To better understand what might be involved in making good decisions when designing the storage architecture for a datacenter, I talked with a couple of well-known experts in the storage technology field to see what they had to say about the subject. After all, it’s important to understand industry best practices in any technological area before you begin committing time, energy, and money toward an IT project — even if you’re just at the planning stage of things.
Peter van den Bosch was a senior consultant at PQR a Systems Integrator in the Utrecht Area of the Netherlands when he contributed a guest editorial on datacenter storage design for our popular WServerNews weekly newsletter just over two years ago. At the time, Peter focused his editorial on the choices one might need to make when designing a datacenter that will use VMware virtualization and HP storage intelligence technologies. So when I reached out again to Peter for his current thoughts on the subject, it came as no surprise that he now works for VMware as one of their technical account managers, where is duties include managing relationships with some of their largest enterprise customers.
Customers should choose an SDS solution and define their storage usage using policies.
From Peter’s own experience and perspective working for many years as a systems engineer, technical consultant, and unit manager, the No. 1 best practice in storage design for datacenters is “independency from hardware,” which Peter says “is important to ensure future SDS [software-defined storage] development.” It’s only natural that Peter would recommend VMware SDS as the best approach for achieving such a goal. “VMware vSAN and Virtual Volumes are solutions that are hardware independent and bring stunning performance,” Peter says. Looking ahead, he predicts that “future developments to manage storage platform independence based on policies will include SAN storage, cloud storage, and local storage.” Policy-based management is important because it allows you to define the storage requirements for virtual machines in a way that simplifies storage configurations and ensures availability and performance. “Customers should choose an SDS solution and define their storage usage using policies,” says Peter, who also maintains a must-follow WordPress blog where he shares his stories and adventures in the virtual industry.