VAAI – is it a Mirage?

VMware vSphere® Storage APIs – Array Integration (VAAI), also known as hardware acceleration or hardware offload APIs, are a set of APIs enabling interaction between VMware vSphere ESXi™ hosts and storage devices. The APIs in VAAI are supported by a block or NAS array (e.g. storage system) and can offload different functions from the vSphere hypervisor and virtual machine (VM).
VAAI has been established to handle issues industry faces while trying to expand Virtual Machines mainly during sizing storage, rapid VM provisioning and maintaining application performance. It has the ability offload specific storage operations to compliant storage hardware, which results in less CPU, memory and storage fabric bandwidth consumption. In other words, VAAI removes blocks, and offloads tasks that are “expensive” and place a heavy load on ESX resources to storage arrays. This enables improved performance, scale and efficiency to a very large extend
VAAI can be used in the following functions:
  • Atomic Test and Set (ATS)
  • Full Copy / XCOPY / Clone Blocks
  • Data Deduplication and Full Copy
  • Block Zeroing / Write Same / Zero Blocks
  • Block Delete / Unmap
  • Thin Provisioning Stun / TP Stun
  • The below table summarizes the impact of VAAI and deduplication on a clone operation for a VM of size 10GB

 

Source: Qadstor
Source LUN
Destination LUN
Remarks
Without VAAI
10 GB read
10 GB written
Utilizes both network and server
resources
With VAAI (no dedupe/post-process
dedupe)
10 GB read
10 GB written
Network and server resources
minimal.
Array resources used for read and write operations
With VAAI (Inline dedupe)
10 GB read
0 GB written
Network and server resources
minimal.
Array resources spent in reads and deduplication
With VAAI (QUADStor)
0 GB read
0 GB written
Network and server resources
minimal.
Array resources spent only in deduplication
To conclude, the main advantage of VAAI is definitely excellent performance followed by facts like enabling VMware and it’s hypervisor to scale out.The VMware community is on a spree of continuous improvement of the APIs with its every release. Many more API integrations, snapshot offload and array management can be expected in the near future.
To know more email: marketing@calsoftinc.com

 

Calsoft Inc

Calsoft Inc

Calsoft is a leading software product engineering services company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. http://www.calsoftinc.com
Calsoft Inc

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