VMAX3 Snapshot Aging Report

Data Storage cleanup/reclaim is similar to how we manage “kinds of stuff” in our homes. We think what to keep and not to after taking the holistic decision. Time & Value will decide what is to be discarded in near future…

An All-Flash Storage array (AFA’s) gives the best performance and greater value to the business. But every GB of All-Flash Storage is at least 3 times costlier than that of mechanical drives. It is critical to perform frequent clean up of these kinds of arrays to make sure that only the mission/business critical data and deserving information should reside on All-Flash array.

From the business perspective, the concerned team needs to do the regular drills to identify then inform IT Ops to discard stale or amassed data ASAP. This requires the team to do a logical distinction of information based on value or tasks, seek approvals from respective Business Unit Owners before proceeding to do clean up.


Personal Cloud Storage on Raspberry Pi

I’m a big fan of Dropbox and using its services from past few years. I’ve referred few of my friends there by increasing my personal cloud storage capacity to about 12 GB! Off late file syncing stopped because of lack of space in my Dropbox account. I wanted to sync photos and other important files from my phone to Dropbox and sync it on my personal laptop.

To avoid buying cloud storage, started googling for setting up personal cloud storage and sync tools. After reading multiple blogs and comparisons, I’ve decided to go with Seafile. Though Owncloud was very close competitor, I did prefer Seafile for client side encryption feature. We do not have apt package for Seafile yet, but installation was simple, thanks to the readily available script which takes care of install and configuration of Seafile. It took roughly 10 mins to setup on my Raspberry Pi.

a. Working Raspberry Pi running Raspbian OS
b. Install MySQL  > Follow steps from here https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-mysql-phpmyadmin/
c. Public IP or Dynamic DNS account to access Cloud from external network / internet

Installation Steps:
1. Download latest version of Seafile for Raspberry Pi from https://github.com/haiwen/seafile-rpi/releases

#wget https://github.com/haiwen/seafile-rpi/releases/seafile-server_xxx.tar.gz [Replace xxx with actual filename]
2. I’m using an external hard drive of size 500GB mounted as /usbstore. Change directory  #cd /usbstore
3. Copy downloaded seafile tarball

#cp seafile-server_xxx.tar.gz /usbstore [Replace xxx with actual filename]
4. Extract file

#tar -xvzf seafile-server_xxx.tar.gz
5. Change directory

#cd seafile-server*
6. Enable execution of script if not already

#chmod +x setup-seafile-mysql.sh
7. Run the script

8. Installation will start. Script will start collecting information required. Give a good name to your server 🙂 like “limitlesscloud”
9. When it prompts for IP address, Enter the IP address of Raspberry Pi
10. Ports 8000 and 8082 are used by Seafile. Accept the default ports unless you want to change
11. Creating admin account: Provide your email address for account name
12. Enter the password for the account
13. Database configuration: Choose option ‘1’ at the prompt to create new database for Seafile configuration
14. Since MySQL is running locally leave the default option “localhost” as is
15. By default username for the database will be ‘root’. Let’s change it as ‘seafile’
16. Enter password for ‘seafile’ database user account
17. Accept the default database names and continue
18. At the end; it prompts “Enter” to continue and showing the configuration details. Hit enter!
19. Congratulations!!! Seafile installation is completed. Unlike other software, Seafile wont start by itself
20. Start the Cloud Storage services

#cd /usbstore/seafile-server-latest && ./seafile.sh && ./seahub.sh
21. Install Seafile from playstore on Android and use the respecitve methods on other platforms (Sorry Windows ‘Smartphone’ users 😛 ). We do have clients for Linux, Mac and Windows…
22. Enter Public IP details Provide Username user@somesite.com and Password
23. Create Library / Libraries and enable encryption with password protection
24. Now I’ve about 500GB of personal ‘secure’ cloud storage capacity with encryption enabled. Seafile is flexible to further configure it to suit my requirements.

Enjoy your personal cloud storage. I love my Raspberry Pi ~ Small but orotund!!!

Noisy Neighbor Syndrome

Welcome to cloud computing with arms wide open… wait let us also welcome bundle of problems which comes with it. One of the key problems that we face in virtualized storage world is ‘Noisy Neighbor Syndrome’ (NSS). There are lot of explanation and solution available in the internet. But I want to explain in my own way 🙂

Noisy neighbor syndrome is like our Pakistan… A rogue country  that intermittently attacks neighboring country India causing pernicious  effects to latter and to all  other surrounding nations to create a worst environment or situation.

In IT, Noisy Neighbor Syndrome is rogue virtual machine (VM) that intermittently corners  SAN resources to bring down performance of rest of the  VM which are using same SAN in the environment.


Let us find the solution for IT’s version of noisy neighbor syndrome which can be controlled compared to our rogue neighbor. Both India and Pakistan got their Independence from British in 1947. India reached Mars via ‘#Mangalyaan’, while Pakistan still trying to enter India via ‘Terror-ON’.

Now, lets get back to solving the problem in our hand. For any problems there are two ways of approach 1. Prevention 2. Solution

1. Prevention

Capacity planning is the best bet to avoid Noisy Neighbor Syndrome (NNS) in the environment. Capacity Management (CM) team need to be well aware of critical applications, infrastructure and configuration limits of hardware and software products in the environment. A good architect always starts with thorough understanding of existing  infrastructure before proposing them to move on towards cloud infrastructure. While doing this he/she would do proper sizing adding sufficient buffer to accommodate future IO growth or bust mode IO which causes sudden surge in IOPS requirements.

2. Solution

There are lot of solutions available to tackle this problem effectively based on customers capacity of investing on to it.

i. Better Network connectivity: Use of high end enterprise  storage hardware and SAN directors which would scale up and scale out with fastest network inter-connectivity; minimizes the performance issues. Also, using devices like  WAN  application services (WAAS) improves end to end performance.

ii. Quality of Service: Setting configuration limits per VM @ ESX and IOPS limit per host entries in storage would restrict rogue VMs to snatch other VM’s chunk of IOPS / resources. We would draw a line and create boundaries based on application categorization and more importantly its customer willingness to have costly services by opting for it . Industry’s top storage products from #EMC, #HDS, #IBM do offer these cutting edge features.

iii. Unity of hypervisors and storage controllers: Storage controllers would pose a porblem due to its configuration limits in terms of front end adaptors speed, caching techniques and capacity and backend controllers and disk speeds. These details are not made aware to the hypervisors which simply push the I/O request from the apps. We need to have a product which can unite both hypervisor and strorage controllers (Say Hello to  EMC #VMAX3). Let them be an entity which would provide information of configuration limits of each other. This helps IT architects to develop  solution to create best cloud environment.

There is more power in unity than division. ~Emanuel Cleaver

Above quote applies to both type of NSS 🙂


Image courtesy: http://files.abovetopsecret.com/