VMworld 2014: Software Defined Storage the VCDX way, Part II

Session STO2480, Rawlinson Rivera, Wade Holmes

This was a great session by the dual which covered VMware storage technology, the VCDX way. The session was a continuation of Part 1, which was at VMworld 2013. As a side note, the great Part 1 session was one of the factors figuring into my decision to go for my VCDX. I thought, “Hey I can do that too.” So buckle up and see what these two world class VCDXs have to say.

  • The VCDX Way: Methodology to enable efficient technology solution design, implementation and adoption, meeting YOUR business requirements.
  • Business requirements drive solution architecture: Business requirements -> Solution Architecture -> Engineering specifications
  • Areas: Availability, manageability, performance, recoverability, security

Increasing diversity of devices

  • Hot edge: CPU/memory bound, low latency, dominated by flash
  • Cold core: capacity-centric, increasing commodity hardware

Storage Policy Based Management Solution Impact

  • Availability
  • Manageability
  • Performance
  • Recoverability
  • Security
  • All these areas need policy-driven, vm-centric, virtualized data plane

Choice in building a virtual SAN based solution

  • Component based – Choose individual components
  • Virtual SAN ready node – 40 OEM validated server configurations
  • VMware EVO RAIL: Hyper-converged infrastructure

Build your own virtual SAN Node

  • Any server on the VMware HCL
  • At least one SSD/PCIe device and one HDD
  • 1Gb/10Gb NIC – 10Gb preferred
  • SAS/SATA controllers – Queue depth is key. RAID 0 and pass-through, with pass-through being preferred. Pass-though allows VSAN handle hot-plug events.
  • 4GB to 16GB USB/SD flash hard or HDD
  • Each disk group has a maximum of 7 disks
  • Size working set to fit in the flash tier, if performance is key

Network design – Old design is more core/aggregation/access.  New architecture is spine/leaf.

VSAN as a Platform: Ready nodes with T10 DIF support and encryption

Legacy Operational Model creates several challenges

  • SAN, NAS and all-flash. There’s a chain from the VM down to the storage array.
  • Storage controller challenges: lengthy provisioning cycles, difficult to make changes, etc.

Storage management with SDS: VASA 1.5 and higher enable VM agility and much faster provisioning

  • vVols (VASA 2.0)
  • VSAN (VASA 1.5)
  • System labels (VASA 1.0) in vSpere 5.0

VMware software-defined storage for external storage

  • Storage policy
  • Enables a method to consume storage via policy while making it more secure and agile
  • Policy driven, VM-centric control plane
  • Virtual volumes is the primary way to enable storage policy with third party arrays
  • No more LUNs/Volumes
  • Enables you to publish capabilities like snapshots, replication, deduplication and QoS
  • All about ease of management
  • vVols will change everything!! Simplicity, with a policy based framework

Virtual Volume Architecture

  • Control path uses the vendor provided VASA provider – Out of band
  • Data path remains the same as before (FC, iSCSI, etc.)
  • Storage admin can now define storage properties
  • There is no more VMFS !

Solving Storage Provider Challenges through integeration with partner solutions

  • vSphere API for IO filtering (PernixData)
  • Software driven data services driven by third parties

Enabling self-service comsumption

  • vCloud Automation center integration

Key takeaways

  • Start from the top down
  • Vmware enables software defined storage
  • SDS can enable efficiencies
  • SDS can provide both CAPEX and OPEX as your datacenter grows







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