Troubleshooting vSphere Storage – review

Storage is one of the most important key area in the virtualization, so it is essential and significant to know how it connected to another areas, understand how it works, how can you troubleshoot storage related availability, performance, space, other issues. The author Mike Preston did a great job with his book “Troubleshooting vSphere Storage“.


The five main chapters cover the most important areas. In the 1st section describes the storage technologies, file systems, PSA, PSP, SATP: the base knowledge. The 2nd chapter has the tools which can be used during an issue investigation: esxtop, charts, reports, maps, logs, views. 3rd chapter writes about LUN masking, numbering, resignaturing, FC/iSCSI/NFS visibility, permissions, authentication, storage related esxcli commands. The 4th chapter covers the contention and performance issues: DAVG/KAVG/GAVG latency (and thresholds), IOPS+RAID (how to design), OS/HBA/LUN queues. The last 5th chapter is about the capacity, and overcommitment: think/thick VMDKs, thin provisioning on SAN (LUN) level, snapshots, swap, monitoring VMFS usage, sDRS.

There are three more appendices, which are really useful toolkit for analyzing storage issues: troubleshoot steps, esxtop in-depth, and interpreting iSCSI error codes.

The book is not a long one, has only 150 pages. easy-to-understand, logical, has many screenshots, diagrams, charts for illustrating.
One problem: the book is a bit short, it could have been longer. There are several topics which would deserve more. And a second: When I was preparing to my VCAP5-DCA exam, the book was not yet exists, it would have helped to me a lot at that time. Anyway I used some other books, such as I would also recommend to check out the “VMware vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive” by Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman

I would recommend this book to especially vSphere admins, but it can be useful for vSphere architects as well. If you are managing vSphere infrastructure for a while, and you want to dig a little deeper in storage area, it is a must read book for you.

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