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VMware users want more for storage

Quoting from TechTarget

In the wake of VMware Inc.'s Infrastructure 3 announcement this week, beta testers and users say the addition of native iSCSI capabilities, clustering and a centralized backup option are a step in the right direction, but they also want to be able to manipulate data more easily with virtual machines.

VMware also boosted the number of LUNs that can be assigned to a virtual disk from 128 to 256 and added distributed journaling inside the file system for faster recovery. The product already allows snapshots of the OS and VM settings. But mirroring virtual disks, striping VM data across physical disks, adding LUNs on the fly to virtual disk and snapshots of data are "things we don't do just yet that we may get around to doing," said Patrick Lin, technical director of product development for VMware.

"I hope they'll think seriously about it," said Tom Becchetti, a VMware user who asked that his company not be named. "People want to be able to do serverless, networkless backups. They want to do block-change maps."

Becchetti added that three months ago, VMware opened up APIs to other vendors, such as Double-Take Software to make replication more efficient. "Why haven't they done this with backup vendors?" he asked. "The pieces are all there."

VMware also announced the ability to support high-availability (HA) dual-node server clusters using what Becchetti termed a "half-done VMotion," which he said was a good development. But it led him, he said, to question even further why capabilities like mirroring hadn't yet been made available.

"They're at the layer in the code to do that, at least mirroring at the virtual disk level."

Becchetti also said that volume management was so tricky for him with ESX that he would often use GSX instead with his Symantec NetBackup tool. "It works better, especially with Linux, to do volume management that way," he said. "But then we don't get the benefits of ESX, like shared memory."

Becchetti said he was also waiting for "one pane of glass" from VMware for performance monitoring purposes. "Right now if we have a performance problem, we have to use five different tools to figure out where it is," he said. "It takes a rocket scientist to figure out the issue."

Read the rest of the article, here.

Published Thursday, June 08, 2006 9:16 PM by David Marshall
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