Virtual Volumes, or VVOLs, has been one of the biggest addition in VMware vSphere 6. If your storage array supports them, you can start to play with it and decide if it’s time to migrate from monolithic VMFS volumes to this new exciting storage technology. VVOLs have several advantages over regular VMFS volumes, from the granularity of the volume management (essentially, we have now one “LUN” per virtual disk), to policy-based management, and so on. One of the aspects that people didn’t focused too much is the impact on backup operations coming from VVOLs.
I’ve waited a week after VMworld ended in San Francisco before writing this post: there were too many blog posts from every blogger trying to cover any new announcement like a newspaper, and with the addition of news collected directly from the Expo Floor, sessions I’ve attended and other sources, the amount of info to digest required a bit of time. This post is not a recap of the event, just the things that I’ve seen and I found interesting. If something is not here, it may be that I’ve missed it rather than don’t liking it.
As I’m following closely the growth and evolution of this new technology for vSphere environments, I’ve found an article on the blogosphere and some additional comments on Twitter that made me re-think a bit about the real value of VVOLS. Is the real value of VVOLs the VM granularity, or it’s more the policy-based management?
Virtual Volumes is a new VMWare technology that will make possible to apply policies at the VM level. If you are a software-only storage vendor, have you thought about publishing a vVol-enabled version of your storage? You will instantly become the hero of every virtualization guy in the world.
In the last months I talked with or looked at several storage vendors, and I saw a new topic becoming more and more important: QoS (Quality of Service). The list of vendors offering this feature (with differences in their own technologies) is becoming quite large: CloudByte, GridStore, Coho Data, SolidFire, HP 3Par, NetApp. And for sure I’m forgetting someone else.
As you can see in my short list, there are both startups that have this feature from their first release, and also big names who added QoS to their existing products. There is a new trend coming, and QoS is for sure becoming a “hot” topic in storage.