After 7 years of NetApp administration and implementation I have started looking for a new storage vendor that can “do it all” like NetApp has been able to do. Protocol support is a big deal in each of the environments I’ve worked in, but performance (IOPs and low-latency) are 2 things my existing NetApps haven’t been able to provide. The idea of adding capacity just to add performance is an antiquated way of thinking and NetApp just hasn’t been able to keep up with the evolving storage market.
I am starting a short series on Tegile setup and administration. Tegile came to us a couple of months ago and has impressed us from the very first conversation and all throughout our sizing and implementation. The box is simple to setup and administer and its performance is crushing our current NetApp.
This guide walks you through connecting the Tegile array to your vCenter server, installing the NFS VAAI Plugin, and setting the Tegile recommended values on the ESXi hosts. Once this is completed, you’ll be able to provision new volumes, resize existing volumes, create VM-aware storage snapshots as well as view storage performance of your VMs all from within the vSphere client.
1. Admin credentials to the Tegile and vCenter server
2. Dedicated service account in vCenter (I created an account called “ZebiAdmin”)
3. Root password for the ESXi hosts (required to set recommended values)
1. Connect to the web interface of the storage array and login with Admin credentials
a. Default username: admin
b. Default password: tegile
a. Host Name/IP address: Host name or IP of the vCenter server
b. Username: User account with admin access to vCenter
c. Password: Password for user account
d. Enable Quiesce: This needs to be checked if quiescing will be used at all (a VMware snapshot is taken during thestorage snapshot process for OS consistency). Can be toggled per snapshot job
5. Click “Test” to see if the connection is successful. If it is, the “Save” button will turn solid blue and can be clicked
6. Click “OK” to confirm enabling of quiesce on VMware
7. Once saved, click the green “Register” button to add the Tegile plugin to vCenter
8. Once the registration is successful, click “OK”
9. Login to the vSphere thick client (not the web client). Click the “Home” button then click on “Tegile Management” under “Solutions and Applications” (Click yes to proceed through any certificate warnings)
10. Login to the Tegile web interface (Likely the same username and password as in step 1)
11. In this interface you’ll see a list of Datastores on the Tegile that are mounted on your ESXi hosts as well as real-time stats of your array, datastores, and VMs.
12. Click on “ESX Settings”
13. Select all the ESXi hosts and then click the Green Arrow icon to install/upgrade the VAAI NFS plugin on these hosts
14. After the install completes (may take 2-3 minutes), click the “Configuration” button for each host
15. Login to the ESXi host (likely “root” credentials)
16. NFS.MaxQueueDepth should be set to “32” and the rules for iSCSI and FC can be installed in this location. Click “Save” to enable these changes
17. After the NFS VAAI plugin has been installed and settings saved, reboot the host. Repeat for each host in vCenter.
a. The settings changes are immediate, but the NFS VAAI plugin requires a host reboot
The process is simple and straight forward. This same process on the NetApp requires the Virtual Storage Console plugin to be installed on a separate server and configured then registered on the vCenter side with much more configuration. Also, installing the NetApp NFS VAAI plugin on the hosts is done through vCenter Update Manager and has been downloaded separately from the NetApp support site. That being said, the Tegile solution is lacking some of the polish that NetApp provides. I would like to see recommended values of the ESXi hosts set all at once, as opposed to one host at a time. In addition, I’d like the Tegile to change NFS.MaxVolumes default value from 8 to something much higher like the NetApp (256).