Tuesday, 17 October 2017

VMware vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool

Recently was going through one of the blog by VMware which talks about the VMware vSphere 6.5 topology and upgrade planning tool, the tool has been designed keeping in mind the vSphere upgrade from 5.5 or 6.0 to 6.5 and focuses on new vSphere 6.5 deployments. If you have not yet heard about this tool you should find this blog useful, the tool is free of cost by answering a series of simple questions you can receive recommendations/KB articles and reference documents which can help with new deployments / the upgrade process.
New vSphere 6.5 Deployment option is straightforward wherein we must select the number of vCenter Servers we are planning to use in the deployment + approximate number 6.5 ESXi + whether the enhanced linked mode will be used or not and last but not the least whether you would like to make use of vCenter HA which is new feature that has been made available with vSphere 6.5 which provides us with Active / Passive and witness nodes for vCenter Server with Recovery Time Objective of 5 Minutes we can read more about vCenter Server High Availability in the blog 10 Things We Need to Know about vCenter Server 6.5. Once we answered all the questions the Topology and Upgrade Planning tool give us the recommended topology as shown below where I have selected vCenter HA and Enhanced Linked Mode.

If we have plans to Upgrade to vSphere 6.5 we can simply go to vSphere 6.5 Topology and Upgrade Planning Tool and select Upgrade to vSphere 6.5 by providing details including whether the current version, we are running is 5.5 or 6.0. Based on whether the current vCenter version is 5.5 or 6.0 we can provide further details for example we are using single vCenter with Embedded PSC or External PSC or maybe we are using multiple vCenter Servers with Embedded / External PSC. Based on the option we select the next questions may vary more like a flowchart wherein we specify yes or no and the next question depends on last response.

Note: If we are running with vCenter Server version older than 5.5 we must first upgrade them to vSphere 5.5 or vSphere 6.0 before we continue.

Enhanced Linked mode not selected, with embedded PSC and upgrading my vCenter Server Appliance from 5.5 to 6.5. 

After browsing through the tool, I must say that I am impressed with the information this tool can provide, using this tool we no longer need to hop in to multiple sites for deployment guides and reference architecture, rather we can answer questions here and let the tool give us all the pre-and post upgrades guides and upgrade resources that we need for the upgrade. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Vembu BDR Suite - Free vs Paid Edition

It's been more than an year that I have been associated with Vembu which is a leading software product development that has been focusing on Backup and Disaster Recovery software for data centers over a decade. It’s flagship offering- the BDR Suite of products consists of VMBackup for VMware vSphere and Hyper-V, Disk Image backups for Physical machines, Workstations. Backing up individual files and folders to physical servers and cloud can be performed with Vembu Network Backup and Online Backup respectively. 

Moreover, it has multiple flexible deployment like on-site, off-site and to the cloud through single user interface. Another offering of the Vembu BDR Suite is to be able to configure item level backups like Microsoft Exchange Servers, Sharepoint, SQL, My SQL, Office 365, G Suite etc., This latest version of Vembu BDR Suite v3.8.0 has come out with the few notable features in two major offerings- one unlimited features for three virtual machines and the second thing being able to backup unlimited virtual machines with restricted features.

This latest Free edition of Vembu BDR Suite was designed understanding the setbacks by any common IT Administrator. Thence  making Vembu an important name in the market for backup vendor for its enterprise level product for SMBs. This free edition is free forever and IT administrators can continue managing their backups with the trial version without any feature restriction. Let's take a plunge into the detailed features of this Free edition.

Unlimited features for Limited environment (3 VMs)

Using the Vembu BDR Suite in its trial version does not require purchasing a license. This category of the Free edition offers unlimited features and few of them are listed below:

  1. Agentless VMware backups for multiple VMs: Configuring backups for protecting multiple VMs without physically installing any agent.

  1. Disk Image Backups from BDR Server: Disk Image Backups can now be configured and managed via Vembu BDR Server. Relying on proxy agents is no longer required, unless it’s a distributed deployment which require individual proxy agent installation.

  1. Full VM Backup: Will backup the entire VM including OS, applications and the data.

  1. Storage Pooling: Storage Pools are used to aggregate the space available from different volumes and utilise them as a storage for specific backups. The hybrid volume manager of Vembu BDR Server supports scalable and extendable backup storage for different storage media such as Local drives, NAS(NFS and CIFS) and SAN(iSCSI and FC). Vembu BDR provides storage pooling option for both backup level and group level.

  1. LAN free data transfer using SAN and Hot- Add modes:Vembu VM backup support Direct SAN, Hot-Add and network transport mode to backup the VM data.

  1. Auto Authorization: Enabling Auto authorization in Vembu BDR allows proxy agents to get registered to backup server using unique registration key generated by respective BDR server.

  1. Automatic Backup Scheduling: Backups can be automatically scheduled as per the user's flexibility

  1. Encryption Settings: Users can now provide additional security to their disk based backup jobs by assigning custom-password to backup server, such that all their backup data will be encrypted and can be restored/accessed only by providing the custom-password.

  1. FLR from GUI (Backup & Replication): File Level Recovery(FLR) is now available for both backup and replication jobs where user can choose specific files and folders from VMware/Hyper-V/Disk Image backups and VMware replication, to be restored in a quick fashion.
 All the above major features are included in this free edition for 3 virtual machines. Let’s get to know those restricted features for unlimited virtual machines.

Restricted Features for unlimited virtual machines:

All the features mentioned above for limited business environment will be applicable for this categories with few restrictions in the features. They are:

  1. Application aware processing: Configuring them for a Hyper-V environment is restricted but that does not hold good with VMware vSphere Esxi(s).

  1. Changed Block Tracking: Only the incremental blocks which are changed since the previous backup will been tracked and  backed up in the successive backup schedule thereby reducing disk space and time

  1. Retention Policies: User can retain any number of recovery points of his own choice. They come to great use when it comes to store the backup data.

  1. Near CDP: Incremental backup can be scheduled every 15 mins to ensure the RPO < than 15 mins

  1. Quick VM recovery to ESXi: Incremental backup can be scheduled every 15 mins to ensure the RPO < than 15 mins.

  1. Automated Backup verification: Verify the recoverability of the backed up images and screenshot of the booted Image backup will be mailed

Backup and recovery holds good for both physical and virtual environments and makes granular recovery possible with great ease.You will able to scale out your storage, secure your individual backup jobs with in-built deduplication, encryption and compression that makes its own file system called, the VembuHIVE.

This latest Free edition thus becomes one of the most business-friendly and a complete backup solution. That being said,  It can be suitable for both testing and production environments! Their out-of-the box policy- backup for all was hailed even at the recent VMworld event, Las Vegas.
Well, there is nothing left to ponder now. It’s time to make the right decision. It could be done right away with getting started with their Free edition of Vembu BDR Suite on a 30 days free trial.
Click here

Sunday, 24 September 2017

VMware vRealize Automation Architecture

Recently got chance to work on VMware vRealize Automation 7.x wherein I have seen the distributed deployment of vRealize Automation running with multiple F5 Load balancers, so thought of dedicating an article talking about the deployment and the various architectural components involved, this article provides a quick reference to the original post dedicated as Guest Blog on Vembu blog and give few other reference blogs that I have dedicated few months back. 

Before we proceed further with vRealize Automation Architecture let’s have a look on the posts that I have dedicated already talking about Installation of VMware vRealize Automation 6.2 vRealize Automation Installation Part 1 and vRealize Automation Installation Part 2

Another article dedicated which talks about the various layers (Infrastructure, Infrastructure Fabric, Fabric Group, Tenant and Business Group) and the admins responsible for managing each of these layers including (System Admin, Infra Admin, Fabric Admin, Tenant Admin) vRA Layers and Roles.

Apart from the installation and various layers/admins involved in VMware vRealize Automation we have also seen how we can provision machines in vRA and how to manage it. We also discussed about blueprints, multimachine blueprints, custom properties and last but not the least we talked about What’s New in vRealize Automation 7 where we discussed about the various updated features in vRA 7 (New Deployment Model Based on Needs – Minimal and Enterprise Distributed and High Availability) Installations.

Talks about the various deployment models i.e.
Simple Deployment Architecture which deploys vRealize Automation with few components including vRA appliance, Identity Manager, vRealize Orchestrator and vPostrgres Database and IaaS server.

Distributed Logic Deployment uses load balancer to provide more scalable and Highly Available Cloud Infrastructure

Part 2 of VMware vRealize Automation Architecture dedicated on Vembu Blog as Guest Bloggers talks about the core vRealize Automation and IaaS components involved and the functionalities of each of these components.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

What’s New Vembu Backup & Disaster Recovery Suite v3.8.0 – Part 1

Recently Vembu announced the latest version of their Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) Suite v3.8.0. I upgraded and tested the Vembu BDR Server in my Home Lab and thought of dedicating an article to discuss the new features and various enhancements that have been made available in the new release

Auto Authorization

To overcome situations where the backup data might be sent to an unknown server possibly because of human errors causing the sensitive Backup data to be vulnerable can be avoided by enabling the Auto authorization feature in Vembu BDR v3.8.0. It allows proxy agents to get registered to the backup server using a unique registration key generated by the respective Vembu BDR Server ensuring only the authorized clients can be connected to the server. 

How it Works

Auto Authorization feature can be enabled under Management > Settings > Auto Authorization. Once it is enabled, the Registration Key will be generated. This Passkey should be used at the time of client setup which will ensure the connection work between the Client and Server.

File Level Recovery

File Level Recovery is now available for both backup and replication jobs where the user can choose specific files and folders from VMware/Hyper-V/Disk Image backups and VMware replication. File level recovery option allows recovering individual files and folders of the image based backups from the console itself, without recovering the machine. 

Encryption Settings

Encryption settings option can be used to provide an additional security to image based backup jobs (both physical and virtual)  by assigning a custom-password to the backup server, ensuring all the backup data is encrypted and can be restored and accessed only by providing the custom-password.

I will be dedicating an another article soon to talk about some more features available in Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery v3.8.0 as soon as they are tested in my Home Lab environment. Meanwhile here is the link to download the latest Vembu BDR Suite.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Upgrading VMFS 5 datastore to VMFS 6

Recently got request to create a Monster VM wherein the CPU and Memory requirements was higher but the disk requirements was way to high when compared with other Virtual Machines,after carefully considering the current datastore space utilization I requested my Storage team to give me an additional LUN so as I can go ahead and create a new datastore and fit this new Monster Virtual Machine.

While working on this request I realised that this new datastore will be VMFS6 and I can considered this as an opportunity to upgrade other VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6 so followed below steps to upgrade VMFS5 datastore to VMFS6. 

But before we proceed further and understand the prerequisites and the steps involved during the upgrade process let's understand VMFS6 which is new file system in VMware vSphere 6.5 which supports 512e advanced format drive and provides automatic UNMAP ensuring freed blocks information is passed to the backend storage device.

Ensure all your ESXi hosts and the vCenter Server are already upgraded to VMware vSphere 6.5, if ESXi host's is not upgraded to vSphere 6.5 it will loose connectivity to the new VMFS6 datastore. In my case all the ESXi on which the old VMFS5 datastore was mounted were already upgraded to vSphere 6.5.

The plan was to upgrade both my VMFS5 Datastore Datastore 1 and Datastore 2 running in a Storage DRS Cluster to VMFS6, both the datastore were running Production Virtual Machines so I had to be extra cautious will performing this activity, so proceeded further with creation of new datastore Datastore 3 VMFS6 and started storage vMotion to migrate all the Virtual Machines from Datastore 1 to newly created VMFS6 Datastore 3.

This was the most boring step during the upgrade because the Virtual Machines took their own time to migrate but at the same time I had to pay a lot of attention when the migration was happening ensuring the Virtual Machines are successfully migrated, I migrated 2 Virtual Machines at the same time because there were more than 30 Virtual Machines running on this datastore however it's best if we do it one Virtual Machine at a time.

Note : Another way of evacuating Datastore 1 is to put it in Maintenance Mode and let the migration happen automatically if it is part of Storage DRS Cluster.

Once all my Virtual Machines were successfully migrated from Datastore1 to newly created VMFS6 Datastore 3, it was time to put Datastore 1 in maintenance mode and move it out of the SDRS cluster but before doing so it's wise to check if there are no other files on this datastore as sometime you may see some Orphaned Virtual Machines folders residing on that datastore and if that is the case make sure to move them one by one to the new datastore.

After cross verifying the datastore files Datastore 1 entered the maintenance mode and unmounted it from all the ESXi hosts and then deleted it, do not proceed further with the unmount / deletion process if your datastore is not empty.

Another important point worth considering before you delete your datastore is to check datastore backing LUN and make sure you take screenshot or remember the name of that LUN because we need it later when creating the datastore.

It was time to create a new datastore wherein I used the same name Datastore 1 VMFS6 and left all other options (Block Size, Space Reclamation Granularity and Space Reclamation Priority) unchanged.

Mounted it to all the ESXi hosts and did a quick rescan on each ESXi hosts and then moved all the Virtual Machines back to this newly created Datastore, used same steps to upgrade Datastore 2 as well.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 - What's New

Recently VMware announced VROPS 6.6 and I got the chance to work on it during the upgrade process and seen some cool new features and functionalities that has been added within the product.

This article provides a quick overview about the series of VROPS 6.6 What's New articles I have started at Vembu Blog as a Guest Blogger here is the link for reference which talks about one of the new feature i.e getting started with VROPS dashboard.

VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.6 - What's New Part 1
It also give us a quick demo about another of new feature i.e Work Load balance that has been made available in vROPS 6.6.

Workload Balance in vROPS6.6

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Nakivo Backup & Replication v7.2 Beta Now Available

Recent Nakivo Backup & Replication announced Nakivo Backup & Replication v7.2 Beta  which is now available to download with lot of cool new features and functionalities like.

Asustor NAS Support

With Asustor NAS Support we can turn ASUSTOR NAS into a VM backup appliance, which help us to offload VMware or Hyper- V Infrastructure to a low cost NAS and to  keep our backup software,hardwarestorage, and data deduplication within the same device like we have  been doing with QNAPSYNOLOGY and Western Digital NAS.

Transaction Log Truncation for Microsoft SQL Server

Another feature that has been made available in Nakivo Backup & Replication v7.2 Beta which can automatically truncate transaction log files post successful Virtual Machine Backup or replica is created, preventing log files from growing.

Instant Object Recovery for Microsoft SQL

With this feature we can instantly recover SQL objects (database and tables) directly from compressed deduplicated VM Backups, when working on recovery of the objects we can recover the objects back to SQL Server or to a different SQL Server.

Flexible Job Scheduler

Enhancements has been made in Job Scheduling which helps us to add multiple schedules to single job, allowing us to run a single job at different times for example on weekday and weekend wherein we can make the Job to run on Weekdays in night when we have less workload and at the same time we don't have to run the same job in night on weekend because of less workload we can run it in day time as we may have less work load over weekend.

Calendar Dashboard

With this new feature we can view all your jobs on a calendar like your meetings and quickly find free slots in a backup window like we make use of scheduling assistant for our meetings. This feature also helps us to schedule new jobs from the calendar by providing a birds-eye view for all our jobs. To make this feature even more useful, calendars are integrated right into the job wizard, so you can schedule a job right in the job wizard.

Download your free trial here Try Nakivo Backup & Replication v7.2 Beta

Monday, 10 July 2017

10 Things we need to know - Vembu Cloud

I have already dedicated couple of articles talking about Vembu BDR wherein we have discussed about Top 5 reasons to choose Vembu BDRProduct Review Vembu BDR and we have also seen how we can Replicate Virtual Machine using Vembu BDR.

Dedicated this article to talk about 10 Important points we need to know about Vembu cloud services wherein we will be talking about Vembu CloudDRVembu Online BackupVembu SaaS Backup and Vembu BDR360.

  • Vembu CloudDR provide an extra data protection to the backed-up data by replicating the backed-up data to Vembu Cloud hosted in AWS, it also gives us an option to create a redundant copy of the backed-up data from multiple backup servers to Vembu cloud storage. In a case of backup server crash or hardware failure or any other disaster, the replicated data which is highly secure as it uses AES 256-Bit encryption can be restored from the Vembu cloud anywhere and anytime.
  • Vembu CloudDR services can be availed on a Pay-as-you go basis with 10GB of free storage with its availability in various regions including America, Asia Pacific and EMEA and it also gives us multiple options to restore including live VM boot on Vembu cloudrestoring via the internet anytime anywhere, and we can also download the restored data to USB drive.
  • Vembu Online Backup provides end-to-end secure backup for Windows, Linux & Mac Machines and applications like Exchange, SharePoint and SQL and is designed to meet compliance requirements based on local regulatory laws.
  • With Vembu Online Backup we can backup individual files and folders on Windows, Linux and Mac Machines irrespective of the fact whether they are hosted in virtual or physical environment, these files can be backed-up without any restriction in terms of size and the type of folders we have planned for backup.
  • When using the Vembu Online Backup for Microsoft SQL backup we can make use of MS SQL plugin which can help us to backup critical database and tables to Vembu Cloud and an entire SQL server can be recreated directly from Vembu Cloud.
  • When working with Vembu Online Backup administrators get a variety of scheduling options to choose from depending upon the requirements on how frequently the backups needs to be performed, as far as the retention of the backed-up data is concerned we can choose from either time-based retention or version based retention.
  • It’s time to consider another service which is part of Vembu Cloud and provides us backup solution for Office 365 and Google AppsVembu SaaS backup provides us secure cloud backup for backing up emails, drives, calendar, and contacts in office 365 environments.
  • Vembu SaaS backup is much needed to avoid any potential data loss for our business which can happen because of Hackingunauthorised access and data loss as it provides us various features including Automated Scheduling (Runs Backup on Daily Basis), Quick Search (Search email’s, documents and contacts while configuring the backup).
  • With Vembu SaaS backup we can download our backed-up google documents with single click means there is no need to restore the user account to access the file irrespective of the location and time.
  • Another solution available as part of Vembu Cloud is Vembu BDR 360, which provides us centralized management and monitoring portal to have a better visibility of our IT infrastructure currently backed-up by Vembu Backup and Disaster recovery solutions, with Vembu BDR 360 we can get a 360 degree birds eye view for all our Virtual Machines, Physical Servers, Applications and all the endpoints being protected by Vembu BDR suite.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Back to Basics - Part 2 Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud aka EC2

As we have recently started another Back to Basics Series for AWS related blog posts, this is our second blog post dedicated toward the series. In our first blog post Back to Basics - Part 1 An Introduction to Amazon Web Services we had a quick overview about AWS and also talked about the various associate and professional level certifications available, dedicated this article to talk about Amazon EC2.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Is one of the most widely used web service which provides us resizable compute capacity and helps us to reduces the overall time which is required to obtain and boot new Amazon EC2 instance to minutes.Security is not a problem because we can make use of security groups and network access lists to control the incoming/outgoing connections of our instances.

When launching an EC2 Instance the initial software that run's on it is known as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) which includes operating system, application or system software. While working with AMI there are various options available to us to choose from including the one which is Published by AWS with different versions of operating system (Windows and Linux), The AWS Marketplace an online store where we can find the desired software from different vendors which will be running on our EC2 instance, we can also generate an Amazon Machine Image from an existing instance last but not the least we can also make us of AWS Import/Export Service and can create images which could be VMDK, VHD or OVA. 

When it comes to buying an EC2 Instance there are various options available to choose from depending upon the load/traffic/requirements.

On Demand Instance let us pay for compute capacity on an hourly basis and we can increase or decrease compute capacity depending on the demands of our application and can considered as one good option when we are planning to run our application for the very first time on AWS.

Reserved Instances will gives us the assurance of the instances which will always be available for us in the availability zone, including a discounted price as compared to the On demand Instance. When choosing our reserved instance we have three different options to choose from i.e All Upfront - Where we are paying for the entire reservation upfront, Partial Upfront - Paying small charges upfront and remaining as monthly instalments and the last option is No Upfront - Nothing to be paid in advance rather in monthly instalments.

Spot Instances allows us to specify the maximum hourly price which we are willing to pay to run a particular instance type. Amazon EC2 sets a Spot Price for each instance type in each Availability Zone, which is the price all customers will pay to run a Spot instance for that given period. One of the use case for spot instance could be the workloads which are not time critical wherein we can specify the price we are willing to pay and when our bid price is above the current spot price will receive the requested instance.

Dedicated Hosts as the name suggest is the EC2 Server with the overall capacity to be utilized by us and helping us reduce costs by using our existing server-bound software licenses, including Windows Server, SQL Server, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (subject to your license terms), and can also meet compliance requirements.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Back to Basics - Part 1 An Introduction to Amazon Web Services

Spending time these days to learn about Amazon Web Services and as part of this journey trying to make some notes for my own reference which I can refer while preparing for the AWS certifications, so thought of making these notes available on my blog as a series of blog posts and named them as Back to Basics - Amazon Web Services Part 1, Part 2 and so on as I have been doing it for VMware Back to Basics Series.

Will start this Back to Basics Series blog - Part 1 For Amazon Web Services by giving a quick overview about Amazon Web Services and the various certifications available depending upon our areas of interest (ArchitectDeveloper or SysOps).

Overview Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services is the infrastructure service (Compute + Network) which can be leveraged with storage and other services offered by Amazon that helps us to deploy services own demand without worrying about the underlying infrastructure as now we don't have to wait for the underlying hardware to be procured, rack/stack, install and configure it, with Amazon Web Services we can choose from a wide variety of services and spin them up in minutes.

Elastic Computing is the Key when working with AWS which allows us to Grow or reduce  in minutes not just the compute resources but the storage resources as well, we can also choose from various storage choice available and do tiering (Fast + Medium and Low Performance) as we have been doing in an on - premises environment.

When it comes to accessing the AWS environment we can make use of the AWS Management Console (Web Application for managing AWS Cloud Services), the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI to manage and automate cloud services) or AWS Software Development Kit (SDK) (Application programming interface that interacts with AWS Web Services).

As a matter of fact there are lot of services to talk about and will be trying my level best to dedicate article in Back to Basics - AWS series for each service type and demonstrate how to create/ manage those services, I have already setup my account on AWS and long back dedicated an article talking about Amazon EC2 Instance which falls under compute category, maybe i will change the heading of that post and make it as Back to Basics Part 2 - AWS EC2 Instance ensuring all the AWS Back to Basics Series blog posts are properly aligned.

AWS Certification

It's time to check various certification tracks available with AWS and believe me if you are some one who is starting his journey with AWS like me I would strongly recommend you to have some understanding about Virtualization, Cloud Computing ,Networking and Storage so as you to enjoy this Journey.

As we can see there are various tracks which are available to us depending upon our areas of interest, we can design the AWS infrastructure (AWS Certified Solution Architect Associate and Professional), or we could be the one who is going to manage the services and troubleshoot it (AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional), another track is available for those who are from Development Background (AWS Certified Developer Associate and AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional), yes we need to have both the admin skills and development related skills if we are planning to achieve professional level certification for both development and operations track.

Amazon Web Services also offers speciality certifications which can be done after we have have completed an Associate Certification in any of the roles, wherein we can may progress to a Specialty in Advanced Networking or Big Data, depending upon the areas of interest.

Important Links -

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Back to Basics - Part 16 vSphere Storage DRS

In our last blog posts related to Back to Basics Series we discussed about Virtual Machine Files (Part1)Standard Switches (Part2), vCenter Server (Part 3),Templates (Part4) vApp (Part 5), Migration (Part 6),Cloning (Part 7), Host Profiles (Part 8), Virtual Volumes AKA VVOL's (Part 9) Fault Tolerance (Part10) ,Distributed Switches (Part 11) and Distributed Resource Scheduler Part 12, vCenter Server High Availability (Part 13), Back to Basics Part -14 Creating Reports in VROPS and Part 15 Understanding VMware App Volumes
we also discussed about the various tasks related to building Home Lab Part1Part 2Part 3,Part 4 Part 5.

I Recently had to rebuild my Home Lab due to some recent hardware changes and now when the lab is up and running thought of dedicating an article talking about Storage DRS which is another important feature available in VMware vSphere but before we proceed and understand how can we enable it and what are the features provided let's have a quick overview.

Storage DRS can be enabled on datastore cluster where we can add multiple datastore which work together to balance capacity and I/O Latency, but before we enable SDRS  we need to ensure that all the datastore which are running in a cluster are either NFS or VMFS and are mounted to ESXi5.0 and later.

Storage DRS Cluster and Host DRS cluster (Host HA Cluster and Host DRS Cluster) can coexist in the environment wherein the load balancing for your compute resources taken care by Host DRS and load balancing for storage capacity / I/O latency taken care by Storage DRS can occur at the same time.

VMware vSphere Storage DRS works in pretty much the same fashion as Host DRS and helps us to initially place the Virtual Machines based on the storage capacity and I/o Latency to the respective datastore and make use of storage vMotion to balance load across the datastore which are part of the datastore cluster.

While Creating the SDRS cluster we can choose Manual Mode where vCenter Server generates recommendations for Virtual Machine Storage Migrations but won't perform any actions however when Fully Automated mode is selected the Virtual Machines Files will migrated automatically and we can also make us of Anti affinity and Affinity rules to stop/allow the Virtual machine disk to be migrated to different datastore.

Initial disk placement option comes pretty much handy at the time we are creating, cloning or migrating a Virtual Machine and instead of selecting the single datastore we select the Datastore Cluster and Storage DRS decides which datastore to be used for initial placement of the Virtual Machine Disks based on the storage usage.

All other options available including Space Balance Automation Level / I/O Balance Automation Level / Rule Enforcement Automation Level / Policy Enforcement Automation level and VM Evacuation Automation Level can be adjusted accordingly using Manual Mode or Fully Automated Mode.

Next option in the list is option either can be enabled but when disabled beware that vCenter Server doesn't consider I/O metrics when making any Storage DRS recommendations and also the initial placement of Disks would happen based on space and I/O metrics wouldn't be considered.

We can also specify the space threshold based on the Utilized Space or Minimum Free space and I/O latency threshold by specifying the minimum I/O Latency for each datastore.

Next options on the list are pretty straightforward wherein we have to select Cluster/Host and the datastore that we are planning to be part of this datastore cluster, I recently created two NFS datastore for both my ESXi so used them.