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.
Dell unveiled an update to 2 of their EqualLogic PS series array platforms today along with their first sub-$10k array. The new PS6100 and PS4100 series arrays are a refresh of their PS6000 and PS4000 units. The new boxes are being touted as having up to a 67% improvement in I/O performance.
Here are the major new features for each:
- shrinks down to 2U
- 24 x 2.5″ drives – up to 21.6TB
- 12 x 3.5″ drives – up to 32TB
- Now starting at under $10,000
- 2U version with 24 x 2.5″ drives – up to 21.6TB
- New 4U design with 24 x 3.5″ drives – up to 72TB
- NEW Dedicated management port
Both arrays will ship with the latest 5.1 firmware and are certified for VMware’s vSphere 5.0 storage APIs (VASA, VAAI, etc.). The SSD options will go up to 400GB per drive, which I’m sure will be slightly over the $10,000 starting price in the PS4100.
This may sound lame, but the addition of the dedicated management port on the PS6100 is something that I’m very excited about. I never understood why there was one on the PS4000 but not the PS6000. It was maddening to lose 25% of my total network throughput on an array if I needed to attach it to a dedicated management network.
Being in the market for a Sumo (Dell’s EqualLogic Monster PS6500 series array), I was hoping that those would get the same refresh, and even though I knew it wasn’t going to be refreshed yet, I’m still a bit bummed that I may have to purchase it just before it gets its own upgrade.