VMware vSphere VAAI - who is he?

    VMware vSphere VAAI - who is he?

    A bit of theory about VAAI:

    This is a set of VMware technologies developed in collaboration with various storage manufacturers, designed to transfer some operations of virtual machines for working with disks to the array side. In this case, the virtualization host server, when performing standard procedures in the virtualization environment when the VM is working with the disk subsystem, simply instructs the array to take certain actions, while the host itself does not drive through all the data and commands that it had previously been forced to run. That is, it is Hardware Offloading operations with storage.
    This concludes the theory.


    Recently, a new HP P2000 G3 MSA DC disc animal appeared in my park .
    The virtualization system is built on a solution from VMware. And as many people know, and starting with version 4.1, the virtualization platform began supporting VMware vSphere VAAI technology, or in other words, the vStorage API for Array Integration.

    I want to show with a simple example how to activate this function, which is important for increasing productivity. And what increase will give this increase.

    So, we have a brand new HP P2000 G3 MSA DC array for 74 SAS drives of 15 k revolutions. (according to the specification, it supports VAAI)

    We will not consider the process of setting up the array, its partitioning and connection.
    We have mounted disks to the ESX host. In the properties of the disk system, we see that hardware acceleration has the status Unknown. Unknown status means that the host has not yet accessed operations that are supported by VAAI (that is, this is the default status). If you do any operation with VAAI (for example, Copy / Paste of a virtual disk larger than 4 MB), then VAAI will try to work it out. If it works successfully, the status is Supported, but if not, then Not Supported.

    To activate VAAI from the manufacturer's website, download the necessary plag-in. (in my case, the HP P2000 Software Plug-in for VMware VAAI vSphere). I downloaded it from the HP website, posted it on the attached volume.

    Installation is very simple.

    esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/....../hp_vaaip_p2000_offline-bundle-210.zip

    esxcfg-scsidevs -l | egrep “Display Name: | VAAI Status:”

    Similarly, we check through the client

    Let's do some tests:

    VM migration without VAAI:

    32.20-29.53 = 127 seconds

    VAAI enabled:

    11: 15-10: 21 = 66 seconds

    66 vs 127 seconds this is one team, and the impressive difference

    VMware vSphere VAAI implements:
    Full Copy / Clone Blocks / XCOPY - a function that allows you to transfer to the array side the ability to copy virtual infrastructure objects without involving read-write operations from the VMware ESX 4.1 server. This feature is also called Hardware Offloaded Copy and SAN Data Copy Offloading.
    Write Same / Zero Blocks - the ability to zero large arrays of blocks on disk devices to quickly create vmdk disks like eager zero thick.
    Atomic Test and Set (ATS)–The ability to protect metadata of a VMFS volume as a clustered file system in situations where a large number of ESX hosts have shared access to the same storage. This feature is also called Hardware Assisted Locking.

    PS Turn on VAAI. because I believe many have installed disk arrays purchased for a lot of money. It is necessary to squeeze out of them all 100% of useful functionality, especially since it adds not a little performance.

    Original article here

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