Esxi 5.5u1, NFS ev…VAAI!

Posted on 18 marzo 2014 di


Come molti sanno implementare VAAI nella proprio infrastruttura significa lasciare alcune operazioni demandate di solito al sistema operativo esxi tramite il software, direttamente allo storage (offloading), scaricando CPU ed aumentando le performance. Nelle prime release vmware non supportava VAAI verso volumi esportati in NFS (NAS)…cosa che invece ha deciso di introdurre dalla versione 5.x.

Questo prevede l’installazione di un componente software aggiubntivo direttamente sui vostri esxi: per chi utilizza Netapp, esxi 5.5 è supportato ufficialmente dalla versione 1.0.-21 dell’ NFS plugin for vmware VAAI.


~ # esxcli software vib install -d /tmp/
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: NetApp_bootbank_NetAppNasPlugin_1.0-21
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

Come vedere se è già installato?

esxcli software vib list | grep NetApp

NetAppNasPlugin 1.0-21 NetApp VMwareAccepted 2014-05-12

Da doc ufficiale ecco i principali vantaggi nell’utilizzo del VAAI in una infrastruttura virtuale:

VAAI NAS Primitives

Prior to vSphere 5.0, VMware supported hardware acceleration on block storage devices. As of the vSphere 5.0 release, VMware has also included a number of new NAS hardware acceleration primitives. Unlike block primitives, VAAI NAS primitives will be available only through the use of a NAS vendor plug-in, which is provided by your storage array vendor.

Full File Clone

Full File Clone, or Full Copy, is similar to the Extended Copy (XCOPY) hardware acceleration primitive provided for block arrays. This primitive enables virtual disks to be cloned by the NAS device rather than by using the Data Mover, which consumes ESXi host CPU and memory resources as well as network bandwidth. There is one noticeable difference between this primitive and the XCOPY primitive on block storage: This primitive cannot be called for Storage vMotion operations, which continue to use the Data Mover. Only virtual machines that are powered off and then migrated can offload to the storage array by using this primitive. The Storage vMotion restriction aside, the benefit is that cold clones or “deploy from template” operations can be offloaded to the storage hardware, and this reduces the resource consumption of the ESXi host.

Fast File Clone/Native Snapshot Support 

Fast File Clone enables the creation of virtual machine snapshots to be offloaded to an NAS storage array. This is a primitive that forms the basis of VMware View Composer™ Array Integration (VCAI), which was released as a technical preview in VMware View™ 5.1. VMware View Composer can elect to have desktops based on linked clones created directly by the storage array rather than by using ESXi host CPU and memory resources for the same task. In vSphere 5.1, this primitive has been extended to VMware vCloud® vApps™, whereby VMware vCloud Director™ can elect to have vCloud vApps based on linked clones instantiated by the storage array rather than the ESXi host.

Extended Statistics

This primitive enables visibility into space usage on NAS datastores. This is especially useful for thin-provisioned datastores because it enables vSphere to display actual space usage statistics in situations where oversubscription was used. Previously, vSphere administrators needed to use array-based tools to manage and monitor how much space a thinly provisioned VMDK was consuming on a back-end datastore. With this new primitive, this information can be surfaced up in the VMware vSphere Client™. This enables vSphere administrators to have a much better insight into storage resource consumption, without the need to rely on third-party tools or engage with their storage array administrators. 

Reserve Space

In previous versions of vSphere, only a thin VMDK could be created on NAS datastores. This new reserve space primitive enables the creation of thick VMDK files on NAS datastores, so administrators can reserve all of the space required by a VMDK, even when the datastore is NAS. As shown in Figure 1, users now have the ability to select lazy-zero or eager-zero disks on NAS datastore.