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Working with VMware Virtual Volumes

VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols) simplify storage management. You do not need to know the implementation details of the underlying storage. Instead, you manage storage at the virtual machine (VM) level. vVols are essentially VMware virtual disks that you can map to an HPE Nimble Storage volume.

You must have a VASA Provider registered with a vCenter Server to use vVols. The HPE Nimble Storage vVol volumes reside in a vVol storage container, also known as a vVol datastore. You can use the VMware vSphere Web Client to manage the storage.

vVols support all VM workflows, including clone, restore, and delete operations, setting up replication partners,creating HA/DRS environments, taking synchronized snapshots, and using HPE Nimble Storage Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) integration for VMware.

Note: When a storage vmotion is performed between vVol datastores, a volume copy is performed as opposed to a volume move from source to destination folders. This operation also deletes the previous volumes, which removes all of the snapshots for the volumes.

You can use the VMware Virtualization section of HPE Nimble Storage InfoSight to view analytics about vVols.

When you work with vVols, some points to keep in mind include:

  • A vVol is not tied to the underlying storage, but is treated as a virtual storage system.
  • vVols can grow, but do not shrink.
  • To use vVols, you must have
    • vCenter Server 6.0 or later
    • ESXi 6.0 or later
    • VASA Provider registered with the vCenter Server
      Note: NimbleOS provides a VASA Provider. The VASA Provider creates an automated initiator group for each host in the environment that the vVol datastore is mounted to.
    • An HBA that supports a secondary LUN ID
    • TCP port 8443 must be enabled. Certification communications use this port.
    • The CA certification must be imported to the vCenter for arrays that use custom certifications
    Detailed information about the system requirements for setting up a vVol configuration are included in the HPE Nimble Storage Validated Configuration Matrix, which is online at https://infosight.hpe.com/resources/nimble/validated-configuration-matrix.