What type of storage to use for VMware Mirage

Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Mirage, VMware | 0 comments

Surprisingly Mirage has some fairly lean requirements for the management infrastructure. One of the key pieces is the storage, after all we are storing is our master image(s) and the backups from each endpoint. So Mirage is a fairly storage focused product.

A nice thing about VMware Mirage is that it does not require blazing fast storage to provide its services. The disks that will store the CVD backups are located on the single-instance-store (SIS) and can be located on Tier 2 or Tier 3 disks. This will allow your design to utilize larger capacity drives keeping the cost of deploying low.

One scenario that I thought of that you might want to use Tier 2 disks for would be a Windows migration project. For example if you are upgrading endpoints from Windows XP to Windows 7 you will keep pushing out larger amounts of data than your current steady state. So for this you could store the base layer for this process on better performing disk. Another reason is under a project like this you are likely to be pushing this out to larger quantities of endpoints during each wave. Once the migration is complete an Administrator can move the base layer to a lower tier of storage.

Lab Test:

I performed a quick test in my home lab. I asked a test endpoint to re-sync with the Mirage server and watched the IO activity on the Mirage server VM via ESXTOP. The Mirage server was running on a HP ML150 server with a local SSD drive. The test endpoint was running on same host located on a home office NFS storage device connected via 1GbE. The average IO during the sync on the Mirage server was 3-5 IOPs with a short spike to 30 IOPs. The endpoint moved between 30-100 IOPs. This was not a full push of an image, it was just an incremental sync of changes. This was just a simple test in a home to get an idea of what the workload might be for each sync.

You can deploy a standalone Mirage server or a Mirage server cluster. I have listed the storage options that both deployment methods support. These are the methods for connecting to storage not the performance of the storage.

Standalone Mirage Server:

  • Direct Attached Storage (DAS).
  • Storage Area Network (SAN) connected through iSCSI or Fiber Channel (FC).
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) connected through iSCSI, Fiber Channel (FC), or CIFS network share.

Mirage Server Cluster:

  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) connected using a CIFS network share

Interested in other VMware Mirage topics refer to my Mirage Series.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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