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VSC 2.0 Provisioning and Cloning configuration issue

Hi,

Installed VSC 2.0 earlier which went well.  I found the 2 netapp systems and added them in although it did take a while on the 'Discovering Network Components' part and it only shows controller A for each system but does list controller B as a partner.

I then selected it to set all the mpio settings per host which it did and presented my with lots of Normal green tick icons which was good.

It also correctly shows the storage details for the sans ie Volumes, Luns etc...

I did a test backup and that worked great.

I then decided to have a go at the Provisioning and Cloning or more precisely just the cloning.

For info, we are using VMFS datastores on Fibre Channel storage.

No matter what I did it would not connect to the storage controllers and kept giving timeout error.  Looking in the log files showed some errors which seemed to revolve around nfs so I downloaded a trial license and put that onto the controller.  Hey presto it would now talk to the controller and let me add it in.

Am a little worried as to why it wouldn't let us continue without the nfs license and am hoping that is some sort of bug.

Have just done 2 'not so rapid' clones to see how it worked and noticed it seems to have put some partitions onto the wrong datastores for me which might be why it's taking a while.  The template had 3 drives c: d: e:  with c & d being on one datastore and the pagefile e: being on a different datastore.  Unfortunately it also put c: on the pagefile datastore.

2 images started at 18:12, finished at 19:03 with zero other traffic at all on the SAN and no other work on the vsphere servers.

I think because it put some files in the wrong datastore is why it used up 90 gig of disk space and took so long.  Will continue to play and see how it goes.

Overall like how it's all integrated, I just need to get used to how it works now.

Have raised a support case to do with the nfs license though as that is very worrying.

Re: VSC 2.0 Provisioning and Cloning configuration issue

Hi Darren,

Sorry to hear that you're having issues with the nfs license.  We will certainly look into this.

Within the cloning wizard, you are prompted to provide the destination datastores that will contain the new clones.  When you're moving the VMDKs into multiple destination datastores, you should use the Advanced button to select which file goes into which datastores.  This gives you full control over where each vmdk clone will end up.

The other thing to keep in mind is that when we clone within a VMFS environment, the cloning works best as you increase the number of datastores that you clone into.  For example if you create 10 virtual machine clones into a single datastore, we will have to perform 10 native clone operations.  However, if you clone them into 10 new datastores, VSC will perform a single native clone to populate the first datastore and then perform 9 FlexClones to build the remaining ones.  This will rapidly increase the speed of your cloning operation.  The option to "Create new datastores" is available in the cloning wizard.

Hope this information helps.

Re: VSC 2.0 Provisioning and Cloning configuration issue

Cool, would like to get that license issue sorted as I was under the impression that the flexclone and fibre channel licenses we have were enough and we didn't need nfs license.

I know about the advanced bit and I did review where it was putting the files before telling it to proceed, no worries though I will do more testing in morning.

I'm only testing with a couple of images at a time to get the hang of it before going ahead with all of them (not that theres that many, I just want it to be right).

Can you clarify how the cloning works though as I don't want to clone to different datastores for each vm.

example say I want to make x amount of copies of a template so at present im picking it and saying clone to same datastore.  Are you saying i should be picking it and saying clone to individual datastores for each clone.  Then maybe migrate the cloned images into the correct datastores once they have been deployed, if I did this would they keep their nice small flexclone size aswell ?

Thanks

Re: VSC 2.0 Provisioning and Cloning configuration issue

We opened a bug against the NFS issue.  For the time being, you will need to have NFS licensed to properly add controllers.  We will have a fix available in a follow-on release of VSC.

When you specify the details of the clone operation (# of clones, base clone name, apply customization spec, etc.), there is an additional option to create new datastores as part of the cloning operation.  If you select this, you can choose to create X number of new datastores to contain the number of clones that you want to create.  We calculate the number of clones that will be created per datastore performing native clone operations to populate the first datastore.  We have to do native clones here as we can not do sub-lun cloning in VMFS.  Once that datastore is ready, we flexclone the LUN X-1 times and then mount them to the hosts you've selected.