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

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