Virtualization storage NetApp extends from hardware to application tier

Source: Internet
Author: User
Tags prepare resource versions ontap backup

To achieve the goal of separating the data from the hardware device, NetApp extends virtualization technology from the device level to the application level to enhance virtualization, while launching new versions of VFM 6.0 and snapdrive software to further the virtualization technology.

NetApp founder, executive vice president and strategy director James Lau says storage virtualization is still the main axis of NetApp's future, and NetApp is also trying to maximize the benefits of virtualization by extending storage virtualization technology from the device level to the application level, which improves storage utilization, On the other hand, it simplifies storage management and architecture.

At present, the equipment that supports storage virtualization is to manage the resources on heterogeneous platforms through a single interface, so as to achieve the benefits of equipment concentration, reducing storage space and enhancing efficiency.

In addition to providing a "virtual pool" of "V" products for centralized heterogeneous platform devices, NetApp is more demanding to import virtualization technology into each device, says James Lau. The virtualization solution currently provided by NetApp not only allows multiple storage devices to be virtual into a single device, or from a device virtual into more than one device, but also to allow the separation of data and equipment, to solve the data constantly multiplied by the management of complex problems, for enterprises, the focus can be shifted from the management equipment to management information.

Supports multiple protocols as a basis for storage virtualization

NetApp is currently applying storage virtualization technology to product lines such as the FAS series, v-series, virtual tape cabinets (Tape library) Nearstor VTL.

In the case of the FAs and V series, the same operating system data ONTAP is used, and its operating system is characterized by support for both FC Sans, ISCSI, NAS (CIFS and NFS protocol support) protocols.

NetApp Technical director Jiang said that as the enterprise moved into networked storage environments, as each protocol was independent, it seemed to be back to the original Das architecture, so it was necessary to consolidate different protocols to simplify the architecture. In support of Multi-Protocol architecture, storage virtualization can be assisted to achieve the goal of unified management.

VTL is a backup-to-disk scenario that enables organizations to improve backup efficiency without changing existing architectures and management mechanisms by emulating the disk as a tape.

Virtualization improves space utilization

NetApp also provides a variety of virtualization features, such as Flexvol, Flexclone, and snapshot, on the data Ontap to improve resource utilization.

Flexvol is the thin provisioning (storage resource on demand allocation) technology, the key is to enable the front-end server to the storage device to install more than the actual storage capacity, such as storage equipment, the real capacity of only 100GB, but can be through the thin Provisioning technology allows the front-end server to assume 1TB.

Generally speaking, the first step of the enterprise to build the storage system is to allocate storage space to each application system, however, when the storage space is allocated to an application system, the other application system cannot use this space, which is equivalent to the disk space being locked and causing the space waste. Typically, during the early deployment phase, it is difficult for managers to know exactly what the actual capacity requirements of each application system is, and Thin provisioning changes the way that all application systems can share the space.

On the other hand, NetApp also adds a space Reclaimer (spatial recycle) feature built into the new snapdrive, Jiang said, this feature allows thin provisioning benefits to be upgraded, storage space utilization can even break more than 90%.

Generally speaking, when an application system has used a sector, even if the data will be deleted later, but the storage device itself can not judge the data has been deleted, so the storage space can not be recycled, and the reclaimer can judge whether the data deleted, so can avoid space waste.

Flexclone, snapshot, respectively, to save data replication, snapshot of the use of space. Flexclone is mainly used in the replication of the database, when the enterprise to test development, may need several copies, so the enterprise must prepare several times the capacity, Jiang said, flexclone through the establishment of virtual clone, so only need to prepare a copy of the space. Snapshot makes each sector chunk virtual out of 256 blocks, so you don't need to prepare disk space for the same amount of data when you set up your first snapshot backup.

Data and equipment separation, management simplification

Virtualization allows devices and data to be separated, helping businesses to manage data more easily.

NetApp's Virtual File Management (VFM) and DATAONTAP GX Use the global namespace (global Namespace) technology to construct a layer of virtual logic on the front-end of the storage system, and to virtualize the original storage path as a logical path, So when users download a file, they don't have to know which storage device is on the file, and the application of file virtualization includes online removal (migration), replication, archiving, and so on.

NetApp is also expected to gradually transfer DATAONTAP GX functionality to subsequent versions of Dataontap 7G in the future. In addition, the new version of VFM 6.0, also add the ability to move a separate, to increase the flexibility of data removal.

Jiang said that because the enterprise IT architecture is very complex, each department or operating unit has different administrative authority and need to purchase multiple independent storage systems, Multistore can respond to this demand, by allowing a NetApp FAs storage System to simulate multiple independent virtual storage systems, And each virtual storage has an independent management power, the spirit of the same as VMware.

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