VVols is was a new storage architecture introduced in vSphere 6 and further enhanced with vSphere 6.5. HPE is a key design partner with VMware who selected HPE 3PAR StoreServ as the Fibre Channel (FC) reference platform for VMware’s engineering team. HPE 3PAR StoreServ provides a tightly integrated experience that does not require an additional plug-in or software piece to enable VVols and to support VMware’s VASA 3.0 specification. HPE 3PAR delivers unique capabilities, like ASIC-based Zero Detect for space reclamation and tiered snapshots, which can be assigned on a per-VM basis through VMware’s Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM).VVols eliminate the need to provision large datastores (LUNs) for VMFS volumes; storage provisioning now happens automatically on a per-VM basis. Each VM is assigned its own unique VVols, which is equivalent to a traditional storage LUN. With the tight integration with HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage, customers will be able to deploy VVols, in parallel with VMware’s Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) where necessary. VVols introduces two big benefits: (1) VM-level granularity by introducing a one-to-one mapping of VMs to storage volumes, and (2) support for VMware’s Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) to simplify storage management and automate storage provisioning and space reclamation. Before the introduction of VVols, storage arrays primarily integrated with vSphere at the datastore level using VMware’s VMFS.Moving forward, users can choose to use VMFS or VVols (or both), with VVols offering more advanced capabilities.
Comparison Between Tradition VMFS Datastore and VVols
Architecture overview of VVols on HPE 3PAR
VMware Virtual Volumes with HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage changes the storage architecture of vSphere from LUN-centric to VM-centric and allows storage arrays to become VM-aware. HPE 3PAR StoreServ integration with VVols shifts many common storage operations from the
vSphere host to the HPE 3PAR StoreServ array and enables the VMware vSphere VASA client to do the following:
• Dynamically create and manage HPE 3PAR StoreServ volumes
• Create, snapshot, clone, and delete HPE 3PAR StoreServ array volumes
• Discover HPE 3PAR StoreServ storage capabilities available for VVols
• Discover compliance issues with requested capabilities for VVols
• Automatically reclaim space when VMs are deleted or moved
The technology shift from a SCSI LUN-based model to an object-based model is the core difference introduced with vSphere 6 and VVols. VVols are object storage access, different from traditional block storage (LUN). Instead of the traditional approach of simply presenting a LUN (a linear range of Logical Block Addresses [LBAs]), vSphere 6 now manages data placement and access, giving the HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage visibility into what LBAs correspond to objects such as a VMDK, configuration, swap, or clone.
VVols with the VASA Provider providing control path and the Storage Container on HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage
HPE 3PAR StoreServ Storage supported features with VVols
The following HPE 3PAR features are supported with VVols
• Array-based snapshots
• Space reclamation (UNMAP)
• Array-based thin provisioning
• Thin deduplication
• Array-based replication
• Auto Zero Detect
• Adaptive flash cache
Each of the features listed above are resource intensive when performed by the host. By shifting them to the storage array using VVols, they are performed faster and more efficiently and help to increase available host resources.
For VVols replication – HPE 3PAR StoreServ and VMware VVols Replication Implementation Guide
VMware VVols 2.0 (VASA 3.0) was released as part of vSphere 6.5, which is supported for HPE 3PAR OS 3.3.1 and higher and includes support for array based replication. VVols eliminate the need to provision large datastores for ESXi hosts, and offer more flexibility in managing storage
associated with virtual machines.