Enhancement to VAAI-NAS in vSphere 5.1

I’ve already done a write-up of the VAAI-NAS features in vSphere 5.0, but one of the three VAAI NAS primitives has expanded functionality in vSphere 5.1.

In vSphere 5.1, the NFS File Cloning primitive is expanded to allow array-based snapshots to be used for virtual machines and vApps being fast-provisioned by vCloud Director.  When vCloud Director does a fast-provision of VMs and/or vApps on a supported NAS array, VAAI-NAS File Cloning is used to off-load the clone creation to the array transparently.  As with NFS File Cloning in vSphere 5.0, this feature requires a VAAI NAS plug-in from the storage array vendor.

You can see how providing this advanced performance-increasing and space-saving functionality to vCloud Director can only help to make it easier, faster, and more cost-efficient to deploy cloud environments on supported vendors’ arrays.

Speaking of Supported Storage Vendors…

As of the time I’m writing this post, there are now four storage arrays that support all of the VAAI-NAS primitives (according to VMware’s Compatibility Guide for Storage):

What are your predictions for who will be the next vendor to support the VAAI-NAS primitives?  I predict EMC Isilon running the Mavericks release of OneFS.  Let me know your predictions in the comments.

5 thoughts on “Enhancement to VAAI-NAS in vSphere 5.1

  1. I’m tempted to say the Netapp FAS (ONTAP 8.1.1 in 7-mode) as I believe that now supports all the VAAI-NAS primitives. This is a very recent state of affairs as it required ONTAP8.1.1 which went GA a couple of weeks ago. I’m guessing the VMware compatibility guide hasn’t been updated yet (although I haven’t checked).

    • I did check the VMware Compatibility Guide (both at the time I wrote the post, and again just now when I saw your comment).

      At this time, the only version of ONTAP listed as supporting VAAI-NAS is 8.1 in Cluster Mode.

  2. We support all the key VAAI NAS primitives already (Nutanix), and are on-track to be the first converged solution to be certified with full VAAI NAS primitive support. Several of our customers are successfully using our plugin for VCAI and File Cloning today with View 5.1 + vSphere 5.0 + Nutanix VAAI. The vCloud director functionality you mentioned is also supported.

    • A quick check of VMware’s Storage/SAN Compatibility Guide does not show that VMware has certified these features on Nutanix yet, so for many, this counts as not yet supporting the features.

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