VMworld 2016: Virtual Volumes Deep Dive

Session STO7645

*LUNS Suck

Pain Points: Siloed management, rigid infrastructure, complex process, no visibility into storage, capabilities applied at the LUN level, vendor specific configuration required, LUN sprawl.

VVOls offer: storage policy-based management, capabilities applied at the disk level. Consumed on demand.

Storage policy-based model simplifies operations significantly

What are VVols?

  • Virtual disks are natively represented on an array
  • Enabled VM granular storage operations
  • Supports FC, iSCSI, NFS
  • Based on T10 industry standards
  • Uses a VASA provider for the control path
  • No filesystem
  • Data services offloaded to array
  • 5 types of VVols: Config, Data, Mem, Swap, Other

Data Plane

  • Storage container – Storage admins create the container that sets the array capabilities. Can be sized up/down as needed.
  • Virtual datastore uses protocol end points to talk to the array
  • End points can be iSCSI, NFS v3, FC, FCoE
  • Existing multi-pathing policies and NFS topology requirements can be applied to PE (protocol endpoint)
  • PEs are provided by the VASA provider to vSphere

Management Plane

  • Storage policy-based management – App centric automation
  • Intelligent placement
  • Automation at scale through policy
  • Single VASA provider can manage multiple arrays
  • ESX and vCenter server connect to VASA provider

VVols in Operation

  • Create VMs
  • Assign a VM storage policy
  • Choose a suitable datastore


  • Snapshots may be read-only or read/write
  • Managed snapshot – Created by vSphere
  • Unmanaged snapshot – Created and managed by array
  • Snapshot creation is offloaded to array
  • Snapshots impose no I/O penalty and can very quickly revert with re-playing logs

Future Considerations

  • Integrate data services – Replication, encryption, device advancements
  • Simplify management – Usability, operate at scale
  • VASA Replication model – “Replication group” between “fault domains”
  • Sync, failover, test failover, reverse replication


VMworld 2016: Day 1 Keynote

Pat Gelsinger comes on stage (VMware CEO).

In 2006 there were 29 million workloads running on traditional IT. 2% cloud (SalesForce). 160 million workloads in 2016 and 15% are public, 12% are private cloud. 255 million workloads by 2021. By 2030 52% of workloads will be public cloud. New build datacenters are on the decline starting in 2015. In 2016 was the crossover point where companies are using more service providers/clouds than internal datacenters. Internet of Things is taking off and really exploding. As cloud takes root, it expands the investment in IT. As the cloud becomes cheaper, the more companies will use it.

Cloud users:

#10 construction

#9 professional services

#8 securities and investments

#1 Technology vendor

Traditional IT is doomed to fail.

80% of all x86 workloads are virtualized today. VMware does not do non-x86 Unix and mainframe workloads.

Introducing the cross-cloud architecture. Any cloud, any device, with a common environment. Cross-cloud “services” and cross-cloud “foundation”.

SVP IBM: Robert L. Now have 500 clients on their public cloud offering. 8-10 weeks to stand up software datacenter with old technology, can now be done in hours using the IBM cloud. Companies such as Marriott and Finnair are using the IBM cloud.

Cross-cloud services: Allows you to manage and secure apps across your private and public clouds. Included vSphere and non-vSphere clouds. Set of SaaS services that lets you manage cross-cloud.

Freedom of control in private cloud, AWS, Azure, Google. Even in the age of mega clouds, you still need an IT department.

Shows a early demo of the cross-cloud services SaaS. Shows private cloud, Azure, AWS and Google clouds. They enable full network encryption on the public cloud between app tiers with just a few clicks. Microsegmentation is also just a few clicks away.

Michael Dell takes the stage. He talks with Pat about the cross-cloud platform, VXRail, Tremendous growth in converged and hyper-converged solutions.