I want to try the demo, such as those published in vVol Beta site of VMware.
Please tell us about design, how to implementation.
VVOL is a fundamental change in storage array processing which requires a whole raft of underlying technologies in order to support it. At this time Nimble OS does not have said technologies available for VVOL implementation (some examples here are VASA, Storage Array Control Endpoint, Storage Containers and much more).
All Nimble customers and partners can access a dummy environment to play around with how our implementation will look, which is available on Nimble Unversity: Nimble Storage University.
As per our given timeframes we will launch VVOL support in the next calendar year.
Looking forward to VVols because I think it will be a significant shift in the way we plan and implement the VMware storage and provisioning infrastructure. Will also help with the volume (256) limitations that currently limit the adoption the In-Guest iSCSI connected volumes/disk. I'm assuming that VVols give you a one to one mapping to a VM and it's VMDK's and therefore almost behave like a physical mode disk in the same way as In-guest iSCSi or RDM's do?
Yes a vVol really does away with the datastore container and allows each vmdk to be provisioned as its own specific volume. The major reason behind this is each volume can then be provisioned with its service attributes in mind (cost, perrformance, data protection, QoS, encryption etc). When provisioning ESX will look for devices that support the qualities that have selected or desired for that volume (as the array will advertise its capabilities)
One could argue that this increases management as now each volume requires specific settings and options (rather than a datastore container) however fundamanetal to this is policy based management to automate the provisioning aspects based on preset policies that define the service.
Looks a very interesting technology
That was my understanding. It will reduce the number of data stores required and snapshots can be VM Centric. Nit sure if it can change array based snapshots though since they will need to work at the whole volume level. Not clear about the latter.
Well... yes and no!
VVOLs requires storage array providers to present what's called a Storage Container (we're going to call it a Virtual Pool, last I read). This is a virtual provision of storage withinside the Nimble array that VMware knows it can use. This doesn't show up as a volume within Nimble.
We also need to provision a VASA provider and a storage protocol endpoint to vCenter - we will do this exactly the same way as we do today with the vCenter plugin.
Once all of the above has been provided it allows us to pass through intelligence such as Performance Profiles (with block size, caching and characteristics), Volume Collections (with application consistency as well as snapshot and replication RTO/RPO), Qos etc to vCenter... so when provisioning a VMDK within VMware we can now pullthrough these configuration settings to each VMDK (ie presenting the SQL Server perf policy to a SQL DB VMDK).
Each of these VMDKs will register as an individual volume on the Nimble UI (so yes, lots of objects to manage!).
Essentially, VVOLs gives us the best performance/configuration of in-guest iSCSI storage with the simplicity of VMFS - and I for one cannot wait for it
So we will be looking for an expansion of the 256 volume limit soon!?
Well vVols will naturally require more volumes as the granularity is the main driver behind them. So you can extrapolate from that increasing volume counts will be highly desirable as vVols become used.
Unfortunately this is roadmap info so can't be shared on this forum.
I'll ensure your account team are in touch shortly Mark
Adding to Nick's great explanation on VVols - we don't expect much need for volume management in the nimble UI - reason being the policy Based management framework in vsphere..it is designed to take on the task of volume provisioning/snapshot/clone creation, restore and removal, all within vCenter. If you see other needs for Vvols volume management in nimble UI, please post your thoughts here. We love to hear from customers!
I'd assumed that the general volume management for Volumes presented to VMware will be better served by the VMware management components. Plus there's a logical (Grouping) of what could be potentially hundreds even thousands of volumes by virtue of the "Containers" based on policy profiles. It's all rather exciting in a Geeky way and should lead to further flexibility and better performance if deployed correctly. Furthermore, using VCentre (Vcenter) for management allows Active Directory Role Based access without having to write more API's on the N.O.S.
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