Virtual Volumes (VVols) for all storage! Yes, the DataCore™ SANsymphony™ software brings forward-thinking vSphere administrators the benefits of VVols across EMC, IBM, HDS, NetApp and other popular storage systems – including all flash arrays. No waiting for some promised new storage model in 2016.
Traditionally, vSphere admins have to ask storage administrators to allocate disk space for new VMs (figure 1.) And they may be sharing the same volume with other VMs. Furthermore, storage administrators have no clue which VMs reside on what storage, unless they manually record it on a spreadsheet or create one data store per VM. This makes the management of virtual infrastructure complex, costly and inflexible.
What is VVols? How does it work?
VVols enable policy-based self-provisioning of storage at the time virtual machines are created. The vSphere administrator simply chooses the class of storage they prefer from the available resources by picking the policy (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) that meets their needs (Figure 2.)
Behind the Scenes
Back stage, the storage administrator has already created the various “storage containers” corresponding to these classes of service and advertised them to vSphere. This eliminates the need to assign individual volumes every time a vSphere administrator requests it. For example, Gold provides high performance and high availability; Silver refers to medium performance, medium availability, and bronze to low cost.
In short, VVols take away the storage management burden that comes from provisioning VMs. They also map specific storage resources directly to the VM without concern for what other VMs may be doing.
Is Special Storage Equipment Required?
Both vSphere and storage administrators want the simplicity and VM-level of granularity offered by VVols. However today, there are only a handful of storage vendors offering VVols –and only on a few of their latest models. Most current storage arrays do not support VVols for a variety of reasons. Primarily, storage vendors are not incentivized to retrofit legacy equipment with the new VM-aware interface (Figure 3.)
Ideal Solution Available Now – No Retrofit Necessary
DataCore has emerged as the only vendor that can provide this VVol cloaking and subsequent VVol hardware enablement across the board. Within hyper-converged environments (Figure 4), VVols can also be enjoyed as DataCore pools the direct-attached storage (DAS) with the DataCore Virtual SAN.
Free trial downloads are available of the VVol enabled software layer at www.datacore.com.