Hardik Patel is a Technical Marketing Engineer for UCS (Unified Computing System) with area of focus in Desktop Virtualizaton solutions and performance. Hardik has several years of experience with server virtualization and core application in the virtual environment with his area of focus in design and implementation of systems and virtualization, manage and administration, Storage and Network configurations. Hardik holds a Master Degree in Computer Science with various career oriented certification in virtualization, network and Microsoft.
UCS Manager, UCS Central, Cisco Nexus 5500, Cisco Nexus 1000v, VMware vSphere suite, VMware Horizon with View, SAN,
Hardik Patel is a Technical Marketing Engineer for UCS (Unified Computing System) with area of focus in Desktop Virtualizaton solutions and performance. Hardik has several years of experience with server virtualization and core application in the virtual environment with his area of focus in design and implementation of systems and virtualization, manage and admi
As we all know, hyper-converged storage is a software-defined approach that is either embedded in a hypervisor or based on a controller VMware appliance. The benefit of this type of approach to storage management is that it combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization in one managed system. In this new release, VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 introduces support for an all-flash architecture. With support for both hybrid and all-flash configurations, this solution delivers enterprise-level scale and performance. Scalability is doubled, with up to 64 nodes per cluster and support for up to 200 virtual machines per host. VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 is ready to meet the performance demands of just about any virtualized application by delivering consistent performance with sub-millisecond latencies in both hybrid and all-flash architectures. This technology is appealing to data center managers and administrators because it provides superior performance and efficient manageability. A key factor in this solution is a distributed storage architecture with direct attached storage (DAS) from an individual physical Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) Rack Server . This gives data center staff greater control in provisioning storage in a virtualized environment from a single pane of management from Cisco UCS Manager . Data center managers also have the option to use an automated workflow-based provisioning with Cisco UCS Director. Cisco UCS Director improves consistency and efficiency while reducing delivery time from weeks to minutes. It accomplishes this by replacing time-consuming, manual provisioning, and de-provisioning of data center resources with automated workflows. As workload requirements increase, data center staff can scale the deployment out horizontally by adding more capacity in existing hyper-converged storage nodes, or they can add more nodes. They can also use a combination of existing and new nodes. Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server with VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 Architecture Here are some key points of note for this reference architecture: For this deployment, Cisco UCS firmware version 2.2 and later is compatible for the direct connection of a Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Server to a Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect. This allows Cisco UCS B-Series Blade Servers and Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers to be managed under the same Cisco UCS domain and within a single pane of management. Cisco UCS Director can help orchestrate and deploy VMware Virtual SAN with automated workflow customized for VMware Virtual SAN deployment on Cisco UCS hardware. This solution is scalable by adding more disks to existing Cisco UCS C240 M4 servers or by adding more servers. Here is a complete list of Cisco UCS Rack Servers certified for VMware Virtual SAN. The reference architecture shown above was built using the Cisco UCS VMware VSAN Ready Node. Cisco tested VMware Horizon 6 with View linked-clone virtual desktops with LoginVSI 4.1.3 to measure the solution’s performance. The VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon provides the capability to monitor and manage the solution’s health, capacity, and performance of the View environment. The VMware Virtual SAN Observer captures performance statistics and provides access to live measurements for storage resources utilization. Cisco UCS with VMware Virtual SAN running VMware Horizon 6 with View Deployed Desktops isco UCS and VMware Virtual SAN Network Configuration Best Practices Here are a few recommended best practices: The VMware Virtual SAN environment requires that multicast be enabled for virtual storage area network (VSAN) traffic. To achieve this, a multicast policy must be created as shown in the screenshot below: As a best practice recommendation, the default gateway for VMware Virtual SAN traffic IP address subnet for IGMP Snooping Querier should be defined. The recommended configuration steps for Nexus 1000V with VMware Virtual SAN can be found here. The minimum software version requirement for Cisco UCS C220/C240 M4 and VSAN 6.0 is as follows: Test Results and Key Takeaways: For the reference architecture, Cisco performed five different tests with various scalability capabilities for up to 1000 VMware Horizon 6 with View deployed linked-clone desktops. The tests were based on real-world scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. Highlights of the test results include: This solution successfully achieved a linear scalability from 500 desktops on four nodes to 1000 desktops on eight nodes with VMware Virtual SAN data store latency under 15ms according to VSAN Observer performance data. This solution guarantees optimal end-user performance for practical workloads. The test results showed an average of less than 15ms latency with standard office applications in various failure scenarios as measured during the study. These scenarios included SSD failure, HDD failure, and node failure. For optimal performance and to minimize failure, the domain disk group design and sizing are key factors. The solution also provides proven resiliency and availability, with high application uptimes. IT efficiency is improved with faster desktop operations throughout this deployment. To learn more about the complete system configuration, full test results, and recommended best practices, download this white paper: Cisco Unified Computing System with VMware Horizon 6 with View and Virtual SAN. --- We would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Feel free to post your comments below as well as sharing the article within your social networks.
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Hyper-converged Computing: Cisco UCS with VMware Virtual SAN In the past, traditional compute plus SAN solutions have presented several challenges for organizations – including added expense, a drain on resources, and lack of convenience. First off, because of the need to spend resources on both compute and storage, these solutions increase a company’s capital expenses. Plus, there is a need for typically silo’ d skilled management and maintenance staff for compute and storage, which drives up operating expenses as well. And of course, architectural requirements are complex which, in turn, increases the planning and calculation efforts needed in the deployment of the intended workload. And finally, scaling out an existing environment is not exactly easy. In comes VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) This all changes with VMware VSAN, a software-defined storage offering that is fully integrated with VMware vSphere. With this hyper-converged solution, you can now combine storage and computing for virtual machines into a single device and achieve a high level of scalability and performance. In case you’re not familiar with it, VMware VSAN puts the storage within the compute and hypervisor instead of in an external storage array. It aggregates locally installed disks in a VMware vSphere cluster to create a single shared data store, which can be rapidly provisioned from VMware vCenter Server during virtual machine provisioning operations. Add in the power of Cisco UCS Now’s here the good news—VMware Virtual SAN can now be used as a hypervisor-converged storage solution with Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS)for a high availability, resilient solution. Here’s what it looks like: With VMware Virtual SAN and Cisco UCS working together, this solution delivers rapid provisioning, unified management, and linear scalability. And here’s the proof of that… High availability and resiliency all in one To illustrate this solution, we tested VMware Horizon 6 with View hosted on Cisco UCS 240 M3 with VSAN running on vSphere 5.5 U2. The tests were performed with different scalability and desktop types for 800 deployed virtual desktops based on real-world scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations. Here are some highlights of the test results that you can use as a proof of concept (POC) for your own environment. This solution successfully achieved a linear scalability from 400 desktops on four nodes to 800 desktops on eight nodes with VMware VSAN data store latency under 15ms according to VSAN Observer performance data. For both linked-clones and full-cloned desktops, this solution guarantees end-user performance with practical workloads, with an average of less than 3ms latency with standard office applications. The solution also provides proven resiliency and availability, with high application uptimes. IT efficiency is improved with faster desktop operations throughout this deployment. Here are a few other key points to note: Cisco UCS Manager helps centrally manage the infrastructures and the integration of VMware VSAN into the VMware vSphere Web console. With the addition of Cisco UCS Central, multiple Cisco UCS domains – whether local or geographically distributed – can be managed from a single pane of glass. Cisco UCS Director can provide automation and orchestration of compute, network, and storage with roles and policy-based provisioning. And finally, Cisco UCS Performance Manager provides visibility into all the Cisco UCS components for performance monitoring and capacity planning from a single console. What This Means to You The implementation of VMware Virtual SAN and VMware Horizon 6 with View on Cisco UCS provides a highly available and resilient solution with exceptional end-user performance and a simpler management experience. This solution is cost-effective for the hosting of all sizes of virtual desktop deployments and it allows for a granular scalability through the addition of more drives. Deployments can be scaled out by adding additional Cisco UCS C240 M3 nodes to the VSAN environment. To help you understand the full implications of this solution, we put together a reference architecture white paper that shows the scalability and performance of this deployment. We’ve also included design and implementation best practices and availability and resiliency considerations. As you’ll see in the test results, the combination of VMware Virtual SAN on one of the fastest growing integrated compute, storage, and network platforms on the planet is hard to beat. For the complete system configuration, full test results, and recommended best practices for this architecture, download this white paper now: Cisco Unified Computing System with VMware Horizon 6 with View and Virtual SAN.
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