2011 top tips: Storage for a virtual environment

In this compilation, we’ve collected our top five 2011 tips on storage for a virtual environment based on what was most read by you and other storage professionals. Read up on our leading virtual server storage and virtual desktop storage tips, with coverage on vStorage APIs for Array Integration, VDI boot storms, using SSD for memory problems, using virtualization for disaster recovery and Hyper-V data backup.

Table of contents:

How VMware’s vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) work and which arrays support them

With virtual server storage, the collaboration between the hypervisor and the storage hardware that supports it is complex. To lessen this complexity, VMware created the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI). These APIs allow a separation of tasks between the hypervisor and its storage devices so each can focus on what it does best: virtualization-related duties for the hypervisor and storage-related ones for the storage arrays. Dig deeper into VAAIs in our tip.

Tips on how to avoid VDI boot storm problems using SSD

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), or virtualized desktops, can be very advantageous to an IT shop because it includes easier system management and centralized security and data protection. In a virtual environment, however, the storage that supports VDI needs careful planning to dodge the problem of VDI “boot storms,” which are major slowdowns that could occur when a many users log on to a system concurrently. To address the issue, the alternative that makes the most sense is the strategic placement of solid-state drives (SSDs). Look further into how SSDs can help with boot storms in a virtual environment.

Supporting memory overcommitment with SSDs in vSphere

Applications nowadays are eating up more and more memory, and on hosts memory always seems to be in short supply. In a virtual environment, not having enough physical memory can have a major effect on project ROI. Let’s look closely at the memory limitations of server hardware, how memory overcommitment works and how SSD technology can tackle the problem.

The advantages of server virtualization for disaster recovery

Server virtualization technology offers some distinctive solutions when compared with other, more traditional, disaster recovery (DR) methods. It can decrease the cost of applying DR while allowing for greater flexibility, and it can guarantee that recovery time objectives (RTOs) are met. But every technology has its benefits and disadvantages. Let’s examine some of the benefits of server virtualization for DR and pinpoint when you shouldn't use server virtualization as part of your DR plan in this tip.

Tips for backing up Microsoft Hyper-V

Users of Microsoft Hyper-V have the same key concern with recovery and backup that VMware users have -- physics. When you move 20 or so physical servers into one physical server, most applications work properly, but one application doesn’t -- data backup. In a virtual environment, backup is a very I/O-intensive process that tends to take complete control of the server’s CPU, memory and I/O resources. Discover the best Hyper-V backup strategies for virtual server storage.