Integration of Microsoft Hyper-V and Coraid Ethernet SAN Storage. White Paper

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1 Integration of Microsoft Hyper-V and Coraid Ethernet SAN Storage White Paper June 2011

2 2011 Coraid, Inc. Coraid, Inc. The trademarks, logos, and service marks (collectively "Trademarks") appearing on the Coraid website are the property of Coraid and other parties. ALL OF THE TRADEMARKS MENTIONED IN THIS DOCUMENT ARE THE PROPERTY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS. Nothing contained in this document should be construed as granting any license or right to use any Trademark without the prior written permission of the party that owns the Trademark. CORAID and EtherDrive are registered trademarks of Coraid. Coraid trademarks include RAIDShield and VirtualStorage. Coraid, Incorporated 255 Shoreline Drive, Suite 650 Redwood City, California, United States of America

3 Table of Contents Executive Overview... 4 Ethernet SAN with Microsoft Hyper-V... 4 Creating a Virtualized Eco-System for Servers and Storage... 5 Integrating Coraid Ethernet SANs with Microsoft Hyper-V... 6 Leveraging the Power of Ethernet... 8 Ethernet SAN the Network for Virtualized Environments

4 Executive Overview Data centers are going through massive changes at the compute layer. Server virtualization is transforming the IT landscape achieving amazing improvements in price-performance and agility. According to ESG Labs, if anyone has any lingering doubts that the data center as we ve known it is in the midst of total virtual upheaval, let us dispel them it s over. The data center of yesterday is gone (or at least going); the data center of tomorrow is virtualized. 1 However, realizing the price-performance and agility benefits of virtualization at the storage layer can be a challenge. Virtual machines (servers) can be provisioned in minutes; yet it can take days, and even weeks, to provision legacy Fibre Channel and iscsi storage. Virtual machines can be instantly moved to another server to give it more CPU power; only to run into a storage performance bottleneck at the Fibre Channel or iscsi control head. Virtualization is the future, but it is now clear, legacy Fibre Channel and iscsi SANs are proving to be too complex, too rigid, and too expensive for today s dynamic virtualization workloads. What virtual environments need is a new generation of storage arrays based on a new modular, flexible, high performing and scalable design coupled with a network infrastructure that is cost effective and easy to administer. Coraid EtherDrive storage arrays based on Ethernet SAN technology and Microsoft Hyper-V deliver just such a flexible, high performance virtual server/storage solution. Designed from the ground up for simplicity and virtualization, EtherDrive storage leveraging the power of Layer 2 Ethernet is a cost effective, fast, and less complex storage SAN infrastructure that can support the most demanding virtual computing environments. Ethernet SAN with Microsoft Hyper-V IT organizations are struggling to meet the conflicting challenges associated with information storage growth and flat or declining IT budgets. To overcome this challenges many IT originations have turned to virtualization as an essential data center technology, allowing IT administrators to consolidate server infrastructure and reduce costs while enhancing service levels. Today, many organizations are looking for solutions to take them to the next level, virtualizing storage with servers to create a highly available, scalable, and easy to use virtual eco-system. Building these next generation virtualized data centers requires integrated server and storage virtualization solutions that can offer better price-performance and lower complexity then today s legacy storage systems. The widespread use of the Microsoft Windows OS in company data centers worldwide allows many organizations to consider implementing a next-generation virtualized data center based on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, increasing the need for a cost-effective storage solution to simplify SAN virtualization. Coraid EtherDrive Series disk arrays integration with the robust server virtualization offered by 4

5 the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V virtualization platform provide enterprises of all sizes with flexible, high performing, scale-out storage built on Layer 2 Ethernet and commodity hardware. Top 3 reasons to integrate server and storage virtualization platforms When migrating to a virtualized data center, a cost-effective enterprise-class IT infrastructure is essential. By leveraging the power of Ethernet Coraid EtherDrive Series storage area network (SAN) arrays with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V, can achieve the following benefits: 1. Cost savings through consolidation: Consolidating storage capacity, increasing hardware utilization, and optimizing the server and storage infrastructure help reduce IT costs. 2. Ease of deployment and management: EtherDrive Series arrays look like local disk to Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V VMs designed to be operational in a matter of minutes. 3. High-availability infrastructure: EtherDrive Series arrays deliver fully redundant and hot swappable components, including fans, and power supplies and disk drives with hot-spare capability. Coraid storage solutions uniquely deliver the fundamental building blocks for virtual storage via three key attributes: the maturity of Ethernet and Coraid s CorOS Ethernet SAN operating system; use of industry standard networking and computer hardware; and dramatically less storage infrastructure complexity. Coraid EtherDrive Series storage, leveraging the power of Ethernet through ATA over Ethernet (AoE), can be that platform. Coraid EtherDrive storage enables organization deploying Hyper-V to use the power of Ethernet to control cost, reduce complexity and increase their quality of service. Creating a Virtualized Eco- System for Servers and Storage Bringing server virtualization and virtualized storage over Ethernet together can be beneficial in many ways. IT organizations can consolidate resources onto a reduced number of physical systems, increase hardware utilization, dynamically allocate resources, and quickly deploy additional capacity. To help ensure success in this virtualized eco-system, however, both the server virtualization hypervisor and the storage platform must support mission critical, enterprise-class capabilities. Important business assets residing on virtual machines (VMs) must be protected against hardware failures and natural disasters. Therefore, the key requirements for the underlying storage infrastructure include high availability, scalability, performance, ease-of-use, and application compatibility. First, high availability is required on both the server and storage sides of the infrastructure to avoid application failures and reduce downtime. Scalability and performance ensure 5

6 that storage can continue to meet demand even as the server infrastructure grows. Organizations also need a storage infrastructure that is easy to use, configure and reconfigure to reduce the burden on IT staff and minimize operating costs. Finally, the virtualized server and storage eco-system must work together with key enterprise applications such as Microsoft Exchange and the Microsoft SQL Server database platform. Integrating Coraid Ethernet SANs with Microsoft Hyper-V Coraid is redefining the fundamental economics of storage with Ethernet SAN solutions that provide companies of all sizes with flexible, scale-out, high-performance storage. Using innovative software with commodity, industry standard hardware and Ethernet, Coraid EtherDrive storage solutions enable a scale-out Ethernet SAN architecture that is ideally suited for an enterprise-class virtualized server and storage environment based on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. Windows Server 2008 also depends on advanced features in the storage subsystem, like SCSI-3 Reservations, for high availability and safe sharing of data in a clustered environment. Coraid storage provide the capabilities needed for enterprise Hyper-V deployments. The Coraid Ethernet SAN solution allows organizations deploying Microsoft Hyper-V to simplify management, consolidate storage, and save time and money. Powered by Coraid CorOS software, Coraid EtherDrive solutions meet all the requirements for highly available virtual environment, making it ideal for organizations that need enterprise-class SANs without the traditional enterprise cost (see Figure 1). 6

7 The integrated EtherDrive and Hyper-V solution also helps deliver robust data protection capabilities. Many organizations are looking to deploy mission critical transactional database applications such as Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server in VMs. With Hyper-V Live Migration and Coraid storage, IT organizations can move running VMs from one Hyper-V physical host to another without any disruption of service or perceived downtime. Since Live Migration can move running virtual machines without downtime, it will facilitate greater flexibility and provide greater agility. Datacenters with multiple Hyper-V physical hosts will be able to move running VMs to the best physical computer for performance, scaling, or optimal consolidation without impacting users. Along with the increased savings from Coraid Ethernet storage companies can reduces costs and increase productivity even more by being able to service their computer systems in a more controlled fashion, scheduling maintenance during regular business hours because Live Migration makes it possible to keep VMs online, even during maintenance, increasing productivity for both users and server administrators. Coraid storage arrays also enable excellent performance for enterprise class applications, including fast SAN storage solutions for intense SQL server workloads and tested performance for Exchange environments. Figure 2 shows how a single Coraid EtherDrive SRX3500 was able to support enough transactional IO to support more than 4,500 Exchange 2007 users with just 12 SAS drives and scaled linearly to just over 9,000 users with 24 SAS drives. 2 Figure 2: Exchange Users on Coraid SRX3500 As virtual infrastructures grow, the requirement for storage space grows exponentially. In addition to availability and performance Coraid storage and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V enables organizations to dynamically scale VMs on physical servers. IT managers can expand SAN resources online without disrupting services. Newly added 7

8 disk systems appear as local storage to Hyper-V servers ready to be added to the available storage pool. Coraid s CorOS provides the ultimate in simplicity for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V environments. Coraid storage arrays can be deployed in minutes with as few as three configuration commands. With tested Ethernet SAN drivers high performance Coraid Ethernet HBAs can easily be installed in Windows servers. By utilizing ubiquitous Ethernet, Coraid solutions vastly simplify the deployment and management of Hyper-V virtual environments making it possible to manage Terabytes to Petabytes without a dedicated SAN administrator. Leveraging the Power of Ethernet The Coraid EtherDrive family of storage solutions run on an Ethernet SAN built upon ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE), an open lightweight storage area network protocol. Designed for simple, high-performance access of storage devices over Ethernet networks, AoE gives the possibility to build SANs with ease to use, lower-cost, Ethernet technologies. It is very easy to configure an Ethernet SAN. Unlike iscsi implementations, Ethernet SANs running over Layer 2 Ethernet are not routable so there is simply no need for IP addresses, complex IQN naming schemes, or Enterprise Unique Identifiers (EUI), eliminating unnecessary processing overhead.. Unlike Fibre Channel SANs, Ethernet SAN takes advantage of today s affordably fast and reliable Ethernet technology so there is no need for a costly FC fabric infrastructure with associated configuration complexities and WWPN management. Based on a datagram protocol, the Ethernet SAN HBA ports are automatically aggregated by the Windows Server driver so there is simply no need for configuring port bonding on the Ethernet switch. Since the Ethernet SAN HBA software seamlessly aggregates multiple ports across multiple HBAs, there is simply no need for wrestling with the complexities of multipath IO configuration. Leveraging the power of raw Ethernet is the simplest and fastest possible way of sharing a disk drive through a network. With features like VLANs, fencing and reservation capabilities, Ethernet SAN is the perfect technology for building affordably fast SAN solutions for the virtualization environment. Ethernet SAN the Network for Virtualized Environments Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V is designed to provide simplified, cost effective server virtualization that can be easily plugged into an existing infrastructure. Coraid EtherDrive Series Ethernet SAN storage arrays complement Hyper-V, helping 8

9 provide the storage capabilities needed to complete the next-generation virtualized data center. EtherDrive Series arrays, running on Ethernet, are designed to support key features and capabilities required for both server and storage components of the next-generation virtualized data center including price-performance, high availability, enterprise caliber reliability and management, ease of deployment, and integration with Hyper-V. This approach helps simplify IT by providing a virtualization strategy geared to mobilize and manage the resources of the entire infrastructure, both virtual and physical, to help meet fast-moving enterprise demands. Notes: 1 - ESG Labs: Market Report, The Future of Storage in a Virtualized Data Center, January ESG Labs: Lab Review, Coraid s EtherDrive, March

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