Friday, April 29, 2011

vSphere 4.1 VAAI integration with Hitachi's USP-V/VM, AMS 2000 series, and VSP

Tuesday this week, HDS released microcode on the USP-V and USP-VM (Microcode 60-08-01-00/00) that includes VMware VAAI integration. The AMS2000 series and VSP already support VAAI integration.

This means that users of the USP-V/VM subsystem whom are already on vSphere 4.1, or are planning to upgrade to it, can now take full advantage of VAAI support. The main feature of VAAI that excites me is the Hardware Accelerated Locking; which relieves SCSI reserve locking pressure on the array by locking only a portion of the VMFS data store vs. locking the entire VMFS LUN upon physical host I/O. This can be a huge improvement for customers that use LUSEs, or that have large LUNs and a high number of VMs per LUN. Other VAAI features include Full Copy, and Block Zeroing which help with VM guest creation and cloning.

While this is the first release of VAAI integration code for the USP-V/VM, HDS has implemented these features in their AMS and VSP line of subsystems already. Typically storage managers do not like being on the first rev of a microcode release, however in this case the benefit is very much worth the low risk.