Synology NFS VAAI

A few days ago Synology released their latest DSM version 5.1-5004. I have been impressed with the amount of innovation and enterprise features Synology brings to the storage market. It’s with this new release that Synology adds NFS VAAI support to the already ISCSI VAAI support. The two currently supported primitives for NFS are Full File Clone and Reserve Space. I hope Synology also considers adding additional primitives for NFS support in the near future!

In order to take advantage of the two new primitives you need to install the NFS VAAI plugin. This is basically a VIB that can be installed on each host through update manager or esxcli commands.

1)    Copy the VIB to a temp location /tmp

2)    Run esxcli software vib install –v esx-nfsplugin.vib

3)    Reboot host

Once installation is complete you can check to see if the VIB was successfully installed by running:  esxcli software vib list | more

This will list all VIBs installed. As you can see I have the PernixData VIB installed in addition to the NFS VIB. 

 

You can also check in vCenter if “Hardware Acceleration” says “Supported” You can see that my ISCSI and NFS datastores from my Synology both are supported! Since PernixData now supports NFS, I can now start realizing IO accelerartion for VM's using NFS! 

 

Pernixdata - Solving the I/O Bottleneck

As some of you already know Pernixdata came out of stealth yesterday. I have been eagerly waiting for this time to share how I think Poojan Kumar (CEO) & Satyam Vaghani (CTO) and their great team plan to take the lead in a new market opportunity.

I have had the privilege and opportunity of testing the Flash Virtualization Platform from Pernixdata and I can honestly tell you that it works and it works well. The technology is truly revolutionary and thus plan to post several times over the coming weeks and months about this new innovation.

The best way to describe the “FVP –Flash Virtualization Platform” is to look at it from a data tier perspective instead of just a caching solution. It’s easy just to call it a caching solution, because there isn’t anything like it. Its the breadth of this new platform that masters the I/O workloads and commoditizes the use of Flash in compute. 

 

The I/O bottleneck between storage and compute has hampered the industry for sometime. This started to change when VMware released their VAAI API, but adoption was slow and expensive. Purchasing additional arrays was not the answer from a financial or technological perspective. There really needed to be a new technology to bring everything together. This is where Pernixdata comes in to play, solving the scale and performance problems that have plagued many in the industry. This is done without vendor lock in and architectural changes to the datacenter, saving organizations thousands of dollars.

To join the beta program, send an email request to beta@pernixdata.com

Congratulations Pernixdata for creating a solution for the SMB, and Enterprise market that solves a known virtualization/Cloud problem. 

Clustered VAAI?

In reading the recent updated VMware vSphere Storage API Array Integration (VAAI) White Paper, I noticed a statement that caught my eye.

"VMware does not support VAAI primitives on VMFS with multiple LUNs/extents if they all are on different arrays.."

I understand the difficulty in doing this, but it makes me wonder if the coming VMware vVOLs will be the technology that gives the vAdmin the capability of crossing array bounderies on a single LUN that supports VAAI primitives. 

If anybody has thoughts or insight to this, please tweet or comment.

 

 

 

Synology RS3412RPxs Review

Recently I noticed that the only sub $10,000 SAN that is on VMware's VAAI HCL list is the Synology RS3412RPxs SAN. This SAN doesn't currently support all the VAAI API's, but it does support ATOMIC test and set.

http://www.synology.com/releaseNote_enu/RS3411RPxs.php?lang=us

http://www.synology.com/products/product.php?product_name=RS3412xs&lang=us

Their DSM 4.0 is really refined and the setup was very easy. I bought the RPxs model, because it has dual power supplies. I thought about purchasing a 10G NIC card and then load this unit with SSD drives (which is supported), but then I thought that it might be better and cheaper to load the unit with Seagate Enterprise drives at 500GB a piece. This will give me 10 spindles with smaller drives sizes, and hopefully giving me more iOPS at a lower cost. This unit fully loaded with drives using my configuration was only about $6,000!!

To get "Hardware Supported"for VAAI on ESXi 5.0, remember to setup a iSCSi file level LUN. This will allow ESXi to use the Synology for VAAI.

I haven't done much in regards of in-depth testing, but I'm currently running our highly utilized production Exchange mailbox store on it and it's running circles around our EMC VNXe that also has Exchange server running on it.

So far I recommend Synology, it's giving us features that the big boys only give us at $25k and above. Give me your feedback and questions.