SAN

Home Lab – More updates to my design

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Most recently I posted about adding a Layer 3 switch to my growing home lab. The Netgear Layer 3 switch I added (GSM7324) is preforming quite well in my home lab. In fact it’s quite zippy compared to my older switches and for the price it was worth it. However my ever growing home lab is having some growing pains, 2 to be exact.

In this post I’ll outline the issues, the solutions I’ve chosen, and my new direction for my home lab.

The issues…

Initially my thoughts were I could use my single ESXi Host and Workstation with specific VM’s to do most of my lab needs.

There were two issues I ran into, 1 – Workstation doesn’t support VLANs and 2 – my trusty IOMega IX4 wasn’t preforming very well.

Issue 1 – Workstation VLANs

Plain and simple Workstation doesn’t support VLANs and working with one ESXi Host is prohibiting me from fully using my lab and switch.

Issues 2 – IOMega IX4 Performance

My IOMega IX4 has been a very reliable appliance and it has done its job quite well.

However when I put any type of load on it (More than One or Two VM’s booting) its performance becomes a bit intolerable.

The Solutions…

Issue 1 – Workstation VLANs

I plan to still use Workstation for testing of newer ESXi platforms and various software components

I will install a second ESXi host similar to the one I built earlier this year only both Hosts will have 32GB of RAM.

The second Host will allow me to test more advanced software and develop my home lab further.

Issues 2 – IOMega IX4 Performance

I’ve decided to separate my personal data from my home lab data.

I will use my IX4 for personal needs and build a new NAS for my home lab.

A New Direction…

My intent is to build out a second ESXi Physical Host and ~9TB FreeNAS server so that I can support a vCloud Director lab environment.

vCD will enable me to spin up multiple test labs and continue to do the testing that I need.

 

So that’s it for now… I’m off to build my second host and my freeNAS server…

4 Books in 4 Weeks – Book 1 Storage Area Networks for Dummies

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In 2004 I bought the 1st Edition Storage Area Networks for Dummies (now in its 2nd Edition) and read 100 pages or so, life got in the way, and now 2011 I’ve decide to finish it. I know what you’re thinking, “Why read a Dummies book?” Back in the day this book had the information I was looking for and it helped me on my first virtualization design. In today’s world some of the information is somewhat outdated however it still has a lot of the basic SAN fundamentals and concepts of today’s SAN’s.

An Easy Read and my own personal Dummies Tip…

Going through the book I kept in mind this is a dummies book and it’s meant to be an easy read. This book was an easy read and it was a great refresh on SAN technologies. There was quite a bit of outdated material in this book (I expected this) and it was interesting to see how technology had progressed since 2003 days. Example – In 2003 FCoIP was referred as FCIP or iFCP. The basic book layout comprises of 5 different parts ranging from SAN 101 through Management & Configuration. One thing I dislike about technical books is when an author spells out an acronym once, never to return to it, and then references the acronym over and over. I couldn’t tell you how many times I go back to find out the meaning of an acronym. This book overcomes this issue and it does it so well it becomes unnecessary. Example, they mention FC-AL (See Cliff notes below), and talk about how FC-AL (For more information about Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop – Please see my cliff notes under the section “Some General cliff notes below”) is an old technology. Only a fool would use FC-AL (Tip: if you’d like to know more about FC-AL see my cliff notes below). Hopefully you get my point. It was nice to have the reference but mentioning it too often (it seemed like 40 times) got a bit annoying. Here’s a Dummies Tip: Authors reading this blog – please find a happy medium, do it, and don’t blame your editor for taking it out. I mean after all it’s your book, right?

Something Unexpected…

While I was reading the book we had several vendors present their products at my current employer. They mentioned a lot of the terms I listed below. So yes this books still has value and for a person who wants to learn the basics I would recommend they read the 2nd edition and then on to “higher education”. I noted lots of errors in the book especially around their math or what appeared to be simple cut/paste issues. I did go to the www.dummies.com site to see if they printed book corrections but I was unable to find it.

Some General Cliff Notes…

Fibre Channel protocol is spelled fibRE not Fiber – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre_Channel << My spell checker really hates fibre J

Single Mode Fiber Cable – Smaller diameter means a more direct path for the beam, usually yellow, for long distances (Up to 10K), usually uses a higher powered laser

Multi Mode Fiber Cable – Larger diameter means a less direct path for the beam, usually Orange, for shorter distances (<500M, Normal 10 to 20M), can use an LED or vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs)

Common fiber connectors – LC – Most common, SC – Older Larger connector, ST – Older BNC Twist on style http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber_connector

FC-AL – Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop Protocol, used with a SAN hub – RARE replaced by SAN Switches, not one device can exceed the max speed, the more devices the more congestion occours, MAX of 128 devices per hub, common use might be for SAN based TAPE.

FC-SW – Fibre Channel Switched Protocol, used with a SAN Switch, more efficient then HUBS, devices can cross communicate with each other, 1000’s of devices can be connected, each device is assigned a WWN(World Wide Name)

Modular class SAN – Use Controllers which are separate from disk shelves

MonoLithic class SAN – Use disks that are assembled inside the array frame, -these disks are connected to many internal controllers through lots of cache memory

Storage Bus Architecture Array – One thing can happen on the array at a time (Like a Hub Switch)

Storage Switch Architecture Array – Multiple things can be going on at the same time with less of an impact on I/O performance.

LUN – Logical Unit Number, usually represents a RAID set represents all the smaller physical drives as one logical disk to your server.

RAID – It depends on who you ask it can mean Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks or Redundant array of Independent Disks. Funny thing this book was pre NetApp, they mention RAID 4 is no longer in use. Oh contraire NetApp uses it!

LUNS – Logical Unit Numbers represent the storage space formed by a RAID set. It may contain the partial or entire space.

Fiber Optic Cable – When Fiber Optic cables are used within a storage network they are spelled fibre channel cables. This helps to distinguish their meaning from other fiber based cables such as telecommunications.

ISL (Inter-switch link) – the term used to describe the connection between two switches in a fabric

Fabric Protocol – A SAN fabric may include Routing and conversation between switches, Listing Services, and Security

WWN (World Wide Name) – Devices in the SAN fabric are addressed by the World Wide Name. WWN’s consists of a 16 HEX numbers which make a 64 Bit Address.

Three Layers to a SAN Design AKA the Basic SAN topology – Host, SAN, and Storage

DAS – Direct Attached Storage AKA Local Host Storage

Point to Point – Host to disk Storage via a Fibre Cable (Require dedicated Storage Ports)

Arbitrated Loop Topology – Most likely you can find these devices on ebay, they might even pay you to take them off their hands. Basic designs around FC-AL hubs are cascading, fault-tolerant loops and your basic hub loops.

Switch Fabric Topology – Most prevalent for today’s fibre networks. Switch types include smaller modular (usually single failure) and larger director class (very redundant) switches.

Basic Switch Fabric Topologies – Dual Switch, Loop of Switches, Meshed Fabric, Star, Core-Edge

Zoning – Is a method used to segregate or separate devices connected to a switch fabice via switch based security. A Zone in many ways is similar to an IP Switch VLAN. They can span multiple switches. Zoning is typically used to separate storage from different operating systems. If by chance a windows server could see all the storage it might write a signature. If this space belonged to a UNIX server this could make it unusable. Other uses could be zoning storage by QA, Test, DEV, and Production networks. Zoning can come in two forms – Soft AKA by WWN or Hard AKA by physical switch port.

 

Quick Summary…

It’s a good starting place for those interested in SAN technologies, this books has some value in today’s world BUT if you choose this book then I suggest you read the latest edition…

Thanks for reading my post… I’m off to read my 2nd book of 4 VMware ESX and ESXi in the Enterprise 2nd Edition by Edward Halekty

Test Lab – Day 2 CLI with the Xsigo!

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Yesterday I did about 90% of the hardware install. Today, Day 2, our Xsigo SE will be here to assist with the installation and configuration of the Xsigo to the ESX Hosts..

Today’s Goals..

  • Install 2nd Xsigo VP780
  • Install vmware ESXi 4.1 on 4 servers with Xsigo Drivers
  • Configure both Xsigo vp780’s

 

Install 2nd Xsigo VP780…

Day 2 started out with a gift from Mr. FedEx, it was the parts we needed to install the 2nd Xsigo. Only yesterday afternoon we discovered we were missing some power cords and mounting brackets. A couple quick calls to Xsigo and viola parts are on their way. Props to Xsigo for a VERY quick response to this issue!

Based on the lessons learned from Day 1 we mounted the 2nd Xsigo VP780 and it went much smoother. Notice the WE part of installing the VP780, these things are heavy & large and you’ll need some help or a giant with huge hands to install them into a rack. See their install manual for more information.

When we powered them up I was amazed by the amount of air they moved through the device >> Very NICE!

Keep in mind at this point all the test lab hardware including the Xsigo fiber modules (2 x 10gig Fiber modules per device), and networking is mounted and interconnected…

 

Install vmware ESXi 4.1 on 4 servers with Xsigo Drivers…

You’ll need the Xsigo Drivers installed for ESXi to recognize the infiniband cards and for proper communication.

There are two installation options…

  1. Install ESXi 4.1 and add the Xsigo Drivers after the install.
  2. Download the drivers and re-master the ESXi ISO yourself (This is a good option if your building / rebuilding lots of servers)

We chose to re-master the ESXi ISO with the Xsigo drivers.

Here is the link to master the ISO

I won’t bore you with the details of installing ESXi, however the only gotcha I ran into was the Dell R5400 SATA RAID controller.

I setup a SATA RAID group, during the ESXi install it recognized the RAID volume, and ESXi installed to it without issue.

However after the reboot of the host it would not boot to this volume.

I didn’t have time to troubleshoot, for now we just broke the RAID group, reinstalled, and it worked perfectly.

ESXi Management NICS’s..

Our test lab network will be isolated from production network traffic. However, one of our servers will need to be in the production environment. We setup one physical NIC (pNIC) on to our production environment. This will allow us to temporarily transfer VM’s from production to test, we’ll then disconnect this pNIC and setup ESXi to use the Xsigo NIC for management.

(More to come on this on Day 3)

 

Configure both Xsigo vp780’s…

Configuring the vp780 was very simple. We attached a laptop to the Xsigo and in about 20 commands our Xsigo was up and running..

These are the basic commands we used to setup our pair of Xsigo’s (A and B), the commands below reflect B only.

The commands would be the same for the A Xsigo simply change the appropriate parameters…

NOTE: I don’t recommend you execute these commands in your environment, keep in mind these are for my reference ONLY… I also recommend you contact your Xsigo representative for assistance.

 

Here are the commands we executed..

 

Getting into the Xsigo VP780…

We used a standard Xsigo provided rollover cable plugged into Serial1. (Serial2 is for Tech / Debug – Don’t use)

We connected to the console via Putty or Absolute Telnet (COM Settings are 115200,8,1,None,None)

Tip: All default passwords are in the CLI Config Guide by Xsigo

 

Setup the Xsigo via the Wizard…

Once the connected we used the XgOS config Wizard and entered in the following..

Welcome to XgOS

Copyright (c) 2007-2010 Xsigo Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Enter “help” for information on available commands.

 

Would you like to use the XgOS Configuration Wizard? [Y/n]

Hostname: xsigo-b

Domain: YOURDOMAIN.COM

Is this Director to be designated as the IB subnet manager (leave as Y unless using an external, non-Xsigo subnet manager) ? [Y/n]

Do you want this Director to send diagnostic data to Xsigo periodically? [Y/n]

Please input the ‘root’ password: ****

Please confirm the ‘root’ password: ****

Please input the ‘admin’ password: *****

Please confirm the ‘admin’ password: *****

Please input the ‘recovery-password’: ****

Please confirm the ‘recovery-password’: ****

IP Address [static/DHCP]: 555.555.555.555

IP Address [static/DHCP]:

Enter NTP Server 1: 555.555.555.555

Enter NTP Server 2:

Enter Timezone [<Tab><Tab> for the list of Timezones]: America_Phoenix

Welcome to XgOS

Copyright (c) 2007-2010 Xsigo Systems, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Enter “help” for information on available commands.

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo]

 

Now it’s time to setup the Xsigo…

Place the Xsigo into Trunk Mode..

Port 10 and Port 11 are the 10gig Fibre Modules; this command places them in Trunk Mode

set ethernet-port 10/1 -mode=trunk << Port 10 will be used for our IP Network (Vlans for Guests, vmotion, hosts, etc)

set ethernet-port 11/1 -mode=trunk << Port 11 will be used for our NFS

Rear of VP780

Ensure Trunk Mode is activated..

Use the command ‘show ethernet-port ‘

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] show ethernet-port

 

name type state descr mode flags lag access-vlan vnics vlans

——————————————————————————-

10/1 nwEthernet10GbPort up/up trunk -s— 1 0 none

11/1 nwEthernet10GbPort up/up trunk -s— 1 0 none

2 records displayed

 

Setup Phone Home for Support…

set system phone-home -customer-name=”YOUR COMPANY NAME HERE”

set system phone-home -contact-email-address=YOURNAME@YOURDOMAIN.COM

set system phone-home -contact-phone-numbers=”555-555-5555″

set system phone-home proxy [YOUR PROXY IP HERE] [PROXY PORT if needed, default is 3128]

Note: For this command the syntax is [PROXY IP Address] one space [PROXY PORT], don’t use ‘:’ to as the separator.

 

Once completed then check confirm your information…

Enter the command ‘show system phone-home’

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] show system phone-home

——————————————————————————-

enabled true

freq weekly

next Fri Jan 14 12:44:52 MST 2011

notify no

strip yes

alarm yes

name COMPANYNAME

email EMAIL@EMAIL.com

phone 5555555555

copy

p-host 555.555.555.555:3128

p-user

——————————————————————————-

1 record displayed

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo]

 

Check on the Phone Home Log….

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] showlog phonehome.log

Wed Jan 5 17:30:33 MST 2011: Phone home successful to http://phone-home.xsigo.com:6522

Wed Jan 5 18:04:14 MST 2011: Phone home successful to http://phone-home.xsigo.com:6522

Wed Jan 5 18:04:38 MST 2011: Phone home successful to http://phone-home.xsigo.com:6522

[Press CRTL-C to Exit]

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo]

Tip: your log might be empty until it has something to send

 

Ensure your Physical servers are attached…

As expected all 4 servers are attached to this Xsigo.. (If they don’t show up here it could be an interconnect or ESXi issue)

Enter the command ‘show physical-server’ to view your connected servers.

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] show physical-server

——————————————————————————-

name localhost <<< This is the ESXi Hostname

guid 2c903000b4df5

descr

port xsigo-001397001:ServerPort2 << This is the Xsigo Port the Server is connected to

os VMware/ESXi-4.1.0:xg-3.5.0-1-246491/x86_64 << This is the version of ESX & Xsigo Driver

version 2.7.0/3.0.0

server-profile << Notice this is blank, We configured it next

——————————————————————————-

name localhost

guid 2c903000b4ea5

descr

port xsigo-001397001:ServerPort3

os VMware/ESXi-4.1.0:xg-3.5.0-1-246491/x86_64

version 2.7.0/3.0.0

server-profile

——————————————————————————-

name localhost

guid 2c903000b4ea9

descr

port xsigo-001397001:ServerPort4

os VMware/ESXi-4.1.0:xg-3.5.0-1-246491/x86_64

version 2.7.0/3.0.0

server-profile

——————————————————————————-

name localhost

guid 2c903000b5095

descr

port xsigo-001397001:ServerPort1

os VMware/ESXi-4.1.0:xg-3.5.0-1-246491/x86_64

version 2.7.0/3.0.0

server-profile

——————————————————————————-

4 records displayed

 

Create Server Profiles…

Creating a server profile enables you to assign devices to your specific host.

In our case we used the ESX Hostname as the Xsigo Server Profile name.

This will help us to keep the profiles well organized.

Keep in mind YOURSERVERNAME# equals your ESX Hostname and it will become your Xsigo Server Profile Name…

Long way to create a Server Profile…

add server-profile [server profile name]

View the new server profile…

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] show server-profile

name state descr connection def-gw vnics vhbas

——————————————————————————-

YOURSERVER1 up/unassigned 0 0

1 record displayed

 

Assign the server profile to a port on the Xsigo…

set server-profile YOURSERVER1 connect localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort1

 

Short way to create a Server Profile…

add server-profile YOURSERVER2 localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort2

add server-profile YOURSERVER1 localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort3

add server-profile YOURSERVER1 localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort4

 

Then use show server-profile to confirm your entries…

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] show server-profile

name state descr connection def-gw vnics vhbas

——————————————————————————-

Yourserver3 up/up localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort3 0 0

Yourserver4 up/up localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort4 0 0

Yourserver1 up/up localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort1 0 0

Yourserver2 up/up localhost@xsigo-001397001:ServerPort2 0 0

4 records displayed

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo]

 

 

Set Up and attach the virtual NICS to your server profile…

In this step we created our Xsigo vNICS, attached them to the appropriate server profiles, and the 10gig Modules.

When complete each of our ESXi servers will have 4 Xsigo vNICS.

(2 vNICs for IP Network, 2 vNICs for Storage network)

 

Decoding the command…

The command ‘add vnic xnb.yourservername1 10/1 -mode=trunk’ breaks down to…

add vnic << Add vNIC Command

xnb << The vNIC Name (xnb = Xsigo, IP Network, B Xsigo Device, Xsb = Xsigo, Storage Network, B Xsigo Device)

yourservername1 << Which profile to attach to

10/1 << Which Module on the Xsigo to attach to

-mode=trunk << What transport mode

These are the command we entered..

IP Network vNICS

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xnb.yourservername1 10/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xnb.yourservername2 10/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xnb.Yourservername3 10/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xnb.Yourservername4 10/1 -mode=trunk

 

Storage vNICS

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xsb.Yourservername1 11/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xsb.Yourservername2 11/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xsb.Yourservername3 11/1 -mode=trunk

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] add vnic xsb.Yourservername4 11/1 -mode=trunk

 

Results from ESXi…

 

Other Information…

 

Set System back to factory Defaults…

If needed, you can set the System back to factory Defaults by the following command.

When complete you will need to access the system via Serial Cable.

Here are the steps:

set system factory-default

confirm << type in Confirm, my Putty will exited and the system will shutdown

NOTE: This command will erase the configuration from the Xsigo. Do it with caution

Tip: Note this will cause the system to shutdown, this means someone will have to manually power it back on.

 

Upgrade the XgOS via USB…

Download the GOS 2.8.5 to a USB Stick..

We inserted the stick into the USB Port on the VP780, then executed this command

system upgrade file://usb/xsigo-2.8.5.xpf

 

Other Handy commands…

show system status

show system

show system version

show system warnings

show serial

show system info

history

 

CLI Fun…

One thing I like about the CLI for Xsigo is TAB at the end of the command (most modern CLI’s have this and it sure is handy)

If I type in set system phone-home[Press TAB] it displays possible completions and qualifiers and then it displays the last command I typed in.

admin@ xsigo-b[xsigo] set system phone-home [Press TAB]

Possible completions:

disable Disable phone home

enable Enable phone home

noproxy Don’t use HTTP Proxy

proxy HTTP Proxy config

snooze Hit the snooze button

[Optional qualifiers]

-contact-email-address Email address for Xsigo technical support to contact when a problem is discovered. (or ‘none’)

-contact-phone-numbers Telephone number for Xsigo technical support to contact when a problem is discovered. (comma separated, or ‘none’)

-copy-url URL to send audit copy to

-customer-name Customer name (or ‘none’)

-frequency Phone home frequency (relative to when it is set)

-notify Will Xsigo notify you when problems are detected?

-send-alarms Send major alarms to Xsigo?

-strip-private Strip private information from phone-home data

Repeat ‘?’ for detailed help.

admin@xsigo-b[xsigo] set system phone-home

 

Day 2 Summary..

The pair of Xsigo’s were very easy to configure and install. I enjoyed working with Xsigo CLI, it is very well thought out, and I plan do to write additional blog about it alone.

Besides for the very few and sometime self-inflicted gotchas things went smooth.

It was nice to have a Xsigo SE on site to assist with the initial install and I’m looking forward to tomorrow when we spin up some VM’s and then test!

 

Still to do…

  • Copy vCenter Server & other VM’s from Production to this test environment
  • Test, Test, Test and more testing..

Test Lab – The Plan and Layout with Xsigo, juniper, IOMega, vmware, and HP/Dell servers)

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This week I have the pleasure of setting up a pretty cool test lab with Xsigo, juniper, IOMega, vmware, and HP/Dell servers.

I’ll be posting up some more information as the days go on…

The idea and approval for the lab came up pretty quickly and we are still defining all the goals we’d like to accomplish.

I’m sure with time the list will grow, however here are the initial goals we laid out.

Goals…

  1. Network Goals
    1. Deploy the vChissis solution by Juniper (Server Core and WAN Core)
    2. Deploy OSPF Routing (particularly between sites)
    3. Multicast Testing
    4. Layer 2 test for vm’s
    5. throughput Monitoring
  2. VMware Goals
    1. Test EVC from Old Dell QuadCores Servers to new HP Nehalem
    2. Test Long Distance vMotion & long distance cluster failures from Site1 to Site 2
    3. Play around with ESXi 4.1
  3. Xsigo Goals
    1. Test Redundant Controller failover with vmware
    2. Throughput between sites, servers, and storage

Caveats…

  • We don’t have a dual storage devices to test SAN replication, however the IOMega will be “spanned” across the metro core
  • Even though this is a “Site to Site” design, this is a lab and all equipment is in the same site
  • The Simulated 10Gbs Site to Site vChassis Connection is merely a 10Gbs fibre cable (We are working on simulating latency)
  • Xsigo recommends 2 controllers per site and DOES NOT recommend this setup for a production enviroment, however this is a test lab — not production.

The Hardware..

2 x Xsigo VP780’s with Dual 10Gbs Modules, All Server hardware will be Dual Connected

2 x HP DL360 G6, Single Quad Core Nehalem , 24GB RAM, Infinband DDR HBA, gNic’s for Mgt (Really not needed but nice to have)

2 x Dell Precision Workstation R5400, Dual QuadCore, 16GB RAM, Infiniband DDR HBA, gNic’s for Mgt (Really not needed but nice to have)

6 x Juniper EX4200’s (using Virtual Chassis and Interconnect Stacking Cables)

Using BGInfo to help determine VM Guest partition alignment (Starting offset and allocation unit size)

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We use BGInfo quite a bit to help us with basic VM guest information (IP Address, name, HD Space, etc)

Today I was thinking about the partition alignment (Starting offset and allocation unit size) on my Windows guests and wondered about their alignment.

There are programs made for this, some are quite good, but it wouldn’t be more convenient to have it come up with BGinfo?

I thought it would be especially handy because we have multiple templates some are aligned differently, and I could use this as a double check to those programs which correct this issue.

By adding the Starting Offset and volume block size(aka allocation unit size) to our BGinfo.bat file we can now see how are VM guest partitions are aligned!

From this screenshot we see 3 Volumes..

C: has a 32K Offset / 4K Allocation | D: 64K offset / 32K Allocation | E: 64K offset / 4K Allocation

The only volume that is optimal is our D: volume, the rest need some work…

Want to know more about alignment?

Go here >> http://www.vmware.com/pdf/esx3_partition_align.pdf and here >> http://www.vmware.com/pdf/Perf_Best_Practices_vSphere4.0.pdf

Here’s how to setup BGInfo…

  1. Download BGInfo from sysinsterals
  2. Create your *.bgi file (this file contains all the fields you want displayed, see below for the offset)
  3. Create a simple batch file to launch your *.bgi file on logon
  • @echo off
  • cd\
  • CALL “C:\Files\bginfo.exe” “C:\Files\YOUR.bgi” /timer:0 /nolicprompt

 

  1. Place all the files in a simple folder like c:\Files
    1. Files Needed
      1. Bginfo.exe
      2. YOUR.bgi
      3. Startbgi.bat
  2. In Windows 2003 – Copy Startbgi.bat into “c:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup”

Every time you logon to the server, bginfo will launch and update your background with useful information..

Once you have created your basic *bgi file, then it’s time to add the WMI Query for Starting Offset and volume block size(aka allocation unit size)

  1. In BGInfo click on Custom, then New, Enter a name under Identifier, Choose WMI Query, then click on Browse
  2. Under WMI Class Choose Win32_DiskPatition and under Class Property choose StartingOffset
  3. Save it up and add it to your *.bgi file

Follow the same steps as above only this time…

Under WMI Class Choose Win32_Volume and under Class Property choose BlockSize (aka allocation unit size)

I hope this works for you as well as it did for me!

Enjoy!

Matt..