The Viewpoint Webinar Series has been bringing you one-hour sessions on some of the hottest VMware tech topics for several months now. Our most recent webinar was A Technical Overview of Virtual Volumes that talked about how Virtual Volumes (VVols) revolutionizes the storage industry by bringing the focus away from the simple capabilities of your storage infrastructure to the requirements of your applications. A recording is available On Demand in case you missed the live event in July.
During the webinar, our presenter Joe Cooper answered a lot of viewer questions. Here are some of the most interesting…
Can VVOL replace VAAI?
VVol introduces new primitives which basically eliminates the use of VAAI NAS primitives. The VAAI Block primitives whenever a function cannot be performed with the new VVol primates. This is all possible as long as the array can support VAAI and VVol and the storage vendor has chosen to use VAAI as part of their implementation.
Will SRM work with this using either vSphere replication or Array Based Replication?
The use of SRM with vSphere Replication is not currently supported. vSphere Replication with VVol is supported on its own.
How do we take the backup of a VM?
VMware offers an API called the “vSphere API for Data Protection”. This API is used by software vendors as they build their backup software. They focus on backing up virtual machine files or objects instead of the files within the virtual disk.
Do VVOLs conform to requirements of applications such as exchange and clusters which require block based storage, and as such is this a block-based storage type?
VVols are just the VM objects and derivatives which are controlled through the storage policy framework. Whatever the array can expose as a feature of the array or capability by grouping application focused capabilities that are presented to vSphere in that fashion, then yes you can have specific application policy offerings for things like exchange, SQL, etc. This all happens regardless its block- or IP-based storage.
How do VVols work with SDRS and RDM – physical/virtual?
Today, VVol doesn’t interoperate with SDRS. One of the values delivered by VVols is the fact that we don’t really want to move data because of its expensive operation. Instead, within the array the VM can be individually given what it needs dynamically without moving it. RDMs can still be used as typically used in vSphere but traditionally virtual or physical. Today VVol doesn’t support SCSI 3 level reservations and we still can’t use a VVol to replace the use of RDMs.
What is the difference between datastore clusters, VSAN, and VV’s?
They’re basically similar implementations on different platforms. VSAN is based on objects on local storage, and VVol is used on NAS and SAN arrays. but we have the same control plan and data plan.
Are we still formatting storage container with VMFS file system in VVOLs?
No. VVol is an object and within the object the namespace is VMFS.
Using VVOLs, can we guarantee the performance?
If your array can offer some type of QoS capability and you can create a policy for it, then yes.
How many VVOLs can be supported by one ESXi?
There is no limit there. Just like there’s no limit to the number of files supported by ESXi. There may be a limit imposed by the storage vendor on a per storage container basis, but that will be vendor dependent.