Starting today EMC is making available VMware Virtual Volumes (VVol) through Direct Availability (DA). The basic difference between a DA release and a General Availability (GA) release is that in order to use VVols with VMAX3 you will need to work through your EMC Sales team to acquire the necessary software to run VVols. It is not possible to simply download the Solutions Enabler/VASA 2 VP/Unisphere for VMAX versions that support VVols. Don’t worry though, it’s not like you need a different VMAX3 or some new hardware. Most likely your current array will be perfectly fine. We expect most customers who want to use VVols will initially do so in a test or development environment before considering any move to production. The biggest impediment to VVols right now is the lack of replication support by VMware, which makes mission critical databases/applications on VVols very unlikely.
Now that we have passed the VMware certification for VVols you will see the VMAX3 listed on the VMware Compatibility Guide:
Note that VMware incorrectly shows VVols Version 2.0 instead of 1.0 (as it does for every other vendor). We’ll get that sorted shortly.
If you click on the VASA Provider Name hyperlink it will provide the following detail:
There is a little more information on this page – for instance we show the Solutions Enabler version as 8.1.1. That’s the non-GA, DA version you will need to use VVols (along with the same Unisphere version). If you are bold enough to click on the highlighted box in red thinking you will be downloading the VASA Provider for VVols, well sorry but no dice 🙂 That will just bring you to our VMAX page at emc.com – which of course is good reading just not what you were looking for. Again for DA you must go through your EMC team. If you aren’t ready for VVols yet, it isn’t a long wait for the full GA. Expect to see them as an integral part of the VMAX3 platform with our next code release early next year.
I have 2 previous blog posts on VVols which I think cover our implementation in some detail so I’ll leave this post with links to those.
If you do have questions that you can’t seem to find an answer to, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.