I miss Tru64, and Solaris for that matter. I don’t miss HP-UX. And I definitely won’t miss AIX. Read about the death of Unix over at El Reg – Unix is dead. Long live Unix!
The I3.metal is going away very soon. Remember this is from a sales perspective, VMware is still supporting the I3.metal in the wild, and you’ll still have access to deploy on-demand if required (up to a point).
Welcome to Random Short Take #81. Last one for the year, because who really wants to read this stuff over the holiday season? Let’s get random.
Curtis did a podcast on archive and retrieve as part of his “Backup to Basics” series. It’s something I feel pretty strongly about, so much so that I wrote a chapter in his book about it. You can listen to it here.
I love Backblaze. Not in the sense that I want to marry the company, but I really like what the folks there do. And I really like the transparency with which they operate. This article giving a behind the scenes look at its US East Data Center is a fantastic example of that.
And, to “celebrate” 81 Random Short Takes (remember when I used to list my favourite NBA players and the numbers they wore?), let’s take a stroll down memory lane with two of my all-time, top 5, favourite NBA players – Kobe Bryant and Jalen Rose. The background for this video is explained by Jalen here.
Take care of yourselves and each other, and I’ll hopefully see you all on the line or in person next year.
In this edition of Things My Customers Have Asked Me (TMCHAM), I’m going to delve into some questions around TRIM/UNMAP and capacity reclamation on the VMware-managed VMware Cloud on AWS platform.
TRIM/UNMAP, in short, is the capability for operating systems to reclaim no longer used space on thin-provisioned filesystems. Why is this important? Imagine you have a thin-provisioned volume that has 100GB of capacity allocated to it. It consumes maybe 1GB when it’s first deployed. You then add 50GB of data to it. You then delete 50GB of data from the volume. You’ll still see 51GB of capacity being consumed on the filesystem. This is because older operating systems just mark the blocks as deleted, but don’t zero them out. Modern operating systems do support TRIM/UNMAP though, but the hypervisor needs to understand the commands being sent to it. You can read more on that here.
Do the VMs come across thin? Do you need to reclaim space first? If you’re using HCX to go from thick to thin, you should be fine. If you’re migrating thin to thin, it’s worth checking whether you’ve got any space reclamation in place on your source side. I’ve had customers report back that some environments have migrated across with higher than expected storage usage due to a lack of space reclamation happening on the source storage environment. You can use something like Live Optics to report on your capacity consumed vs allocated, and how much capacity can be reclaimed.
Why Isn’t This Enabled By Default?
I don’t know for sure, but I imagine it has something to do with the fact that TRIM/UNMAP has the potential to have a performance impact from a latency perspective, depending on the workloads running in the environment, and the amount of capacity being reclaimed at any given time. We recommend that you “schedule large space reclamation jobs during off-peak hours to reduce any potential impact”. Given that VMware Cloud on AWS is a fully-managed service, I imagine we want to control as many of the performance variables as possible to ensure our customers enjoy a reliable and stable platform. That said, TRIM/UNMAP is a really useful feature, and you should look at getting it enabled if you’re concerned about the potential for wasted capacity in your SDDC.
Speaking of streaming, this article covered some of the best mechanisms to purchase digital content with. I still prefer buying discs, but I’m a bit weird too.
Finally, I’ve been a fan of John Birmingham’s writing since I was a misspending my youth at university in the 90s, so it makes sense that I’d enjoy his food reviews too (mainly because it’s not just about food). It should come as no surprise that I, too, love pork rillette.
At VMware Explore 2022 in the US, VMware announced a number of new offerings for VMware Cloud on AWS, including a new bare-metal instance type: the I4i.metal. You can read the official blog post here. I thought it would be useful to provide some high-level details and cover some of the caveats that punters should be aware of.
By The Numbers
What do you get from a specifications perspective?
Can I use custom core counts? Yep, the I4i will support physical custom core counts of 8, 16, 24, 30, 36, 48, 64.
Is there stretched cluster support? Yes, you can deploy these in stretched clusters (of the same host type).
Can I do in-cluster conversions? Yes, read more about that here.
Why does the sizer say 20 TiB useable for the I4i? Around 7 TiB is consumed by the cache tier at the moment, so you’ll see different numbers in the sizer. And your useable storage numbers will obviously be impacted by the usual constraints around failures to tolerate (FTT) and RAID settings.
The I4i.metal instances will be available in the following Regions (and Availability Zones):
US East (N. Virginia) – use1-az1, use1-az2, use1-az4, use1-az5, use1-az6
US West (Oregon) – usw2-az1, usw2-az2, usw2-az3, usw2-az4
US West (N. California) – usw1-az1, usw1-az3
US East (Ohio) – use2-az1, use2-az2, use2-az3
Canada (Central) – cac1-az1, cac1-az2
Europe (Ireland) – euw1-az1, euw1-az2, euw1-az3
Europe (London) – euw2-az1, euw2-az2, euw2-az3
Europe (Frankfurt) – euc1-az1, euc1-az2, euc1-az3
Europe (Paris) – euw3-az1, euw3-az2, euw3-az3
Asia Pacific (Singapore) – apse1-az1, apse1-az2, apse1-az3
Asia Pacific (Sydney) – apse2-az1, apse2-az2, apse2-az3
Asia Pacific (Tokyo) – apne1-az1, apne1-az2, apne1-az4
Other Regions will have availability over the coming months.
The i3.metal isn’t going anywhere, but it’s nice to have an option that supports more cores and it a bit more storage and RAM. The I4i.metal is great for SQL workloads and VDI deployments where core count can really make a difference. Coupled with the addition of supplemental storage via VMware Cloud Flex Storage and Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP, there are some great options available to deal with the variety of workloads customers are looking to deploy on VMware Cloud on AWS.
This short, sharp piece from JB is the best. Too often I’ve found myself grinding through a TV show because I had high hopes for it, or so many people told me it was great. What I should have realised is that amateur TV critics (i.e. your friends and colleagues) are often like home theatre enthusiasts who have bought their first subwoofer. Whether it’s good or bad, that’s the choice they made, and they need you to endorse that choice so they can feel better about it as well.
Finally, the blog turned 15 years old recently (about a month ago). I’ve been so busy with the day job that I forgot to appropriately mark the occasion. But I thought we should do something. So if you’d like some stickers (I have some small ones for laptops, and some big ones because I can’t measure things properly), send me your address via this contact form and I’ll send you something as a thank you for reading along.