StarWind iSER technology support
Posted by Alex Khorolets on November 14, 2017
5/5 (1)

In the modern IT world, almost every tech guy, no matter a systems administrator or an engineer, wants his environment to show the best results that can be squeezed out of the hardware. In this article, I want you to take a look at the StarWind support of an iSER technology which stands for the iSCSI Extensions for RDMA.

There’s not much of a change in the overall system configuration. iSER is utilizing the common iSCSI protocol by using the RDMA transport service that can be used on some network adapters with hardware offload capability. This means that iSER can supply higher bandwidth, intended for large transfers of block storage data.

RDMA feature

(more…)

Please rate this

The dark side of converged storage networks
Posted by Andrea Mauro on October 10, 2017
No ratings yet.

Introduction

The fabric of SAN (means Storage Area Network) with Fibre Channel solutions have always been a dedicated network, with dedicated components (like FC switches).

But, starting with iSCSI and FCoE protocols, the storage fabric could now be shared with the traditional network infrastructure, because at least level 1 and 2 have a common Ethernet layer (for iSCSI also layer 3 and 4 are the same of TCP/IP networks).

Hosts (the initiators) in a converged network use typically Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) that provide both Ethernet and storage functions (usually FCoE and iSCSI). The results are that LAN and SAN are shared on the same physical network:

LAN and SAN shared on the same physical network

(more…)

Please rate this

Windows Server 2016 Core configuration. Part 1: step-by-step installation
Posted by Alex Khorolets on July 14, 2017
No ratings yet.

This series of articles will guide you through the basic deployment of Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Core version, covering all the steps from an initial installation to the deployment of Hyper-V role and Failover Cluster configuration.

The first and the main thing you need to double-check before installing the Windows Server 2016 Core is whether your hardware meets the system requirements of WS 2016. This also is very important in the process of planning your environment, in order to be sure that you have enough amount of compute resources for running your production workload.

Windows Server installation

(more…)

Please rate this

Integrating StarWind Virtual Tape Library (VTL) with Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager
Posted by Dmytro Khomenko on April 28, 2017
5/5 (5)

Introduction

The reason for writing this article was the goal of eliminating any possible confusion in the process of configuring the StarWind Virtual Tape Library in pair with the Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager.

The integration of SCDPM provides a benefit of consolidating the view of alerts across all your DPM 2016 servers. Alerts are grouped by disk or tape, data source, protection group and replica volumes, which simplifies troubleshooting. The grouping functionality is further completed with the console capable of separating issues that only affect one data source from problems that impact multiple data sources. Alerts are also separated into backup failure or infrastructure problems.

StarWind VTL configuration with SCDPM

(more…)

Please rate this

Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 3 (Failover Duration)
Posted by Vladislav Karaiev on February 17, 2017
5/5 (10)

We are continuing our set of articles dedicated to Synology’s DS916+ mid-range NAS units. Remember we don’t dispute the fact that Synology is capable of delivering a great set of NAS features. Instead of this, we are conducting a number of tests on a pair of DS916+ units to define if they can be utilized as a general-use primary production storage. In Part 1 we have tested the performance of DS916+ in different configurations and determined how to significantly increase the performance of a “dual” DS916+ setup by replacing the native Synology DSM HA Cluster with StarWind Virtual SAN Free.

Synology DS916 and StarWind

(more…)

Please rate this

Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 2 (Log-Structured File System)
Posted by Alex Bykovskyi on February 13, 2017
5/5 (3)

Introduction

In this article, we are going to continue testing Synology DS916+ with StarWind Virtual SAN. Our main goal today is to improve the performance of Synology boxes specifically on random patterns. Randoms were chosen for a reason. SQL and OLTP workloads tend to cause huge stress, especially, to spindle arrays, generating a heavily randomized I/O. Patterns we are choosing for today’s benchmark are common for such environments. There are different approaches, which can handle these workload types, such as caching and tiering. Our approach is to build environment with StarWind Log-Structured File System. LSFS was created exactly for this type of environments to improve the performance.

We will compare the results we receive to the ones from Part 1 of our research.

Synology DS916+ StarWind

(more…)

Please rate this

Storage HA on the Cheap: Fixing Synology DiskStation flaky Performance with StarWind Free. Part 1 (Architecture)
Posted by Vladislav Karaiev on January 4, 2017
5/5 (11)

Introduction

DiskStation DS916+ is a further improvement of DS415+ model. Storage capacity in DS916+ can be scaled using DX513 expansion units, making a total of nine 3.5 disk bays. Given the relatively small form factor and impressive capacity potential, such configuration may become a great solution for small businesses and enthusiasts.

Synology DS916+ StarWind

(more…)

Please rate this

The latest updates in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5
Posted by Askar Kopbayev on October 18, 2016
4.88/5 (8)

 

This day has come – vSphere 6.5 has been just announced. As many of you I have been waiting for the presentation of new vSphere during VMworld event in the USA, but I guess VMware preferred to use vSphere 6.5 as a treat for those who were in doubt whether to attend VMworld Europe or not after all VMworld US were made available online to everyone; or perhaps VMware hasn’t decided what features should be included into the GA release.

In this post, I will try to cover all new features of vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5, but if I missed something feel free to let me know by leaving a comment.

To be honest, there is so much to talk about and some of the new features require separate posts to be explained properly. Therefore, please don’t expect detailed review of the every single feature.. This is more ‘What’s new in vSphere 6.5 and VSAN 6.5′ overview, but in the future posts I will be talking about some of the most interesting improvements and enhancements in detail.

DB/File replication
(more…)

Please rate this

Don’t Fear but Respect Redirected IO with Shared VHDX
Posted by Didier Van Hoye on August 25, 2016
5/5 (3)

Introduction

When we got Shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2 we were quite pleased as it opened up the road to guest clustering (Failover clustering in virtual machines) without needing to break through the virtualization layer with iSCSI or virtual Fibre Channel (vFC).

First of all, you need to be aware of the limits of using a shared VHDX in Windows Server 2012 R2.

  1. You cannot perform storage live migration
  2. You cannot resize the VHDX online
  3. You cannot do host based backups (i.e. you need to do in guest backups)
  4. No support for checkpoints
  5. No support for Hyper-V Replica

If you cannot live with these, that’s a good indicator this is not for you. But if you can, you should also take care of the potential redirected IO impact that can and will occur. This doesn’t mean it won’t work for you, but you need to know about it, design and build for it and test it realistically for your real life workloads.

active guest cluster node is running on the Hyper-V host

(more…)

Please rate this

How to Configure Storage Replication using Windows Server 2016? – Part 2
Posted by Charbel Nemnom on February 3, 2016
5/5 (5)

1

Warning: This article is written with information related to Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4.

In part one of this multi part blog on How to Configure Storage Replication in Windows Server 2016, we covered an introduction into Storage Replica which is a new feature introduced in Windows Server 2016, and we covered step by step the implementation of Windows Volume Replication (Server-to-server). In this follow up post, we are going to cover the implementation of volume replication with stretch cluster. This type of cluster features uses Asymmetric storage, two sites, two sets of shared storage and uses volume replication to ensure that data is available to all nodes in the cluster.

(more…)

Please rate this