vSphere vFlash read cache (VFRC) Deprecation Announced

Recently someone asked me about VFRC.  I have played around with it a little bit in the past, however I decided to do a little bit of research around it.  While researching VFRC I learned that it was, at that time going to be deprecated which it now will be with the next major release of  vSphere.  VFRC looks to be supported in 6.0 6.5 and 6.7 still. 

VFRC was introduced in 5.5 and allowed us to pool multiple flash drives, which would enhance performance of IO workloads using local cache media for read IO.

A few lessons I learned while trying to find more info:

  • Sizing: It was recommended to start with 10% of your VMDK size for your cache size and work from there.
  • Monitor all your applications to see what your needs are, every environment is different
  • Match your block size, in order to get this info use vscsistats, which will give you the most commonly used block size
  • Maximum size is 400 GB however you may run into an issue where you can only enter 200 GB, resolve this in advanced settings VFLASH.MaxCacheFileSizeMB and change the value to 409600
  • Flash cache metrics are in the advanced section under disk counter or with “esxcli storage vflash cache stats get -c <name of cache>”
  • You need a minimum hardware version of 10 to enable Flash cache, the option is not available if you are below this version
  • Not Compatible with VSAN

Feedback I received was that there was a noticeable improvement in performance after enabling VFRC .  It will be sad to see it go, nevertheless with the small amount of customers using it I can see why VMware would start to phase it out.  I believe the focus today will be on VSAN which also has a form of flash cache.



We look up at the same stars , and see such different things.  –George R.R. Martin


VMUG Leader Summit
  Find your Adventure

Part 1


Stepping out of my comfort zone

VMUG is so much more I am finding out, than “Just a user group”  Don’t get me wrong the content is amazing which is why I stepped up to be a leader of the Edmonton chapter, after it had been dormant for the last few years. 

VMUG is teaching me new skills that I can transfer to my everyday career and life. Becoming a Leader I have learned to be outside my comfort zone, I have started toastmasters and I am a little less fearful of talking to people.

This week I had the opportunity to start a bigger adventure for myself, and was invited out to the VMUG leader summit.  What an amazing journey, it was surreal to me to be sitting in the VMware Campus listening to Pat Gelsinger (CEO of VMware) share with us information on public speaking, and hearing a little about VMwares direction.  Listening to Michael Roy who I believe manages the fusion team talk about SRE (site reliability engineering).  Hearing Chris McCain who is an amazing public speaker, talk about how to become a better speaker.  There is so much more, and I may need to separate each section into its own blog post at some point.

Meeting so many amazing people this week I can not thank the VMUG staff, and VMUG board enough for the opportunities I have had.

One thing I heard over and over this weekend is how important k8s (kubernetes) is.  This continuously brought up a book call the Phoenix Project I believe I heard reference to it 7 or 8 times.  Having five hours in the airport I stopped by the book store, and found the book.  I will be reading it on my journey home.  Made some amazing friends this week and I hope to keep in touch.  It’s time now to go find my gate so I shall end Part 1 here.


A passion for Technology

I was having a conversation with someone the other day, and had the realization I have had passion for technology from a very young age and I told the story of where I started which I thought I might share here.

My understanding is around Grade 2 or 3 I packed up all my toys to put into a garage sale, in order to buy my first computer.  Wasn’t enough to buy an Apple IIe, however I did have enough to get a clone of the IIe known as the Laser 128.  I recall learning to program in Basic at that time, in fact at one point I created a disk to show off to my dads friend that pretended to take over his computer, spinning up the disk drive turning on lights playing music etc.  Turns out he got a little freaked out.  In hindsight now working in IT I can see why he was a little freaked out even though it was harmless.  I also spent many hours typing in Hexadecimal from magazines (I wish I still had them but I believe it may have been called Compute) to get games onto the computer was such a sense of accomplishment when I could get it to work.  You don’t know the hours it takes to get a working game or program on a computer this way.

At one point a friend and I decided to write Sierra (remember them?  Kings quest etc) to find out what language they write their games in.  Turns out they were pleased to get the letter nevertheless and understandably they did not want to share any proprietary information.  This is where the passion started.

Through these younger years, I recall helping support teachers, clubs such as Cubs, Scouts, 4H with teaching computers. 

When we get to the early 90’s I believe this would have been around my grade 9 year, I ran a few different bulletin board systems.  The most memorable being a Robo Board FX, by the name of Absolute Future.  I recall upgrading this computer so many times, such things as upgrading Memory (The fun of DIP switches doing this) and Multiple modems, adding Multiple CD Roms.  It was so exciting at this time to have people logging in and playing games, downloading files off the 2 CD Roms that, at that time a huge amount of information available.  The ability to have 3 people on the system at once what a concept.  Towards the end of running the BBS Internet was slowly coming out, and I was able to gain access to FutureNET and Usenet at that time which I brought into the BBS I recall it would take up a phone line for hours to update the groups people were subscribed to.  I had help from a user that had asked if he could help out with the board you can see his involvement here: https://justinjackson.ca/bbs  In fact I was able to find an old add.

-=Absolute Future BBS=-
(403) ***-****

Call us today for:

Over 700 megs of files!
FutureNet and UseNet messaging!
Local area messaging
The best in doors (some programmed by the SysOp!)
CD-ROM online!
Full access to every user!
And so much more!

This brings me to the High School Years, in which I believe I still ran the BBS.  At this time I recall doing Computers 10, 20, and 30 in one Semester.  Here I am not sure what happened.  Somehow I didn’t realize I had the passion for technology out of School.  I had quickly moved up to a management position at the company I worked for.  At some point the spark came back and I decided to go to NAIT, and take some computer courses, from there I moved on to take the MCSE courses on NT and Exchange 5.5. 

Today I still have this passion for Technology Embracing and Learning as much as I can.  A very large passion for virtualization exists in me today, whether it be cloud services, or on premises  Most recently taking on a new role as the Edmonton VMUG Leader.