Deploy Hyper-V over SMB on NetApp

SMB 3.0, with its long list of enhancements, has become increasingly viable in the building of public or private clouds by deploying Hyper-V over SMB. The solution stack in general involves three layers. The top layer consists of Hyper-V hosts and VMs. The middle layer consists of the file servers for managing the SMB file shares. And the bottom layer is the storage.

Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 (or later) has built in the support of SMB 3.0 for Hyper-V 2012, with FlexVol volumes. On a Storage Virtual Machine (SVM, formally known as Vserver), you can add the CIFS server role. The CIFS server behaves similar to a Windows file server: it can join a Windows Active Directory domain and manage SMB file shares. This means that if you choose to deploy Hyper-V over SMB on NetApp FAS storage systems running Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT), you can simplify the solution by collapsing the 3-layer stack into two layers. The middle layer (file servers) is consolidated into the cDOT storage layer.

In addition to simplifying the solution, there are many other benefits when deploying Hyper-V over SMB on NetApp. Below are a few highlights. 

  • Flexibility. FAS storage systems support multi-protocol natively. Customers are not locked in to SMB or forced to choose either SMB or SAN. They can choose to deploy both SMB and SAN, when appropriate.
  • HA. High availability is crucial in cloud solution building. If a separate layer of file servers is used, you are immediately faced with a decision: to use stand-alone file servers, or file server clusters. With NetApp cDOT, high availability is by design.
  • Multi-Tenancy. Multi-tenancy is one of the key architectural considerations in cloud computing. The multi-tenancy capability in cDOT enables multiple workloads, applications, groups or clients to share the physical resources within a cluster. And at the same time, it provides data security, access control separation and logical isolation by using SVMs.
  • NDO. Non-disruptive operation is the ability to continuously serve data without disruption during planned maintenance or unplanned failure events. With cDOT 8.2 or later, node failure or physical disk move is non-disruptive when using continuously available SMB 3.0 file shares.
  • ODX. Offloaded data transfer (also called copy offload) enables efficient data transfer between Hyper-V VMs and/or hosts by offloading it to the underlying storage devices. cDOT 8.2 or later supports ODX on SMB 3.0 continuous available file shares.

Of course, scale-out is another often-mentioned capability of Clustered Data ONTAP, which allows you to grow your Hyper-V clouds non-disruptively.

Thanks for reading.

dchilton Netapp Alumni

Good points on the value of Hyper-V over SMB.  Check out this tech report for a detailed performance comparison.