Selecting storage and hardware for VMware environments

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About Selecting storage and hardware for VMware environments

Managing storage in a VMware environment will bring a few topics to mind: snapshots, Storage VMotion, and VMFS – the Virtual Machine File System, which is VMware's preferred storage method for virtual machines. Raw device mapping (RDM), however, provides similar performance and can be a better choice depending on the specific storage configuration, as one of the expert tips in this section explains.

A VMware administrator also needs to know how to connect virtual storage appliances, or VSAs, to a VMware infrastructure in order to take full advantage of VMware High Availability and VMotion, which you can also learn about here.

You'll also want to read up on network-attached storage (NAS) and the Network File System (NFS). NFS eliminates LUN micromanagement and NAS clusters help manage variable input/output performance, which help growing environments scale without sacrificing performance.

Finally, you'll find tips explaining the thin-provisioned disk option, which saves disk space but is really only ideal for virtual machines that will grow over time. Although this feature was available in VMware Infrastructure 3, it required manual coding, whereas this functionality has been enhanced in the latest VMware product suite, vSphere 4.0.