If you are a virt admin, you probably have your hands full managing your virtualization environment and know that the virtualization workload is on the rise.   The technology has not just become extremely popular for the cost effectiveness, but also because it allows quick alterations to existing business models and processes and it is a sure way of generating more business value from an IT infrastructure.

 

All this growth in virtualization only means one thing to the virt admins - more complexity and more stress. With the growing number of VMs there comes another problem of mapping them with physical servers. To solve any issues that might occur, the virt admin must have a complete view of all the resources in his virtualized infrastructure.

 

Virtualization & Storage – Two Faces of a Coin


Now, consider a situation where there is a latency issue occurring on your ESX/ESXi server that goes beyond your virtualization space. Monitoring VMware contention metrics like CPU, Memory, disk I/O are just fine, but you do not know where the problem lies. With just a virtualization monitoring system in house, it would be challenging for a virt admin to drill down and look into the issue from a SAN viewpoint.

 

For a holistic view of the virtual infrastructure, it’s not just enough to monitor your virtual machines. There should be a good sync between your virtual monitoring system and your storage system providing complete end-to-end virtualization troubleshooting and the ability to also drill down into the storage supporting a specific virtual machine, right from a VM to spindle.

 

A realistic VM to storage mapping system would allow the virt admin to view virtualization metrics beyond the datastore level all the way to the LUNS, RAID groups, Storage Pools and ultimately, the physical disks. This functionality enables full VM-to-spindle mapping and much faster troubleshooting.

 

Storage and virtualization are two critical elements that require in-depth visibility for optimal management of IT infrastructure because of the inter dependency of their performance. The integrated system should ideally perform the following best practices.

  • Automatically map VMs and logical connections to the physical storage environment
  • Deliver end-to-end visibility across all resources in the virtualized infrastructure
  • Identify the individual spindle serving a virtual machine and all other VMs on the same spindle for faster troubleshooting

 

Being a virt admin is challenging, agreed. But with the right VMware to storage mapping between your virtualization and storage systems, the ambiguity is eliminated and even if an issue occurs, you now know where to look.