Hitachi Data Systems gets 'primitive' with vSphere 5.001 August 2011 14:51:00
Hitachi Data Systems’ Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Hubert Yoshida recently surrendered his blog to Hitachi’s global product manager for Server Virtualization Michael Heffernan, who used the platform to discuss the benefits of the new VMware vSphere 5.0 and how it integrates with Hitachi Data Systems’ storage arrays.
Heffernan kicked off by explaining that VMware’s previous vSphere 4.1 required storage vendors to install a plugin in order for their arrays to support vSphere’s primitives: XCOPY, ATS (Atomic Test & Set) and WRITESAME. However, the new offering is compatible with T10 Small Computer System Interface (the open standard used by SCSI, Fibre Channel, IEEE 1394 etc.) which means more storage vendors can adopt the virtual OS and expand solutions as a consequence.
Importantly, vSphere 5.0 also sees the introduction of two new primitives: Thin Provisioinig STUN and UNMAP. Thin Provisioning STUN pauses virtual machines that are requesting unavailable storage and alerts the administrator. However, Heffernan makes the point that customers using Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning would already be aware of any VM capacity issues and should therefore see this as, “...a second level of protection”. The second primitive introduced with vSphere 5.0 is UNMAP. This allows storage administrators a better understanding of available disk space as it recognises when a Virtual Machine Disk has changed its file format and re-pools the left over capacity.
Hefferman ends by warning that vSphere requires storage to do a lot more than was previously required of it and therefore array performance is a major consideration. Experience with virtual storage is extremely important when considering a vendor’s solution and Heffernan ends by saying: “Hitachi has proven enterprise, high performance and high availability storage arrays that have been used for many years in mainframe environments and now with vSphere 5.0 and VAAI, there is no difference.”
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