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October 16, 2014

Getting Started with Atlantis USX - Part 4

Dane Young - Entisys Solutions


For the next volume type, I want to make use of those SAS and SSD disks in each of my hosts, so I’ll deploy a hyper-converged volume. Here’s an example of what this volume will look like when I’m finished:


Let’s walk through this in the USX interface. I’ll select Create Volume with the following properties: Volume Type:Hybrid, Volume Name: usx2-hybridhypcon-vol1, Capacity: 100GB, Protocol: NFS, VM Template name:


For the Advanced Settings I’ll select ‘Prefer flash memory for volume’:


USX will automatically reconfigure the service VMs to accommodate this new hyper-converged volume and kicks off the Deploy OVF Template process for the new volume:


Once the new volume VM is online, we’ll see similar volume-level statistics for the new volume:


We’ll go ahead and mount the volume and enable HA for this volume using the same procedures described above.


When we’re done, we now have a total of 10 virtual machines deployed consisting of 6 Service VMs (one per host), 2 Volume VMs, and 2 Volume HA VMs. We can see the two new NFS volumes have been mounted to each host:


That’s great! In just a short time I’ve demonstrated how USX can be used to deploy hybrid volumes against both SAN/NAS and DAS. This is an excellent example of how quick and easy it is to get up and running with Software Defined Storage, typically perceived as complex, difficult to deploy and manage. When prerequisites are properly in place we can be up and running with USX in 7 easy steps.

Deploying Virtual Machines to the Volumes

Now that we have these volumes created, let’s do something interesting and useful with them. To start, I’m going to import a Thin PC Load Testing VM that a colleague of mine (Craig Bender) created called vdiLT. I’ll import and call this VM vdiLT-hybridhypcon-1, placing it on the hyper-converged volume I created. This VM has a 20GB system disk of which about 7GB is used space:


With the VM powered down, first thing we’ll do is clone the VM a number of times. If we look at the Host Storage view, we notice that Hardware Acceleration (VAAI) shows Supported:


As such, cloning the VM is a rather quick operation. (5:10:08 to 5:10:17, 9 seconds):


Mind you, a typical 20GB clone operation on traditional infrastructure without VAAI takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the environment’s host/network/storage performance, so this is a vast improvement. While we’re at it, since it finished copying in 9 seconds, I’ll go ahead and create another. After all, with dedupe and compression additional VMs don’t initially consuming any additional storage. So sure, let’s encourage some VM Sprawl for once! Why not!

In future blog posts I’ll demonstrate how we can use these newly created virtual machines to demonstrate the Teleport functionality and more!  Stay tuned…

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to comment below, message me on twitter or e-mail. If you want to get in contact with your local Atlantis team, use the Atlantis contact form here.


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