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Enabling Advanced Hypervisor Features With Virtual SAN

Posted on Friday, August 28 2015 @ 15:16:15 CEST by

A virtual SAN (Storage Area Network) is designed to be used with a hypervisor to increase data storage capacity without having to invest and install more hardware. Popular hypervisors from the likes of VMware and Microsoft can usually be deployed, and a good virtual SAN will enable their advanced features to be used.

A key benefit of deploying a virtual SAN to enable advanced hypervisor features to be easily used is that you don’t need an external hardware SAN or other hard disk set up such as a JBOD (literally ‘Just a Bunch of Disks’) array.

Hypervisor advanced features:

vMotion/live migration
A great way of keeping things operational when moving VM’s (virtual machines) from one data store to the other even while they’re in use. It’s an ideal way of shifting workloads where appropriate and migrating, say, from older hardware without suffering downtimes and outages.

It means far more effective juggling of resources to avoid potential system bottlenecks if possible. For example, virtual machines with higher storage needs could be migrated to newly acquired or virtually created storage.

High Availability (HA)
Keeps service uptime rates high and eliminates single points of vulnerability and thus potential for failure.

HA can monitor hosts and virtual machines to detect hardware failures and restart virtual machines automatically when server outages and operating system failures are detected. Industry leading hypervisors from vendors such as VMware and Microsoft incorporate HA into their software so it does its job with straightforward configuration from the control panel rather than more complex setting up.

Similarly, the administrator can quickly locate where problems lie through the easy-to-use control panel.

Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) or Dynamic Optimization
In a nutshell, DRS reduces the operational effort often associated with the provisioning of virtual machines. It’s a utility that helps balance the system workloads with available resources. It can deploy more capacity to a given cluster and even migrate virtual machines during periods of maintenance without disrupting the service.

DRS can also help manage storage by recommending and, if required, implementing migrations when thresholds have been reached. This monitoring and managing of large parts of the system means more of the overall data management infrastructure is controlled by fewer individual system administrators.

Dynamic Power Management (DPM)
DPM is the optimization of power use by switching on and placing hosts on standby according to demand levels at any given time. This automation of power can cut cooling and power costs significantly – possibly by around 20% according to VMware.

The right virtual SAN
It’s important to reiterate the need to choose a SAN storage solution that enables advanced hypervisor facilities to be used. A SAN produced by a vendor that is fully compatible with leading hypervisors such as VMware’s vSphere and Microsoft’s Hyper-V is essential.

StorMagic’s virtual SAN, SvSAN, is a good example of an established storage solution that enables advanced features of the above hypervisors to operate at maximum performance.


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