At VMworld 2012, VMware presented a Tech Preview of one of their latest ideas, which they termed “Distributed Storage”. So what exactly is this new technology? It is basically locally attached storage.
How is Distributed Storage new?
We know that VMware has allowed the use of local storage since inception; however, access to that storage was limited to the local host only, so it was only utilised for guests that were node-based, e.g., vShield appliances. To delve a little deeper you could use the analogy of a VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance), but unlike the VSA, which is a fully functioning virtual machine, this technology is actually part of the hypervisor.
Storage Security is not only about Encryption, which is just one aspect of Storage Security requirements for the virtual and cloud environments. It is also about increasing defense in depth and knowledge of what is touching your storage environment. As well as providing security around those touch points and to a great extent auditing and protecting the data residing within the storage devices regardless of where the devices live: within the virtual environment or within a cloud. Traditionally we have the following storage security capabilities:
There are many enhancements and new features that are part of VMware vSphere V5.0 from a storage and I/O perspective (See VMware vSphere v5 and Storage DRS posts). One of those enhancements is a new Application Programming Interface (API) called VASA (vSphere Aware Storage API) which joins other VMware vSphere APIs some of which are shown in table 1. Note that there is a three letter acronym (TLA) shown in Table 1 that is part of the VMware vSphere 5.0 release that can be confused with VASA called VSA (VMware Storage Appliance) however for now, let’s leave VSA for a future discussion.
My pilgrimage from VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas has come to an end. In my humble opinion, this has been the week for the storage side of things with some amazing and interesting new stuff that has been released or is about to be released. There has been some really cool stuff that is working with SSD and storage.
Recently VMware announced version 5.0 of their vSphere virtualization solution with a theme of reducing complexity, enabling automation, and supporting scaling with confidence. As a key component for supporting cloud, virtual and dynamic infrastructure environments, vSphere V5.0 includes many storage related enhancements and new features.