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New IDC Report Highlights the Many Benefits of VMware VVols

StorageExpert

 

The recently published IDC report, VVols Provides Powerful Application-Aware Management for vSphere Environments, builds a compelling case for implementing VVols in your environment.

VVols_benefits_ blog.jpgWhile VMware VVols is a great new storage architecture for vSphere and solves many of the challenges associated with using LUNS and VMFS datastores, customer adoption has been relatively low. There are a few reasons for this but perhaps the biggest is the lack of understanding what VVols is and the benefits that it provides.

For many customers, what they have today (VMFS) works just fine for them and they don’t know that a better option exists—an option that solves many of the hidden challenges that they deal with day to day with storage in vSphere. A new paper recently published by IDC hopes to change all that by highlighting the many real benefits that VMware VVols delivers.

Before we talk about that paper, I’d first like to highlight the challenges that exist with traditional VMFS storage in vSphere:

  • LUN centric—storage is pre-allocated and creates silos within the array
  • No visibility—arrays cannot see inside a VMFS volume and are not aware of VMs
  • Poor efficiency—typically always over-provisioning and wasting storage
  • Increased administration—vSphere admin must always go to storage admin for provisioning and common tasks
  • Difficult reclamation—space reclamation is a manual/scheduled process
  • Hardware centric—must use non-native vendor tools and plug-ins to manage store in vSphere
  • Long provisioning—time consuming as storage is manually allocated when requested
  • Data services—array capabilities and features not aligned at the VM level

That may seem like a long list (which it is). But it should serve as an inspiration to you to give VVols a look—and to better understand how VVols can eliminate these challenges. This illustration serves to summarize how VVols transforms storage in vSphere:How VVols transforms storage in vSphere.jpg

One other big change that VVols brings to vSphere is that it puts all storage protocols on equal footing, as VVols serves as a standard as to how all storage arrays write VMs to disk regardless of the storage protocol utilized. That differs greatly without VVols with block storage and VMFS vSphere managing the file system, locking, etc. But with file storage, the NAS array manages the file system independently of vSphere. This short video highlights what changes between file and block protocols with VVols: 

The net result is that block storage gains the same VM-level visibility that only file storage has been able to do before VVols and that VM’s are written natively to disk so a file system is no longer necessary. In addition, because VVols eliminates LUN provisioning block storage becomes just as simple to manage as file storage typically is.

Why VVols is a game changer

And that takes us back to the recently published IDC report: VVols Provides Powerful Application-Aware Management for vSphere Environments. If you read through that paper, you’ll see much of what I covered here validated in that paper. VVols is a game changer for managing storage in vSphere environments and the IDC paper reinforces that and makes a strong argument that should help convince you that VVols is worth implementing in your environment. The paper concludes with this statement:

It is important for virtual administrators interested in delivering faster response times, achieving increased efficiencies, and improving productivity to understand VVols and look to use it in their VMware infrastructure. VVols will effectively replace VMFS, providing an application-aware management paradigm that is much better aligned with how virtual administrators want to manage their environments. As customers move to vSphere 6.5, they should plan to start leveraging VVols and make VVols integration a purchase criterion as they look to purchase new enterprise storage arrays.

As you can see, VVols is the future of vSphere external storage architectures and the future is here right now. HPE has industry leading implementations of VVols support in both the HPE 3PAR and Nimble Storage product families.

If you’re looking to implement VVols (which hopefully you should be after reading the IDC paper), you will find mature and robust support for VVols with 3PAR and Nimble. With VVols, the benefits should now be clear. So it’s up to you to embrace them and see firsthand how much simpler storage management can be and how storage efficiency can be greatly improved in vSphere.

For some additional information on VVols, check out this VMworld HPE in-booth VVols session by Pete Flecha from VMware tech marketing and also this RideCast video on VVols I recently recorded with Marc Farley.

 me_220x220.jpgMeet Around the Storage Block blogger Eric Siebert, Solutions Manager, HPE.  On Twitter: @ericsiebert 

 

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