I am often questioned during my Storage for Virtual Environments seminar presentations about VMware’s Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA). This system is fairly straightforward and concept: VMware provides native multipathing support for a variety of storage arrays, and allows third parties to substitute their own plug-ins at various points in the stack. But the profusion of acronyms and third-party options makes it difficult for end-users to figure out what is going on.
The most exciting enhancements in VMware vSphere 4.1 is the addition of vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI). This new API allows VMware ESX to offload storage processing functions to capable storage arrays, reducing the workload on the server hardware in introducing new and exciting possibilities for performance and efficiency. VAAI in ESX 4.1 includes three separate capabilities: block zeroing, full copy, and hardware assisted locking.
Hard disk drive makers are adding flash storage to their conventional spinning-platter drives to improve performance and are targeting the performance PC market. Wait a second, haven’t we seen this before? As Rocky eventually said to Bullwinkle, “but that trick never works!”
Why does network-attached storage (NAS) have such a poor reputation? This isn’t what the vendors want to be talking about, but some recent product announcements and discussions led to this thought. IT folks as a whole don’t trust NAS for real work, and 20 years of effort from big names like Sun, Microsoft, NetApp, IBM, and the rest hasn’t changed that.
When is a solution integrated and when is it a Frankenstein-like mashup of tangled tech? Apparently, that line is crossed when it’s your competitor’s offering… In my time in the storage industry, I’ve seen enough franken-storage come and go to make me skeptical whenever a new “integrated” solution is announced. But a lot of this […]
EMC’s Chuck Hollis is one smart guy, and a very verbose blogger. As usual, he sparked a bit of a storm recently when comparing unified storage on EMC’s Celerra NX4 to NetApp’s multiprotocol FAS2020 filer. But it was one phrase in particular that got the attention of Alex McDonald and Kostadis Russos of NetApp, Martin/Storagebod, and Tony […]
Looking around at the enterprise storage landscape, it is plain that certain archetypes rule: Monolithic enterprise arrays, dual-controller modular arrays, standard-sized hard disk units, NAS servers, tape libraries. Are these really the optimal designs for storage in our modern open systems world? On the contrary, I suggest that the enterprise storage world we know was […]