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Eric Senunas

VMTurbo Enables Workload Management Across NetApp Storage Clusters

Virtualization at all layers of the IT stack is required to meet the vision of the Software-Defined Data Center. Similar to how hypervisors unleashed better utilization of CPU and memory, storage and network virtualization promises the same.

Abstracting compute resources from the hardware layer creates flexibility and allows physical infrastructure to be dynamically configured/reconfigured to support changing requirements and priorities. A software-driven approach enables automation and promises unmatched agility, simpler operations, and lower costs. Traditional storage and network infrastructure supporting virtualized applications are catching up to servers in this regard. NetApp clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 architecture enables the same type of resource agility that IT organizations have become accustomed to at the compute level.

The NetApp Data ONTAP storage platform abstracts data access and management capabilities from the hardware, enabling control through software interfaces. Clustered Data ONTAP transforms the traditional dual-node NetApp storage cluster into a multi-node scale-out unified storage platform, providing a single point of storage management while enabling capacity and performance scale. NetApp Vservers (storage profiles) allow for storage resources to be dynamically assigned on demand, without downtime or reconfiguration—a must for deploying virtualized business-critical applications.

Why? As workloads are consolidated on virtualized infrastructure, a greater number of applications share the same storage back-end. This complicates everything from assuring quality of service to performing routine maintenance, such as software upgrades and hardware refresh. Administrators need a seamless way to move data between different sets of disk and different systems, without impacting application availability or performance. Many customers using NetApp storage face specific, unsolved problems related to storage performance and availability, which impacts their ability to economically scale out virtualization.

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This week, VMTurbo released support for NetApp clustered Data ONTAP 8.2. Our Software-Defined Control system will visibly increase the efficiency of the storage infrastructure by allowing increasing utilization levels for capacity and IO across all shared components (storage controllers, disk arrays, etc.). VMTurbo’s ability to manage workloads across storage clusters is key to maximizing performance and efficiency—and driving automation in the Software-Defined Data Center.

VMTurbo discovers and represents virtual servers (Vservers) and physical storage controllers and the mapping between them, as well as the mapping between volumes and Vservers. VMTurbo controls movements of volumes between storage controllers and tiers of storage without disrupting users or applications, eliminating any artificial boundaries limiting the efficiency of the storage infrastructure.

Specifically, VMTurbo:

  • Maps end-to-end relationships from virtual machines to Vservers and associated volumes, aggregates and controllers
  • Recommends and automates control for non-disruptive movement to optimize for performance or capacity: redistribute data across controllers to improve performance, move data across controllers to rebalance capacity, or redistribute data across storage tiers within a cluster to optimize disk performance of volumes
  • Further enhances storage efficiency and performance across the clustered deployment

By deploying VMTurbo, IT organizations assure workload application performance at the virtualization layer and underlying NetApp infrastructure, lowering OpEx by reducing the number of problems/incidents and time to resolution. With improved service assurance, VMTurbo enables IO-intensive applications to be virtualized reliably on NetApp, lowering the cost to deliver compute and storage services. VMTurbo also actively manages storage performance and space risks by examining thin provisioning, compression, deduplication, snapshots and controller usage. By driving higher levels of utilization across the environment, VMTurbo contributes to improved ROI of compute and storage assets.

Learn more, or try VMTurbo in your environment.