When looking at the feature set released with the latest versions of vSphere and Hyper-V, it's clear the vendors understand that storage integration in virtual server environments is a top priority for IT professionals. At a time when storage technologies that work with virtual machines -- such as virtual machine-aware or hyper-converged options -- are garnering more interest, more storage vendors are supporting the application programming interfaces that allow tighter integration between virtual servers and their products.
With vSphere 5, VMware provided more application programming interfaces (APIs) aimed at improving storage management, data protection, workload balancing and cloud integration. Microsoft offers a very similar feature set with Hyper-V 3.0, which provides administrators with greater control over their use of capacity, data movement and overall performance.
Whether it's vSphere or Hyper-V, there's a lot to consider when it comes to working with these storage APIs. To help explain what these storage APIs can do, SearchVirtualStorage compiled this essential guide of expert tips and advice. Learn the functions of the most prominent storage APIs and their features, best practices for working with them and how they can be used to troubleshoot problems in your environment.
Standout storage APIs: A glossary
This glossary offers an overview of some of the Hyper-V and VMware features and APIs that have garnered the most attention.
VMware storage APIs provide data protection, management opportunities
VSphere storage APIs can be beneficial as long as the arrays you're working with support them. VSphere 5 offered APIs that improved several different aspects of storage, such as the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI), which accelerate processes by offloading them from the hypervisor to the storage. Also new in vSphere 5 was an upgraded API for data protection, as well as the vStorage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA), a set of APIs used to help administrators and hypervisors place data more intelligently. In the links below, you'll find detailed descriptions of VMware's most prominent storage APIs and what can be accomplished with them.
VAAI offloads storage tasks from the virtual server host to the storage array. Find out which vendors support them and how to disable them. Continue Reading
The vCloud API allows service providers to develop applications to help manage both internal virtual environments and external vCloud resources. Continue Reading
Learn the benefits of using VMware VADP, how it compares with VMware Consolidated Backup and the risks VADP presents to storage VARs. Continue Reading
Learn more about the new vSphere 5 storage features, how they compare to vSphere 4 and the benefits of using the vSphere Storage Appliance. Continue Reading
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Newest Hyper-V features simplify storage management
Similar to VMware, some of Hyper-V's most beneficial features improve storage management and data placement. The Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX) feature is comparable to VMware's VAAI, as it speeds certain operations by performing them at the storage level. And Hyper-V's storage thin provisioning feature claims capacity on an as-needed basis, providing a result similar to that of VMware's VASA. These tips provide an overview and analysis of the newest storage features Hyper-V users will find in the 3.0 release and Windows Server 2012 R2.
Storage expert Brien Posey explains how Hyper-V 3.0's new ODX feature performs tasks more quickly. Continue Reading
Introduced in Hyper-V 3.0, shared-nothing live migration eliminates the need for CSV, and lets VMs be live migrated without the need for shared storage between hosts. Continue Reading
Learn how the automatic trim feature in Windows Server 2012 R2 frees up capacity from thinly provisioned virtual hard disks. Continue Reading
Generation 2 VMs, a new Hyper-V feature in Windows Server 2012 R2, work to ease storage management with dynamic resizing, cloning and more. Continue Reading
4APIs in action-
Management and troubleshooting tips for Hyper-V and VMware APIs
Now that you have a grasp on how these storage APIs and features work, explore some expert tips on the differences between the two hypervisors and the practical applications of each.
Microsoft’s latest hypervisor features a new, extensible Hyper-V virtual switch to bring Hyper-V 3.0 networking up to par with that of vSphere. Continue Reading
Although the two hypervisors have similar feature sets, their capabilities can be different. Continue Reading
Microsoft expert Brien Posey walks through the best storage tips and features to optimize your Hyper-V environment. Continue Reading