Tuesday, June 06, 2017

VMware VVOLs scalability

I'm personally a big fan of VMware Virtual Volumes concept. If you are not familiar with VVOLs check this blog post with the recording of VMworld session and read VMware KB Understanding Virtual Volumes (VVols) in VMware vSphere 6.0

We all know that the devil is always in details. The same is true with VVOLs. VMware prepared the conceptual framework but implementation always depends on storage vendors thus it vary around storage products.

Recently, I have had VVOLs discussion with one of my customers and he was claiming that their particular storage vendor supports a very small number of VVOLs. That discussion inspired me to do some research.

Please, note that numbers bellow are valid at the moment of writing this article. You should always check current status with your particular storage vendor.

Vendor / Storage ArrayMaximum VVOLs / Snapshots or Clones
DELL / Compellent SC 80002,000 / TBD
EMC / Unity 3009,000 / TBD
EMC / Unity 4009,000 / TBD
EMC / Unity 50013,500 / TBD
EMC / Unity 60030,000 / TBD
EMC / VMAX 364,000 / TBD
Hitachi / VSP G2002,000 / 100,000
Hitachi / VSP G4004,000 / 100,000
Hitachi / VSP G6004,000 / 100,000
Hitachi / VSP G80016,000 / 100,000
Hitachi / VSP G100064,000 / 1,000,000

Numbers above are very important because single VM have minimally 3 VVOLs (home, data, swap) and usually even more (snapshot) or more data disks. If you will assume 10 VVOls for single VM you will end up with just 200 VMs on Dell Compellent or Hitachi VSP G200. On the other hand, EMC Unity 600 would give you up to 3,000 VMs which is not bad and enterprise storage systems (EMC VMAX and Hitachi G1000) would give you up to 6,400 VMs which is IMHO very good scalability.

So as always, it really depends on what storage system do you have or planning to buy.

If you know numbers for other storage systems, please share it in comments below this blog post.

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