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