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S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E
 

S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E

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    S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E Document Transcript

    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E The Importance of Advanced Storage Virtualization in Virtualized Server Environments June 2007 Server virtualization has become a tried and true approach for enabling a new level of cost savings and operational efficiency in the data center. Enterprises everywhere are rapidly implementing virtualized servers in a quest for better resource utilization, simplified management, and a more flexible infrastructure. Over 85% of these virtualized servers use a SAN and a shared storage model. Unfortunately, server virtualization with shared storage exacerbates pre-existing storage management issues, and in many cases creates new challenges not present in a purely physical world. We are finding that server virtualization planning and deployment are increasingly intertwined with the planning and scaling of a storage backend that can support the high levels of consolidation that many businesses demand today. As the scale of a virtual environment increases, the performance, availability, and cost-efficiency of the storage infrastructure becomes crucial to enabling the next level of scalability of a virtualized server environment. In order to address these vexing storage infrastructure challenges, advanced storage virtualization features become a key infrastructure fulcrum for optimizing capacity and performance in a virtualized and consolidated server infrastructure. In this solution profile, we will review the key operational storage management challenges caused by server virtualization, posit the key criteria of advanced storage virtualization capabilities necessary to optimize and consolidate server infrastructure, and then spotlight 3PAR and how their advanced virtualization capabilities stack up against the criteria. Key Storage Issues in Virtualized challenges are not necessarily unique to Server Infrastructure server virtualization, these challenges are exacerbated by the use of server There is a symbiotic relationship between virtualization and require careful planning planning and managing a virtualized server and consideration before attempting a large infrastructure and how to deploy, manage, scale server consolidation or virtualization and optimize the storage environment. From project. our conversations with end users, we frequently hear three major storage CHALLENGE #1: CAPACITY management and infrastructure challenges MANAGEMENT that are cited by users of large scale Storage capacity planning and management virtualization environments. Although these are key disciplines and responsibilities of the Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 1 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E storage administrator whether the experience, memory utilization and I/O environment is purely physical or virtualized. latency must also be considered in Ironically, while server virtualization is an optimizing application performance in a excellent mechanism for driving server virtualized infrastructure. utilization, it can have the opposite effect on storage utilization rates. Memory utilization at both the server and storage cache level, along with overall storage Server virtualization, specifically VMware, system responsiveness are key determinants favor large upfront allocation of capacity to a of overall system level performance. For volume, even if little to none of that capacity example, a typical server in a data center is written or used at the outset. VMware’s today will utilize over 60% of its memory, Virtual Machine sizing guidelines advise while its CPU will use between 5 to 15% of the users to double application useable capacity available CPU cycles. When multiple estimates to account for additional physical servers with a similar memory and suspend/resume space that VMware may CPU utilization profile are consolidated onto require. a single server, memory becomes overcommitted and over utilized. Excessive As a result, it is not uncommon that end memory utilization results in large number of users must allocate 1 to 2 TBs of physical page and cache misses. Each of these cache storage capacity per volume per Virtual misses is expensive because VMware must Machine (VM). In a highly consolidated make a request to the underlying disk system environment, storage administrators must to recall the page back into memory. This in allocate 10s of TBs of capacity just to turn causes a highly randomized I/O pattern accommodate the deployment of a relatively per LUN volume at the storage system, small number of VMs. Therefore, over resulting in additional cache misses at the allocation of storage capacity results in low storage level too. More roundtrips to disk storage utilization and high CAPEX spend, mean longer waits and lower application mitigating the strong benefits that a performance. virtualized server infrastructure brings. Consolidation best practices call for end CHALLENGE #2: APPLICATION users to provision servers with as much RAM PERFORMANCE as possible to counteract this excessive page Application performance and responsiveness swapping. However, modern day x86 servers are always top of mind goals for IT. Users were not designed to support the amount of often use CPU utilization rates as a broad RAM necessary for highly consolidated measure to determine how many workloads environments of greater than 6 VMs per can be consolidated onto a given physical server. server. However, this oversimplifies consolidated workload performance Overall application performance becomes management and optimization. From our tightly correlated with the overall performance and response time of the Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 2 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E underlying storage system. High Key Elements of Advanced performance storage where I/O can be Virtualization striped over large numbers of disks to deliver low latency response times becomes a crucial Forward looking enterprises have found that element enabling high scale virtualized pairing advanced storage virtualization server deployment. capabilities with server virtualization offers a solution to these storage management CHALLENGE #3: DATA PROTECTION challenges. In the following section, we will OF VIRTUAL MACHINES discuss the key capabilities that any storage virtualization (whether it is network-based or Server virtualization environments require array-based) must have in order to deliver highly available shared storage since many the business benefit of “truly” optimizing virtual machines (VMs) share a common virtualized server infrastructure and enabling server. This magnifies the business large scale server consolidation. downtime impacts of a failure since “all the eggs are in a single basket.” VM data Requirement: Thin Provisioning structures must be not only protected, but Thin provisioning is a crucial advanced also easily shared so that VMs can be rapidly storage virtualization capability that ensures failed over or redeployed to another server that over allocation and low utilization of the platform to maximize uptime. corresponding storage infrastructure does not occur. As previously mentioned, VMware Server virtualization also complicates the requires large volumes to be pre-allocated for data backup practices. Off-hours backups each virtual machine. Thin provisioning can no longer run simultaneously because counteracts this over allocation problem by the performance demand on a single server ensuring that only storage that is used or supporting multiple virtual guests is simply written is allocated. In short, thin too high. In response, storage managers look provisioning presents a logical volume of any to array-based snapshot backups, specialized size to VMware, but only allocates physical clients, mirror splits, or other approaches, storage capacity when data is written or used but those possibilities are mired in on the volume. The physical storage is management complexity, negative allocated on demand from a shared pool. As performance impacts, and possible up-time a result, storage capacity is used much more complications. Assuring that virtual guests efficiency and only when needed. As a result, are easily backed up with complete data an organization can achieve not only optimal integrity becomes nearly impossible. server utilization rates, but also high storage Meanwhile, mapping constantly changing utilization rates by using a combination of virtual configurations to typically scripted server virtualization and thin provisioning. and fixed back-up tasks, introduces a new challenge. Requirement: Performance The ability of the storage system to process random I/O with low latency is a key Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 3 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E determinant in enabling large scale operating environments, and upgrading the consolidation. With server consolidation, IT underlying physical server infrastructure. As is effectively collapsing many types of a result, rapid provisioning, patch workloads and I/O access patterns onto a management, and online, non-disruptive single physical server, creating an data migration become critical operations amalgamated server I/O access profile. This that the storage administrator must perform workload mix is compounded by frequent to support the virtualized server page swapping to disk due to high memory environment. Specifically, the administrator utilization that comes with a highly must be able to optimize the performance of consolidated, virtualized server storage to meet the requirements of virtual infrastructure. As a result, there is a strong servers, scale the storage environment at the dependency on fast, highly responsive same rate as the virtual server environment storage. is scaled, and conduct routine storage maintenance activities – all without Ideally, users need to deploy storage systems disrupting the virtual server environment. In that can efficiently process small block, total, these storage capabilities are crucial to random I/O with low latency. From our contribution to a more agile, flexible IT experience, we have found that advanced infrastructure. We strongly urge users to storage virtualization functionality like consider how they will provision new virtual clustered controller-based architectures and operating environments, patch them, and wide striping – the ability to balance data non-disruptively migrate data as part of their across as many available spindles as possible server virtualization implementation. to get the best responsiveness and I/O throughput – are crucial to supporting the Requirement: Data Protection & Fault service levels required in a virtualized storage Tolerance infrastructure. By consolidating, enterprises are effectively putting “more eggs in one basket.” As a Requirement: Simplicity of Operation result, fault tolerance and data protection Simplicity of operation is a term that Taneja become paramount issues to ensure IT Group uses to describe the overall ease of achieves their uptime SLAs for their management of a given storage virtualization virtualized environment. First, the fault solution. Simplicity of operation refers to not tolerance and overall availability of the only the ease of initial installation and underlying physical storage is crucial for a configuration, but how easily and efficiently supporting a virtualized environment. An an administrator can perform routine advanced storage virtualization solution maintenance and key storage management must have no single point of failure and be tasks, such as storage provisioning. capable of surviving cascading failure scenarios, while ensuring that data is fully In a virtualized server environment, end protected from physical disk failures. users are constantly provisioning new virtual machines, patching existing virtual machine Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 4 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E Second, an advanced storage virtualization to changing demands and workloads. As a solution should provide advanced snapshot result, the ability to dynamically change and data copy capabilities that allow service levels on the fly and non-disruptively enterprises to create duplicate data sets for becomes an important complement to the backup and recovery. This facilitates backup, flexibility of a virtualized server diminishes the performance impact of I/O infrastructure. Specifically, advanced intensive backup activity on primary storage, virtualization solutions that allow and provides the ability to quickly restore the administrators to change RAID settings, data set to a previously consistent point in promote and demote data among different time copy. Furthermore, an advanced tiers or classes of storage, add additional disk virtualization solution should automate the resources to a given volume, and adjust the creation, movement, and retention of placement or stripe-width of data on disk for snapshots and copies, reducing the optimum performance are critical administration for these tasks. capabilities for delivering dynamic QoS at the storage layer. Requirement: Quality of Service (QoS) With server virtualization and advanced Spotlight on 3PAR capabilities, such as VMotion and Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), Founded in 1999, 3PAR is a next generation enterprises are beginning to gain greater storage system provider focused on control and flexibility in terms of setting and improving resource utilization and maintaining service levels for their virtual simplifying management in departments and machines and applications. Given that data centers. 3PAR Utility Storage is storage IO performance is a key determinant designed from the ground up to deliver a of application performance in a virtualized simple to use, efficient, massively scalable server environment, QoS at the storage level solution for the next generation data center becomes a key requirement for guaranteeing and its mission critical applications. The low latency, high throughput I/O to the product is ideally suited for storage application and virtual machines that need it consolidation, integrated data lifecycle most. management and performance intensive applications. Traditionally, upgrading data service levels involved manual migrations of data among 3PAR has eschewed the traditional dual arrays or storage tiers or lengthy RAID set controller designs of most traditional rebuilds. These migrations and volume midrange and the costly layered architectures layout changes impacted performance and of high end storage systems in favor of a could result in significant downtime, while multi-node, massively scalable clustered the migration or rebuild occurred. However, design. 3PAR’s Utility Storage is based on the in a virtualized context, data migration and innovative InSpire clustered architecture that data service levels must be able to respond as provides a modular, fault tolerant storage quickly as the server virtualized environment platform that scales continuously from the Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 5 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E very small to the very large. 3PAR InServ of an enterprise considering a large scale Storage Servers are composed of a cluster of virtual server consolidation project. up to 8 3PAR controller nodes interconnected together over a high speed, 3PAR: Thin Provisioning low latency meshed backplane. Together the 3PAR recognized early on the problems 3PAR system forms a cache coherent, active- caused by over allocating storage capacity to active cluster. volumes and responded with a virtualized storage system capable of making more Each InServ Storage Server acts as a single efficient use of physical storage capacity than system, so that hosts can access virtual traditional fat provisioning approaches. volumes over any host-connected Fibre Since 2003, the company has offered thin Channel or iSCSI port on any controller provisioning as an option on its 3PAR Utility node, even if the particular portion of data to Storage. In contrast, it is only recently that be accessed is directly managed by another large tier 1 vendors have added or announced controlled node. The modular, clustered plans to add bolt-on thin provisioning architecture allows 3PAR to scale to meet the approaches to their arrays. most demanding workloads, while delivering capital efficient “pay as you grow” scalability The 3PAR system presents to hosts to meet changing business demands. virtualized volumes of any size and service level. Meanwhile, physical storage capacity is 3PAR Compared Against the intelligently and autonomically dedicated Criteria of Advanced only as the application writes data. 3PAR Virtualization Thin Provisioning is “Dedicate-on-Write,” as opposed to “Dedicate–on-Allocation.” In addition to a highly scalable, available Physical capacity can be added to the clustered architecture, 3PAR Utility Storage InServ’s single unused capacity pool non- boasts a wide range of advanced storage disruptively at any time. Given the fact that virtualization capabilities within the storage over allocation of storage is such a rampant system. Unlike other storage systems where problem in VMware environments, 3PAR’s advanced storage virtualization were bolt-ons thin provisioning implementation offers an or retrofits to a legacy design, 3PAR had the ideal antidote to this costly problem. luxury of designing key capabilities like thin provisioning, clustered volume management, 3PAR: Performance and snapshots at the core of its architecture. 3PAR’s massively parallel InSpire The result: an elegant execution of advanced architecture automatically spreads all data internal virtualization capabilities married over all internal disk resources, delivering with a massively scalable clustered demonstrably higher and more predictable architecture. In the following section, we will levels of performance (high IOPS, low examine in greater depth the key storage latencies) with full capacity utilization. For virtualization capabilities of the 3PAR example, an eight node 3PAR clustered product and how they match up to the needs system delivers 100,046 IOPS in the SPC-1 Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 6 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E benchmark at $14.81 per IOPS. Unlike many Furthermore, 3PAR has invested heavily in other SPC-1 results, 3PAR achieves their streamlining the provisioning and patch SPC-1 result with a nearly complete, management processes for their storage utilization of installed capacity. The SPC-1 system. A 3PAR administrator can configure benchmark represents a good proxy for real one or hundred volumes and export it to world business critical applications, such as hosts in a matter of seconds. Moreover, those being consolidated with VMware. provisioning can be automated to utilize templates that stipulate preset volume Due to page swapping and high levels of parameters for desired service levels. The memory utilization, VMware’s performance net effect is that the provisioning process can is highly dependent on fast, low latency be compressed from days or weeks in many storage performance. 3PAR has shown that organizations to seconds and minutes using its architecture is a strong fit with the I/O 3PAR technology. Often times, provisioning profile of a virtualized server infrastructure. is a gate to the rapid deployment and re- We believe that 3PAR’s advanced storage deployment of virtual machine. With 3PAR, virtualization capabilities like wide striping administrators get an easy to administer and highly parallelized clustered design are storage backbone that can respond rapidly to critical capabilities in delivering low latency, the dynamic, flexible nature of a virtualized high IOPS performance to virtualized server environment. applications. With 3PAR’s ability to deliver low latency, high throughput IO to VMWare, 3PAR: Fault Tolerance & Data end users have found that a 3PAR storage Protection system can enable them to stack more VMs 3PAR provides a comprehensive approach to per server without impacting application ensuring that data is accessible and protected performance. As a result of 3PAR’s at all times. 3PAR’s clustered architecture architecture and internal virtualization provides a completely fault-tolerant system capabilities, enterprises can realize greater that can survive multiple individual efficiency and higher levels of VMware component failures, while continuing to consolidation than traditional storage service requests for data. In addition, the systems with external network-based or 3PAR system features rapid rebuild times to appliance-based virtualization. safeguard the system from disk failures and non-disruptive hardware and software 3PAR: Simplicity of Operation upgrades to minimize or eliminate downtime 3PAR provides a single point of management from outages. for administering the cluster system as a single physical resource. Both UI and CLI In addition to 3PAR’s redundant have been designed to minimize architecture, 3PAR boasts advanced data administrator complexity and training protection capabilities designed around requirements. 3PAR Virtual Copy – its highly efficient and flexible snapshot implementation built on thin copy technology. Virtual Copy allows an Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 7 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E administrator to create hundreds of point in business demand. With a single command, time copies of a single volume, while 3PAR’s Dynamic Optimization engine can consuming minimal amounts of physical reliably convert a data volume from one storage. More importantly, Virtual Copy’s service level to another with no disruption to fine-grained auto-growth capability is drawn the application. 3PAR’s system acts as the in small increments from a free space pool on perfect complement to VMotion and DRS to an as needed basis, eliminating the facilitate an agile, flexible virtualized traditional need to reserve conservative infrastructure that can support varying amounts of copy space on a per-volume degrees of service quality on demand. basis. Furthermore, users can assign distinct quality-of-service levels to this copy space Dynamic Optimization allows operators to apart from those of the base volumes. In change RAID type, restrict or dedicate the short, 3PAR’s Virtual Copy capability use of individual processors, drives, and or provides an excellent data protection ports to a specific application or virtual capability for supporting the backup and machine, place data on the outer tracks for recovery of virtual machine images and their optimum performance and response time, data without disruption to the application and decide what data should be placed on FC service quality. or SATA class drives. To that end, 3PAR offers a simple, straight forward approach to 3PAR: QoS delivering high service quality to a dynamic, 3PAR Dynamic Optimization technology rapidly changing virtualized server provides the facility to online and non- environment. Given the importance of disruptively change data service levels on the storage system responsiveness in virtualized fly, allowing the 3PAR storage system to environments, 3PAR’s QoS capabilities are respond in concert with server virtualization critical for high performance virtualized software to changing application and server environments. Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 8 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E Table 1. Summary of 3PAR Capabilities Compared to the Storage Virtualization Criteria Needed for a Highly Virtualized Server Infrastructure. Storage Virtualization 3PAR Findings Requirements 1. Thin Provisioning 3PAR provides an elegant implementation of thin provisioning that an organization to achieve high server utilization rates without compromising storage utilization. 2. High IOPS, Low Latency Storage 3PAR allows data to be striped across all available Performance spindles and controllers in order to deliver low latency, high IOPS performance. As a result, more virtual machines can be consolidated on a single server, resulting in higher utilization and cost savings. 3. Simplicity of Operation 3PAR streamlines common storage maintenance operations, such as provisioning and patch management, allowing the storage system to be scaled in tandem with the virtualized server infrastructure. 4. Fault Tolerance & Data Protection 3PAR clustered architecture and advanced virtualization capabilities, like Virtual Copy, provide a comprehensive approach to ensuring that virtual machine data is accessible and protected at all times. 5. QoS 3PAR Dynamic Optimization technology ensures storage I/O responsiveness in virtualized environments by providing the capability to quickly, non-disruptively dial up or down data service quality by volume. Taneja Group Opinion believe that the planning and deployment of large consolidated, virtualized server Virtualized server environments continue to environments is explicitly intertwined with proliferate as businesses look to drive greater the design and implementation of a flexible, operating efficiencies across the data center. high performance, resilient storage Many forward looking enterprises have goals infrastructure. to virtualize over 50% of their server infrastructure in the next couple of years. Our advice to end users: think holistically Clearly, server virtualization is reshaping about your infrastructure before embarking how applications are deployed and managed on a large scale server consolidation project. in the data center. However, this sea change As we have discussed, server consolidation is is not without ramifications for the storage about improving server utilization, but it infrastructure. In fact, we have come to Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 9 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com
    • S O L U T I O N P R O F I L E makes no sense to drive up server utilization virtualization solution complements the to the detriment of lowering storage flexibility and management benefits of a utilization. In short, we believe that user virtualized server environment by must consider both sides of the streamlining and automating storage infrastructure equation – server and storage provisioning on demand. In short, we optimization – in order to realize the highest believe that advanced internal storage ROI possible inn a server consolidation virtualization should be an integral element project. of any large scale server consolidation implementation. To that end, selecting a storage backend with rich internal storage virtualization 3PAR, with its innovative high scalability, capabilities is critical to the successful rollout clustered architecture and rich storage of a large-scale consolidated, virtualized management capabilities, has proven itself to server infrastructure. From our research and be a leading vendor of advanced storage discussions with end users, selecting the virtualization technology. If you are right storage system with internal storage considering a large scale server consolidation virtualization allows users to stack more rollout, we strongly urge you to consider virtual machines per server and hence drive 3PAR for your storage requirements. We better operating efficiencies across their think that the combination of efficiency, environment. Furthermore, the right simplicity, and scalability that 3PAR brings advanced virtualization solution will require to bear are the perfect complement to a a fraction of the storage capacity otherwise virtualized server environment. needed. Lastly, the right storage . .NOTICE: The information and product recommendations made by the TANEJA GROUP are based upon public information and sources and may also include personal opinions both of the TANEJA GROUP and others, all of which we believe to be accurate and reliable. However, as market conditions change and not within our control, the information and recommendations are made without warranty of any kind. All product names used and mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners. The TANEJA GROUP, Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability for any damages whatsoever (including incidental, consequential or otherwise), caused by your use of, or reliance upon, the information and recommendations presented herein, nor for any inadvertent errors which may appear in this document. Copyright© The TANEJA Group, Inc. 2003. All Rights Reserved 10 of 10 87 Elm Street, Suite 900 Hopkinton, MA 01748 Tel: 508-435-5040 Fax: 508-435-1530 www.tanejagroup.com