Dell Storage provides a number of VMware integrations including a vSphere vCenter plug-in for the Dell EqualLogic PS Series SAN as part of their overall suite known as Host Integration Tools for VMware® (HIT/VMware). HIT/VMware tightly integrates the PS series arrays with VMware vSphere, enabling consistent data protection, automatic performance optimization and streamlined management and operation. The HIT/VMware includes Dell Virtual Storage Manager for VMware (VSM) and its upcoming release, VSM 4.5, enables VMware Virtual Volumes and provides VASA 2.0 support.

What is VMware Virtual Volumes:

Virtual Volumes is a new management & integration framework designed to deliver a more efficient operational model for SAN environments. It encapsulates virtual disks and other virtual machine files, and natively stores them on the storage array, without the need for a filesystem. This transforms the SAN storage from a LUN-centric to a truly VM-centric storage solution, enabling data services and data placement to occur at the VMDK-level.

Benefits of VMware Virtual Volumes for PS Series arrays:

With Virtual Volumes (VVOL) support, Dell PS Series is shifting from a datastore or volume centric model to a per virtual machine model. With Virtual Volumes, a virtual machine now consists of a group of volumes on the array, thus enabling the offloading of several virtual machines centric storage operations to the array:

  • VMware snapshots are now array based snapshots, enabling them to be kept indefinitely and restored from within seconds.
  • Virtual machine deployment tasks can be completed in seconds, a task which previously took several minutes.
  • Array metrics can now be mapped to individual virtual machines and individual virtual disks, enabling both vSphere administrators and Storage administrators to use their preferred tools for granular performance diagnostics.
  • Storage administrators gain visibility to the individual virtual machines and storage capacity they are they consuming.

Dell EqualLogic PS Series VASA 2.0 Support:

The PS Series VASA 2.0 (vSphere API for Storage Awareness) Provider, which enables out of band communication between vSphere and the PS Series SAN providing an end-to-end storage capability view of EqualLogic storage in the vSphere UI. This provides better storage allocation and management, all from a familiar interface. Through this integration with VSM, Dell EqualLogic PS series arrays can pass storage attributes, alarms and events to VMware vSphere, which enables you to view additional details about the storage array’s capabilities, including:

  • Support for VMware Virtual Volumes
  • End-to-end EqualLogic storage visibility to the VMware users
  • Support for VMware Storage Policy Based Management

Additional information:

What’s New: VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes

Dell Supports New vSphere 6.0 Features Out of the Gate

Virtual Volumes PS Series Hands on lab

Curious about VMware Virtual Volumes?

Simplify Administration & Management with new vSphere Virtual Volumes

EqualLogic Software

VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes on Dell PS Series

Dell Virtual Storage Manager: Installation Considerations and Local Data Protection

Dell PS Series Arrays: Advanced Storage Features in VMware vSphere