In part 1 I already talked about the basics of I/O acceleration and PrimaryIO as a possible alternative to PernixData FVP. In this (short) post we’ll look at the deployment of the APA appliance.
I recently had the time to download the newest version, GA 2.0, in order to set up a customer Proof of Concept (PoC) .
And I failed at the initial deployment.
Out of the box the OVA would throw an error about an unsupported chunk size.
Now I was already sitting in front of a vCenter version 6.5 (with ESXi hosts on 6.0) and as with FVP this is currently not supported for APA (I got the info from support that PrimaryIO targets April/May 2017 for the support).
But since this is a PoC/Lab I didn’t give up easily:
A nice VMware KB article describes the problem at hand and offers a solution.
Since OVAs are essentially a compressed archive, I used 7zip to extract the files and decided to have look at the appliance definition file (.OVF).
Line 5 and 6 contained the virtual disk definitions and the parameter:
Removing it, the .OVF looked like this after editing:
Gotacha which is also mentioned in the KB article: You have to delete the .mf file afterswards or at least update the checksums since the content was modified and they no longer match.
I skipped the step of re-creating an .OVA-file since we can use the .OVF and .VMDK-files directly in the FlexClient-deployment wizard. The only remaining adjustment was to relieve the .VMDK-files of their training zeros.
This left me with there three files:
After that the deployment worked like a charm and my next task was to setup networking since I opted for “fixed IP” within the OVA deployment wizard. Unfortunately the OVF-script does not include a script to set the IP information, however this step is well documented in the manual.
Essentially the APA-appliance is an ubuntu with enabled “root” login (default password: admin@123) and setting an IP is straightforward.
You might adjust additional linux stuff, like syslog and ntp according to your needs.
However, from a security standpoint I am a bit worried.
The appliance is based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is nearing end of life/support in few weeks– after that there are no more updates.
As you can see, there are initially many updates missing after deployment. I am not sure how the update policy is on the appliance (i.e. can I just use apt-get).
Regarding these questions I will raise this issue with PrimaryIO support and update this article.
Updated info from support:
We do not recommend an apt-get upgrade of the appliance. If you are facing any specific issue – we can help address that. […]I have a confirmation that the APA 2.5 release scheduled for May 2017 GA will have the latest ubuntu LTS based PIO Appliance.
All right, for a few week I am OK with an “old version”.
Part 3 will go into the APA configuration