If you have been following on VMware vSphere closely, then you would know that VMware VAAI(vStorage Api for Array Integration) is evolving to be more important on regular basis. VAAI, as you probably aware is a method VMware use to offload some tasks to the storage. The initial release was to offload three main functionality:
1- Full Copy: It was used to offload copying VMs to the storage to handle it rather than doing it in the software. This speed up VMs Deployment & so on.
2- Zero Blocks: which is used to zero-out disk regions
3- VMFS Assisted locking, so ESXi hosts will lock only a block rather than the full store as originally was the case before introducing VAAI when any file operation was done.
4- Integration with hardware Thin Provisioning was introduced in vSphere 5 along many other enhancements.
OK, enough about VAAI. The last time I checked about IBM storage support for VAAI, I had found no indication of any of the IBM Storage to support VAAI. Today I was at a customer and they use IBM storage so I thought I will digg if IBM has updated any of their storages to support VAAI and if the customer storage support VAAI. To my surprise(not really) IBM has got all of the IBM XIV, IBM SVC, IBM Storwize V7000 to support VAAI and got them as well on the VMware support list for VAAI. Further, IBM has promised VAAI support on the DS8000 to arrive soon. I believe IBM has done a good step to join the storage vendors who support VAAI for VMware & now vSphere customers does not have avoid IBM storage for not having VAAI. At the same time, this show the importance and benefits of VAAI. Actually IBM has went a bit further, & started adjusting their storage functionality to improve its integration with vSphere VAAI. Way to go IBM!!
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Eiad Al-Aqqad, VCDX#89
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