VMware vSphere 6 and VVOL’s VVOLs is a provisioning feature for vSphere 6 that changes how virtual machines (VMs) are stored and managed. – They have been hyping this technology for quite some time and it’s finally here. So what is its real value.
VVOLs, which is short for Virtual Volumes, enables an administrator to apply a policy to a VM which defines the various performance and service-level agreement requirements, such as RAID level, replication or deduplication. The VM is then automatically placed on the storage array that fits those requirements.
VVOLs’ other advantage is the ability to snapshot a single VM instead of just the traditional snapshot of an entire logical unit number that may house several VMs. This feature saves wasted space on the data store and reduces the amount of administrative overhead.
So here is the most important part….To use VVOLs, the storage hardware has to support the vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA). VMware introduced VVOLS at VMworld 2011 during a technical preview session but now has offi clyy released it.
Alot of storage vendors are just getting to the point that they can support it, they must be compatible with
Storage awareness 2.0 , this means writing and testing new code which can take a while from an R&D standpoint so dont expect to see a wide adoption of VVOLs right out of the gate.
There are also a number of features that you may be using or want to use which are not compatible with VVOLs so these are important to consider if you think you want to use it:
- VMware vSphere 6.0.x features that are not interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:
- Storage I/O Control
- NFS version 4.1
- Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS)
- Fault Tolerance (FT)
- vSphere API for I/O Filtering (VAIO)
- Array-based replication
- Raw Device Mapping (RDM)
- Microsoft Failover Clustering
There are a few Storage vendors on the market today that have already implemented their own version of VVOLs , they have all been based on using NFS so that the file system is exposed. With VVOLs their are many benefits and we see good things that will come from it, but it needs to get mainstream adoption from the Storage Vendors to get widely adopted as well as some of the features listed above need to not be a barrier to using it for us to really see the value.
Dave Kluger – Storcom Principal Technology Architect