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VMware VVol and Tintri

VMware today announced the upcoming availability of vSphere 6.0 which includes the vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOL) technology. Tintri will support both vSphere 6.0 and VVOL in an upcoming release. More people are talking about the value of aligning and integrating enterprise storage with virtualization at the VM level using VVOL, and the more investigation they do, the more they are looking to Tintri.

Why? Because Tintri has been delivering enterprise storage that does everything at the VM level for the last 4 years. We have been working with VMware as a design partner on VVOL, but because we are built for virtualization, we also support vSphere on NFS with all the benefits of virtual volumes. Now that VVOL has been announced, and you will actually be able to test VVOL in your datacenter, here are four things to keep in mind:

  1. VVOL is not a feature that vSphere delivers, like vMotion, but an API that storage vendors must implement. The quality of the vendor implementation will determine the quality of the VVOL experience. Tintri’s enduring advantage is that we were architected from the ground up for virtual machines, and therefore we were architected for VVOL down to the lowest level of our systems.
  2. You will need more VVOLs than you think. The Tintri VMstore T880 will support 1 million VVOLs. That may sound like a lot more than you could possibly need. But each virtual machine on vSphere will consist of many VVOLs. There are VVOLs for configuration data, for virtual disk images, for memory swap, and for snapshots. For a storage array to support 1000 VMs, it will need to supports tens or hundreds of thousands of VVOLs. Most vendors will struggle to support a usable number of VVOL for real world use cases.
  3. Conventional storage vendors will implement VVOL as a thin veneer on their older LUNS and volumes based architectures and use VVOL simply as a way to connect their storage to vSphere. It looks VM-level when it connects, but it’s the same noisy neighbors, unpredictable performance and lack of scalability underneath.
  4. VVOL requires vSphere 6.0 or later. While some may move to vSphere 6 right away, Tintri offers the benefits of virtual volumes to users of vSphere 4.1 and above. For vSphere 6 users, Tintri offers the advantages of VVOL along with additional functionality such as VM-level replication, true performance metrics, PowerShell and REST automation of storage at the VM level, and more that other vendors cannot deliver.

In short, Tintri is excited about VVOL—it validates our VM-level approach and will help make VM-level storage functionality available to more customers. We also believe that we offer the best virtual volumes implementation out there, whether you use VVOL immediately or whether it is in your future plans. We invite you to take a look at Tintri to see the benefits of VVOL today.

Kieran Harty / Feb 02, 2015

Kieran is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Tintri.  Prior to becoming CTO, Kieran served as CEO and Chairman of Tintri. Before founding Tintri, he was Executive Vice President of ...more

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