I have been fortunate enough to be part of the vSphere 5 Beta program. vSphere 5 really raise the bar and implement a number of new features; mostly around automated management. I’m sure there will be many blog posts listing those new features, so I decided to show some screenshots of those features.
One of the cool new features is the ability to create Datastore Clusters that enable the use of Storage DRS (the long waited Automated Storage vMotion) based on user’s defined criteria. Storage DRS automates the initial placement of Virtual Machines, and redistributes them across similar LUNs/Filesystems dynamically to balance the load.
Storage DRS per se is NOT similar to array based automated tiering such as EMC’s Fast VP technology. It will move Virtual Machines and/or virtual disks only across pools of disks with the same characteristics. The technologies are complimentary to each other.
Just like DRS, Storage DRS allow administrators to define Affinity and Anti-Affinity Rules. However, with Storage DRS is also possible to apply them to individual VMDKs for a given Virtual Machine.
Once a Datastore Cluster is configured vCenter 5 will automatically move VMs and/or VMDKs between datastores to satisfy the criterias defined during the cluster configuration. The possible criteria’s are Utilized Space and I/O Latency.
Utilized Space is constantly monitored by vCenter and can trigger Storage vMotion at any time. I/O Latency on the other hand, is a metric that is trended every few hours; being the minimum 1 hour and the Default 8 hours.
As usual, I try to depict how new features affect VDI deployments. Unfortunately at this point in time Linked Clones are not supported by SRDS. The reason being is; VMware View database holds the full path for the VMDK files that are part of a linked clone. If SDRS were to storage vMotion the VMs and/or VMDKs that make up a linked clone, then the database relationship would be broken. Hopefully soon we will see support from VMware here.
For Linked Clone storage vMotion administrators must continue using the Rebalance feature available in VMware View. Please note that it is possible to use SRDS with full clones. SRDR should alos work without major issues with XenDesktop PVS, but not MCS. I will run some tests and publish posts very soon.
The process to configure a Datastore Cluster is similar to the creation of a HA and/or DRS cluster. Very simple, but powerful.