Networking and Storage – What’s New

So, moving onto our next topic in the What’s New series, we have our Networking and Storage features. This post will introduce you to the new features that are included with the vSphere version 6. So let’s get started.

NIOC 3.0

Network IO Control has been updated to version 3 improving the allocation model for the business critical applications. NOIC 3.0 reserves network bandwidth based on the physical adapters in the host enabling administrators to reserve bandwidth to a virtual nic or even a port group. NIOC also enables fine-grained resource control at the virtual machine network adapter level.

Multiple TCP/IP Stacks

Unlike earlier versions, ESXi now supports multiple TCP/IP stacks isolating vSphere services. Also NFC traffic can be isolated from other traffic enabling clone operations to be sent over a dedicated network instead of sharing the management network. Having multiple TCP/IP stacks enables vMotion over L3 networks.

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VVOLs

Virtual Volumes makes SAN and NSA storage systems capable of being managed at a virtual machine level and enables leveraging of array based data services and storage array capabilities with a virtual machine centric approach and manageable at vmdk disk level. VVOLs eliminates need to provision and manage large number of LUNs per host. VVOLs use policy-driven approach for effective storage consumption.

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With VVOLs, each vm is assigned it own storage policy and all the vms use storage from the common storage pool making storage admin life easier and also eliminates the over provisioning situation. VM policies can be changed any time without having to migrate them.

The new Storage architecture components include VASA providers, Storage Containers, Protocol EndPoints, Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based management framework.

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VASA Provider – Is a control plane for the Virtual Volumes; it exposes the storage services that a virtual array can provide. VASA can be implemented in the firmware of an array and also it can be a separate virtual machine on a cluster.

Protocol Endpoints – Are the access points that enable communication between ESXi hosts and storage arras. Is a data plane for the Virtual volumes. Protocol Endpoints are configured as part of the physical storage fabric and are accessed by standard storage protocols like ISCSI, NFS 3.0 and FC.

Storage Containers – Is a logical construct for grouping VVOLs. Storage Containers map to the vSphere datastore. SCs help in partitioning the storage based on the requirements.

SPBM – Is a framework that works in conjunction with the VVOLs. With the vSphere API for Storage Awareness, storage array capabilities are pushed through the vSphere stack and are surfaced in vCenter Server Management interface. Storage Policies can be applied to the virtual machines and enables VVOLs to recommend compliant datastore for vm placement. SPBM ensures compliance throughout the VM life cycle.

Hope this was informative. Thanks!

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