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Increased VMware Performance on Nexsan Storage
Unlock performance and efficiencies through Nexsan's implementation of VMware VAAI

With all of the advantages of virtualizing IT resources using VMware, storage operations have been an area of focus for performance improvements. Nexsan’s integration of VMware vSphere 5 Storage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) bring storage management into the same level of efficiency, automation, and performance as other VMware operations.

Discover how storage administrators and IT management alike will see immediate benefits in the combination of Nexsan block storage and VAAI to –

Speeding up SANs

The principal resource management issue for storage in a vSphere environment is related to how data moves. Until recently, common administrative operations meant relying on relatively slow-performing software-based data movement. Having VMkernel DataMover issue I/O commands to read and write blocks in both the source and target datastores consumes massive system resources on the vSphere server, including CPU cycles on host servers and SCSI commands in the HBA queue. (Figure 1)

Using VAAI with Nexsan block storage systems, vSphere simply issues the command to the array, which completes it without creating a performance bottleneck at the host level. The I/O-hungry work of cloning, migrating virtual machines, and creating zero blocks is now hardware-accelerated within the Nexsan array itself, with many storage operations seeing dramatically improved performance. (Figure 2)

Utilize Nexsan’s combined implementation of VAAI for common administrative tasks and FASTier caching technology to accelerate operational performance. FASTier cache, available on NST5000TM systems, delivers high random I/O throughput, supporting VMware servers to maximum effect.

Speeding up SANs

Performance Improvements on Nexsan Block Systems

VAAI comprises three APIs, or “primitives,” that are activated by default on NST-family and E-Series systems.

Atomic Test and Set (ATS) improves performance and manageability when performing operations on VMs requiring locking.

ATS Before and After

Administrators may utilize the benefits of ATS to increase their consolidation ratio, knowing that they can keep multiple VMs available to multiple hosts even during administrative operations.

Hardware Accelerated Copy (HAC) offers dramatic performance improvements for cloning and migration of VMs.

Block Zero offers similar efficiencies for creating new virtual machine disks (VMDKs).

Proactive Management Capabilities

Nexsan has also integrated a key feature of VAAI that delivers additional management capabilities for block storage using NST storage systems. Thin Provisioning Unmap enables higher availability for VMs and improved storage management for a thin-provisioned environment.

Storage Optimized for VMware Performance

Combine these capabilities with Nexsan performance, manageability, and reliability that scales to petabytes in a small rack footprint. Utilize FASTierTM caching in NST-series products to meet the random I/O performance requirements of a VMware environment, accelerating storage performance to solid-state levels at the price of HDD-based systems. Nexsan E-Series products offer extreme density with up to 15 drives/U, delivering high reliability with no single point of failure while providing an ideal platform for efficiently managing the growth of VMware environments.