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vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?



Now that vSphere 5 is available we are of course eager to implement all it's features.

Among them it is mentionend that NAS acceleration, and we use NFS of course.

The thing is that a plug-in is required and the question is where it can be found.

Will it be a part of any future VCS update or just downloadable somewhere else, maybe already now?

For NAS acceleration see: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=/com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc_50/GUID-F0FA0117-D48F-4F6F-BE3F-A06BF26F742C.html

On the other hand we have SCSI T10 mentioned as a replacement for VMFS VAAI which is now a fallback and disabled accelerations is a last resort.

This seems would probably require a certain version of Ontap.

Do any of the current versions support it or do we have to upgrade?


vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


on the page you linked, there are links to sub topics. These include "install NAS plugin" does this not answer your question?

vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


No, it doesn't.

First part of the instruction says : "Install vendor-distributed hardware acceleration NAS plug-ins", so it is not a part of the Vmware suite, unlike VAAI code.

So I would need something from Netapp to get it to work.

From what I have found on Vmwars site later on there is to be release something called "OnCommand Plug-in for VMware 3.0" that will replace the VSC 2.1

I should be able to download it from NOW, but I can't find it there.

Se: Vmware KB 2004087 : http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004087

Neither of these talks about the other part of the question of T10 support in Ontap

Re: vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


Some things are getting mixed up here. SCSI T10 is not a replacement for VAAI, it is the collection of al standard SCSI commands.

1. The T10 Committee defines the commands in the SCSI standard and they can be found here: http://www.t10.org

2. For vSphere 4.1, the T10 committee has adopted some new scsi commands as suggested by VMware, to specifically accellerate some storage functions in virtual environments. The precise commands are on page 10 of this TR: http://media.netapp.com/documents/tr-3886.pdf

3. In vSphere 5, some more general scsi commands are used for further accelleration. They are also defined by the T10 committee (as every scsi command is), and is up to the storage vendor to adopt these commands. Actually, many of these commands are not really new, it is just that VMware starts using them in vSphere 5. So chance is that ONTAP already supports most (if not all) of them.

As for NAS plugins, new versions of VSC (2.1.1 or 3.0) and the OnCommand Host Plugin, these are not yet released right now. To be more precise: the OnCommand Host Plugin 1.0 was released, but then pulled back. It looks like we have to wait for Q4 this year. Some more information can be found in this KB article: https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=3013124

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Re: vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


Thanks. That explains a lot.

I know that scsi t10 and vaai should be considered different beast.

But as vaai is a fallback when t10 is not available, in my mind it isa replacement.

Maybe more like VAAI 2.0 or somethink lime that.

Its not clear if it will do a complete fallback to vaai if a subset of the needed T10 is not implemented but we will see in time.

Re: vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


Does OnTap 7 series (7.3.6) supports the T10 primitives?

vSphere 5 & storage hardware acceleration?


I have contacted NetApp support about vSphere 5 VAAI over NFS, here is the answer:

"I heard back from my Escalation Engineer and currently there is no support for VAAI/NAS. The plugin you are looking for is slated for VSC 2.2 and will require Data ONTAP 8.1.1 7-mode."

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