VI3 on NetApp Best Practices Update

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Today we’ve published a minor update to our VMware on NetApp: Storage Best Practices Technical Report TR-3428. After posting the blog announcing version 4.4 I received a number of comments and emails asking to share and comment as we publish future updates, so without further adieu here’s the highlights of version 4.5.1…

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So what’s new in this version?

To start, the size of document has increased by 26% over the previous version from 75 to 95 pages. This version contains a number of relatively minor content updates and clarifications.

We’ve added Peter Learmonth as a co-author of the document as he has built a massive reference architecture based on the designs in this TR. The term massive is a relative term and may not effectively communicate the size of the architecture, so allow me to clarify… Peter successfully built, tested, and validated a design that included 800 VMs per NFS datastore!

While we don’t recommend deploying such a design, it’s nice to know your architecture can scale above and beyond our recommended limit of 250 VMs per NFS datastore. (see page 9 of TR-3428).

We’ve clarified some of the details around the advanced Ethernet storage network designs. Some of you may not be aware that TR-3428 introduced the concept of multiple VMkernels for Ethernet based storage access to the market. Today this design is leveraged by all storage vendors (funny enough we find some of our typos in other vendor’s deployment documents and presentations – hint, hint EMC).

All of the network design configurations have been tested and validated by VMware’s QA team.

So what’s next?

The vSphere on NetApp: Storage Best Practices Technical Report TR-3749 should be live any day now. Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when it posts. With all of the storage related enhancements in vSphere I would expect that we should expect quarterly updates to this doc over the next two or three quarters. I believe our plans are to leverage this TR as our core architecture document for vSphere deployments to which we will publish shorter, application focused TRs that leverage the architecture in TR-3749. Consider these as application plug-in or add-on documents.

We believe this model advances the adoption of VMware beyond consolidation and into the phase of mass adoption for business critical applications including database, messaging, and collaboration.

As for TR-3428, I’d expect the updates to this document to begin to wind down unless we stumble across something new enhancements which we would consider newsworthy.

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