Register: VMUG Webinar and Pure Storage September 22

Register here:

September 22 at 1:00pm Eastern time Pure Storage and VMware will be highlighting the results of ESG Lab Validation paper. The study on consolidating workloads with VMware and Pure Storage used a single FlashArray //m50 and deployed five virtualized mission-critical workloads VMware Horizon View, Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server (OLTP), Microsoft SQL Server (data warehouse) and Oracle (OLTP). While I won’t steal all the thunder it is good to note that all of this was run with zero tuning on the applications. Want out of the business of tweaking and tuning everything in order to get just a little more performance from your application? Problem Solved. Plus check out the FlashArray and the consistent performance even during failures.

Tier 1 workloads in 3u of Awesomeness


You can see in the screenshot the results of running tier one application on an array made to withstand real-world ups and downs of the datacenter. Things happen to hardware and software even, but it is good to see the applications still doing great. We always tell customers, it is not how fast the array is in a pristine benchmark, but how does it respond when things are not going well, when controller loses power or a drive (or two) fails. That is what sets Pure Storage apart (that and data reduction and real Evergreen Storage).

Small note: Another proven environment with near 32k block sizes. This one hung out between 20k and 32k, don’t fall for 4k or 8k nonsense benchmarks. When the blocks hit the array from VMware this is just what we see.

Register for the Webinar
You can win a GoPro too.

Top 5 – Pure Storage Technical Blog Posts 2014

Today I thought it would be pretty cool to list out my favorite 5 technical blog posts that pertain to Pure Storage. These are posts that I use to show customers how to get things done without re-inventing the wheel. Big thanks to Barkz and Cody for all the hard work they put in this year. Looking forward to even more awesomeness this year.

SQL Server 2014 Prod/Dev with VMware PowerCLI and Pure Storage PowerShell Toolkit – Rob “Barkz” Barker

Enhanced UNMAP script using with PowerCLI and RESTful API – Cody Hosterman

VMware PowerCLI  and Pure Storage – Cody Hosterman
Check out the great script to set all the vSphere Best Practices for the Pure Storage Flash Array.

Pure Storage PowerShell Toolkit Enhancements – Rob “Barkz” Barker

PowerActions – The PowerCLI Plugin for the vSphere Web Client with UNMAP – Cody Hosterman


No Spindles Bro

I was assisting one of my local team members the other day with sizing a VM for Microsoft SQL. I usually always fall back to this guide from VMware. So I started out with the basic seperation of Data and Logs and TempDB.

Make it look like this:

VM Disk Layout

LSI SCSI Adapter
C: – Windows

Paravirtual SCSI Adapter
D: – Logs
E: – Data
F: – TempDB

Which is pretty standard. Then someone said, “Why do we need to do that?” I thought for a second or five. Why DO we need to do that? I knew the answer in the old school. Certain raid types were awesomer at the types of data written by the different parts of the SQL Database. We are in a total post-spindle count world. No Spindles Bro! So what are some reasons to still do it this way for an All Flash Array?

1. Disk Queues
I think of these like torpedo tubes. The more tubes the less people are waiting in line to load torpedoes. You can fire more, so to speak. Just make sure the array on the other end is able to keep up. Having 30 queues all going to one 2 Gbps Fiber Channel port would be no good. See number 3 for paths.

2.  Logical Separation and OCD compliance (if using RDMs)
Don’t argue with the DBA. Just do it. If something horrifically bad happens the logs and data will be in different logical containers. So maybe that bad thing happens to one or the other, not both. I am not a proponent of RDM’s. SO much more to manage. If you can’t win or don’t want to fight that fight at least with RDM’s you will be able to label the LUN on the array “SQLSERVER10 Logs D” so you know the LUN matches to something in Windows. This also makes writing snapshot scripts much easier.

3. Paths
Each Datastore or RDM has its own paths, if you are using Round Robin (recommended for Pure Flash Array) more IO on more paths equals better usage of the iSCSI or FC interconnects. If you put it all on one LUN, you only get those queues (see #1) and those paths. Remember do what you can to limit waiting.
Am I going down the right path? How does this make it easier? Are there other reasons to separate the logs and data for a database other than making sure the Raid 10 flux capacitor is set correctly for 8k sequential writes? I don’t want to worry about that anymore. Pretty sure plenty other VM Admins and DBA’s don’t either.

For me a good exercise in questioning why I did things one way and if I should still do them this way now.