What Will VAAI v2 Do for You? Part 2 of 2: NFS

This post is the second of two describing the features of the VMware vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) version 2 as it works with vSphere 5.  If you missed the first part, you can read it here: What Will VAAI v2 Do for You? Part 1 of 2: Block

Part 1 Review

My earlier posting covered the five features for block storage available in VAAI v2:

  • Hardware-Assisted Copy
  • Hardware-Assisted Zero
  • Hardware-Assisted Locking
  • Thin Provisioning Stun
  • Thin Provisioning Block Reclamation

 VAAI v2 for NFS Storage

Probably the biggest and most-anticipated aspect of VAAI v2 was the the addition of advanced features for NFS datastores.  VAAI v2 includes three features for NFS:

  • NFS File Cloning
  • NFS Extended Stats
  • NFS Reserve Space

I’ll cover each of them in detail below.

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What Will VAAI v2 Do for You? Part 1 of 2: Block

Recently, someone pointed out to me that it was high time for me to write a follow-up to my “What Will VAAI Do for You?” posting.  Written shortly after the launch of VMware vSphere 4.1, it is my most-read post on the Everything VMware at EMC Community.

Since I wrote it, though, VMware has released vSphere 5, which (among a slew of other great features) includes version 2 of VAAI, now called the vSphere Storage API for Array Integration.  (You’re not mistaken: they’ve added a word to the name but kept the acronym the same — the acronym has achieved wide-spread common usage and changing it would only cause confusion.)

VAAI allows ESXi servers that use VAAI-enabled storage to work more effectively with storage.  In most cases this means offloading storage-related tasks from the server to the array, but there’s more to it than just that, as I’ll explain in this posting. Continue reading

EMC VFCache (Project Lightning) in a VMware Environment

[UPDATE: 4 September 2012: This post refers to VFCache at the time of launch and is outdated now that EMC has released VFCache 1.5. You can read my post about that release here.]

Today, EMC announced their much-anticipated server-side Flash product, Project Lightning, under its official name, VFCache.

Lots of folks are writing about VFCache and all the amazing performance-enhancing results it produces.  Some are doing deep dives into how it works.  Since there are plenty of places to get all that information (there are five VFCache white papers on the EMC company site), I don’t see any reason to cover that same territory in detail here.  Instead, after a brief overview of VFCache, I’ll be discussing how it works in a VMware environment.

Full Disclosure: In my position as an EMC employee I’ve had access to VFCache information in advance of today’s launch.  I also have access to roadmap information about planned future enhancements and expansions.  Under my agreements with EMC, I am not in a position to discuss VFCache futures.  I will restrict my commentary to VFCache capabilities “at launch”.

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GeekFluent’s Top VMworld Session Choices

Are you going to VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas and finding yourself a little overwhelmed trying to select which sessions to attend?

Don’t worry — it’s happened to all of us.  There’s a lot of great content this year (as always) and it can be challenging to choose.  To help you out, I offer:

GeekFluent’s Top VMworld Session Choices

I’ve seen a few lists like this out there.  Mine’s going to be a little different in that I’ve divided it into six “areas of interest”, i.e.: “if you’re interested in Topic X, I’d recommend these sessions”.

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VMworld 2011 Public Voting on Sessions Is Now Open

This year, like last year, VMware is giving attendees to their VMworld conference the ability to help decide which of the proposed sessions they’d like to see presented at the conference.

If you have interest in which sessions get selected (and if  you’re planning on attending the conference, you should), I encourage you to go to the voting site and get your opinion heard.  Voting remains open through 18 May.  You’ll need to have a vmworld.com account.  If you don’t have one, registration is easy.

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