Based on how Day1 went, it was logical that the entire VMworld conference was going to be hectic. I began my Tuesday with the session STO 3161 – What can VVOLs do for you.
It was a good session but not as technical as I expected. Usually Matt Cowger and Suzy Viswanathan get very technical but this time around they just skimmed the surface with the required information.
They spoke about current challenges like –
- Extensive manual book keeping to match VMs to LUNs
- LUN granularity hinders per VM SLA
- Over provisioning
- Waster resources, time, and high costs
- Frequent Data migrations
Covered VVOL architecture on
- Out of band lifecycl operations between ESXi and VASA provider, Create, Delete etc
- VASA Provider handles virtual volumes namespace and mapping for array
- Virtual volume presented for Block or File IO
High Level Architecture
- No Filesystem
- ESX manages array through VASA APIs.
- Arrays are logically partitioned into containers called storage containers
- VM disks called Virtual volumes stored natively on the storage containers
- IO from ESX to array is addressed through an access point called Protocol Endpoint (PE)
- Data services are offloaded to the array
- Managed through storage policy based management framework
Spoke about VASA and VVOLs do together
- VASA does not provision any LUN – it only interacts with the array – protocols FC, NFS, iSCSI, FCoE
- We configure a VMware protocol endpoint – no storage is associated with it. The storage pools host VVOL storage containers.
- With VVOL – we can offload a hypervisor managed snapshot to the array (per VM snapshots)
- Array Managed cloning – Even better than VAAI XCopy
- We can take an entire VVOL and duplicate just that part of volume
- Manage applications by service level objectives via policy based automation –
- Provision VASA storage provider
- Create VVOL datastore
- Define storage policy
- Provision a VM
Then I headed off to the Solutions Pavilion to speak to a couple of Experts – Ramesh Venkatasubramaniam and we spoke about vSAN, vCOPS, Log Insight, desktone, and ITBM
I also met with Mukesh Hira to talk about vSphere Distributed switches. By the time I was done with all this I had already missed lunch but survived till I could get my hands on some food. Walking a lot at VMworld makes you really hungry and also saps out your energy for short periods.
Another problem that was a problem from my standpoint this year at VMworld was the number of sessions that were re-scheduled for other rooms or locations. Problem is that I had all the rooms sorted out in my calendar and at the last minute I had to go around finding which rooms the sessions got relocated to. Some of them were still in the same building but others were moved two blocks away to the Marriott Hotel and walking back and forth was a pain.
I missed my session STP3229 – Guide to protect your cloud investment as a result. Luckily this session was only for 30 minutes so I hope to catch this up once the presentations are posted after VMworld to their website.
After lunch, I headed over to the Solutions Pavilion and met more vendors – especially new ones I hadn’t heard of or met, so that I could understand their products and see if anything innovative came out. One such product that I really liked was Atlantis USX – and they won ‘Best of VMworld 2014’ award so their technology was worth reviewing. I sat through their product demonstration and spoke to the Canada rep as well.
I then scrambled across to attend #INF1864 – Software Defined Storage (What’s next) from Chad Sakac. I have made it a tradition to listen to Chad’s future looking sessions because they are extremely informative and being an EMC executive he has a lot more awareness of upcoming technologies that he likes to share. I have blogged on that in a separate post so feel free to check it out.
The final session of the day was #STO2496 – vSphere Storage best practices – Next Gen Storage technologies – with Chad Sakac (EMC), Vaughn Stewart (Pure Storage), and Rawlinson Riviera (VMware vSAN). There was a brief statement by someone from Cisco as well who spoke about avoiding Jumbo frames and that it’s no longer important to use Jumbo frames and it came straight from Cisco so it was worth noting.
All of them gave a very informative presentation which I am going to post by way of slides. I did not write much in that session and was focussed on just hearing stuff. This was a session where you had to understand and grasp more than note stuff.
They talked big time and the 1 hour session stretched by another 30 minutes but I wasn’t missing anything. I was happy to delay attending my reception parties in favour of this conversation which is highly important if you are at VMworld. Chad and Vaughn kept the focus on non-marketing and independent storage technology discussions. Rawlinson spoke about vSAN and its improvements.
All in all it was a great day. I ended the day by going to the vExpert/vCDX reception. The party was attended by VMware CEO – Pat Gelsinger and he gave a brief note of thanks to the vExpert and vCDX community. John Arrasjid was honoured by Pat Gelsinger for his role in growing the vCDX community. John is also leaving VMware to work with the EMC CTO office. Pat launched a new vCDX certification on the network side (believe it was NSX related) and more details will be out soon. They honoured the first vCDX as well and after that the speeches ended. I also went to the Veeam customer event and ended my day thereafter.
(Photo credit – Sean Thulin)