Best practices for VM storage?

Tags:
Virtual machine storage management
Virtualization
We're evaluating storage strategies for virtualization and VMs. Are there any standard or common approaches?
ASKED: April 23, 2008  3:44 PM
UPDATED: March 24, 2009  1:10 PM

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This is where the current vendor approach to VMs lacks a holistic view and how Forsythe is approaching this market differently. The virtual machine software manufacturers have done a great job integrating VM management software as well as migrating the physical servers to be able to utilize networked storage and integrate with storage management. But they typically only measure the server aspects of performance (CPU, memory and maybe network I/O) and how much software you need (i.e., how much consolidation can you do and how many licenses do you need.)

We insist on reviewing the storage performance characteristics, which are readily available via the the data collection tool as a part of a capacity planning or virtualization assessment. The metrics are available: You simply need to check the box that collects them for you to view. If you can split out the I/O characteristics related to storage by device and by application, you will have a good head start.

Good luck,

James Geis
Forsythe Solutions Group

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  • HannahDrake
    If any readers are using VMware, our site editor Adam Trujillo recently published a runbook on <A href="http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid179_gci1307895,00.html" target="_blank">managing storage in an ESX environment</a>. It's a great resource page for a selection of tips on storage management. Cheers, Hannah Drake Associate Editor, SearchVMware.com Check out our blog: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/
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  • HannahDrake
    Sorry that didn't post correctly, for some reason the link button isn't working. The URL for the runbook is: http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid179_gci1307895,00.html The URL for our Virtualization Pro blog is: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/virtualization-pro/
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  • Gul
    Completely agree, I/O is the foundation of a well-performing virtual datacenter. However, measuring I/O at the ESX host is like checking the oil on your car and assuming it's all ok if the oil looks good. When architecting or troubleshooting in the vmware environment you need a holistic view- understand the impact of ALL of your ESX hosts on your storage array. Even that's not enough, what about those physical servers that consume I/O on that shared storage array? You'll need to consider those too, if you want to accurately assess current performance and understand how to optimize or grow effectively. Visibility is king in the virtual datacenter. Akorri's BalancePoint addresses that exact problem, and much more.
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