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vSphere and Storage — What’s coming in vStorage?


On April 21st, VMware is expected to announce vSphere and part of vSphere is vStorage.

Best bets are that vStorage will have

vStorage APIs

  • Better support for storage multipathing. Not clear whether this will be EMC’s PowerPath embedded into vStorage or just tighter integration with PowerPath. PowerPath provides full active/active load balancing, failover, failback and detection for storage paths and is arguably the best at it. This should be much better that Native Multipathing (NMP)
  • Acceleration via storage offloads using SCSI driver primitives  – reducing I/O chatter
  • Thin Provisioning Integration
  • While NetApp, EMC, and Dell/EqualLogic, etc. are all shipping Snapshot VC integration today  vStorage will make this more transparent. It also adds  the a way for the ESX server to tell the array what blocks makeup a VM, so sVmotion can be offloaded to the array as an alternative to the file-copy method now, snapshots can potentially be done on VMs even for block devices.  Again, this uses SCSI driver primitives

Also it looks like some things that have existed before are getting clarified.

  • SRM’s SRAs are getting positioned more clearly now as vStorage APIs for Site Recovery Manager (since they are in effect, APIs for VMware/Storage integration)
  • VCB is more correctly positioned not as an VMware product per se, but as a API framework for backup vendors – becoming the vStorage Backup Framework
  • vStorage Virtual Appliances now formalizes a program around VMware Ready appliances that perform storage-related functions.
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