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.