DefinIT

Pernixdata – ICM and initial impressions – part 1

| 28/02/2014 | Tags: , , , ,

pernixdataSince 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 1.0.2.0). 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)

Environment

  • 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.

2014-02-27_135234

 

 

 

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

prnxms.vcserver.username=
prnxms.vcserver.password=

So as a test I populated the fields with the correct information

prnxms.vcserver.username=username@domain
prnxms.vcserver.password=userpassword

It is also important to ensure the following line is set to cleartext (as shown) before restarting the service

prnxms.vcserver.password.format=cleartext

After restarting the Management server service it will encrypt the password text and reset the line entry to the following

prnxms.vcserver.password.format=encrypted

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.