By Calvin Zito, @HPStorageGuy
Time for another VMware podcast. Man, I am earning my 2011 vExpert this week! The subject of this blog and podcast is VSA. Unfortunately, VSA now has multiple meanings. VMware introduced their vSphere Storage Appliance at their event yesterday and of course HP has had our HP P4000 LeftHand Virtual SAN Appliance for some time now - it's been shipping for over four years.
There have already been a number of comments I saw on Twitter and press reports talking about VMware deciding to compete with HP. Frankly, their decision to offer a low-end VSA validates what we've had with our HP LeftHand VSA. And there really isn't much overlap between where each VSA fits. Here are a few points of comparison:
- HP VSA is iSCSI based; VMware is NFS. We aren't sure what this implies yet but if we get some information we can share, I will.
- HP VSA can be added to an existing P4000 SAN; VMware VSA is standalone.
- HP VSA can virtualize anything on the VMware hardware compatibility list (HCL) for internal storage and also supports VSA on FC and iSCSI storage; VMware VSA only virtualizes drives inside of the server.
- HP VSA is extremely scalable - up to 10 nodes; VMware VSA is either 2 or 3 nodes.
- HP VSA distributes data across all the nodes and each node adds more resources (Disk, CPU, memory, etc); VMware VSA, a volume is always hosted by only one VSA. The HP VSA scales for performance and capacity and more IOPS.
I think it would be fair to say (my words, not VMware's) that the VMware VSA is for entry-level virtualization customers who don't have any kind of shared storage today. The HP VSA has full SAN feature set, scale out architecture, interoperability with the HP P4000 LeftHand SAN. If anyone from the VMware team has a different perspective, please leave a comment.
So with that background, here's the podcast. In the podcast I talk with Ben Bolles. Ben has been a part of the HP LeftHand team for 9 years (he knows his stuff when it comes to storage for VMware!).
You can download the podcast by right clicking here and saving the MP3 file. Also, as we mentioned in the podcast, you can try a full featured, 60 day trial of the P4000 VSA by going to www.hp.com/go/TryVSA. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
I have a couple more podcasts to share with you - one will be on the new 2TB RAM limit (that has been a hot topic since the announcement) and the other is our integration of the P9000 Application Performance eXtender with VMware. In the flurry of all the other things we had to talk about, I forgot to talk about this in the overview podcast we did yesterday. So come back from more VMware fun!