Archive: Posts

How to Select SSDs for Host Side Caching for VMware – Interface, Model, Size, Source and Raid Level ?

Post updated on February 18, 2020. In terms of price/performance, enterprise NVME SSDs have now become the best choice for in-VMware host caching media. They are higher performing and cost just a little more than their lower performing SATA counterparts. The Intel P4600/P4610 NVME SSDs are my favorites. If you don’t have a spare 2.5” NVME or a conventional PCIe slot in your ESXi host, which precludes you from using NVME SSDs, you could use enterprise SATA SSDs. If you choose to go with...

Which NVME SSD to use in VMware Host for Server Side Caching?

Considering that a wide range of high speed media - SATA / SAS / NVME SSDs, and RAM can be used for server side caching in VMware, my preferred in-host media is an enterprise grade NVME SSD. Below are the SSDs I recommend (as of 2020): If you have a conventional PCIe slot in your hosts, my first choice is the Intel P4600 SSD (cost ~ $0.6/GB); and my second choice is Samsung PM1725 (cost ~ $0.4/GB). If you have a 2.5" U.2 slot in your hosts, use the Intel P4610 SSD (cost ~ $0.5/GB). Not...

Performance Tiering and Read Caching in HPE MSA versus Virtunet VirtuCache.

Only read performance is improved by HP MSA's internal caching and tiering features.1 In comparison, VirtuCache improves the performance of reads and writes for MSA, and it does so by caching to in-VMware host SSD or RAM. There are other differences as well.

High speed storage is back in the VMware Host with both HCI and Host Side Caching, but the similarities end there.

The main advantage that hyper-converged infrastructure(HCI) has over traditional SAN based infrastructure is that HCI has put high speed storage back in the compute nodes. This is also true for Host Side Caching software, with the added benefit that host side caching maintains the flexibility that SAN based infrastructure always had over HCI, that of being able to scale and do maintenance on compute and storage hardware independently of each other. Other pros of host side caching versus...

Storage IO path in VSAN versus VirtuCache Host Side Caching.

Storage IO path in VSAN and VirtuCache are similar to a large extent, since both service storage IO from in-VMware host media. Though with VirtuCache, storage latencies are lower than with VSAN for four reasons: Reads are almost always serviced from local cache media in VirtuCache. In VSAN there is a high chance that all reads might be serviced over the network from another host; In addition to SSD, with VirtuCache you can cache to RAM which is the highest performing media there is,...

VMware’s vFlash Read Cache (VFRC) versus Virtunet’s Read+Write Caching

VMware will discontinue VFRC starting in ESXi 7.0 to be released in Q4 2019. 0 Despite the end-of-life announcement for VFRC, if you still want to review the differences between VFRC and VirtuCache, below are the three most important ones. We cache reads and writes, VMware's VFRC caches only reads. Caching writes improves the performance of not only writes, but also of reads.1 We require no ongoing administration. Caching in our case is fully automated, and all Vmware features are...

VMware Host Side Caching to improve the performance of HP MSA Storage

VirtuCache is ESXi software that automatically caches 'hot' data from any SAN storage to in-host SSD or RAM. By doing so it improves the storage performance of VMware VMs, without requiring you to upgrade your storage appliance or network. VirtuCache competes and also complements Hybrid MSA's internal Read Caching and Performance Tiering features, and the All-Flash MSA. For instance, the Read Caching and Performance Tiering features in hybrid MSA only improve VM read performance,1 VirtuCache...

CEPH Storage for VMware vSphere

CEPH is a great choice for deploying large amounts of storage. It's biggest drawbacks are high storage latencies and the difficulty of making it work for VMware hosts. The Advantages of CEPH. CEPH can be installed on any ordinary servers. It clusters these servers together and presents this cluster of servers as an iSCSI target. Clustering (of servers) is a key feature so CEPH can sustain component failures without causing a storage outage and also to scale capacity linearly by simply hot...

Improving Storage Performance of Dell VRTX

Dell's PowerEdge VRTX hyper-converged appliance can either have all hard drive datastores or all SSD datastores, but you can't have SSDs act as tiering or caching media for VRTX volumes / virtual disks. That's where VirtuCache comes in.

Citrix MCS IO vs. VirtuCache – Server Side Storage IO Caching

Both cache 'hot' data to in-host RAM, but the differences between Citrix MCS Storage Optimization and VirtuCache are many. The top three are: - MCSIO works only for non-persistent Xenapp / Xendesktop VMs.1 VirtuCache works for all VMs on the ESXi host; - Citrix MCSIO can cache only VM writes and to VM RAM only.1 VirtuCache can cache VM reads and writes to in-host SSD or RAM; - With MCSIO there will be VM data loss / instability if the host fails or the RAM cache is full,1 not so...
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