Essential Guide

Managing storage for virtual environments: A complete guide

Explore the top tips and tools for virtual server storage management and get hypervisor-specific management advice.

Introduction

Managing storage for virtual environments can be a difficult task. Virtualizing servers requires storage administrators to understand both the storage and the virtualization infrastructure. Furthermore, virtualization randomizes sequential I/O, which can cause a lag in performance. This makes the ability to properly size storage and report storage statistics for virtual environments critical to the efficiency of the infrastructure.

Performance monitoring, for example, can help administrators pinpoint the location of a host of problems, while using the right management tools for aspects such as capacity planning can help alleviate those pain points before they even happen. Meanwhile, best practices for managing storage in virtual environments can vary depending on the hypervisor, many of which have their own built-in management capabilities.

To help you determine the best way to proceed with data storage management in your virtual environment, we've compiled some best practices, including an overview of the top third-party tools and data storage management advice based on an environment's hypervisor type.

1Top Tips-

Managing storage for virtual environments: Best practices

Among the difficulties storage administrators can encounter when managing storage for virtual environments are capacity and bottleneck issues. The following tips and best practices can help work around these challenges and run a more efficient virtual infrastructure.

Podcast

Virtual server data storage management: Best practices

Expert David Davis explains how storage administrators can avoid some common obstacles in managing virtual server storage. Continue Reading

Tip

Data storage management in a virtual environment

Server virtualization and virtual desktops can make managing data in a virtual server environment more complex. These five tips can help you manage virtual server storage. Continue Reading

Podcast

Top management difficulties for storage for virtual environments

In this podcast, find out how to overcome management challenges when it comes to data storage for virtual environments. Continue Reading

Tip

Examining storage for virtual workload management

Understanding storage for virtual environments and keeping a close eye on how resources are allocated in a virtual environment are important parts of effective data storage management. Continue Reading

Feature

Best methods for improving storage for virtual environments

Virtual server storage operations can have a profound effect on the storage network. Here are 10 ways to help ensure that your storage yields its best I/O for the virtual machines (VMs) it supports. Continue Reading

2Tools-

Top tools for virtual server storage management

When it comes to storage capacity and performance in virtual environments, storage administrators have a number of choices available to them. Some tools, such as those for automated tiering or deduplication, might be built into the storage itself and can help maintain top-notch performance. And there are third-party vendor tools that can provide reports on a per-VM basis. The links below provide examples of some of the most helpful tools available from a variety of vendors.

Podcast

Top tools and methods for enterprise storage management

In this expert podcast, David Davis explains what tools can help administrators best manage their virtual storage environments. Continue Reading

Podcast

Third-party tools aid storage management in VMware environments

Third-party tools provide a single interface to help IT shops monitor the performance of storage in virtual environments. Continue Reading

Feature

How storage capacity planning tools work in virtual environments

Because virtual servers are easy to create, delete and move, and their storage needs grow rapidly and unexpectedly, you need to stay on top of storage capacity planning issues. Continue Reading

Feature

Improve storage efficiency of virtual environments with capacity planning

Poor provisioning and a lack of effective capacity management tools lead to underused storage systems for virtual environments, but new tools can make storage efficiency a reality. Continue Reading

Feature

Using specialized tools for managing storage for virtual environments

Virtualization and storage management still present challenges, but nowadays server virtualization provides tighter integration and more effective management tools. Continue Reading

3Performance monitoring-

Using performance metrics to enhance storage for virtual environments

Performance monitoring is an essential aspect of managing storage for virtual environments. Recently, more storage performance monitoring tools designed specifically for virtual server environments have been hitting the market. These tools can report statistics on a per-VM or per-application basis to help administrators avoid performance problems or easily locate them. The content that follows outlines some of the different performance monitoring approaches for virtual environments.

Tutorial

Performance monitoring for virtual server storage takes application approach

Storage performance monitoring is moving from siloed tools toward overall system-health offerings. But some proven tools are needed in complex virtual environments. Continue Reading

Tip

Using virtualization-aware storage for per-VM statistics

Virtualization admins will have less of an opportunity to blame storage for unidentifiable problems thanks to the advent of hypervisor-aware storage. Continue Reading

Tip

Storage for virtual environments needs better performance monitoring

Infrastructure performance monitoring is important when it comes to managing storage for virtualized data centers. New tools are combining monitoring with analytics. Continue Reading

Podcast

Performance monitoring in VMware virtual environments

In this podcast interview, Mike Laverick discusses how storage performance analysis is handled in a VMware environment, the pros and cons of its implementation in VMware, and more. Continue Reading

Tip

Tools used to monitor the performance of storage for virtual environments

Storage performance monitoring ensures you're warned of low storage capacity and that you’re up to date on storage usage trends for virtual environments. Continue Reading

4Hypervisor considerations-

Hypervisor-specific data storage management

More management tools have added support for Microsoft Hyper-V, and the latest version of VMware vSphere made improvements to existing features. From the content below, learn what management features the various hypervisors provide and how to best work with them.

Feature

Hyper-V sees more options for storage management

As Microsoft Hyper-V gains users, its storage management tools are growing in number; third-party vendors are also getting into the act. Continue Reading

Feature

Managing storage in Hyper-V and vSphere

Find out how storage management differs between VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V implementations. Continue Reading

Podcast

Best practices for managing storage in a virtual Citrix environment

In this podcast, find out how Citrix XenServer storage management functionality compares with other virtual environments. Continue Reading

Tip

Understanding storage management with vSphere 5 implementations

VMware vSphere 5 storage enhancements include the vSphere Storage Appliance, expansion of the file system and increased integration with VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness. Continue Reading

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