Several trends have been emerging in the IT landscape over the past decade. The first is the dramatic increase in use of server virtualization technology, and the second is a related transition by IT personnel in how they manage their IT infrastructure.
Server virtualization has proven to be a highly effective technology in many enterprises and is a key element enabling cloud and IT as a Service (ITaaS) offerings. Storage technology has been an area of increased focus as server virtualization has expanded, due to the impact server virtualization has on data access patterns of applications.
Another trend with larger IT organizations is the consolidation of the roles and responsibilities. Many companies have found it more efficient to utilize IT generalists or, more often, hypervisor centric IT administrators. Smaller companies typically have had less ability to specialize; as server virtualization moved into mid-sized and smaller enterprise organizations, these IT administrators also have shifted their focus and tools.
Hypervisor consoles have become a primary point of management for many IT staff, with MS SCVMM for Hyper-V and VMware vCenter for vSphere the two primary applications used for these capabilities. In both environments, an IT generalist using a hypervisor console is tasked with managing virtualized servers, along with the networking, SAN and storage resources used in the virtual infrastructure.
In order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the IT generalist, hypervisor management tools are expanding to encompass more of the IT infrastructure. In particular, VMware has announced that a new technology, VMware Virtual Volume’s (VVOLs), is now available for use by IT administrators.
In order to assess the features, capabilities and use cases for VVOLs, Evaluator Group conducted a hands-on lab validation of VMware VVOL capabilities available in VMware vSphere 6, along with a VVOL capable storage system, the HP 3PAR StoreServ 7450 system.
The objective of this evaluation is to determine the impact on two primary user groups: IT generalists using vCenter and storage administrators typically tasked with managing enterprise storage.
The evaluation found the following results when using HP 3PAR StoreServ with VMware VVOLs: