Exploring the Benefits of vSphere 5
Have you ever been in the position of provisioning a new virtual machine with specific storage requirements and have had to wrestle with where best to position the virtual disks that comprise that virtual machine’s storage? Server based applications such as Exchange and SQL Server have specific recommendations for their underlying disk RAID types and, in the case of SQL Server, can be particularly latency intolerant. Not only do you need to identify and allocate space from the correct datastore to the virtual machine at the point of provisioning but you also need to ensure that it remains on a suitable datastore to guarantee an acceptable level of performance that meets agreed SLAs.
If you don’t have a clear naming convention in place or are not responsible for you SAN environment this can be tricky and time consuming. What is the RAID level? What types of drives are in use (SSD, FC, SATA)? Is the target datastore comprised of tiered storage? Is de-duplication or compression in use?
Step forward ’VMware's Profile-Driven Storage. This feature, new in vSphere 5, allows the Administrator to define Storage Profiles up front, which can be used in the initial provisioning process as well as ensuring that the disks remain located on suitable storage for the course of its life. When combined with another new vSphere 5 feature VASA (vSPhere Storage APIs – Storage Awareness), which provides a mechanism to integrate with vCenter and expose some or all of the underlying characteristics of a storage device and its underlying components and configuration within the vCenter UI, the definition and use of storage profiles becomes an attractive option to help guarantee performance and meet SLA.
So how do you define these storage profiles? It’s a very simple process.
Firstly, you need to define the storage capabilities. If you have a VASA enabled device (such as EMC VNX) the capabilities of the device can be automatically associated but if you don’t you can still create user-defined storage capabilities that can be defined and named to your own specific standards. The next step is to create the actual storage profiles that you have decided upon and you simply name this profile and then assign one of the storage capabilities defined previously. Assign the storage capabilities to your datastores and you are ready to start using them.
Using the storage profiles is a simple operation that can be implemented at provisioning by selecting the appropriate VM storage profile or retrospectively by simply assigning the VM storage profile to the virtual machine.
To discover the full capabilities of VMware vSphere 5, please contact our technical team for further information email@example.com