In the previous comparison posts, we took a peek at how RHEV, vSphere, and Hyper-V compared in some cost scenarios as well as major features. In this final installment, we’ll take a look at what I believe is the most important feature. Let me give you a hint:
RHEV does not win here. Yet.Arguably the most important “feature” for a virtualization platform is integration with enterprise storage. This is where vSphere is currently the leader. In spades. They have remarkable integration with EMC, NetApp and others. Hyper-V has integration with NetApp and others.
So what exactly do I mean when I say “integration”? Specifically, I’m talking about moving beyond just a storage protocol and actually providing valuable solutions to virtualization related problems. Just being able to say “yeah, it works with NFS, iSCSI, and FCP” is not enough.
In the enterprise, the ability to offloading copy/clone activities from the hypervisor to the storage array are critical. Providing data protection to data stores that is transparent to users and the hypervisor is critical. Storage plug-ins that exist within the virtualization manager are really convenient and streamline the administration process.
What about RHEV? What kind of integration does RHEV have with any enterprise storage? Well, to be honest it’s rather light – for now. Here is an ultra-brief (sans Hyper-V) comparison of the integrations available for vSphere and RHEV:
|RHEV 3.0||vSphere 5|
|Storage Plugin for Mgmt Console||no||yes|
|Integrated Data Protection Tools||no||yes|
|Rapid Cloning Tool for VMs||no||yes|
|Cloning Data Stores for DR/dev/test||no||yes|
Again, it’s just a brief peek, but it should be enough to illustrate the gaps in integration. That’s not to say that RHEV doesn’t have options – I’ve written a few documents that cover using Snap Creator, SnapMirror, and MetroCluster (all NetApp products) for RHEV. They all work well, but there isn’t much in the way of real integration.
Getting that integration work rolling is my day job at NetApp. We’ve got some heavy lifting underway right now as we work with the great folks that contribute and guide oVirt.
What’s oVirt, you ask? If you’re familiar with the concept that all of Red Hat’s RHEL development occurs in Fedora, then the analog follows oVirt and RHEV. That is to say that Red Hat does all of their development work for RHEV in oVirt. oVirt itself is the upstream project for KVM and RHEV, and there are many folks, both commercially sponsored and truly independant, that are involved in growing the ecosystem around RHEV and KVM.
So what kind of integration is in the works for RHEV? And doesn’t this imply NetApp specifically, considering the author of this blog? (Man, you’re a clever reader…)
Well, here’s what’s in the works:
|Rapid Cloning Tool for VMs||Integrating NetApp FlexClone with RHEV-M||Create VMs on demand from the Storage Array|
|Snap Creator KVM Module||Integrating NetApp Snap Creator and RHEV-M||Manage complex backup requirements for RHEV & KVM|
|NetApp Storage Plugin for RHEV||Integrate NetApp tools into RHEV-M||Provision & manage NetApp storage from RHEV-M|
WARNING!! SHAMELESS OPEN SOURCE RECRUITING EFFORT BELOW!!
So, how do you get involved? (hint, hint.) For starters, go to http://ovirt.org and download the packages. Dig around the site and check things out. Look for an area that interests you and start hacking the code. Tell your geek friends to check it out.
And have fun with it.
Hope this helps, and I hope you join the oVirt efforts,
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