Scaling storage is a serious challenge for the industry, but there is a great deal of thought, effort, and creativity going into it right now. Companies like Gridstore, Oxygen Cloud, and Cleversafe have come up with effective client-side solutions to enable scale-out storage to sing. If you’ve got an appropriate application, client, or gateway, scale-out is a real possibility!
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.
Although it’s rare in the PC world, multipath I/O is not new in enterprise IT. I’ve been juggling paths to storage and networks as long as I’ve been a systems administrator, and that’s a bit longer than I care to admit. But the proliferation of technologies has made it difficult to understand path management. What’s the difference between “dual active” and “active/active”? Is “active/passive” really that bad?
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
VMware officially launched their next-generation (version 4) enterprise family of products today under the “vSphere 4” name. As I’ve been doing for the last few major ESX releases, I’m focusing this post on the storage changes present in vSphere 4.