Simplified View of Server Virtualization

By CIOReview | Monday, May 1, 2017
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Many storage vendors are found to quickly claim that their products will perfectly integrate with customer’s virtual machine monitor (VMM), which is not the actual requirement of today’s virtual environment. Instead, these storage admins are facing problems in particular to the virtual machine management. Storage here is becoming complicated as few VMs are using Input/output operations per second (IOPS) to the maximum extent and leaving tools prone to latency.

Unless and until a complete dynamic datacenter is set up in the working environment, some manual steps may be necessary to finish all the activities to make storage happen in a right way. To this end, it is significant to file a repeatable checklist or process, and follow it each time a request is obtained to spin up a new VM.

VCenter plug-in: Though many of the storage vendors have embraced a vCenter plug-in for VMware environments, these plug-in do not give users the facility to see beyond the amount of capacity of storage being used. Advancing its way, the vCenter plug-ins enables organizations to provision storage and makes the creation of data stores less complex.

VAAI or ODX support: The vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) facet in the VMware environment and the Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) characteristic in Hyper-V environments permit certain tasks, such as thin provisioning or cloning, to be devolved from the VMM to storage so that implementation can be done efficaciously.

Per-VM visibility: Despite the fact that most VM storage options permit for LUN-specific management, not all of them enable the management of individual VMs. Performance monitoring, backup, cloning, all these can be worked on a much more granular basis, offering the administrator a good control over their VM storage environment.

VM sprawl: Initially, virtualization was a big success for securing physical servers and minimizing power demands and heat output. Due to the ease at which virtual machines can be installed, organizations may discover that while reducing the number of physical devices, the number of virtual systems to be managed has exploded. In order to avoid these kinds of sprawl it is necessary to sketch virtual machine life cycles, recovering virtual instances that are no longer being used.

The licensing costs: Similar to the days of haggling with independent software vendors that set license fees based on CPU usage over pricing on multicore servers, lo and behold, licensing in virtual environments may also be a surprise element for companies. John Enck, a research vice president at Gartner says, “Software licenses may be a barrier. You may want to run an application in a large, virtualized server, but the license may be written to apply to the physical processor cores in the machine. So if, for an instance, you move such an application from a two-way server to a four-way virtualized server, your software license costs may increase—even though the software is only using two processors in the virtual environment.”

These measures help organizations to settle down with the type of storage they want. While few analysts say that all-flash is the way to go, Howard Marks, chief scientist at DeepStorage.net, at his recent virtualization seminar warned that a smaller amount of flash might be adequate for the virtual environment. That said, the performance of the virtual environment is getting slow with respect to the dependence rate on disk. Instead, Marks told his listeners an excellent option might be a hybrid array that employs flash caching and sub-LUN tiering. Optimizing and managing the storage better in relation to VMs is another benefit of combining storage and VMs in a single system. In solutions where VMs and storage have the same primary computing resources (memory, CPU, and networking), storage processing is more likely to impact VMs and vice versa.