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Feb 16 2016

EMC arrives to the VVols party fashionably late

VMware’s new storage architecture, Virtual Volumes (VVols) has been out for almost a year now but vendor support for it has been fairly sluggish. On Day 1 of the vSphere 6 launch only 4 vendors supported it (HPE, IBM, NEC & SanBlaze) with additional vendors slowly starting to support it after that. Most of the other big storage vendors (HDS, Dell, NetApp) supported it within a few months of launch but EMC stood out as the only big storage vendor that has really lagged behind on VVol support. That has changed as EMC finally has limited support for VVols only on their high end VMAX platform. I expect you’ll see it come to the VNX platform next as they already have a virtual appliance (vVNX) that supports VVols. As it stands today the vendors that support VVols are:

  • HPE
  • HDS
  • IBM
  • Dell
  • NetApp
  • EMC
  • NexGen
  • Tintri
  • NEC
  • SANBlaze
  • Huawei
  • Fujitsu
  • DataCore

Note the protocols supported and array family/model support varies by vendor, check the VVol HCL for more information on what exactly is supported by each vendor. Notably absent with VVol Support is:

  • Pure Storage
  • Nexenta
  • SolidFire
  • Simplivity
  • Nimble
  • Tegile
  • Nutanix

You’ll also note that there are no VSA’s that support VVols today, DataCore has support but they are not really a true VSA. Eventually you’ll see all the vendors come on board with VVol support, it certainly is no easy task to engineer this into arrays as evidenced by the slow trickle of supported vendors. If your vendor does not support it today check with them as I’m sure it’s on their roadmap and also ask about the important details such as which capabilities they will support, how they will scale (# of VVols) and how their VASA provider is implemented. For more information on VVol support in general and specific to each vendor check out my big VVol link collection.

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