PEX Session Notes: VVOLs Technical Overview

This was a great session with a ton of useful technical information about the upcoming vSphere 6 release and the support of VVOLs. The notes are as I took them in the session. If I have time I may go through and expand on them.

STO4278: vSphere Virtual Volumes Technical Overview Session VMware PEX 2015
Rawlinson Rivera – VMware
Follow him: @PunchingClouds

vSphere 6.0 – Separating Control Plane from Data Plane
Hypervisor knows the needs of your apps – in real time – all IO passes through the hypervisor.

App-centric automation
– Dynamic delviery of service levels
– Fine control of data services at VM level
– Common management across hetergeneous environment

Control, consume, manage based on policies.

– Management Framework extend to external storage
– Virtual disk are natively represented on the array – no formatted filesystem
– Supports existing storage protocols (FC, iSCSI, FCoE, NFS)
– Included with vSphere licensing
– Policy based management enables automated consumption at scale

Five types (objects)
– CONFIG – vmx, logs, nvram, etc.
– DATA – vmdks
– MEM – Snapshots
– SWAP – Swap files
– Other – vSphere specific type

Storage Container – Logical construct on array for grouping virtual volumes
– Define capacity allocations and restrictions
– Virtual vSphere Datastore maps to storage container (one to one)

Capabilities can be provided per object – not container specific.

Visiblility to the vSphere Admin does not change

Data Plane
– Protocol Endpoints (PE)
Part of the storage fabric
Existing multipath policies and NFS topology requirements can be applied to a PE

PEs no longer stores VMDKs – it is only the access point

VASA Provider – communicates the capabilities of the container to vSphere

Management Plane
– Single VASA Provider (VP) can mange multiple arrays
– Supports VASA APIs exported by ESXi
– VASA Provider can be implemeted within the array’s management server or firmware
– VASA Provider component must be highly available
– Management Plane out-of-band of data plane

Storage Capabilities
– Array based features – snapshots, deduplication, replication, encryption
– Storage Capabilities are consumed via VM Storage policy constructs

VM Storage Policies
– a component of vSphere Storage Policy-based management (SPBM) framework

Policy model – ensure compliance
– vSphere Client reports non-compliance if storage capabilities do not align with a VM’s storage policies.

Binding Operations – Data path coordinating mechanism
– Bind
– Unbind
– Rebind

A single virtual volume can be bound to multiple PE protocols simultaneously

Operation Scenarios
– Offload, Migrations, Snapshots

You can storage vMotion from traditional datastores (NFS, VMFS) to VVOLs

– provisioning
– clones
– snapshots
– storage vMotion (when VM is powered off)

VVOL VASA API is the default
VVOL VASA API Primitive fail to VAAI if array supports

Supported VVOL Features
– SPBM (Storage Based Policy Management)
– Thin Provisioning
– Linked Clones
– View Storage accelerator
– and many many many more….

VVOLs = Agility with control


Hersey Cartwright is an IT professional with extensive experience designing, implementing, managing, and supporting technologies that improve business processes. Hersey is Solutions Architect for HPE SimpliVity covering Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. He holds the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX-DV #128) certification. Hersey actively participates in the VMware community and was awarded the VMware vExpert title in 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012. He enjoys working with, teaching, and writing about virtualization and other data center technologies. Follow Hersey on Twitter @herseyc

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