Troubleshooting vSphere Storage

Troubleshooting vSphere Storage
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Identify key issues that affect vSphere storage visibility, performance, and capacity
  • Comprehend the storage metrics and statistics that are collected in vSphere
  • Get acquainted with the many vSphere features that can proactively protect your environment

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 150 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : November 2013
ISBN : 1782172068
ISBN 13 : 9781782172062
Author(s) : Mike Preston
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Enterprise Products and Platforms, Virtualization and Cloud, Enterprise

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Understanding vSphere Storage Concepts and Methodologies
Chapter 2: Commonly Used Tools for Troubleshooting Storage
Chapter 3: Troubleshooting Storage Visibility
Chapter 4: Troubleshooting Storage Contention
Chapter 5: Troubleshooting Storage Capacity and Overcommitment
Appendix A: Troubleshooting Steps
Appendix B: Statistics of esxtop
Appendix C: iSCSI Error Codes
  • Chapter 1: Understanding vSphere Storage Concepts and Methodologies
    • Storage virtualization
    • Supported filesystems
      • VMFS
      • NFS
      • Raw disk
    • Storage naming
      • Viewing device identifiers
        • Within the vSphere Client
        • Within ESXi Shell
      • The many ways vSphere identifies storage
        • Friendly names
        • Identifiers
        • Runtime names
    • The vSphere Pluggable Storage Architecture
      • Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) roles and commands
      • Multipathing Plugin – the VMware Native Multipathing Plugin roles and commands
      • Storage Array Type Plugin roles and commands
      • Path Selection Plugin roles and commands
    • An I/O request – from start to finish
    • Summary
    • Chapter 2: Commonly Used Tools for Troubleshooting Storage
      • The vSphere troubleshooting methodology
      • vCenter Storage Views (Reports and Maps)
        • Reports
        • Maps
      • Using esxtop/resxtop
        • Switching displays
        • Field customization
        • Refresh interval
      • Logfiles used in vSphere Storage troubleshooting
        • ESXi logging
          • Viewing ESXi logs
        • vCenter Server logging
        • Virtual machine logging
      • Summary
      • Chapter 3: Troubleshooting Storage Visibility
        • Common storage visibility issues across block transport types
          • ESXi claim rules and LUN masking
          • Troubleshooting paths and path selection
          • vCenter Server Storage filters
          • Disk resignaturing
          • LUN numbering
        • Troubleshooting Fibre Channel storage visibility
          • Registered State Change Notification (RSCN)
          • Identifying and interpreting Fibre Channel connection issues in the logs
        • Troubleshooting IP storage visibility
          • Verifying network connectivity to our iSCSI and NFS array
          • iSCSI and NFS port requirements
          • CHAP authentication
          • Identifying and interpreting iSCSI storage connection issues in the logs
          • Troubleshooting NFS storage
            • NFS ACLs
            • NFS permissions
          • Identifying and interpreting NFS storage connection issues in the logs
        • Summary
        • Chapter 4: Troubleshooting Storage Contention
          • Identifying storage contention and performance issues
            • Disk adapter latency statistics
            • Disk device latency statistics
            • Virtual machine latency statistics
            • Using vCenter alarms to monitor latency
          • Planning – how to properly scale your storage
            • Calculating IOPs requirements
            • Calculating the number of disks required
            • How do we know when we need more IOPs?
          • vSphere features to help with latency, contention, placement, and compliance
            • Profile-Driven Storage
            • Storage DRS for performance
          • SCSI reservation conflicts
            • Monitoring SCSI reservation conflicts with esxtop
            • Resolving excessive SCSI resolutions
          • Storage queuing in vSphere
            • OS queue
            • Adapter queue
            • Per-LUN queue
            • Viewing queues in ESXi
            • vSphere Storage I/O Control
              • Configuring Storage I/O Control
          • Troubleshooting NAS/iSCSI storage performance
            • iSCSI port binding and Round Robin path policy
            • Jumbo Frames and MTU size
          • Summary
          • Chapter 5: Troubleshooting Storage Capacity and Overcommitment
            • Monitoring datastore usage
            • Thin Provisioning
              • Array thin provisioning
              • Hypervisor (VMDK) thin provisioning
              • Monitoring Thin Provisioning
            • Snapshots
              • Understanding vSphere Snapshots
              • Monitoring snapshot disk usage
            • Datastore file management
            • Virtual machine swap files
            • Increasing the size of our datastores
              • Growing a VMFS datastore
              • Adding an extent to a VMFS datastore
            • Balancing capacity with Storage DRS
            • Summary
            • Appendix A: Troubleshooting Steps
              • You cannot connect to your iSCSI storage
                • Have all the network requirements for your iSCSI connection been met?
                • Various things to check on ESXi
                • Have all CHAP requirements been met?
                • Has there been any advanced settings dealing with iSCSI incorrectly configured?
                • Further check the logs for iSCSI-related errors
              • You cannot connect to your NFS storage
                • Have all the network requirements for you NFS connection been met?
                • Check the settings on your NFS array
                • Has there been any advanced settings dealing with NFS incorrectly configured?
                • Further check the logs for NFS related errors
              • You cannot connect to your Fibre Channel Storage
                • Fibre Channel switch zoning
                • Check paths to storage array/PSP
                • Various things to check on ESXi
                • Check the storage array
                • Further check the logs for Fibre Channel related errors
              • My storage/virtual machine is slow
                • Inspect latency values to further pinpoint where performance degradation is occurring
                • Ensure that your storage array is handling the demand
              • Appendix B: Statistics of esxtop
                • Overview of esxtop's interactive commands
                  • Activating different displays
                  • Field selection
                  • Field order
                  • Filtering and sorting the displayed objects
                  • Other useful information
                • esxtop statistics

                  Mike Preston

                  Mike Preston is an IT professional and an overall tech enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. He has held all sorts of IT titles over the last 15 years including Network Technician, Systems Administrator, Programmer Analyst, Web Developer, and Systems Engineer in all sorts of different verticals, from sales to consulting. Currently, he is working as a Systems Analyst supporting the education market near his home in Belleville, Ontario. Mike has always had an intense passion for sharing his skills, solutions, and work with various online communities, most recently focusing on the virtualization communities. He is an avid blogger at and participates in many discussions on Twitter (@mwpreston). It's his passion for sharing within the virtualization community which has led to Mike receiving the vExpert award for 2012 and 2013. Mike has presented at VMworld, VMUGs, and various virtualization conferences on numerous times both as a customer and an overall evangelist and has published different whitepapers and articles for various tech websites. His commitment to giving back to the community has resulted in his most recent venture of becoming a Toronto VMUG co-leader. He is a VMware Certified Professional in Datacenter Virtualization on both Version 4 and 5 of vSphere and is currently pursuing his VCAP5-DCA, which he hopes to accomplish by 2014.
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                  Submit Errata

                  Please let us know if you have found any errors not listed on this list by completing our errata submission form. Our editors will check them and add them to this list. Thank you.


                  - 1 submitted: last submission 17 Apr 2014

                  Errata Type: Technical | Page number: 101 and 102

                  Instead of


                  it should be


                  where a .vmsn file includes the active state of the virtual machine.

                  Sample chapters

                  You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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                  What you will learn from this book

                  • Identify the root cause of storage issues within vSphere
                  • Understand where to look when storage is suddenly not available
                  • Use esxtop to monitor and discover pain points in your infrastructure
                  • Diagnose and resolve SCSI reservations and queuing issues
                  • Design storage properly based on workloads
                  • Monitor and alert on your thinly provisioned disks and data store capacity
                  • Utilize Storage DRS to proactively balance your capacity and workload on your data stores
                  • Maintain compliance in terms of placement with Profile Driven Storage
                  • Grant VMs the performance they need with Storage I/O Control
                  • Decipher storage-related error entries in the vSphere logfiles

                  In Detail

                  Virtualization has created a new role within IT departments everywhere; the vSphere administrator. vSphere administrators have long been managing more than just the hypervisor, they have quickly had to adapt to become a ‘jack of all trades’ in organizations. More and more tier 1 workloads are being virtualized, making the infrastructure underneath them all that more important. Due to this, along with the holistic nature of vSphere, administrators are forced to have the know-how on what to do when problems occur.

                  This practical, easy-to-understand guide will give the vSphere administrator the knowledge and skill set they need in order to identify, troubleshoot, and solve issues that relate to storage visibility, storage performance, and storage capacity in a vSphere environment.

                  This book will first give you the fundamental background knowledge of storage and virtualization. From there, you will explore the tools and techniques that you can use to troubleshoot common storage issues in today’s data centers.

                  You will learn the steps to take when storage seems slow, or there is limited availability of storage. The book will go over the most common storage transport such as Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and NFS, and explain what to do when you can’t see your storage, where to look when your storage is experiencing performance issues, and how to react when you reach capacity. You will also learn about the tools that ESXi contains to help you with this, and how to identify key issues within the many vSphere logfiles.


                  This is a step-by-step example-oriented tutorial aimed at showing the reader how to troubleshoot a variety of vSphere storage problems, and providing the reader with solutions that can be completed with minimal effort and time in order to limit damage to work.

                  Who this book is for

                  If you are a vSphere administrator, this is the book for you. This book will provide you with 'need to know' information about the various storage transports that ESXi utilizes, the tools and techniques we can use to identify problems, and the fundamental knowledge and steps to take to troubleshoot storage-related issues. Prior knowledge of the VMWare environment is assumed.

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