In Virtualization Storage plays an very important role as because it stores all your virtual data & virtual disks. In VMware vSphere you can use either local or shared storage.
Local Storage can be on ESXi host server. In Shared Storage single storage box is shared among all the ESXi hosts. Shared storage provides many benefits & advanced features such as vMotion, vSphere HA, DRS etc.
Storage options in your VMware Virtualization infrastructure:-
- Local SAS/SATA/SCSi Storage
- iSCSI with software or hardware initiators
- Fibre Channel
- Fibre Channer over Ethernet (FCoE)
- NAS (Network Attached Storage) : NFS only you can use with NAS Storage option.
So at the time of designing your storage for VMware servers you have multiple storage options available you can use any of them which provides benefits & cost according to your requirements. You can use & assign the Storage according to your requirements which will suits best in your environment. Because Local storage is very limited one should consider for shared storage as it will also provide the high performance, redundancy, reliability & with shared storage you can use VMware’s advance features such as :
- VMware vSphere vMotion
- VMware vSphere High Availability
- VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler
- VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance
Shared Storage also provide the consistent IOPS that will help to provide the consistent performance across all your VMware infrastructure.
With the release of VMware vSphere 5.5 VMware introduced VSAN which is Virtual SAN. VSAN supports local storage with local flash storage so you can use SSD to improve performance. VSAN collects all the local storage and distributes local datastore across multiple hosts like shared storage.
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