PernixData offers a free version of their FVP Storage Accelerator. The Pernix Freedom licence is available for free and a good entry point to their technology. The Pernix Freedom license can be upgraded to a full version of FVP later.
Pernix Freedom Limitations
- One FVP cluster only
- RAM acceleration only
- No SSD or PCIe acceleration
- Read Acceleration Only (write-through)
- 10 Minutes Performance Data
- Community support only
Register and Download Components
The first step to get started with FVP Freedom is to require a license key. The request is completely free and takes up to 2 hours, according to their website. For me, it took about 30 minutes to receive the license key, and access to the support portal.
You will be informed by email when the license key has been granted and the login has been created.
If you do not already have a MSSQL Server, you can use the meantime to download Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express, which is one of the supported databases of the PernixData Management Server.
There are multiple files available for this download. The best fit four our purpose is Express with Tools (SQLEXPRWT). This package contains the SQL Server itself and the full version of SQL Server 2012 Management Studio.
After you've received the license key, you can download FVP Host Extension for your ESXi version and the Management Server from the PernixData Support site.
You should now have to following files:
- ESXi Host Extension: PernixData-host-extension-vSphere6.0.0_188.8.131.52-39343.zip
- Management Server: PernixData_FVP_Management_Server_3.1.010920.4.zip
- SQL Server: SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe
Install FVP Host Extension
Install the FVP host extension on each ESXi host where you want to use PernixData FVP. The host has to be in maintenance mode, which means that you either have to migrate VMs to another host, or shutdown all VMs on a single ESXi Host. The installation is simple: Copy the ESXi Host Extension Bundle to a datastore and use the following command to install it:
esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/[Datastore]/PernixData-host-extension-vSphere6.0.0_184.108.40.206-39343.zip
FVP is now ready to be used.
Install Management Server
The Management Server requires a Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 R2. Prior to install the Management Server, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Express needs to be installed and configured.
- Install the SQL Server Express. You can use the unattended installer with the following command:
SQLEXPRWT_x64_ENU.exe /ACTION=install /IACCEPTSQLSERVERLICENSETERMS /SQLSVCACCOUNT="NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM" /HIDECONSOLE /QS /FEATURES=SQL /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS="BUILTIN\ADMINISTRATORS" /NPENABLED="1" /TCPENABLED="1" /INSTANCENAME=PRNX_SQLEXP
- Extract the Management Server zip file and run the Installer
- Enter vCenter Server Login information. Make sure to tick the check box when you have an external vCenter Server and no Active Directory.
- Configure local database connection.
- Finish the installer
PernixData Management Server is now available at https://[Server-Address]:60002/
Configure PernixData FVP
- Login to the PernixData Management Interface with vCenter Server Credentials
- Enter your FVP Freedom license key. Navigate to Licensing > PernixData FVP > Enter FVP License Key. You can also use Offline Activation when your Server does not have internet connection.
- Switch to FVP Mode
- Create a FVP Cluster
- Open the FVP Cluster, navigate to Configuration > Acceleration Resources and add RAM
- Open Datastores/VMs and add the objects you want to accelerate. You can either select single Virtual Machines, or Datastores. If you select a datastore, all VMs running in the Datastore are pernix'd.
That's it. PernixData FVP Freedom will now accelerate your storage performance