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Virtualization Changes Storage

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  • Up to 256 FC or iSCSI LUNsESX multipathingLoad balancingFailoverFailover between FC and iSCSI*Beware of block sizes greater than 256 KB!If you want virtual disks greater than 256 GB, you must use a VMFS block size larger than 1 MBAlign your virtual disk starting offset to your array (by booting the VM and using diskpart, Windows PE, or UNIX fdisk)*
  • Link Aggregate Control Protocol (LACP) for trunking/EtherChannel - Use “fixed” path policy, not LRUUp to 8 (or 32) NFS mount pointsTurn off access time updatesThin provisioning? Turn on AutoSize and watch out
  • Transcript

    • 1. How Does Virtualization Change Storage?May 18, 2009
      Stephen Foskett, Director of Consulting, Nirvanix
    • 2. Abstract
      The virtualization of servers destroys everything that storage folks thought they knew about I/O and throws in a new layer of abstraction to boot
      Creating storage for virtualization is not the same as storage for most other apps, and storage virtual servers on a SAN or NAS is not the same as using internal disk
      This session will walk through what virtualization changes about storage, the various storage options, pros and cons, and what the future looks like with FCoE, UCS, 10 GbE, and VMware vStorage APIs
      2
    • 3. Server Virtualization Recoil
      • The server virtualization revolution has challenged storage in many ways:
      • 4. Dramaticallychanged I/O
      • 5. Impact on storage capacity utilization
      • 6. Architecture decisions to be made: DAS, SAN, NAS
      • 7. Trouble for traditional backup, replication, reporting
      • 8. Biggest issue: Converged technology leads to converged management organizations
    • Pillars of Virtual Machine Performance
      4
      Processor
      I/O (disk/net)
      Memory
      Virtual machine performance demands a balanced base of processing, I/O subsystem, and memory performance, capability, and capacity
    • 9. Virtualization As An I/O Engine
      Server virtualization is the single greatest I/O driver in the modern data center
      CPU power and memory capacity are easy to ramp up, I/O is not
      Unbalanced systems will not perform well
      5
    • 10. I/O Is Concentrated
      Then…
      Each server had its own storage and LAN ports
      I/O utilization was low
      Now…
      6
      All I/O is concentrated on just a few ports
      LAN
      SAN
      LAN
      SAN
    • 11. I/O is Randomized
      Then…
      Now…
      Sequential I/O is mixed together randomly
      Disk is virtualized and re-combined
      7
      I/O was mainly sequential
      Requests were grouped physically on disk
      Storage could read ahead and cache data
    • 12. I/O is Accelerated
      Then…
      Now…
      Combined I/O
      Packets arrive quickly
      Quicker protocols: 10 GbE, 8 Gb FC
      8
      Channels were under-utilized with little contention for resources
      Speeds were low: 1 GbE, IDE/ATA
      In the same amount of time…
      1 GbE handles 1 packet from 1 host...
      4 Gb FC handles 4 packets from 4 hosts...
      8 Gb FC handles 8 packets from 5 hosts...
      10 GbE handles 10 packets from all 6 hosts...
    • 13. Converged Data Center I/O
      Now…
      All I/O is concentrated on just a few ports
      Soon…
      9
      I/O is converged on 10GbE and extended into server hardware
      LAN
      SAN
      LAN
      SAN
    • 14. Server Virtualization and Storage Utilization
    • 15. Wasted Space
      Each level of abstraction adds overhead
      Overall utilization is low!
      11
      Raw array capacity
      Usable array capacity
      LUNs presented to host
      Configured datastore
      Server 1 virtual disk
      Server 2 virtual disk
      Server 3 virtual disk
      Server 1 used capacity
      Server 3 used capacity
      Server 3 used capacity
    • 16. Thin Provisioning
      Thin provisioning allocates storage as-needed
      Example: 500 GB request for new project, but only 2 GB of initial data is written – array only allocates 2 GB and expands as data is written
      What’s not to love?
      Oops – we provisioned a petabyte and ran out of storage
      Chunk sizes and formatting conflicts
      Can it thin unprovision?
      Can it replicate to and from thin provisioned volumes?
      VMware adding thin provisioning to vSphere 4 (standard at all license levels!)
      Some storage arrays do thin (3PAR, HDS, NetApp)
      12
    • 17. Server Virtualization Demands SAN and NAS
      Server virtualization has transformed the data center and storage requirements
      86% have implemented some server virtualization (ESG 2008)
      VMware is the #1 driver of SAN adoption today!
      60% of virtual server storage is on SAN or NAS (ESG 2008)
      Server virtualization has enabled and demanded centralization and sharing of storage on arrays like never before!
    • 18. VMware Storage Options:Shared Storage
      Shared storage - the common/ workstation approach
      Stores VMDK image in VMFS datastores
      DAS or FC/iSCSI SAN
      Hyper-V VHD is similar
      Why?
      Traditional, familiar, common (~90%)
      Prime features (Storage VMotion, etc)
      Multipathing, load balancing, failover*
      But…
      Overhead of two storage stacks (5-8%)
      Harder to leverage storage features
      Often shares storage LUN and queue
      Difficult storage management
      VM
      Host
      Guest
      OS
      VMFS
      VMDK
      DAS or SAN
      Storage
    • 19. VMware Storage Options:Shared Storage on NFS
      Shared storage on NFS – skip VMFS and use NAS
      NTFS is the datastore
      Wow!
      Simple – no SAN
      Multiple queues
      Flexible (on-the-fly changes)
      Simple snap and replicate*
      Enables full Vmotion
      Use fixed LACP for trunking
      But…
      Less familiar (3.0+)
      CPU load questions
      Default limited to 8 NFS datastores
      Will multi-VMDK snaps be consistent?
      VM
      Host
      Guest
      OS
      NFS
      Storage
      VMDK
    • 20. VMware Storage Options:Raw Device Mapping (RDM)
      Raw device mapping (RDM) - guest VM’s access storage directly over iSCSI or FC
      VM’s can even boot from raw devices
      Hyper-V pass-through LUN is similar
      Great!
      Per-server queues for performance
      Easier measurement
      The only method for clustering
      But…
      Tricky VMotion and DRS
      No storage VMotion
      More management overhead
      Limited to 256 LUNs per data center
      VM
      Host
      Guest
      OS
      I/O
      Mapping File
      SAN Storage
    • 21. Which VMware Storage Method Performs Best?
      Mixed Random I/O
      CPU Cost Per I/O
      VMFS,
      RDM (p), or RDM (v)
      Source: “Performance Characterization of VMFS and RDM Using a SAN”, VMware Inc., 2008
    • 22. Which Storage Protocol Performs Best?
      Throughput by I/O Size
      CPU Cost Per I/O
      Fibre Channel,
      NFS,
      iSCSI (sw),
      iSCSI (TOE)
      Source: “Comparison of Storage Protocol Performance”, VMware Inc., 2008
      And iSCSI is even better in vSphere 4!
    • 23. How about Hyper-V?
      19
    • 24. Which Storage Protocol is For You?
      FC, iSCSI, NFS all work well
      Most production VM data is on FC
      Either/or? - 50% use a combination (ESG 2008)
      Leverage what you have and are familiar with
      For IP storage
      Use TOE cards/iSCSI HBAs
      Use a separate network or VLAN
      Is your switch backplane fast?
      No VM Cluster support with iSCSI*
      For FC storage
      4 Gb FC is awesome for VM’s
      Get NPIV (if you can)
      FCoE is the future
      Converged storage and networks adapters (CNAs)
      Cisco UCS
    • 25. Storage in VMware vSphere 4
      Thin provisioning is standard for all levels
      Dynamic expansion of VMFS volumes
      Any-to-any Storage Vmotion
      High performance I/O
      Paravirtualized SCSI
      Enhanced iSCSI stack
      Jumbo frames
      Data Protection APIs (A)
      Pluggable Storage multipathing (E+)
      21
    • 26. The Organizational Challenge
      How will server, storage, and networking teams deal with integration?
      Each discipline has its own best practices
      Each has its own prejudices
      They can be forced together, but will it work?
      22
    • 27. Who Is Nirvanix
      23
      The Premier “Cloud Storage” Service Provider for the Enterprise
      Backed by Intel Capital, Mission Ventures,
      Valhalla Partners, Windward Ventures and European Founders Fund
      2007 “Storage Products of the Year”2008 “Top Startups to Watch”
      2008 “Product of the Year”
      Over 500 customers including leading Fortune 10, Media & Entertainment and Web 2.0 companies
    • 28. 24
      Thank You
      Nirvanix
      We manage your storage,
      so you can manage your business
      www.nirvanix.com
      twitter.com/nirvanix
      Stephen Foskett
      sfoskett@nirvanix.com
      Enterprise Storage Strategies Blog: bit.ly/ESSBlog
      Personal Blog: blog.fosketts.net
      Enterprise IT Content: gestaltit.com

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