How Can Hypervisors Leverage Advanced Storage Features?

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Publish Date: 
Monday, September 17, 2012
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Abstract: 

In Virtual environment like VMware, the Virtual Machine (VM) objects from storage perspective are file operations/bulk block operations. Advanced features/technologies of NAS and SAN based Arrays/server like snapshot, clone, server copy, range locking, are not being utilized. VMFS(x) on the storage attached to the ESX/ESXi hosts works perfectly fine, but the network usage (IP/FC/etc) goes up significantly when the storage is coming from NAS or SAN. The goal is to offload the file-operations to the NAS/SAN based Arrays and leverage maximum benefits to increase I/O performance, storage utilization and reduced network usage.

Learning Objectives

Virtual machine cloning and virtual machine deployment from a template are examples of operations that are offloaded to the NAS Server by the Full File Clone feature of VAAI
File Space Reservation and Extended Statistics features enable administrators to reserve space in the NFS file system for the entire capacity of a Thick Provision Lazy/Eager Zeroed virtual disk when provisioning a virtual machine
VAAI also offers a VMware native way to create and use the array-based Fast Clone – file-versions/file-clones/snaps for greater space and performance efficiency
The Full Copy feature speeds up the storage vMotion. The Block Zero feature speeds up the deployment of thick provision eager zeroed virtual disks
The Hardware-Assisted Locking feature avoid retries for getting lock. The Dead Space Reclamation enables the reclamation of blocks from a thin-provisioned LUN on the SAN based arrays