Tag Archives: #NexGen

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Come full circle with NexGen Storage

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NexGen is storage that’s not just intended for virtualization, they support Citrix, VMware and Hyper-V,  but general use storage as well.  The founders of Lefthand, John Spiers and Kelly Long came up with NexGen.  Eventually acquired by Fusion I/O and onto SanDisk, as of January 2015, they are now their own entity once more. (insert clapping!)

The main difference between NexGen and other storage vendors with acceleration is that the appliance uses PCIe Flash. Using the memory bus brings in lower latency and higher bandwidth than SSDs.  You can scale out simple by adding PCIe flash devices and interconnects are SAS/SATA between trays.  Flash is only for write cache and RAM is used for read cache.

 

There are five QoS policies for performance with 3 categories:  mission critical, business critical and non-critical.  Below shows the prioritized active cache for each setting:

 

qospriority

 

 You can map these policies directly to VMware’s storage policies per VVOL which brings simplicity with management.  In the demo, NexGen shows how you can create containers, map them to a policy and deploy VMs to the selected VVOL/policy.

 VVOL Demo

 As far as vSphere, the NexGen appliance is designed to converge infrastructure management to capitalize on the newer vSphere 6 capabilities. They are a VASA 2.0 provider, allow QoS on the I/O type now with NexGen ioControl 3.5.  That means they are the first and only NVMe ready with VM-level QoS.  These enhancements do depend on VVOLS but with it you can change the data-path rather than a SvMotion.

NexGen does provide a vCenter plugin and a web-based interface.
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Along with that there is a REST API you can call with PowerCLI or JSON .
With vCenter integration, you can get information like per VMDK storage metrics, IOPS, queue depth, through-put and block-size. SAN metrics are saved for a year on each VM and you can correlate the entire data path for performance statistics gathering.

 

 At Virtualization Field Day 5,they showed how you can change policies on the fly and it will immediately impact the VM. Bringing up the point that you don’t have to do a storage vMotion to faster storage but just change the policy on the VVOL, seems pretty slick.

NexGen Storage QoS Manager for VMware from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

 

Disclosure: I learned about NexGen Storage at Virtualization Field Day 5. All travel and incidental expenses for attending Virtualization Field Day 5 were paid for by Gestalt IT. This was the only compensation provided and it did not influence the content of this post.

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Clouds, storage and lobster – Virtualization Field Day 5

I’m very excited to be selected for this event. With VFD4 under my belt, I think I am better prepared for the whirlwind of tech and people. It was a shell shocking type experience that you fully absorb after the fact. Foskett and crew run a tight ship and the vendors are providing as much of a deep dive as possible in 2 hours. If you would like to participate you can watch the stream here and tweet your questions with hashtag VFD5. Looks like it’s a lot about storage and cloudy stuffs. Below are the vendors:

presenters

DataGravity, twitter handle @DataGravityInc, is data aware storage. I remember stopping by their booth at a VMUG . The story is intriguing especially in the day and age of HIPPA/PCI compliance. Yes, you know where you are compliant but maybe there is sensitive data, in a different location, unbeknownst to IT.

Infinio, twitter handle @InfinioSystems, offers a software based storage acceleration solution that is non-disruptive. Taking RAM from each host to create deduplicated cache!? No special hardware or flash needed? Sounds pretty neat.

NexGen Storage, twitter handle @NexGenStorage, creates performance service levels for specific data, not after the fact but NOW. Let’s see how they perform the analytics for that

OneCloud, twitter handle @OneCloudSW, offers automated Cloud recovery for DR with customizable levels of protection. They are a headline grabber right now with their offering and I’m looking forward to hearing more.

PernixData, twitter handle @PernixData, with rock-stars Frank Denneman and Satyam Vaghani spreading the good word. Their product, FVP, is deployed within the kernel and accelerates reads/writes using SSD or RAM. It adds life to your slow and lethargic storage array that you just don’t want to invest more $$ in. I had the pleasure of having Satyam(creator of VMFS!) out to discuss this product with my employer at the time. Great stuff and excited to see more.

Ravello, twitter handle @RavelloSystems, is described on their website as a cloud based infrastructure that runs complex VMware/KVM applications with any networking topology on AWS or Google Cloud without migration. DevOps anyone? Interesting and intriguing with some enigma mixed in.

Rubrik, twitter handle @RubrikInc, is definitely a hot topic already with the 41 milliocharliegeen in funding just announced. It will be nice to see what this upcomer is doing that is turning heads. Don’t mess with their security guy either

 

 

ScaleComputing, twitter handle @ScaleComputing, is an all in one package. I’ve had the opportunity to see this rodeo already and you can read more here.

Last but not least, VMTurbo, twitter handle @VMTurbo, not only did I see them at VFD4, but I’ve been a customer as well. I wonder if they have something new in the works.

Action packed technology with a side of lobster please.lobster