Along with the release of NexentaStor 3.1.4, Nexenta Systems today officially released the (very) Beta VAAI-NAS plugin for VMware vSphere 5.x via the community NexentaStor.org forums. VAAI-NAS is still not widely supported in the NAS world, and of those that do, not all support all the primitives. You can search the VMware Compatibility Guide for vendors that are VAAI-NAS certified.
VAAI, to catch up, is the the suite of primitives (instructions) that allow vSphere to offload certain VM operations to the array. For NAS Hardware Acceleration, these are:
- Full File Clone – Enables virtual disks to be cloned by the NAS device (but not ‘hot’, the VM must be powered off).
- Native Snapshot Support – Allows creation of virtual machine snapshots to be offloaded to the array.
- Extended Statistics – Shows actual space usage on NAS datastores (great for thin provisioning).
- Reserve Space – Enables creation of thick virtual disk files on NAS.
Everything you wanted to know about VAAI (but were afraid to ask)
At this point, all primitives are working (or supposed to, it’s beta, right?) save for the Native Snapshots.
Here’s a quick tutorial to install the agent in NexentaStor and the plugin in VMware Vsphere.