(UPDATED 092308 - 19:53 EST to note that the VMware Backup Framework falls in scope)
Pretty big day here at VMworld, meeting lots of people I know only online - which is great. My photo is in the about section of the blog, and if you'd like to meet me, I'd love to meet you!
So - the VDC-OS is the big news, let me fill you in on one part of it - vStorage.
vStorage has been something that VMware and EMC have been working together on for a long time, in fact, before it was called vStorage (which was recent) - it used to be called VMAS a name only engineers would like. In fact, we've been working on this from almost right after the original acquisition before the program even existed formally.
vStorage is pretty broad: It's 2 very new VMware things, and 2 VMware features
- vStorage API for Multipathing
- This was the first idea from eons ago. Customers know the pain VMware multipathing can be - setting up static paths, manual "load balancing" by rotating primary paths, and no automated path discovery.... you know what I'm talking about.... But we needed to find a way that we could get PowerPath, which is the far and away the leader in this space, into the vmkernel, but still make it open for others to also innovate with VMware. It so happens of course that EMC are the ones way out in front here.
- So, while native multipathing (NMP) continues to get better (round robin will likely soon no longer be experimental), but this gives EMC customer another option - an option which is a quantum leap in multipathing/failover/scale and availability for block storage
- It's also an avenue to deliver the other stuff PowerPath customers love in the physical world (path-based encryption, accelerated data migration)
- It's also simple, and easy to use and install. It just works, like the best technology does.
- BTW - we're accepting beta sites now, and it's going to be HUGE for any VMware/EMC customers.
See this quantum leap in multipathing action here:
download a hi-rez version here.
- vStorage APIs
- Acceleration via storage offloads using SCSI driver primitives (we're demoing this in our booth and in the VMware/EMC/Cisco Keynote) - think "I/O" dedupe (not to be confused with Storage Dedupe). This can have a HUGE impact on storage network utilization - much more efficient, and very important for lower bandwidth storage networks like 1Gbps iSCSI.
- Thin Provisioning Integration
- While NetApp, EMC, and Dell/EqualLogic are all shipping Snapshot VC integration today (we're demoing Replication Manager in our booth and in the VMware/EMC/Cisco Keynote, and you can also see a demo of this here), vStorage will make this more transparent, but adds somthing REALLY cool - the ESX server tells the array what BLOCKS makeup a VM, so svmotion can be offloaded to the array as an alternative to the file-copy method now, snapshots can potentially be done on VMs even for block devices. Again, this uses SCSI driver primitives
See this the "I/O dedupe" in action here:
download a hi-rez version here.
Also as part of this, some things that have existed before are getting clarified.
- SRM's SRAs are getting positioned more clearly now as vStorage APIs for Site Recovery Manager (since they are in effect, APIs for VMware/Storage integration)
- VCB is more correctly positioned not as an VMware product per se, but as a API framework for backup vendors - becoming the vStorage Backup Framework
- vStorage Virtual Appliances now formalizes a program around VMware Ready appliances that perform storage-related functions.
- Celerra VSA freely available – iSCSI, NFS - public and free!
- Avamar Virtual Edition – shipping for 1 year
Cool stuff we've been working on to help customers, I'm glad to share the news!