We are thrilled to introduce NVMe over Fabrics (NVMeoF) support for vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols) in vSphere 8. Many array vendors and the industry are moving towards the NVMe-oF protocol for better performance and throughput over traditional SCSI and NFS (Network File System) connectivity. With this announcement, customers can take advantage of NVMe-oF performance storage arrays and manage them in a vVol datastore with Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) in vCenter.
vVols Supports NVMe-oF
The big announcement for vVols in vSphere 8 is support NVMe-oF. It is a new vVols Spec, vSphere APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for VASA (vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness) 4.0.
NVMe-oF provides better performance and lower latency over typical SCSI. NVMe is designed for flash and connecting to an all-flash NVMe array using SCSI is an inherent bottleneck. With NVMe-oF vVols, each vVol object becomes an NVMe Namespace. These Namespaces are then grouped into an ANA group (Asymmetrical Namespace Access). With NVMe, many of the commands are In-Band for more efficient communication between vSphere hosts and the array.
In vSphere 8, we simplified the setup of NVMe in vVols. When deploying NVMe in vCenter, once VASA is registered, the underlying setup is completed in the background, and the discovery of the NVMe controller is automatic. Once the datastore is created, the vPE (virtual Protocol Endpoints) and connection are all handled by VASA.
vVols NVMe-oF Enhancements
In vSphere 8, there are features and enhancements to vVols NVMe-oF, which include the following:
- Support 256 Namespaces and 2K paths
- Extend reservation support for NVMe devices
- Auto- Discovery of NVMe Discovery Services support for ESXi
Additional vVols Features in vSphere 8
In vSphere 8, there are more improvements in performance and functionality in vVols.
- VM swap improvement: Reduced time when powering on or off and during better vMotion performance
- Keep config-vVol bound: Avoid additional latency from VM home queries from vSphere system.
For more details on vSphere 8 Core Storage, see the full article: What’s New in vSphere Core Storage and vVols
vSphere 8 Announcement blog: Introducing vSphere 8: The Enterprise Workload Platform
Review the VMware Compatibility Guide which lists all the storage systems certified with the interoperability of vVols.
Take a Technical Deep Dive at vSphere Storage
Test Drive Hands-on Lab: VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes and Storage Based Policy Management