VMware vStorage Is Here….What Does It Mean?

(editor's note – this comes to us from Tim Sherbak – one of our EqualLogic virtualization masters)

As you may have heard VMware recently introduced a new initiative they call vStorage.  In a nutshell, it’s all about making VMware work better with storage. Many of our readers are moving to virtual environments using VMware – and this has important storage implications. vStorage helps you integrate and automate solutions to manage and protect your data more efficiently. 

So, what are some examples?

Previously, we’ve talked about Auto-Snapshot Manager/VMware Edition (ASM/VE) and Site Recovery Manager for EqualLogic iSCSI arrays. One of our customers, Donald Wilkins from Navicure presented at VMworld breakout discussion highlighting SRM. Here is a webcast replay of similar material that we presented together just before the show.

Let’s talk about what’s coming.

At the show, we also demonstrated some additional vStorage-enabled features that we’re cooperatively developing with VMware but are not yet shipping to customers..things like the ability to offload the ESX server from data copy operations like Storage VMotion, creating a virtual machine from a template, or creating a clone of a virtual machine. Instead of copying data from the SAN to the ESX server and back to the SAN, the VMware Virtual Center sends instructions to the EqualLogic array as to what needs to be moved, and the arrays offload the data copying from the ESX servers to the arrays. The operation is faster and more efficient.  Here’s a quick demo that you can watch.

vStorage is also coming to the provisioning realm.  In the future you’ll see the coordination of thin provisioning management between the ESX servers and the EqualLogic arrays for protection of the workload in the case that the virtual machine were to run out of space. Here’s a quick demo.

And lastly, here’s a demo of linked clone technology hosted on a prototype EqualLogic 10GbE solid state disk (SSD) disk array.  Linked clones technology optimizes storage utilization by eliminating the duplicate storage inherent to multiple virtual machines. With the 10GbE SSD disk array, it means that we’re not only optimizing storage utilization but also insuring highest possible performance given the large number of virtual machines accessing the underlying shared virtual machine data.  Here’s another demo.

About the Author: David Graves