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Distributed Storage Tech Preview [with video]

As most of the followers of this blog will know by now, VMware made some significant announcements around its storage direction at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco last month. One of the announcements related to this new feature called Distributed Storage – basically the ability to take ESXi hosts with just local storage and build a distributed datastore across all hosts in the cluster. There are so many neat features attached to this, such as its scale out capability (just add a new ESXi node to the cluster), the ability to have compute-only nodes in the cluster (ESXi hosts with no local storage) and the introduction of Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) to define virtual machine storage requirements such as performance and availability in the form of a profile. This profile is then pushed down to the Distributed Storage layer when the VMDK is being instantiated, and the VMDK is layed out across the distributed datastore in such a way as to meet these requirements.

There is so much more to Distributed Storage than that of course. For further information, please read the articles on Distrbuted Storage posted by my colleagues Massimo Re’Ferre here, Duncan Epping here and Christos Karamanolis here. The main reason for this post is to show you a video which was used at VMworld 2012 to show some of the neat features of this Distributed Storage announcement. Its pretty short (about 5 minutes) but it gives you an idea as to why we are all so excited about it here at VMware.

For those of you heading to VMworld 2012 in Barcelona in October, INF-STO2192 is a session I highly recommend attending. For those of you who cannot make VMworld, I’d highly recommend watching the recording.

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Cormac Hogan

About Cormac Hogan

Cormac Hogan is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Office of the CTO in the Storage and Availability Business Unit (SABU) at VMware. He has been with VMware since April 2005 and has previously held roles in VMware’s Technical Marketing and Technical Support organizations. He has written a number of storage related white papers and have given numerous presentations on storage best practices and vSphere storage features. He is also the co-author of the “Essential Virtual SAN” book published by VMware Press.

23 thoughts on “Distributed Storage Tech Preview [with video]

  1. Pingback: VMware vSphere Tech Preview – Distributed Storage | VMware Support Insider - VMware Blogs

  2. Zac

    This technology looks amazing. I look forward to its release. Will this be released with a later version of vSphere (6) or as an update to 5.1? This is all assuming that it is released at all. Keep up the good work.

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    Finally! This what I’ve been saying VMware has needed to do with storage since VirtualCenter 2.5 = complete the storage abstraction and make it just another resource like CPU and memory! Until then, storage will continue to be a cumbersome/odd beast.
    Exciting stuff.

  8. Dan Pancamo

    I ‘ve been waiting to hear more about Distributed Storage, but nothing since September 2012… This looks VERY interesting and a game changer, but is it real?

  9. Rob Gardam

    This technology is awesome and definitely markets itself to customers without large SAN infrastructure. The only downside I see is that more and more people are purchasing servers without internal storage.

    Is it possible to integrate SAN or NAS storage with local flash drives, be it PCI or SAS to provide enterprise lvl storage but coupled with a slower disk?

    1. Cormac Hogan

      Agreed. There are a lot of customers currently looking a blade enclosures which do not have many disk slots. One possible solution which is being investigated is the use of JBOD enclosures for just this reason. No decision yet, but more will be shared at the launch announcement.

  10. Benjamin

    Hello Sir,

    Thanks for this presentation, it seems very interesting!

    Can you please explain how storage request are done between ESX with VM and other ESX with vmdk?
    Is it through a VMkernel and http?
    Does VMware add on VM storage policies some protection choice like distribute files on a specific number of host in order to allow 1, 2, X ESXi failure?
    Metadatas are normally stored on proxy servers on OSD. Where are they on this VMware feature?

    I expect more information about this feature will come soon.

    Best regards.

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