In my last post I detailed the importance of VM-centricity with Virtual Volumes and the fundamental problem that it solves for customers. In this post, I will provide more insight on how Virtual Volumes can make your life easier through streamlined operations.
For both the VI Admin and Storage Admin, Virtual Volumes greatly simplifies management over the existing operational model. Virtual Volumes allows separating storage presentation from storage consumption.
In the VMware Software-Defined Storage (SDS) model with Virtual Volumes, the Storage Admin sets up this entity called the VVol Datastore. The capacity and data services published by the Storage Admin in the VVol Datastore become similar to menu items from which the VI Admin can consume on demand or a la carte. The Storage Admin retains control of the storage resources, as the VI Admin can only consume published capabilities. However, the Storage Admin no longer needs to determine which data services should be assigned to a VM. Thus, the Storage Admin is responsible for up front setup, but the VI Admin is self-sufficient afterwards.
With Virtual Volumes, the VI Admin gains control and becomes responsible for defining the various storage classes of service for VMs. Furthermore, the classes of service are no longer physical pre-allocations, but instead they are logical entities controlled and automated entirely by software and interpreted through the mechanism of policies. By associating one or many VMs to the right policy, the provisioning and instantiation of storage service levels is automated for that VM or set of VMs. Automated policy enforcement also becomes the mechanism to simplify the monitoring process and to ensure compliance of storage service levels throughout the lifecycle of the application.
Policy-driven automation enables more agile storage consumption for VMs, which ultimately delivers faster provisioning for new applications with different requirements and simplifies change management, as the VI Admin no longer depends on the Storage Admin to fulfill infrastructure change requests. The VI Admin can make changes to policies at any time, and the necessary infrastructure changes are configured through automation.
With Virtual Volumes provisioning and consuming storage is so easy, just clicking a button will do it.