Archive for the ‘Business Critical Applications’ Category

Heads Up Alert: vSphere 5.5 U1 NFS Random Disconnection Bug!

Just wanted to give my readers a heads up that there appears to be a bug with vSphere 5.5 U1 that impacts any NFS connected storage and can cause random disconnects. The timing of this is a coincidence that it comes right on the coat tails of my previous article Hardware Fails, Software Has Bugs and People Make Mistakes – Usually You Get All At Once! During the disconnects VM’s will appear frozen and the NFS datastores may be greyed out. This appears to impact all vendors and all environments on 5.5. U1 accessing NFS. UPDATED: There is a public KB on this problem from VMware: KB 2076392 - Frequent NFS APDs after upgrading ESXi to 5.5 U1, and VMware is working on it. According to the KB you may experience blue screens of death in Windows, and read only file systems in Linux. I’ve also experienced kernel panics and reboots in Linux as a result of this bug.

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Using DB Replay to Test Performance and Scalability of Oracle Databases

There are a number of tools available that can assist with testing performance and scalability of Oracle Databases and their platforms including Swingbench, HammerDB, Benchmark Factory for Databases, Apache JMeter, HP Load Runner (with SiteScope) and others. These all do a pretty good job and I’ve used them all at different times for different reasons. But if you want to record and replay a real production Oracle database and test it’s scalability and performance on against a test environment there is another way that’s worth considering.

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SQL and Oracle On Nutanix Papers Hot Of The Press

Two papers that have been the result of some of the work I and the team have been doing over the past couple of months at Nutanix have just been published. The first paper is the SQL Server on Nutanix Tech Note that includes a brief outline of why Nutanix is a great place to run SQL Server, as well as the SQL on Nutanix high level best practices and some performance validation results. This is really a shortened overview of the full SQL on Nutanix Best Practices Paper authored by Steven Poitras. The second paper is the Oracle on Nutanix Solution Brief. This paper is really a quick and brief high level overview of the value Nutanix can bring to customers wanting to run Oracle Databases. I would recommend you get these papers as they are hot off the presses. We will be brining you more content specifically around Oracle Database Best Practices in the very near future, including Oracle RAC, and we have a number of vSphere on Nutanix best practices papers in the works.

While I mention the topic of SQL, the book that I’m writing with Michael Corey and Jeff Szastak – Virtualizing SQL Server with VMware: Doing It Right on behalf of VMware Press is also getting close to the finishing line. This contains what you need to know to successfully virtualize SQL Server, even large scale Monster VM instances. The book is due to be published in August in time for VMworld USA, but you can pre-order it now.

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Choosing the Right ASM Allocation Unit for a Virtualized Oracle Database

Oracle ASM (Automatic Storage Management) is a volume manager and file system provided by Oracle for use with Single Instance and Real Application Cluster (RAC) databases. Although it supports single instance databases I’ve seen it more commonly used with RAC. ASM provides a high performance and simplified way of managing disks and placing data files and other files for DBA’s. It probably comes as no surprise that Oracle recommends ASM over other options such as OS included or third party volume managers, file systems and raw devices. The ASM Allocation Unit is a fundamental unit of storage and management in any ASM disk group. But which Allocation Unit size should you choose for your Virtualized Oracle Databases?

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Vote For The Best Virtualization Blogs at

Once every year Eric Siebert puts the list together of all of  great virtualization blogs that are written and updated constantly in support of the great community around VMware and virtualization that has been adopted. This is the annual event that gives you an opportunity to show your support and appreciation for all the hours that the bloggers put in, and for you to vote for your favourite and the best virtualization blogs in the world. The list grows ever longer every year, and the number of voters grows ever longer every year also. I love brining you information and advice on virtualizing business critical apps, monster vm’s and everything else vSphere. This is one way I can give back to the community that has been so good to me. If you appreciate what I and the other bloggers do, then please vote for our blogs on the official article at

#Exchange on VMDK on NFS – Support the Movement! #VMwarePEX

A group of interested parties from a cross section of industry vendors has started a discussion around the merits of supporting Exchange Server on VMDK’s on top of NFS. Technically there is no reason why it should not be supported. It works great and Exchange and Windows don’t even know they’re virtual. They just talk SCSI to their virtual disks. Supportability might be a concern so having some sort of a certification or QA program is important. But provided robust, performant and reliable storage systems are used and Exchange continues to use block SCSI protocol to a VMDK why does it matter that the underlying protocol to the physical storage is NFS? I believe this provides choice to customers, and in fact many customers have been choosing this for a long time and running Exchange like this in production. They’ve continued to get support under their premier agreements. But I believe this should be extended to all customers for any qualified storage platforms. If you agree and you want to see choice of protocol provided the abstraction is solid and proven then support the movement. Vote Exchange on VMDK on NFS!

This post appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.comby Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2014 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.

#VMwarePEX Day 1 Keynote Wrap Up of Software Defined Enterprise

VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) kicked off today in sunny San Francisco with a great keynote presentation from a number of key VMware executives. This year VMware introduced a new term to the partner community, the Software-Defined Enterprise. SDE is where every component of IT is virtualized, abstracted, pooled, and automated. VMware spoke about their Network Virtualization and Software-Defined Storage initiatives. This article will cover some of the highlights.

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Nutanix Enterprise IT Disruption as a Service, Raises $100M in Funding including from SAP Ventures

I awoke this morning to the news that hit the presses overnight that Nutanix and it’s legendary radically simple Google like infrastructure had really delivered on the promise of disruption of the enterprise IT infrastructure market. Raising $100M in series D funding, including from SAP Ventures, and having delivered over $100M in just 2 years of sales. This cements Nutanix as the leading disruption agent of enterprise datacenters and the fastest growing company of the last decade.

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VMware vSphere 5.5 Virtual Storage Adapter Performance

A number of you have shown an interest in the relative performance of the different virtual storage adapters that are available in vSphere 5.5. I haven’t seen anything published by VMware so I thought I’d do my own testing in my home lab. This is a very brief article to share with you the results I found. Read more…

Nutanix: The Big Red Easy Button for Oracle Databases – Part 1

As you may have read in my article New Adventure to Redefine Radically Simple Architecture for Business Critical Apps with Nutanix I’ve started working at Nutanix. My primary role as part of the Solutions and Performance Engineering team is to help develop the platform, solutions reference architectures, and best practices for Business Critical Applications. One of the areas I’m working on right now is Oracle on Nutanix.

Nutanix really is the big red easy button for infrastructure. The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform provides a hyper-converged Google like web-scale scale-out infrastructure for the masses. Even though it’s a scale-out architecture the unit of scale is large enough for monster VM’s including Monster Oracle Databases.  Nutanix is a Gold level Oracle technology partner and considers Oracle a very important use case for the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform.  I’ve been working with a number of customers that are already running Oracle on Nutanix successfully and as part of this work we’ll be documenting some case studies as well as solutions architectures that you can all benefit from. But right now I wanted to start a series of blogs to document my thoughts, some of the considerations, and benefits of running Oracle on the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform.

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