VMware and Primary Data: Making the Software-Defined Datacenter a Reality

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1 VMware and Primary Data: Making the Software-Defined Datacenter a Reality

2 CONTENTS About This Document... 3 Freeing Data From Physical Storage Silos... 3 Dynamically Move Virtual Disks to Meet Business Demands... 3 Global Visibility and Dynamic Data Mobility with Data Virtualization... 3 Server and Data Virtualization Align Resources to Changing Demands... 4 Scalable, Data-Aware Architecture... 4 Data Awareness Enables Enterprises to Align Storage with Business Objectives... 5 Increase Agility with Linearly Scaling Performance and Capacity... 6 Reduce vsphere 6 Migration Costs and Accelerate VVOL Adoption... 6 One VASA to Rule them All: Global Dataspace Enables All Storage to be Managed as a Single VVOL Datastore... 6 Improve Data Protection Through Snapshot Policies... 7 Dynamic Data Mobility Responds Instantly to New and Changing Service Level Objectives (SLOs)... 7 Production Environments Achieve Fastest Response Times at Lowest Cost... 7 Dev/Test Environments Gain Global Flexibility and Agility... 8 Summary... 8

3 ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT This document provides information about how the architecture of the Primary Data DataSphere data virtualization platform differs from traditional datacenter technologies, and the extraordinary benefits it offers for virtualized enterprise datacenters. FREEING DATA FROM PHYSICAL STORAGE SILOS In the age of exponential data growth, business as usual doesn t work any more. Data is estimated to grow by 2,000 percent over the next five years. Amidst this data explosion, enterprises are finding new ways of extracting value from data in order to stay ahead of the competition. As data grows, having efficient ways to access, retrieve, and protect it becomes paramount. Modern enterprises need a way to place the right data on the right storage tier at the right time to meet evolving business demands while managing costs. DYNAMICALLY MOVE VIRTUAL DISKS TO MEET BUSINESS DEMANDS Enterprises are racing to find new ways to manage the increased datacenter volume and velocity required to meet business objectives. New technologies are being adopted to meet these needs, from flash in servers to new tiers of shared storage and hybrid clouds. At no other point in history have we had so many options to store and retrieve data. While all these new technologies help address the problem of data growth and expanding data needs, they create additional silos of disconnected storage that add layers of complexity and cost, and make scaling for growth over time difficult. The Primary Data DataSphere platform virtualizes data across a global dataspace, serving as a universal VASA provider that enables existing and commodity storage resources to be presented as a single, easy-to-manage VVOL datastore for VMware vsphere 6.0. Different storage types from server-side flash to shared storage (SAN & NAS) and even to object storage (cloud) can all be managed under a single VVOL datastore. SUMMARY DataSphere automatically moves VMDKs across heterogeneous storage to meet user-defined Service Level Objectives (SLOs). BENEFITS Reduce VMware vsphere 6 upgrade costs by deploying VVOLs on existing storage Accelerate VMware VVOL adoption with fast, nondisruptive migration Simplify storage administration with scale-out design and automated SLO management Respond instantly to new and changing Service Level Objectives Increase agility with linearly scaling performance and capacity Align storage resources with business objectives to enable the software-defined data center Using DataSphere, virtualization administrators can finally stop managing storage and start managing data. A powerful policy-engine and intelligent data mobility eliminate the need to excessively overprovision storage, while ensuring VMs meet IT-defined Service Level Objectives (SLOs). Instead of overprovisioning storage for performance, capacity, and services years in advance of the actual need, administrators define data-aware, dynamic SLOs that are managed via policy. DataSphere automatically and non-disruptively moves virtual disks to the best storage to meet objectives at the lowest cost, even as VM demands change. GLOBAL VISIBILITY AND DYNAMIC DATA MOBILITY WITH DATA VIRTUALIZATION DataSphere virtualizes data by separating metadata data about the data from the actual data, providing a logical abstraction of physical storage within a single global dataspace. This data virtualization gives organizations global visibility into all storage resources in the datacenter, and the ability to non-disruptively and dynamically move it across all storage, according to policy. 3

4 This diagram illustrates how DataSphere gives applications access to the capabilities of all storage in the datacenter, from server local flash, to SAN and NAS, to the cloud: COMMERCIAL APPS DATABASE VIRTUAL MACHINES USER FILES G L O B A L D A T A S P A C E DAS (FLASH) SAN (BLOCK) NAS (FILE) CLOUD (OBJECT) Figure 1 DataSphere makes all storage available to all apps Server and Data Virtualization Align Resources to Changing Demands The DataSphere data virtualization platform complements server virtualization to make the software-defined datacenter a reality. Server virtualization allows applications to transcend server hardware to improve server utilization, simplify application management, and automatically move VMs to the ideal server for compute or availability needs. Similarly, DataSphere enables data to transcend storage containers to improve storage utilization, simplify storage management, and automatically move data to the best storage to meet SLOs at the lowest cost. The combined power of server virtualization and data virtualization directly maps both applications and data to SLOs, so that enterprises can finally align storage resources with business needs. Three key features make DataSphere a unique solution for the virtualized datacenter: A scalable, data-aware architecture that is optimized for today s highly varied and continually changing workloads A global dataspace that enables DataSphere to be a universal VASA provider across any type of storage Dynamic data mobility automatically moves VMDKs to the lowest cost storage while meeting VM SLOs according to policy Scalable, Data-Aware Architecture Distributed, scale-out architectures have made it easy for enterprises to scale capacity, but performance bottlenecks typically dictate the limits of the architecture. One problem many scale-out architectures face is that they place the control path in-band, which frequently results in performance bottlenecks when data access and control operations (such as metadata analysis) spike. It is common for both needs to surge at the same time, creating significant performance risks. 4

5 This diagram illustrates how separating the control path from the data path improves efficiency and performance of the entire system: COMMERCIAL APPS DATABASE VIRTUAL MACHINES USER FILES SEPARATE CONTROL PLANE ON PERFORMANCE SERVERS APPLICATIONS ACCESS DATA DIRECTLY DAS (FLASH) G L O B A L D ATA S PA C E SAN (BLOCK) NAS (FILE) CLOUD (OBJECT) Figure 2 Separating metadata from data optimizes both control and data paths DATA AWARENESS ENABLES ENTERPRISES TO ALIGN STORAGE WITH BUSINESS OBJECTIVES The DataSphere architecture makes enterprises data aware by gathering file-level metadata from the client to offer unprecedented insight into data, including the ability to monitor the performance and availability levels of the end VMs and applications. This enables enterprises to create policies that respond to the needs of end users. Objectives across performance, latency, cost, and protection are matched with underlying storage capabilities, optimizing both application user experience and storage efficiency. Without this capability, storage is often over-provisioned, unnecessarily increasing CapEx & OpEx and leading to poor application performance. DataSphere is made data aware by monitoring SLOs at computing endpoints. COMMERCIAL APPS DATABASE G L O B A L DAS (FLASH) SAN (BLOCK) VIRTUAL MACHINES D ATA USER FILES S PA C E NAS (FILE) CLOUD (OBJECT) Figure 3 Data aware platform sees beyond storage to the end application performance and protection. 5 w w w. p r i m a r y d a t a. c o m

6 INCREASE AGILITY WITH LINEARLY SCALING PERFORMANCE AND CAPACITY DataSphere provides three unique features that enable enterprises to scale performance and capacity linearly. First, the out-of-band control path gives VMs a simple and direct path to virtual disks one that is free of network hops even when virtual disks are on local flash for ultra low latency. Second, Primary Data ensures infrastructure is used efficiently by balancing workloads across storage resources. Third, as DataSphere pools storage resources into a global dataspace, administrators can easily add performance and capacity resources as needed, without the need for complex migrations and downtime. COMMERCIAL APPS DATABASE VIRTUAL MACHINES USER FILES G L O B A L D A T A S P A C E LINEARLY SCALE OUT PERFORMANCE & CAPACITY DAS (FLASH) SAN (BLOCK) NAS (FILE) CLOUD (OBJECT) Figure 4 DataSphere Scales Performance and Capacity Linearly REDUCE VSPHERE 6 MIGRATION COSTS AND ACCELERATE VVOL ADOPTION The introduction of VVOLs in vsphere 6.0 is an attractive capability to make storage management VM-aware. However, there is a short list of VVOLs certified storage today, and most existing storage arrays cannot support VVOLs. Therefore, many customers are faced with having to change / purchase new storage in order to take advantage of VVOLs. DataSphere extends VVOL awareness to existing storage, allowing enterprises to adopt VVOLs without purchasing new storage. DataSphere provides policy-based dynamic data mobility, snapshots and cloning to existing devices. This reduces migration costs and complexity so that enterprises can quickly achieve the benefits of VVOLs and free up IT time to focus on other strategic tasks. One VASA to Rule Them All: Global Dataspace Enables All Storage to be Managed as a Single VVOL Datastore VVOLs greatly simplify storage administration. DataSphere goes one step further. By serving as a Universal VASA provider, DataSphere presents all storage resources as a single VVOL datastore managed in VMware vcenter. Policy-driven, intelligent data mobility enables IT to automate placement of virtual disks on the right storage resource at the right time, from in-server flash to the cloud. This means that IT no longer has to manually migrate aging virtual disks to capacity storage or the cloud, or buy additional high performing storage at the last minute to deal with increased workloads on VMs. Virtual disk performance, protection, and disaster recovery can also be handled automatically, according to IT-defined policies. 6

7 ESXi ESXi vcenter VASA APIs V A S A G L O B A L V V O L D A T A S T O R E Figure 5 Universal VASA provider uses all storage. IMPROVE DATA PROTECTION THROUGH SNAPSHOT POLICIES In addition to protecting data through availability and durability objectives, enterprises can increase data protection through a holistic storage and vendor-agnostic approach to snapshotting. Using DataSphere, enterprises can create point-in-time copies of the VMDK that can be moved like backups to more cost effective storage media than the primary copy, including storage systems with deduplication capabilities, such as NetApp or Data Domain systems, object storage and public cloud storage using standard S3 or Swift interfaces. DataSphere policies can automate the archival of snapshots as they age and while providing for rapid disaster recovery. Dynamic Data Mobility Responds Instantly to New and Changing Service Level Objectives (SLOs) To illustrate how policy-based objectives work, let s suppose a virtualization administrator has three broad categories of VM environments: production, Dev/Test, and archive (legacy applications). The administrator creates objectives that specify high performance and availability levels for production VMDKs, uses cheaper capacity storage for Dev/Test VMDKs, and cloud storage for archive VMDKs. PRODUCTION ENVIRONMENTS ACHIEVE THE FASTEST RESPONSE TIMES AT THE LOWEST COST The production objectives might place primary VMDK data onto local flash within the host VM server. This achieves low latencies that are not possible using traditional and converged storage, while placing secondary virtual disks on lower tier storage to save on costs. In the event of changing workloads, DataSphere can automatically and non-disruptively promote or demote data to a suitable tier. 7

8 DEV/TEST ENVIRONMENTS GAIN GLOBAL FLEXIBILITY AND AGILITY DataSphere enables a powerful Dev/Test environment across all stages in the workflow. VMDK clones can be hosted on lower cost storage during actual development and transparently promoted into production once a project is complete. Older Dev/Test data can be automatically archived to the cloud based on the date it was last accessed, eliminating the need to manually migrate the data. 1. Data Classification 2. Data Mobility VMware VASA based policy management POLICY Non-disruptive, automated placement across storage platforms EXECUTE ANALYZE 4. Data Analytics 3. SLO Compliance Utilization trends Heat maps MONITOR Performance Protection Figure 6 DataSphere automates storage management according to policies that define VM Service Level Objectives SUMMARY DataSphere allows virtual disks to move transparently and non-disruptively across storage resources so companies can quickly respond to changing workloads and business requirements without costly storage over-provisioning. Implementing DataSphere as a Universal VASA Provider for VMware vsphere 6.0 allows enterprises to view existing and heterogeneous storage resources as a single VVOL datastore. This simplifies management, enables IT to meet VM SLOs at the lowest cost, and seamlessly scale capacity and performance without disruption. The combined power of server virtualization and data virtualization is the last major step toward achieving a completely unified, software-defined datacenter. 8

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