Friday, 16 August 2013

PernixData and their new FVP Technology

There has been quite a buzz around PernixData and their new FVP technology after they came out of stealth mode a while back.  Just this week they went GA with FVP 1.0 and I was finally able to get my hands on the 60 day free trial.  So, exactly what is FVP and what does it do?  FVP basically improves read and write performance for virtual machines by using SSD's in your ESXi hosts to cache the data for subsequent reads and de-stages to your storage for writes.  The software can be made fully redundant in the event of a host going down to ensure all data is consistent and written to back end storage.  Frank Denneman (blog / twitter)  has some great posts on how the technology works from the backend.  What I wanted to do was put it to the test to see what sort of results I received from my home lab.

Installation

Installation was pretty straight forward.  There is an .exe for the management server which I installed on a separate Windows 2012 server and a host extension package which needs to be installed on the ESXi hosts.  A back end SQL database is required but SQL Express is more than adequate.  The installation guide that comes with the software is very thorough and walks you through all the steps.  Once all the software has been installed and the management software has been configured to talk to your vCenter server then you simply install the plugin and a new PernixData tab is available within vCenter

Configuration

Configuration is very simple as well and Jason Nash (blog / twitter) has an excellent post and video which I recommend you watch as it shows you how to configure your first FVP cluster and start viewing the results.

Results

I've had FVP running in my lab for just over a day and the results speak for themselves


I've configured my FVP Cluster in write back mode which caches reads but also writes directly to the SSD without it having to wait for the the underlying storage to acknowledge the write and then de-stages the data through time


I'll write a bit more about it once I've had it running in the lab for a few more days but so far I'm extremely impressed with the software.  If you have a homelab and a few spare SSD's I recommend you give it a try. Now all we need is for PernixData to give vEXPERTS a few NFR licenses for home use.

2 comments:

  1. Good post. Have to admit this product caught my eye at Storage Field Day 3. Good to see the results are matching the demo & claims. Would be interested in seeing more implementations/results. Let's hope Pernix get you those NFRs sorted.

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  2. Yes Hani, I was very impressed with the first 24hrs of running the software. If you want to see more then I'll happily show you my setup over a webex or something. Well worth setting up in my opinion

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