This is the time of year when the tech community eagerly awaits the start of VMworld, where VMware and its partners unveil cutting edge technology products and solutions. In the run up to VMworld, nothing else merits as much attention by the storage ecosystem as Virtual Volumes (internally known within Hitachi as VVol) and its associated storage policy based management. Virtual Volumes is a significant leap toward simplification and operational efficiency from a storage provisioning and management point of view and storage policy based management (SPBM) leverages this new VMDK based storage foundation
While tremendous resource consolidation and efficiency has been achieved by virtualizing the compute layer (more than 60% of applications are virtualized), storage administrators still have to deal with Volumes and Logical Units (LUNs), leading to granularity mismatch. VVol is a giant innovation in making VM a first class citizen in the storage ecosystem. VVol provides an abstraction layer in the form of a storage API between control plane and storage systems; and provides unprecedented automation in policy-based storage management. The key benefit is that VVol enables per-VM data services such as replication, snapshot, caching, etc. on the storage array. These services run more efficiently on storage array's due to the co-processing benefit of storage controllers
Using the new vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) (which will be an integral and critical part of a VVol deployment), the storage array and its storage containers are presented to VMs for consumption. Through VVols, the external storage can become VM-aware and provide differentiated services for individual VMs/VMDKs rather than the traditional way of dealing with a set of VMs in a LUN or a volume/filesystem.
VVol and VASA also minimizes the NAS-vs-SAN debate due to its VM-centric management and the ability to describe the capabilities of the underlying storage system or specifically VVol storage containers. Storage arrays will create VMDKs the same regardless of front-end protocol , be it NFS , FC or iSCSI. In most cases, deploying the combination will be the smart prudent choice for total VVol based IT cloud environment
HDS, with our vision of Business-Defined IT, is uniquely positioned to deliver value to customers by integrating VVol with our customer proven storage solutions. HDS, with its full spectrum of VMware-optimized storage and converged infrastructure solutions, is at an advanced stage of integrating VVol support with our highly scalable storage devices with insightful management tools. HDS Storage Virtualization Operating System (SVOS) was developed with the pivotal ability to define quality of service (QoS) levels of application workloads; and SVOS and VVol greatly complement each other to provide efficient, optimized, reliable and easy-to-manage storage solutions for virtual infrastructures.
HDS’s Enterprise NFS/NAS platform for VMware (HNAS) and Hitachi Unified Storage provides a compelling scalable and reliable platform today for vSphere based cloud environments including capabilities like 100 Million VM clones and automated data protection with Virtual Infrastructure Integrator (aka V2I). These and other inherent storage service capabilities will be further exploited when VMware’s Virtual Volumes becomes mainstream
HDS’ Unified Compute Platform (UCP) solutions deliver a set of enterprise-class converged infrastructure solutions optimized for VMware environments. It enables automation and policy based management of the entire converged stack, including servers, storage and network switch. UCP Director’s deep integration with vCenter Server and vCOPS, enables you to monitor, provision and protect virtual and physical resources from a single pane of glass. And you can run all workloads, from mission critical to test & dev on a single UCP system. Future VVol integration will also extend the converged automation offered by UCP to a granular VMDK level.
HDS will be providing Virtual Volumes (VVol) support on our industry leading storage solutions. I and team will be sharing deeper roadmap and product directions @ VMworld. Mark our VMworld session STO2752-SPO - A Significant Step Towards Better Managed VM storage Infrastructure; Deploying VMware VVol with Hitachi Data Systems in your calendar where will explore how Hitachi solution will lead to leaner operational infrastructure and higher VM density per footprint
Stay tuned for more on this topic but what are your Virtual Volumes and VM policy based management expectations in your vSphere based environments ?