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Mapping vSphere on hosts to SAN Discs.

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Our vSphere environment is on 6 hosts. These are part of a SAN.

The output of disc usage on the SAN comes in Oracle ZFS format.

vSphere gives the usages on the hosts.

How do I map the usage on the hosts to the disc usage on the SAN? I need to know so all the numbers make sense to me.
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Question by:new_to_networks
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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How have you presented the ZFS Pool (storage) to VMware vSphere.

Using NFS or iSCSI LUNs?

NFS folder will be created in the ZFS Pool, individual iSCSI LUNs will be created in the ZFS Pool.
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by:new_to_networks
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I don't know- our datacenter set it up. So you're saying that either way that info is in the ZFS Pool on the SAN?
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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That's correct, but with a ZFS based SAN it supports NFS or iSCSI.

Both of these use the Pool, but it will not be obvious, what the size of LUNs are to Datastores.
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by:new_to_networks
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Do you have a link that you recommend that talks about how the mapping is located in the ZFS Pool?
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by:new_to_networks
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Its NFS. Its a Nexenta SAN. Explanation I got from the Datacenter on ZFS pool contents. Still not sure of the mapping:

"There are 3 NFS shares, all presented to ESX. The share sizes are different for each NFS share, but the actual space used on disk spreads to each pool. Consider the ZFS pool a large raid array, with each NFS store being a chunk of that raid array. The data is spread across all disks. The 3 NFS shares show up in vmware under datastores (also visible on each ESX host).
The way the data is striped is inherent to the way all disk pools/raid arrays work."

When I look at the shares- not sure how its all mapped to the physical discs of the SAN.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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Okay, if you are using NFS, you would need to inspect the NFS configuration on the SAN, because it depends where the "shared nfs export folder" is located on the Pool.

You would need to provide FULL ZFS configuration, to work out, what storage has been created and presented.

Disks information
Pool information
ZFS information
NFS folder information

As an example, we have a simple ZFS NAS using NFS

It contains ten disks.

rpool - SAN OS installed on a rpool mirror of two discs
disk1
disk2

pool - this contains two ZRAID1 mirrors of four disks.

so

zraid1 - mirror 1
disk3
disk4

zraid1 - mirror 2
disk5
disk6

log
disk7
disk8

cache
disk9
disk10

The above disks

The above 3-10 form the ZPOOL.

This zpool has a folder created inside which is shared and exported and this is the NFS datastore which ESXi detects and uses, the datastore data is contained on disks3-disk10.
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by:new_to_networks
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I guess his point is that I can see this myself in the vSphere client- without having to dig into the SAN. He's telling me:

"Here’s the best way to do it (these numbers are examples only).

Example ZFS pool size = 10TB
NFS Share 1 = 2TB quota
NFS Share 2 = 3TB quota
NFS Share 3 = 4TB quota

Check in vCenter datastore utlization and discover that:
NFS share 1 is using 1TB
NFS share 2 is using 2TB
NFS share 3 is using 2.5TB
Note that these numbers are true disk utilization on the SAN (post-compression).

This means that the true usage on the SAN is 1+2+2.5=5.5TB out of 10TB. 55% full.  This 55% utilization spreads out, almost evenly, over ALL disks in the underlying storage pool. Each underlying disk and vdev would be ~55% full.

The only exclusion on this is that when you add disks and expand a pool (as we did a few months ago), the existing pool data does not “restripe” to the new disks. The majority of new incoming writes will go to the new vdev until the utilization on that vdev is equal to the other vdevs."

Can you dumb down what he's saying for me? I need to clearly understand how to connect the dots here.
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without inspecting the SAN configuration, it would be difficult to guess.

If you have three NFS datastores in vCenter Server/ESXi.

1, 2 and 2.5TB that's fine, but how these map to actual configuration on the SAN, we would need to see ALL the SAN configuration.

all I can deduce, is there is a 1+2+2.5 TB, and these may be individual pools, with a ZFS Export on each pool.

I would ask, for which pool these ZFS Exports are mapped to.

and what disks does this pool contain.
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