Around the Storage Block

VVol VM with multiple disks


It is a common misconception that multiple VVol datastores are required to meet different SLAs for a VM or VM disk.  This misconception likely arises due to limitations of VMFS datastores - where each VMFS datastore is backed by a storage volume and SLAs are configured on that storage volume.  With Nimble Storage VVols, the VVol datastore acts as a unit of capacity allocation.  All SLAs can be configured at VM or VMDK granularity.  A different storage profile can be associated with every disk of the VM.  Compliance checks can give you peace of mind that all is as you intended it to be.

Let's take an example of a multi-disk Windows VM, hosting an SQL server.  These are your requirements:

  1. You'd like your OS disk to be backed up once every day, and deduplicated.
  2. The second disk will host databases and needs encryption and backup every 15 minutes.  Application policy for this must be SQL.
  3. The third disk will contain database log files and needs backup every 30 minutes.  Application policy for this must be SQL logs.

After you register the Nimble Storage VP and create one folder on the storage array, you are good to go, and can create VM Storage Policies to map to these requirements.  Here are some sample VM Storage Policies for these requirements.

Figure 1: Dedupe and daily backupsFigure 1: Dedupe and daily backups

Figure 2: Encrypted volume, database application policy, back up every 15 minutesFigure 2: Encrypted volume, database application policy, back up every 15 minutes

 Figure 3: DB log application policy, backup every 30 minutesFigure 3: DB log application policy, backup every 30 minutes

Now let's create an SQL server VM and add disks and SCSI controllers to the VM.  Each disk can have a different storage policy assigned to it at create time, by expanding the small triangle next to the disk, we can specify the VM Storage Policy.

Figure 4: Customizing VM hardwareFigure 4: Customizing VM hardwareThis is how we have configured all three disks of the VM.

Figure 5: All config on the VMFigure 5: All config on the VMA quick look at the VM under Configure --> Policies shows all disks are compliant.

Figure 6: VM policies and complianceFigure 6: VM policies and complianceAs a result of this VM create, the Nimble VP has created many volumes: one volume for config, one volume for each data disk, and one swap volume will be created when the VM is powered on.

Nimble OS $ vm --info SQLserver
VM ID: 502c3fe8-0e4e-148f-bafa-ff7ae1d694f2
VM name: SQLserver

The VP has placed volumes into different "volume collections" with different schedules.  Since we had 4 different protection schedules, 4 different volume collections are created, automatically.

Nimble OS $ volcoll --list | grep SQLserver
SQLserver-5bae65a6caf2f178-0001 none            group-sjc-array759
SQLserver-5bae65a6caf2f178-0002 none            group-sjc-array759
SQLserver-5bae65a6caf2f178-0003 none            group-sjc-array759


Let us know about your experiences using VVols and VM Storage Policies by commenting on the article!

HPE Nimble Storage
0 Kudos
About the Author


VMware and Nimble Storage QA engineer