Everyday Virtualization

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Don't Call It De-Duplication

This week I had a chance to peek into the world of storage for virtualized infrastructure during HDS Geek Day, a series of briefings from Hitachi Data Systems. (Disclosure: HDS Geek Day was an on-site blogger event in San Jose, Calif. Read my full blogger disclosure here.)

As a blogger, I came in with an open mind and no preconceived notion about HDS storage products. What I do know, however, is that my short list of top-notch storage bloggers knows a lot about HDS and generally speak well about them. This includes Devang Panchigar, Chris Evans and Nigel Poulton; all of whom were at the event.

One of the sessions in day one that discussed some future technologies around HDS's vision for virtualization caught my attention, and it's not available in the form of a product yet. The idea was to leverage storage technologies for storage efficiency for multiple virtual machines versus a technology like linked clones or primary de-duplication. This session was presented by Miki Sandorfi, chief strategist for file and content services at HDS.

What caught my attention was to have integration with the virtualization stack to use storage technologies to provide disk usage efficiencies that would work with all virtualization products. This integration would use storage snapshots and virtual disk versioning to provide storage savings that resemble de-duplication on disk.

This object store versioning technique would use snapshots and versioning on the storage system to provide disk usage savings for virtual machines. The obvious example is a VDI implementation where the source disk is very similar. There would not be delta VMDKs or differential VHD files, only versions of the file system object and shapshots.

Do you want your storage managing the differential data sets of virtual machines (desktops or servers), or would you want the virtualization engine to manage the task? Share your comments here.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 06/17/2010 at 12:47 PM


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