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.
VMware’s vStorage API for Array Integration (VAAI) is one of the most-important storage technology advances of the decade, allowing the ESX to integrate and coordinate operations with supported enterprise storage arrays. IBM was notably absent from the party, but they’ve turned on the VAAI heat, releasing full support for the XIV and SVC and promising DS8000 in the near future.
As my friend Stu Miniman pointed out, a recent VMware video suggests the company is about to jump into networking in a big way. This new offering would be a generic hypervisor for virtual network devices, from load balancers to security appliances, and would presumably be integrated with the existing vNetwork Distributed Switch functionality. This appears to be more than just a generic version of what Cisco already uses for their Nexus 1000V!