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  • Working in a virtual machine environment: VM-aware storage

    How can storage administrators decide if a virtual machine-aware appliance can cure their virtual server storage headache? This guide walks users through the basics. Continue Reading

  • VMware VVOLs helps with provisioning storage

    Sick of dealing with LUNs and NAS mount points? Virtual machine-aware storage and VMware Virtual Volumes can save you.

    Storage vendors today recognize the unique challenges with provisioning storage while delivering performance that virtualizing servers puts on storage systems. And that means administrators no longer need to stick with a traditional SAN or NAS to satisfy those requirements. Technologies such as VM-aware storage and converged infrastructures are examples of storage for virtual environments today that make integration and performance less problematic for administrators. And VVOLs can turn legacy storage arrays into VM-aware systems.

    VM-aware storage places a hypervisor integration software layer on top of a conventional storage array, integrating the storage with the underlying virtualization platform. As with hyper-converged systems, the hardware vendor must support the hypervisor you are using.

    Hyper-converged systems are specifically designed for use with virtual servers. All the major components -- CPU, storage, network and so on -- are certified to work with one another and to be compatible with the hypervisor vendor's software. The storage is preconfigured to provide optimal performance.

    VVOLs were added to the vSphere 6. They allow for provisioning storage and for data to be managed at the virtual machine level, but they require support from hardware array vendors.

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  • VMware Virtual Volumes provide path out of legacy storage

    There's been an uptick in interest in VMware Virtual Volumes technology, which moves away from legacy storage and more into the virtualization realm. These vSphere features enable policy-based storage management and are intended to speed up provisioning and simplify storage management. This handbook looks at whether these claims hold up and identifies which problems VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) can solve. Also included are comparisons of VVOLs to other virtual vendor storage options, such as HP's 3PAR StoreServ or Tintri's VMstore T5000 all-flash series.

    VMware Virtual Volumes apply storage capabilities to a VM through policies, meaning admins don't need to perform these duties manually. This sort of efficiency is appealing, but effectively implementing VVOLs requires proper guidance. Before implementing VMware Virtual Volumes, look into what the product needs. Not all vendors support VVOLs, so make sure your environment is a good fit before jumping in.

    There are also questions of how VVOLs interact with modern storage systems, such as an all-flash array. While it's more complicated than simply migrating from legacy storage, there are scenarios where VVOLs can coexist with modern systems.

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Manage LUN

Learn to apply best practices and optimize your operations.

  • Prepare your environment for HCI platform installation

    Deploying an HCI stack is a transformation in IT infrastructure management. Admins must get VMs in order and plan the migration to get data centers ready for HCI. Continue Reading

  • Everything you need to know about storage snapshots

    The role of storage snapshots in data protection is growing. Essentially, groups of disk blocks -- physical in an array or virtualized within a software-defined storage or virtual appliance -- storage snapshots embody what a file system or volume looked like at a specific moment. So if you are performing instant recovery, flat backup or any type of continuous data protection, storage snapshots are going to be a part of the picture.

    Switching cloud storage providers isn't often a breeze, and one of the biggest headaches of all when doing so is data migration -- especially if you've got hundreds of terabytes, or even petabytes, of data stashed away. Fortunately, there are tools, approaches and third parties that can ease the transition process.

    Technology convergence in the modern data center is reshaping traditional IT jobs and responsibilities. Consequently, storage know-how, while still very valuable, is no longer the only area of expertise a storage professional needs to be proficient in to succeed. The good news is there are plenty of ways to take your career into your own hands to adapt to this new reality.

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  • Hypervisor virtualization manages, supports data storage

    Chris Evans looks at the latest efforts by storage virtualization vendors to handle hypervisor storage and data management functionality. Continue Reading

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