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Gain Control of Your Data - The Simplest VVols Implementation with Pure FlashArray

Summary

Managing your virtual environment just got easier with VMware Virtual Volumes and Pure Storage. Virtualization administrators are now empowered to deliver VM granular services for better SLAs, simplified management and data portability for their mission critical applications.

Virtualization Legacy

Modern software-defined compute, or virtualization, introduced by VMware more than a decade ago, has become a standard technology used by a vast majority of data centers worldwide.  However, the traditional VMFS-based implementation opens up a plethora of challenges for the virtualization admin: 

  • Lack of VM-granular data services
  • Lack storage policy-based management
  • Lack compliance management
  • Issues with noisy neighbors
  • Lack of undo button for accidental VM deletion
  • Lack of data portability
  • Productivity impact from rescans / UNMAP

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Modernization of Virtualization

The latest version of Virtual Volumes (VVols) released with VMware vSphere 6.5 resolves the challenges with VMFS. VVols allows performance and SLA requirements to be assigned automatically at a more granular per-VM level.

The combination of VVols with Pure Storage delivers the simplest implementation available. You get assured per-VM SLAs, simplified per-VM management, and gain per-VM data portability in addition to all benefits of built-in Pure data services.

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Assure per-VM SLAs

Zero Cost Snapshots and Replication
You can now assign array-based storage services from Pure to each VM. Snapshots created are highly efficient FlashArray snapshots which can be created instantly, regardless of volume size. Because the snapshots are 100% deduplicated at the time of creation, no additional capacity is consumed on the storage. The snapshots are also not copy-on-write or redirect-on-write which means zero performance impact to the VMs.

With the latest VASA 3.0, Pure’s array-based replication is a readily available service. You can take efficient snapshots and replicate them asynchronously to a secondary site for dev/test or instantly restore your snapshots to satisfy backup requirements.

Automated compliance checking
Storage Policy Based Management enables vCenter to perform automatic compliance checks of assigned data services at a per-VM level. For instance, if you set a policy to snapshot a VM every 10 minutes, and it is changed to 15 minutes, the VM will be marked non-compliant until it is corrected or updated.

Simplify per-VM Management

Rapid Recovery
Pure has developed safeguards against admin error with a 24-hour undo button to rapidly recover accidentally deleted VMs without any pre-configured backup. It is still recommended to have some backup tool for your critical VMs.

Predictive per VM performance and capacity planning
Leveraging Pure1 cloud-based management services, Pure1 Meta uses machine learning predictive analytics from call-home telemetry of Pure customers to not only help resolve potential issues, but assist in better VM performance and capacity planning to optimize workloads.

Zero rescans or UNMAP
Rescans and UNMAP are essentially eliminated with VVols increasing staff productivity. You no longer have to wait for storage rescans within your virtualized environment each time an addition, deletion or change is made. You can also easily get instant access to new and resized VMs without the need to manually reclaim storage space.

Gain per-VM Portability

Data Mobility
Unlock data within Virtual Volumes and Pure. If there is a need to share data, like Oracle, SQL Server, or SAP, traditional VMDK files cannot easily present itself up to a physical server or another hypervisor so it was difficult to share and move data. Pure’s implementation with VVols enables the ability to move to a physical server or to another virtual server. With Pure’s CloudSnap feature coming in the near future, you will have the ability to take snapshots and send it natively to the cloud, Amazon S3 for instance, which you can then use for archival or dev/test.

 

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Run it all on FlashArray
While migrating VMFS datastores to VVols, or vice versa, is a simple process with Storage vMotion, not every workload requires VVols. If you are running Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) or general purpose applications, you can keep them on VMFS as VVols does not provide any additional benefits. On the other hand, mission critical applications like Oracle, SQL Server, or SAP are prime candidates for VVols.

Extending Pure’s value to VVols
With VVols, VM-granular data services can be easily delivered through vCenter and the

Pure’s FlashArray with the vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) Provider. Seamlessly integrate and automatically configure VASA Provider onto both controllers in an active-active configuration for high availability during the Purity 5.0 upgrade process. Unlike other storage implementations, the Pure VASA Provider is entirely stateless so no configuration is tied to or stored on them. So if one or both controllers go offline, you can easily replace controllers as needed, and services will immediately go back online.

When using VVols on Pure Storage, you are now empowered to control the management of your individual VMs easily without dependencies on the storage team. You get all the additional benefits of the FlashArray which includes not only the ease of management and high performance, but also the industry leading data reduction capabilities, 99.9999% availability, non-disruptive upgrades, encryption, and Evergreen Storage.