IBM XIV Pumps up the VVOL

Last week I wrote about how hybrid cloud will become the prevalent cloud model in enterprise data centers during the course of this year. It goes without saying that the success of hybrid cloud implementations will depend on management mechanisms that allow IT administrators to orchestrate infrastructure effectively and simply.

On February 2, IBM announced IBM XIV Storage support for one such tool, VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (aka VVOL), which further simplifies the management of XIV storage in VMware-centric hybrid cloud environments.

This blog describes the value of VVOL, a new capability of vSphere 6.0, explains how it helps administrators of VMware and XIV storage, in particular, and points you to documents and video clips that provide more details.


Click to download infographic

What is VVOL?
VVOL is an abbreviation of VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes and is a set of storage APIs that:

  • Solve a long-standing industry issue through the VM-granular leveraging of advanced storage features, per application
  • Increase vSphere utilization and scalability through hardware offloading
  • Improve SLAs with application aware storage provisioning, monitoring, and optimization
  • Shorten provision cycle with simpler automation

Put simply, by allowing storage arrays to become VM-aware, VVOL obviates pain points previously faced by VMware administrators, application administrators, and storage managers.

Even better with IBM XIV
Many storage products are rallying to support VVOL, but the unique attributes and architecture of IBM XIV – as well as design partner level support – impart additional advantages other systems can’t necessarily offer. These include:

  • No-risk, hotspot-free storage automation that scales as VM growth explodes 
  • Transparent VM volumes management with fully automatic volume lifecycle management 
  • Instant, extremely space efficient snapshots
  • Rapid VM cloning

IBM XIV and VMware integration has always been outstanding – to the great benefit of the lion’s share of IBM XIV customers who are VMware users as well. VMware and XIV jibe well together; both are evolving toward more efficient cloud scaling and automation; and the development teams work very closely to be bring to market superior solutions.

In the case of VVOL, our common users stand to gain once again. As companies build out their private or hybrid cloud capabilities, they will rely on the simpler management paradigms provided by both VVOL and IBM XIV to ensure success and reduce operational costs.