VxRail – Basic vSAN UI Overview

The following post provides a basic UI overview of how the VxRail Appliance disk groups are configured and viewed from both the VxRail Manager and the vSphere Client.

The VxRail Appliance vSAN disk groups are configured in one of two ways:
Hybrid – single SSD disk for caching and one or more HDD disks for capacity.
All-flash – single SSD disk for caching and one or more SSD disks for capacity.
The amount of storage available to the vSAN datastore is based on the capacity drives.

A VxRail node allows for multiple disk groups (please refer to official VxRail docs for specifics, as the quantity of disk groups differ per VxRail model) which in turn provides multiple cache drives per node thus potentially improving performance. In this example each VxRail Appliance node has two All-flash disk groups, each node in the cluster is required to have the same storage configuration.

vSphere Client UI

From the vSphere client click on the cluster and navigate to the ‘configure – vSAN – General’ from here we can see that the vSAN cluster for this VxRail appliance comprises of 24 disks in total (4x 13G servers).

vxrailvsanui1

‘vSAN – Disk Management’ displays both the Disk Groups and the disks associated with each Disk Group. Taking the example below of the first ESXi host in the cluster, we can see the VxRail node has a total of 6 disks contributing storage to the vSAN cluster, comprising of two disk groups with three disks in each disk group. Continue reading

VxRail – How to Check ‘PTAgent’ Status

VxRail manager utilizes the PTAgent running on the ESXi hosts as part of a VxRail cluster in order to pull hardware related information from the host. If you are experiencing host visibility issues in VxRail manager, then a good starting point is to check the PTAgent status,

PTAgent is bundled with VxRail code releases as part of the Dell PowerEdge components. ESXCLI can be used to determine the PTAgent version running on the host.

esxcli software vib list | grep dellptagent

vxrailptagentstatus1

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VxRail Mgmt Pack for vROPS – Example Alert

For a detailed overview of the VxRail Management Pack for vROps please refer to the excellent post by Steve Hegarty:

VxRail Management Pack for vROps

This post provides an example use case of working with this mgmt pack. You can see from the image below capturing the Mgmt. pack dashboard ‘Dell EMC VxRail Clusters‘, is throwing an alert in relation to a VM that has exceeded the threshold for snapshot duration (by the way this is a lab and yes it has well exceeded said threshold!):

vropsvxrailmgmtpacksnap1

Clicking on the alert provides detailed info (‘Symptoms’) of the alert. Click on the ‘RUN ACTION’ button in order to be presented with the options for remediation: Continue reading

VxRail Manager – Manual Backup

Note: Please refer to the DELL EMC Solve procedures before performing this task, this is for example purposes only, running VxRail code 4.5.210.

This is an example of a manual file-based backup of your VxRail Manager config, which is invaluable in the event you are required to recover the VxRail Manager.

In this example I accessed the VxRail Manager via SSH with mystic account, su to root and navigate to the backup script directory:

vxmgrbckup1

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VxRail iDRAC – ESXi Shell Access via DCUI

A very useful benefit of iDRAC Console is that it allows you access to ESXi DCUI thus providing access to the ESXi Shell. The following steps provide detail on how to gain such access to the ESXi Shell which is disabled by default. Of course there are other methods of accessing shell, but it maybe beneficial for example when all your lab VM’s are running behind a firewall and when those VM’s are down the only direct access to the host(s) is via iDRAC … from where you can manage VM’s via the ESXi Shell!

Begin by browsing to the iDRAC Console:

https://idrac_ip/console

Enter the iDRAC creds:

ESXi Shell Access via DCUI1

Continue reading

VVD on VxRail – Sizing

VMware Validated Design (VVD) for SDDC on Dell EMC VxRail

Accelerating the path to the VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). Offering VVD with complete vSAN, NSX and vRealize capabilities on the No.1 Dell EMC HCI platform. VMware Validated Design (v4.2) Certified Partner Architecture on the Dell EMC VxRail 4.5 based on PowerEdge 14g.

VxRail VVD

The following details the minimum VxRail hardware requirements per region for both the Management & Edge/Compute Workload Domains in order to implement the architecture of a VVD design on VxRail. Continue reading