Thursday, 10 February 2011 18:41

Hypervisors driving demand for storage performance


The growing use of virtualisation is a major reason why organisations need more performance from storage subsystems, according to a major vendor.

The demand for increased storage performance "is really driven by hypervisors," according to Hu Yoshida, chief technology officer at Hitachi Data Systems. "VMware has taken over like wildfire," he told iTWire.

Mr Yoshida explained that software from companies such as VMware makes it relatively easy to load up a processor in order to make the most of its capacity rather than making do with the relatively low utilisation typically achieved when running a single operating system directly on the hardware.

But running multiple virtual machines (VMs) on a processor increases the I/O load, so it is necessary to improve performance in that area. Furthermore, the operation of multiple VMs means that disk I/O becomes increasingly random - individual applications may read files sequentially, but multiple programs running on multiple VMs on one piece of hardware makes life harder for the storage subsystem.

HDS's approach is to use solid state drives (SSDs) or to stripe data across a larger number of hard drives than would otherwise be required. The company also uses automatic load balancing to deliver the necessary performance.

Closer integration also helps. Mr Yoshida noted that VMware provides a range of APIs that allow it to leverage other vendors' strengths.


Examples include telling the storage array to overwrite a virtual disk with zeros as part of the formatting process instead of making the VM do the work, or allowing the storage system to move a VM without requiring intervention by the physical CPU.

Yet there are two problems with this approach. Firstly, it is not easy to write code to VMware's APIs, he said. Secondly, storage systems need more powerful processors in order to do the extra work.

However, organisations that previously used virtualisation for tier two workloads such as print and file servers are increasingly using them for their tier one applications, and the offloading of storage functions via the APIs is an important part of getting the performance desired.

HDS is able to virtualise existing storage without requiring a "rip and replace" upgrade to get the benefits of the APIs, said Mr Yoshida.

The company's software for VAAI (vStorage APIs for Array Integration) have been certified by VMware, and "the reaction has been tremendous," he said.

Adrian De Luca, director, pre-sales and solutions at HDS Australia and New Zealand said that according to Gartner's figures, Australia was the largest per-capita user of VMware in the world, and some of HDS's local customers were already using VAAI.

HDS would soon release a plugin that would allow the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform to be managed from VMware's vCenter software, he added.


Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous