Since the keynote by Frank Denneman at the LonVMUG many months ago the PernixData product has been something I wanted to test to see what benefits it may or may not bring to our SQL environment, I did have the good fortune to briefly beta test it last year but this blog post will cover the current full version (FVP 126.96.36.199). I am aware that 1.5 is just around the corner and with it comes full support for vSphere 5.5 whereas the current version that I will be installing supports ESXi hosts on 5.0 or 5.1 and vCenter 5.5 (not mentioned in the minimum requirements)
- 3x Dell R715
- 3x Dell SSD (1 installed in each host)
- iSCSI connected SAN
ESXi Host preparation
The first job is to install the PernixData host extensions to the hosts, I opted to copy the extension to a data store that was accessible to all the hosts. After putting the first host into maintenance mode I quickly encounter my first issue.
This was simply as a result of not removing the previous install from this particular host so it was easy enough to fix by simply removing the previous installation with the following command “cp /opt/pernixdata/bin/prnxuninstall.sh /tmp/ && /tmp/prnxuninstall.sh“ (as outlined in the PernixData FVP install guide)
After a reboot of the host (just to make sure) I reran the installation with success.
Management server install
As per the PernixData documentation I created a new AD account which had the appropriate admin permissions on vCenter and local admin rights on the dedicated VM for the FVP management server.
Because this environment uses a vCenter 5.5 Appliance I created a small dedicated VM (Server 2008 R2) for the FVP management server, I installed SQL Express 2008 R2 and then the SQL Express management studio. Once SQL was installed I proceeded to install the FVP Management server, the installation went ahead with no problems. I rebooted the VM (just to be sure) and then once back up I reopened my vSphere client hoping to see the Management plugin listed in the Plugins, however it was not there. I checked the PernixData Windows service which had indeed started successfully.
Checking the logs (<INSTALLDIR>\server\log\prnxms.log) there was clearly a problem.
“2014-02-28 11:50:53,371 [pool-3-thread-1] ERROR Context – Logging by SSPI failed
javax.xml.ws.soap.SOAPFaultException: A general system error occurred: User mydomain\pernixuseraccount, cause: N3Vpx6Common3Sso23DomainNotFoundExceptionE(No Domain found with ID: mydomain)“
I went and double checked the username and its credentials, everything seemed perfectly fine, I restarted the service still the same error.
I wanted to see what configuration was actually being used so I took a quick look at the Configuration file (<INSTALLDIR>\server\conf\prnxms.config)
The following lines in the config file were empty
So as a test I populated the fields with the correct information
It is also important to ensure the following line is set to cleartext (as shown) before restarting the service
After restarting the Management server service it will encrypt the password text and reset the line entry to the following
I then closed and reopened the vSphere client and voila! the FVP Management plug was listed as an available plugin.
After installing the plugin I created a flash Cluster but at this point did not add any SSD devices to the cluster, this will allow us to then add any targeted VMs and gather existing metrics for a few days so we can then compare how much benefit the targetted VMs actually get after “switching it on”.
In my next post I will go over the results and my overall experience of using the PernixData product.