Last week I was in Palo Alto and I had a discussion about Virsto. Based on that discussion I figured it was time to setup Virsto in my Lab. I am not going to go in to much details around what Virsto is or does as I already did that in this article around the time VMware acquired Virsto. On top of that there is an excellent article by Cormac which provides an awesome primer. But lets use two quotes from both of the articles to give an idea of what to expect:
Virsto has developed an appliance and a host level service which together forms an abstraction layer for existing storage devices. In other words, storage devices are connected directly to the Virsto appliance and Virsto aggregates these devices in to a large storage pool. This pool is in its turn served up to your environment as an NFS datastore.
Virsto Software aims to provide the advantages of VMware’s linked clones (single image management, thin provisioning, rapid creation) but deliver better performance than EZT VMDKs.
Just to give an idea, what do I have running in my lab?
- 3 x ESX 5.1 host
- 1 x vCenter Server (Windows install as VCVA isn’t supported_
- VNX 5500
After quickly glancing the quickstart guide I noticed I needed a Windows VM to install some of Virsto’s components, that VM is what Virsto refers to as the “vMaster”. I also need a bunch of empty LUNs which will be used for storage. I also noticed reference of Namespace VMs and vIOService VMs. Hmmm, it sounds complicated, but is it? I am guessing these components will need to be connected. This is kind of the idea, note that the empty LUNs will be automatically connected by to the IOService VMs. I did not add those to the diagram as that would make it more complex than needed.