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IBM Systems and Technology System Storage

Solution Brief


VMware vSphere
Simplify server and storage resource management
with virtualization

IBM SONAS (Scale Out Network Attached Storage) with VMware

Highlights vSphere Hypervisor provides the virtual infrastructure that enables
enterprises and large organizations to efficiently transform, manage
Networked attached storage (NAS) and optimize your IT infrastructure through virtualization and better
consolidation solution combines
IBM SONAS with VMware vSphere deliver business value.
Hypervisor to ensure that your virtual
IT environment can support business- SONAS with VMware vSphere Hypervisor Server delivers an industry-
critical data
leading virtualization solution to simplify resource management with
Automatic striping of data stores across Network File System (NFS) server and storage virtualization. VMware
storage pools improves utilization, per- vSphere Hypervisor server qualication by IBM can save you time,
formance and reliability
allowing you to implement your scale out NAS virtualization solution
Extraordinary Information Lifecycle quickly.
Management (ILM) and Hierarchical
Storage Management (HSM) capabilities
with the SONAS single global name Your growing number of Virtual Machines (VMs) can be stored on
space SONAS NFS data stores, taking advantage of the scalable, highly reli-
External SONAS NFS datastore and
able, and shared SONAS storage pool. SONAS automatically stripes
VMware vSphere modules support high the data stores across all available, policy-driven storage resources for
availability and disaster recovery better performance and management by using a single global name-
Reduce implementation risk and save space. SONAS can scale capacity by adding up to 60-Storage Nodes
time with VMware interoperability-tested and/or scale performance by adding up to 30-Interface Nodes with
virtualization solutions - including automated, policy-based restriping.
vSphere Hypervisor Server, vMotion
and vCenter
The vMotion capability enables you to move VM Server machine
images on NFS data stores in SONAS. This eliminates the need for
the VM images to also reside on the internal disk of the vSphere
Hypervisor servers. So, in the unlikely event of a hardware failure on
one vSphere Hypervisor server, administrators can simply mount the
VM image from the shared SONAS storage to a working vSphere
Hypervisor server, getting the VM back online quickly and easily.
IBM Systems and Technology System Storage
Solution Brief

IBM understands the challenge you face due to growing stor-

age (data) and the need to simplify storage administration and
ESX server ESX2
manage operating costs. One tool to help you meet this chal- ESX2 imports VM2
Interface nodes
lenge is a scalable network attached storage solution that is Storage Storage nodes

fully interoperable with the VMware vSphere Hypervisor.

The SONAS solution is designed to provide: Vir
VI l cen
clie ter/
ESX1 exports VM2 nt
vmdk1 vmdk2

Server and storage consolidation and management without Data network SONAS share mounted VC machine
having to worry about behind the scene placement of spe- Infiniband network
as NFS datastore mount

cic data stores and les IBM SONAS ESX server ESX1
The ability to perform consistent backup/restores and
snapshots in integrated, virtualized storage and server
congurations Virtual Machines and Application Images on NFS data stores using
The capability to implement scalable NAS storage in SONAS shared storage
compute/storage clouds
Support for a policy-based tiered information strategy with You need proven technology and business partners with a
integrated Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) and track record of implementing ISV solutions in the areas of
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) to improve stor- both server virtualization and storage virtualization to better
age efficiency and reduce cost while retaining access to the manage corporate information assets. IBM SONAS with
data for the desired level of Quality of Service (QoS) VMware vSphere Hypervisor can meet these needs.
Protection against server failures, high availability of infor-
mation and le services using SONAS storage with the fail- IBM SONAS, in combination with VMware vSphere
over clustered VMware vSphere Hypervisor servers Hypervisor, is a solution that provides a scale-out architecture
that takes advantage of state-of-the-art technologies and vir-
tualization to create a truly efficient, scalable and responsive
storage environment.
Physical ethernet switch
Interface nodes
NIC Team
Storage Storage nodes

NIC Team NIC Team

NIC Team

Data network

Infiniband network
Physical ethernet switch


Topology for IBM SONAS configured with VMware vSphere Hypervisor


IBM Systems and Technology System Storage
Solution Brief

Based on IBM interoperability testing, VMware has SONAS uses a single global namespace feature to provide
certied SONAS for use with VMware Virtual fast access to data regardless of the physical location of the
Infrastructure 3 (vSphere Hypervisor 3.5) and les. SONAS is designed to improve storage utilization,
vSphere 4 (vSphere Hypervisor v4 and v4.1). This reduce complexity and improve productivity.
testing included other features such as:
VMware vSphere Hypervisor is a bare-metal hypervisor,
VMware vMotion (live migration running virtual machines which means it can be directly installed on a physical server
from one physical vSphere Hypervisor server to another), and can be logically partitioned to support multiple isolated
and VMware storage vMotion (live migration of virtual virtual machines sharing the physical resources of the server
machine les from one data store to another without serv- and the storage pool. Each virtual machine represents a
ice interruption) complete system with processor, memory, network interface
VMware High Availability: provides a fault-tolerant feature card, BIOS and storage. The VM can run a wide range of
such that if a server fails, affected virtual machines are supported guest operating systems (GOS) including
restarted on another server that has spare capacity. Windows, Linux and more.
VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB): an easy-to-use cen-
tralized utility for backup of virtual machines. VCB has Figure 1 shows the suggested topology for connecting
been tested for interoperability with Symantec NetBackup vSphere Hypervisor Server to the SONAS system over an
(NBU) on a range of SONAS data stores and snapshots. Ethernet infrastructure.

As a result of these pretested SONAS and VMware solutions, This allows you to run multiple applications under a choice
SONAS can easily integrate with your organizations strate- of Guest Operating Systems (GOS) on the same physical
gies to consolidate and more efficiently utilize storage in a server or a cluster of servers in a reliable and efficient manner
virtualized environment. using the built in high-availability (HA) features while pro-
tecting the virtual machines against hardware component
In combination with VMware vSphere and VMware failures.
Infrastructure products, SONAS provides large organizations
with the capability to create dynamic data centers with SONAS can support a complete VMware solution with
virtualization to deliver many business benets including vMotion, a physical server with VMware vSphere Hypervisor,
improving manageability, managing costs and simplifying IT a Virtual Center Management Server, a Virtual Infrastructure
administration. client and a Virtual Infrastructure/vSphere Web Access
server, allowing you to virtualize your entire infrastructure
with virtual machines for enhanced manageability, scalability
and higher utilization for improved application availability.

Features Benefits

Server Virtualization Offers operational cost reduction,

improved manageability, reduced foot-
print and power savings

Storage Virtualization Supports faster recovery and opera- Copyright IBM Corporation 2010
tional cost reduction, improved man- IBM Systems and Technology Group
ageability, reduced footprint and power Route 100
savings Somers, NY 10589
Import/Export of VM Facilitates import/export of VM images Produced in the United States of America
images stored in stored in SONAS data stores to the May 2010
SONAS same or another physical vSphere All Rights Reserved
Hypervisor server
IBM, the IBM logo, and System Storage are trademarks or
vMotion of VM images Facilitates non-disruptive migration of registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation
stored in SONAS VM images in SONAS NFS data stores in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other
across vSphere to another physical or virtual server IBM trademarked terms are marked on their rst occurrence in this
Hypervisor servers using vMotion information with a trademark symbol ( or ), these symbols indicate
U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time
Storage vMotion of VM Facilitates migration of SONAS NFS this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered
images stored in data stores to another virtual server or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of
SONAS across storage storage pool using vMotion without IBM trademarks is available on the web at Copyright and trademark
arrays interrupting the Virtual Machine or the information at
client applications
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States,
Snapshots of VM Point-in-time snapshot of virtual other countries, or both.
images stored in machine images stored on SONAS
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States,
other countries, or both.
Backup/Restore of VM Information protection of virtual machine
Other product, company or service names may be trademarks or service
images on SONAS images stored on the SONAS system
marks of others.
SONAS in an auto- Virtualization capabilities and a high- This document could include technical inaccuracies or typographical
mated HA cluster availability clustered environment errors. IBM may make changes, improvements or alterations to the
environment improving efficiency products, programs and services described in this document, including
termination of such products, programs and services, at any time and
without notice. Any statements regarding IBMs future direction
and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and
For more information represent goals and objectives only. The information contained in this
To learn more about SONAS, please contact your IBM mar- document is current as of the initial date of publication only and is
subject to change without notice. IBM shall have no responsibility to
keting representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit:
update such information.
IBM is not responsible for the performance or interoperability of any
non-IBM products discussed herein. Performance data for IBM and
For further technical information, please visit: SONAS non-IBM products and services contained in this document was derived
VMware Best Practices White Paper under specic operating and environmental conditions. The actual
results obtained by any party implementing such products or services will
depend on a large number of factors specic to such partys operating
environment and may vary signicantly. IBM makes no representation
that these results can be expected or obtained in any implementation of
any such products or services.

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