An Insight into vSAN-Striping

This article is a result of questions that are asked frequently by my students in vSAN classes. The subject of striping sounds very simple at first, but it turns out to be quite complex once you start going away from the simple standard examples. We shed light on the striping behavior of vSAN objects in mirroring, erasure coding, and for large objects. We also show the different striping behavior before vSAN 7 Update 1 and after.

What is striping?

Striping generally refers to a technique in which logically sequential data is segmented in such a way that successive segments are stored on different physical storage devices. Striping does not create redundancy. In fact, the opposite is true. In traditional storage, striping is also referred to as RAID 0 (note: RAID 0 -> zero redundancy). By distributing the segments over several devices that can be accessed in parallel, the overall data throughput is increased while latency is reduced.

Stripe size or stripe width is the number of segments an object is split into.

With a stripe width of 2, an object of 100 GB, for example, is split into two objects of 50 GB each and distributed across two storage devices. This corresponds to a RAID 0.

Striping with stripe width=2
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vSphere 7 Update 3 – What’s New

This blogpost was under embargo until 28th of September 2021 8:00am (PT) / 17:00 (CEST). The fact that you can read this now means that vSphere 7 Update 3 has (probably) already been released.

[Update 29th Sept 2021]: Download is not yet available. Maybe we need to wait until VMworld2021 next week.

What’s New

VMware vSphere 7 Update3 comes with a wide range of innovations. They can be categorized into the sections below:

  • Tanzu with Kubernetes
  • Lifecycle, Upgrade and Patching
  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Resource Management
  • Availability & Resiliency
  • Security & Compliance
  • Guest OS and Workloads
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • vSphere Management & APIs

Another bunch of features goes into vSAN. But these features will be covered in an extra post.

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vCenter Server update planner at work

I’d like to point your attention to a new and useful feature which was introduced with vSphere 7 update 2. It is easily being overlooked in the abundance of new features, but it does a very good job in the prior to a vCenter update.

A requirement for the Update Planner is participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP).

The first sign of a new vCenter update is a notification banner at the top of vSphere Client.

Clicking on “View Updates” will take you directly to the Update Planner. This can also be found in the menu. To do this, select the vCenter in the Hosts & Clusters view and select “Updates” > vCenter Server > Update Planner in the menu bar at the top right.

All currently available updates are being displayed. In the case shown below, the vCenter is already at 7.0 Update 2, so only one possible update is listed. If several possible updates are available, the Update Planner can check the compatibility against all of them. To do this, select the radio button of the desired update (red box).

Once an update is selected, the action field “Generate Report” turns blue and shows the two possible sub-items “Interoperability” and “Pre-Update Checks“.

Interoperabilty Checks

The Interoperability Check verifies not only the ESXi hosts but also the compatibility with other VMware products registered in vCenter.

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vExpert Pro 2021

This year I applied for the VMware vExpert Pro program for the first time and was delighted to receive the news on Monday that I had been accepted.

What is vExpert Pro?

The idea behind the launch of the vExpert Pro program is to create a worldwide network of vExperts who are willing to find, support, and mentor new vExperts in their local communities.

VMware launched the program 2018 and describes vExpert Pro as cited below.

A vExpert Pro is a current vExpert who excels in their local region, adding value to the program and giving back to the community. This person has a strong relationship with the local IT community in general, and works as an advocate for the vExpert program, recruiting, mentoring and training people.

What does vExpert Pro mean for me?

I see it as an honor and recognition for the work I have been doing in and for the community over the last several years.

There is a large number of unknown experts around the world with a high level of knowledge and a willingness to share this expertise with others. They often lack just a little push to apply for the vExpert program. Many don’t consider themselves good enough or worthy of becoming part of the vExpert program. This is where the vExpert Pro will come into play. It is their mission as mentors to assist new experts in finding their way into the community.

I’ve been actively blogging since 2010, and for a long time I too considered my own content to be insignificant or not good enough. So it finally wasn’t until 2017 that I applied to become a vExpert for the first time. Back then, I would have appreciated a mentor like a vExpert Pro. This would have certainly helped me get to the vExpert program with more confidence and also much sooner. I consider this to be my primary mission as a vExpert Pro.

I have been actively mentoring in the VMUG Mentorship Program for some time now and have been coaching two candidates (mentees) from Indonesia and Poland. Here the focus is on personal development, training and improvement of communication skills such as public speaking. The vExpert Pro is the logical next step in this activity. I would like to guide talents in my region on the path to the vExpert and support them in every way possible.

Get in touch

Have you ever thought about joining the vExpert program? Did you abandon the idea because you lacked the courage or motivation? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

You can reach out on my Twitter handle @Microlytix, or LinkedIn, or my VMUG profile.