My Dutch VMUG 2012 presentation: Software Defines Virtually Everything – Storage

Last week I did a presentation at the Dutch VMUG event around SDDC with a techical focus on the storage bits and pieces you could build inside the hypervisor to accomodate this. I want to share this presentation with you together with a little background on the subject.

Software Defines Virtually Everything

VMware has taken a big step towards the Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC). This is where things are going for sure (also see my related post Cool Tech Preview: VMware’s distributed storage). The idea is that since “everything” runs on x86 anyway, you can potentially run all code on a common platform. From that view, everything will run in software.

VMware already took the first steps towards the SDDC. Just look at the Cisco Nexus 1000V, a switch running very close to the hypervisor on the same platform as the VMs as (the hypervisor). Later integrations such as vSphere Replication and the vSphere Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) showed simplified SAN/NAS workloads running on the hypervisor (unfortunately not really “inside the hypervisor” as they are appliances but still).

If you extrapolate the line further out, you end up with a standard X86 box with local resources (storage, flash disks, networking and a high-speed interconnect) and you just scale out as you require more.

Just like the journey to the Cloud, this is a journey in itself. There are many moving parts in a solution like this, and you just cannot build something like this overnight.

Focus on storage

VMware is putting a lot of focus on the storage part of the SDDC lately. After the VSA and vSphere Replication, they have been working on tech previews of what they call “distributed storage” or “vSAN” and also “vFlash” to make smarter use of local SDD drives in vSphere nodes.

My presentation focuses on this storage part. I urge you to look at EMC’s Isilon as well; this is a linear scale-out storage platform that basically has x86 computing nodes with local drives attached, and it behaves very much like VMware’s vision. H*ck EMC even ran virtual machines on the Isilon STORAGE platform already! You can imagine where things are going: EMC is running VMs on storage, VMware is running storage functionality in their hypervisor. Mix and match!

This presentation contains my vision on the geeky things to come around storage functionality inside the hypervisor. In the second part of the presentation I show some slides on VMware’s view, and I close the presentation with some examples of the pitfalls one will encounter when trying to build a distributed storage model like this.

Here is a video of the presentation:

Software Defines Virtually Everything – Storage


In the last few days I got several requests for the slide material from my other presentation on the Dutch VMUG Event 2012 around EMC’s XtremeIO (“Revolutionizing Flash-only Arrays – Project-X deepdive”) but unfortunately I am not allowed to share any material on that beyond the session that was given at the Dutch VMUG event itself.

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