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The 3PAR Architecture Matters: VMware vVols

I noticed a blog post this week from Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect in the Storage and Availability Business Unit at VMware. Rawlinson's blog discussed the vVols design choice of either embedding the VASA Provider in the array controller or as a virtual appliance

If you aren't up-to-date on VMware vVols, check out this post I did after VMworld in August that includes Eric Siebert's session that gave a great overview of vVols.

Rawlinson discusses the two different options that vendors have to implement their VASA Provider. Those two options are:

  1. Embedded in the array controller or
  2. Running as a Virtual Appliance

Rawlinson stated that most of the vVols design partners chose the Virtual Appliance approach for the 1.0 implementation of vVols.  He says that, "due to engineering resources and the amount of time and effort required to modify their current storage architectures and concepts, to implement the new storage architecture, concepts, and technologies being introduced by the Virtual Volumes framework." 

This is the statement that Rawlinson said that really caught my eye: "Regardless of what those facts were, this was the direction taken by some of the early design partners and well-established storage vendors in the industry that represented the largest storage footprint in the data center. (Hitachi, NetApp, Dell, EMC (Now DellEMC)."  

Notice who is not mentioned on the list - HPE 3PAR

I'm not sure if HPE 3PAR is the only design partner of the "well-established storage vendor" to design the VASA Provider into our controller but we're certainly in rare company.  Rawlinson went on to say "only the new and up and coming storage vendors, who have a more modern and adaptable architecture...did not necessarily face the same challenges and constraints as the other larger storage vendors.

Architecture Matters


The 3PAR architecture is unique. Since acquiring 3PAR over 6 years ago, we've introduced a mid-range, affordable array (initially the 7200 and now the 8200), an all-flash 3PAR, and converged all-flash 3PAR arrays. Yes, 3PAR isn't constrained like some of the "well-established storage vendors" and I think it's worth reminding you that the architecture does matter. Here's a ChalkTalk that I did that talks about how 3PAR is built for flash. At the end of this ChalkTalk are clickable links to a couple of others that talk about how 3PAR is different from traditional disk arrays (from the well-established vendors).

There's are literally hundreds of 3PAR focused post on ATSB where you can dive deep and see why 3PAR is different than the traditional arrays from DellEMC, NetApp, and the other traditional arrays. 

Attending Discover London? Be sure to sign up to attend the Storage Spotlight session!

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 About the Author

CJZ Headshot fixed 150 x 150.jpg

I'm Calvin Zito, a 33 year veteran in the IT industry and have worked in storage for 25 years. I recently wasvExpert 2016.jpg  named a VMware vExpert for the sixth consecutive year. As an early adopter of social media and active in communities, I've blogged for 8 years. I started my "social persona" as HPStorageGuy but with the HP separation, you can find me on Twitter as @CalvinZito. If you don't follow me on Twitter, do it now! You can also contact me via email

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About the Author


I have worked at HP and now HPE since 1983, all of it around storage but 100% focused on storage since 1990. I blog, create videos, and podcasts to help you better understand HPE Storage.

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