Everything you need to know about VMware vSphere 5 storage

Everything you need to know about VMware vSphere 5 storage

VMware Inc. made some significant upgrades in vSphere 5 from vSphere 4, especially from a storage perspective. New VMware vSphere 5 storage features include Profile-Driven Storage, vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness and Storage DRS. At the same time, significant changes were made to existing features, including snapshot and mirror mode enhancements to Storage vMotion, VMFS5 LUN size limit and iSCSI UI support. The company also added NFS support to Storage I/O Control and support for thin provisioning for vStorage APIs for Array Integration.

Whether you're an IT professional who has previously worked in vSphere 4 and are trying to grasp the new changes or are brand-new to vSphere, we’ve got you covered. For a complete guide to all of the important new, and improved, VMware vSphere 5 storage features, check out the tips below.

Table of contents:

vSphere functionality improved greatly in vSphere 5

While the vStorage APIs, introduced in vSphere 5, addressed the way its platform interacted with storage resources, the company didn't focus heavily on storage management from within vCenter Server. But VMware vSphere 5 storage features included an update, and major improvements, to storage management. In this summary of the storage-related enhancements to vSphere 5, author Eric Siebert outlines the new features of vSphere 5, which include Storage DRS, Storage Profiles and vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness. He walks readers through the changes made to previous features, including VMFS5 LUN size limit, snapshot and mirror mode enhancements to Storage vMotion and iSCSI UI support. He also explains the new NFS support added to Storage I/O Control and new support for thin provisioned storage arrays for vStorage APIs for Array Integration.

An in depth analysis of VMware's vSphere Replication for Site Recovery Manager 5

Version 4 of VMware's Site Recovery Manager (SRM) was unfortunately not a full solution for disaster recovery (DR) because it relied on a third-party storage application to replicate virtual machine data, requiring expensive arrays at the primary and the secondary site. With vSphere 5, a new feature titled vSphere Replication has been introduced, which allows users to replicate virtual machines at the virtualization layer, instead of at the storage layer. This option is much cheaper, with replication built into the hypervisor. In this tip from VMware expert Eric Siebert, learn about the new features of vSphere Replication and how to enable that replication.

Understanding and configuring vSphere Storage I/O Control

VMware introduced Storage I/O Control with vSphere 4.1 and with vSphere 5 built it out to support NFS data stores and clusterwide I/O shares. In this tip from Eric Siebert, learn the details of how Storage I/O Control works: solving problems by enforcing storage resource controls at the data store level, allowing hosts and VMs in a cluster accessing a data store to be taken into account when prioritizing VM access to storage resources. Read on to understand how to enable and configure Storage I/O Control.

Storage DRS and storage profile functions of vSphere 5 bring control of storage

Two of the new VMware vSphere 5 storage features are the Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and Profile-Driven Storage, both of which offer more control over storage resources. Similar to previous versions of vSphere’s Distributed Resource Scheduler, Storage DRS enables intelligent VM initial placement and load balancing based on storage I/O capacity conditions within a cluster. Profile-Driven Storage, on the other hand, ensures that VMs get placed on storage tiers based on capabilities, performance, SLAs and availability of the storage platform. Learn the details of each of these new functions and how they can benefit your use of vSphere 5.

vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness help view of VMware environment arrays

Thanks to the addition of a new set of vStorage APIs -- the vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) -- the visibility of storage arrays that support VMware environments was much improved. To illustrate how the APIs help administrators build profiles underlying storage subsystems, author Edward Haletky details two uses cases – one with VASA and one without. Read these cases to help determine the influence VASA will have, and the improvements it makes to VMware's vSphere 5 features.

More information about VMware vSphere 5 storage features

Related Content