TechEd: Storage Management with VMM 2012 R2 (MDC-B344)

This session focused on both the platform storage enhances in Windows Server 2012 R2 in addition to VMM 2012 R2. Microsoft was very up front that the 2012 release baked in a huge amount of technology into the platform (OS), but not all of it was exposed through VMM 2012 and even in SP1. In the R2 release both the platform and VMM have been more fully integrated and a lot of new features added. Going forward Windows and System Center will ship on the same schedule. Within Microsoft the OS and System Center teams have been re-aligned into the same org. Just like VMware ships the hypervisor and the mangement suite at the same time, Microsoft is now on the same cadence.

I didn’t get a screenshot, but the presenter had a slide showing the storage features in every version of VMM dating back to 2007. Starting with 2012 there was an explosion in features, with more added in SP1 (shipped in January 2013) and a lot more in R2. The pace at which Microsoft is enhancing the hypervisor and management stack is pretty astounding.

This session was supposed to be heavy on demos, but the speaker’s VPN connection back to the mother ship was not behaving. For his storage demos he was going to use a 3PAR to demonstrate the fibre channel LUN provisioning features in VMM 2012 R2, and NetApp for the SMB 3.0 file share demo. VMM has a lengthy list of storage arrays which are natively supported. If you are a 3PAR customer, you will need 3.1.2 MU1 for full VMM 2012 R2 support.

Storage Management Pillars

  • Insight: end to end mapping, pool, volume and file share classification, monitoring, standards based
  • Flexibility: Provisioning of pools, LUNs, file shares, scalable, allocation and assignment, FC zoning, zone aliases
  • Automation: Rapid provisioning, scale out file server, disaster recovery, bare metal Hyper-V host provisioning, ODX

R2 Enterprise Storage Management

  • More optimized storage discovery (e.g. a 3PAR with hundreds of disks) or VMAX with thousands of LUNs
  • Real-time updates for out of band changes using CIM indications
  • Fibre channel fabric discovery and zone provisioning and activation of zone sets
  • Support for Hyper-V virtual fibre channel
  • ODX optimized virtual machine deployments (copy VM from library)
  • Rapid provisioning using difference disks

Storage Provisioning for Tier 1 Application Demo

  • Fibre Channel switches
  • Hyper-V Host with 2 FC ports
  • Service template to model computer with two virtual HBAs

New to VMM 2012 R2

  • 10x faster SMI-S enumeration
  • Management of scale-out file server underlying spaces storage
  • Added remoting and cluster-awareness for managing storage spaces
  • Abilitity to assign storage and fabric classification at the volume or SMB share level. Allows finer grain SLA control.
  • Fully support iSCSI targets for storage
  • Support for SMB 3.02 (new to WS2012 R2)
  • Spaces provisioning: Discovery of physical spindles, storage pool creation and deletion, mirror and parity spaces creation and deletion
  • Capacity management: pool/volume/file share classification; file share ACL management
  • Scale-out file server deployment: bare metal deployment, creation of scale-out file server cluster, add/remove nodes, file share management
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