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.
Hiding in the shadow of the huge VMware vSphere 4 announcement was a very interesting introduction by EMC: PowerPath/VE. As I mentioned in my post on storage changes in vSphere 4, PowerPath/VE plugs into the new pluggable storage architecture (PSA) found in vSphere 4 versions of ESX and takes over the decision-making and heavy-lifting tasks related to communicating with storage systems.D