PernixData FVP Freedom: Setup and First Look

At the Virtualization Field Day back in June PernixData Announced they would be releasing a free version of their FVP software…FVP Freedom. Overnight Freedom was released and as I have been eager to put it to use in my Lab for a while now I’ve gone through the install steps and put together a guide/first look.

As a quick reminder FVP Freedom gives you the following:

  • Acceleration for any virtualized application
  • Up to 128 GB of read acceleration (Using only RAM as Cache – DFTM)
  • Community support

Required Bits for Installation:

  • FVP Management Server (v3.0)
    • 4 vCPU and 8GB vRAM
    • Windows 2008/R2 2012/R2
    • MSSQL 2008/12/14
    • .NET 3.5 SP1 or Later
  • FVP Host Extension for vSphere 5.1, 5.5 or 6.0 (v3.0.0.0)

FVP Management Server and Console:

For my NestedESXi Labs I run five hosts that are a mix of ESXi 5.5 and 6.0 Clusters managed by the 6.0 vCenter Server Appliance. The FVP Management Server is hooked up to the Active Directory for authentication and I am running MSSQL locally on the server to keep the required services local.

Once you have the pre-requisites installed launch the FVP Manager Installer ( I choose Custom Setup )  and work through the install options including configuring the vCenter details and authentication, database and FVP Manager IP and Port settings.

Note: There is still this password issue when special characters are used.

At this point, before installing the Manager you are told that the FVP Freedom Edition is being installed and you can activate using the license page.

If, like me you have installed MSSQL on the same server you may get the following warning.

My suggestion is to cap MSSQL to allow for the 4GB free memory the FVP Manager is asking for…the Management VM has 12GB of vRAM and I’ve limited MSSQL to use 6GB max. Once the installation is complete you can now access the new standalone FVP Management Console. If you choose the default options you can browse to the Manager Console via:

http://FVP-MGR-IP:60001/login

Once logged in using the credentials supplied during the setup process you will see a familiar layout to what was previously in the VI Client and will show up in the Web Client.

 

License Install:

To install your FVP license (you should have received the license in a seperate email from PernixData after registering for FVP Freedom) click on the Licensing Tab and select the vCenter Server from the list and Click on the Enter FVP License Key.

At this point the Online Activation should take place and you should see the FVP License Type change to Freedom Edition. Clicking on the License details in the lower pane will show you just want PernixData are giving away with this edition.

FVP Host Extension and Host Resource Configuration:

Installing the Host Extensions is a straight forward process and I won’t go into too much detail as there are other blog posts around that cover the subject. In a nutshell you can use Update Manager to push the bundle out or use the following esxcli command on the hosts directly.

esxcli software vib install-d /vmfs/volumes/ds01/PernixData-host-extensionvSphere5.5.0_3.0.0.0-XXXXX.zip

For the rest of the FVP Cluster Configuration I’ve created a quick video:

vCenter Web Client:

With the new Stand Alone Management Console the vCenter Web Client is used as a pointer. As shown below the PernixData Logo now shows up in the Home Page and clicks through to a summary screen where you see the FVP Cluster details and get some basic insights into how the cluster is performing.

Enjoy the Freedom!

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