Marc Huppert

Stage XIII: PernixData FVP at my HomeLab

I played with PernixData FVP a little bit in the past and implemented it at customer environments. After the creation of my custom built NAS in Stage XII it was time to implement FVP at my HomeLab....

My plan was to install Enterprise SSDs inside of all my Apple Mac Mini ESXi hosts and accelerate my FibreChannel storage.

I had PernixData FVP already installed at home and created a monitoring cluster, due to the lack of acceleration resources.

I searched the web for Enterprise SSDs and found the Intel DC S3700 series:

CapacitySequential Read/Write (up to)2Random 4KB Read3/Write (up to)4Form Factor
200 GBSATA 6 Gb/s     500 MB/s / 365 MB/sup to 75,000 IOPS / 29,000 IOPS1.8-inch SATA
400 GBSATA 6 Gb/s      500 MB/s / 460 MB/sup to 75,000 IOPS / 36,000 IOPS1.8-inch SATA
100 GBSATA 6 Gb/s      500 MB/s / 200 MB/s
up to 75,000 IOPS / 19,000 IOPS2.5-inch SATA
200 GBSATA 6 Gb/s      500 MB/s / 365 MB/s
up to 75,000 IOPS / 32,000 IOPS2.5-inch SATA
400 GBSATA 6 Gb/s      500 MB/s / 460 MB/s
up to 75,000 IOPS / 36,000 IOPS2.5-inch SATA
800 GBSATA 6 Gb/s      500 MB/s / 460 MB/s
up to 75,000 IOPS / 36,000 IOPS2.5-inch SATA

The 400GB or 800GB version should be perfect for my Mac Mini ESXi hosts....

So I got 3 of these little beasts.

My Apple Mac Minis are the server version, so they have two internal SATA connections. All of my three hosts have Samsung SSDs for ESXi boot and host caching, so I removed the default 1TB HDD and replaced it with the S3700 SSDs.

Every Mac Mini has now the following specifications:

Quad Core i7- 2,6GHz


256 GB Samsung 830 SSD

400GB Intel S3700 SSD

2 x 1GbE NIC (onBoard + Thunderbolt)

1 x 10GbE (Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion)

1 x Dual Port 4Gbit QLogic HBA (Thunderbolt Expansion)

FusionIO Duo Drive or Teradici APEX card on esxmac1 and esxmac2

After the SSD installation you can find the details inside your vSphere Client:

A quick check that the FVP host extension is up and running....

This is my FVP monitoring cluster, without acceleration resources

All new SSDs are visible in the Add Resources wizard for my existing cluster

My cluster has now 3 acceleration resources available.

It´s time to accelerate some virtual machines.... I choose Write Back with Local and Remote peer.

I created another instance of the VMware IO Analyzer appliance and configured Write Back with Local and Remote peer, too.

This is the result of a quick Max Read IOPS test from the IO Analyzer appliance. 76.537 IOPS... nice :-)

The PernixData FVP Solution gives me more IOPS (Read and Write) and a much more better latency of my IBM DS3500 FibreChannel storage at home. I definitely recommend that solution to everyone who had a shared storage!!!!

This finishes Stage XIII: PernixData FVP for my HomeLab. The next story is already available: Stage XIV: APC vSphere Integration