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vSphere 7 Core Storage

With the announcement of vSphere 7, the anticipation of what’s new is over. What has been added or changed in this release? I’m glad you asked! In vSphere 7, there are some exciting new storage features and interoperability. Under core storage, we’ve added external connectivity to NVMe device with NVMeoF, shared VMDKs for Microsoft WSFC, and in VMFS, optimized first writes for thin-provisioned disks. On the vVols front, many products our customers use were not supported. Many of our engineering groups have been hard at work, adding support for vVols. SRM, CNS, and vRops now support vVols!


Support for NVMeoF

vSphere now supports NVMe over Fabrics allowing connectivity to external NVMe arrays using either FC or RDMA (RoCE v2). As NVMe continues to grow and become the preferred storage, being able to connect to external NVMe arrays is critical. With this first iteration partners and customers will be able to evaluate NVMeoF.


Shared VMDKs

No one really likes RDMs, but in many cases, they are required for clustered applications. In this release, we have added another avenue to migrate off RDMs. VMFS6 with vSphere 7 now supports SCSI-3 Persistent Reservations. Now you can migrate your Microsoft WSFC to VMFS using FC connectivity.


Affinity 2.0

Thick or Thin provisioned disks has, and continues to be, a topic of discussion with each having its pros and cons. The most common con of thin provisioning is the overhead of the first write to unused space. With the new Affinity Manager, that impact has been reduced by creating a Region Map of available resources, thus avoiding the back and forth between the file system and Resource Manager to find available space.

For more details on the new core storage features in vSphere 7, please head over to Storagehub.vmware.com.


vVols Interoperability

vVols’ increasing growth and adoption has customers asking for support in many of VMware’s other solutions. In vSphere 7, there has been a significant advancement in getting vVols supported by other products.


SRM support for vVols

As one of the biggest asks, vVols support in Site Recovery Manager which has been in development for about a year. We showed tech previews at VMworld last year, and there was quite a bit of interest. Numerous customers have been waiting for SRM support before moving to vVols. The wait is over, and it is finally official; SRM 8.3 now supports vVols! For more information, here’s the link to SRM.

Here’s a link to the announcement blog for SRM 8.3.


vROps support for vVols

Another popular request was the support of vVols in vRealize Operations (vROps). The question often arose, “Why can’t we see vVols datastores in vROps, it’s just another datastore?” Well, with the release of vROps 8.1, vVols datastores are now supported!
For more information, here’s the link to vRops.

Make sure to read about the new release on the vROps 8.1 announcement blog.


CNS support for vVols

Kubernetes is quickly becoming the standard for deploying new applications. With its modular and scalable functionality, it allows organizations to quickly ramp and adapt their applications. In vSphere 7, we have added support for vVols as persistent storage in CNS, allowing the use of an SPBM policy to map to a Storage Class. This allows for simplified management of your CNS infrastructure while utilizing the benefits of vVols. With this release, vVols snapshots and replication are not supported.

For more information, here’s the link to a blog from Myles Gray about CNS.
Also check out Cormac Hogan’s blog on K8s.


VCF

VMware Cloud Foundation allows organizations to deploy and manage their private and public clouds. VCF currently supports vSAN, VMFS, and NFS for principle storage. Customers are asking for support of vVols as principle storage; while the VCF team continues to evaluate and develop that option, it is not available. In the meantime, vVols may be used as supplemental storage after the Workload Domain build has completed. Support for vVols as supplemental storage is a partner supported option.

Please work with your array vendor for the supported processes and procedures in setting up vVols with VCF as supplemental storage.

For more information, here’s the link to VCF.

Also, here’s a link to the blog on What’s New in VCF 4.0

VCF on Storagehub.vmware.com


@jbmassae