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What is VM-Aware Storage?

VM-aware storage (VAS) is a data storage system made to manage storage on the virtual machine (VM) level within datacenters. VAS solutions uniquely designed to work with VMs are critical to datacenters and the clouds they support, offering superior performance, automated data migration, decreased latency and the capability to handle larger more complex workloads. VAS is being implemented en masse because VMs and VAS systems that support them enhance communication—from the datacenter to the cloud to everywhere else in an infrastructure.

VM-Aware storage and virtualized workloads: saving time and money while reducing frustration

If you're already working within an enterprise cloud environment, but without a VAS system, you’re not using virtualization to its full potential, especially if you have loads of virtual workloads. The key to a VAS system is a variety of features that will offer you all the speed, real-time analytics, and all-flash storage you need, specifically for interfacing with cloud environments. Because each VM has its own operating system (OS), they need a couple things to pull them together and make them work cohesively. VAS is especially important for your enterprise if you have a large virtual footprint.

VAS supports virtual machines—the currency of cloud—not volumes or logical unit numbers

For ventures that have not yet transitioned from physical workloads, VAS won’t do much for you. For physical workloads, legacy storage utilizes volumes and logical unit numbers (LUNs), which don’t “speak” cloud, even when they have been retrofitted to do so. If you are learning about VAS before reading about virtual machines or how things have evolved since traditional storage, this could be a clarion call for your enterprise.

Switching from legacy storage to VAS will completely transform how you do business. How well you manage the data, software, apps, and other information used to run your enterprise are all greatly improved with virtualization and the use of an enterprise cloud platform with public cloud-like agility. VAS-managed VMs allow you to automate storage services and create self-service presets for IT staff. You’ll also be able to view and access everything you’ve stored at the most granular level possible—the individual VM, which makes managing data and finding hidden latency issues easy enough for almost anyone.

According to the Tintri white paper, “The Essential Guide to VM-Aware Storage (VAS),” more than three-quarters of organizations already have a “virtualization-first” strategy for handling workloads—more than 70 percent than there were a decade ago. VAS allows you to step away from the tangled Christmas lights of mapping LUNs and volumes, and allows you to prioritize your resources so they don’t have to fight for resources. Physical, legacy storage built on LUNs and volumes were made to handle physical workloads: they served their purpose well for a time, just as the flip-phone served its purpose before the smartphone came along. But now, virtualized workloads need to be managed by virtual storage systems with help from virtual storage tech support that thinks in terms of virtual machines within the datacenter and cloud.

Change how your IT staff spends its time

Unfortunately, most companies with an in-house or on-call IT team don't utilize their time wisely. This costs you a lot of money for things like service requests, troubleshooting issues within storage and elsewhere within your infrastructure. It also includes making tedious, menial edits to your existing policies (which will need to be manually reconfigured again in short order without VMs and VAS in place).

When you change from legacy storage to VAS, you won't need an army of IT professionals to maintain your system anymore. That's because VAS uses powerful machine learning algorithms to power automation that updates VM distribution with just a single click and shows you precisely (down to the VM) where you need to troubleshoot in real-time right from a user interface (UI) like Tintri Global Center.

To see for yourself how VAS, such as the Tintri EC6000, can work for your enterprise storage and virtualization needs, check out our library of videos that are sure to make you a believer ready to make the transition.

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