve and analyze ‘Big Data’, VMware Gemfire to rapidly ingest ‘Fast Data’, VMware’s Spring and vFabric technologies, and Pivotal Labs software for rapid … [Read more...]

EMC Elect Shirts!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - it's awesome working for an awesome company that supports the greater EMC, VMware and Cisco communities.  The inaugural class of EMC Elect are finding the custom shirts that Clearpath had made for them at EMC World.  The shirts are just one of our ways of saying thanks to the EMC Elect for their contributions to the EMC community.  If you are one of the EMC Elect, make sure you stop by the Bloggers area at EMC World to pick up your custom shirt! … [Read more...]

EMC DataDomain DDOS 5.3 Released

The Clearpath team is attending EMC's EMCworld event in Las Vegas this week.  EMC is announcing new products and solutions, and we'll be covering those announcements in a series of posts on the Clearpath Blog.   If you're not already following Clearpath, feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed or fill out the form for email updates on our site.  The first update of the week is from Ted Evans, our Baltimore area pre-sales technical consultant.  Ted writes about EMC's DataDomain OS upgrade (DDOS) to version 5.3.  5.3 includes a host of improvements that will improve backup performance using … [Read more...]

Is Spanning VMDKs Using Windows Dynamic Disks a Good Idea?

I've had several folks ask me recently about how to support very large NTFS volumes on vSphere virtualized Windows servers.  The current limitation for a VMDK in vSphere 5.1 is 2TB minus 512B.  FWIW, a Hyper-V virtual disk in Windows Server 2012 can be up to 64TB.  Those asking the question want to support NTFS volumes greater than 2TB for a variety of purposes - Exchange databases, SQL databases, and file shares.  Windows (depending on the version and edition) can theoretically support NTFS volumes up to 256TB (depending on cluster size and assuming GPT), with files up to 256TB in size (see … [Read more...]