Whats New? StoreVirtual VSA – LeftHand OS 11.0

T-smb-storevirtual-VSA__153x115--C-tcm245-1404104--CT-tcm245-1237012-32It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the StoreVirtual, which you can see by the number of blog posts I have made about the subject.

HP have announced the next iteration of LeftHand OS, which is version 11.0, this has a number of enhancements which are covered by Kate Davis (@KateAtHP).  These include:

  • Smarter updates with Online Upgrade enhancements to identify updates per management group, plus you can choose to only download newer versions, hooray!
  • Faster performance for command-line interface improves response times for provisioning and decommissioning of storage, and retrieving info about managements groups, volumes and clusters
  • Increased IO performance on VMware vSphere with support for ParaVirtualized SCSI Controller (PV SCSI) which provides more efficient CPU utilization on the host server
  • More control over application-managed snapshots for VMware and Microsoft administrators with quicker and simpler install and configuration process
  • Optimization of snapshot management to minimize the burden on the cluster when handling high-frequency snapshot schedules with long retention periods
  • Fibre Channel support for HP StoreVirtual Recovery Manager for servers with FC connectivity to StoreVirtual clusters can be used to recover files and folders from snapshots.
  • LeftHand OS 11.0 will be certified with at least one 10Gbe cards for use with StoreVirtual VSA on launch.

What I’m most excited about is the new Adaptive Optimization feature which is introduced in LeftHand OS 11.0 .  Last night Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy) hosted a live podcast covering AO in more depth.  So without further a due:

  • Adaptive Optimization will be completely automated, with a simple on or off.
  • Adaptive Optimization will work automatically e.g. no schedule
  • Adaptive Optimization will use a ‘heat tier’ map to work out the hot areas and check the IO and CPU levels, if these are high then AO will not move the blocks, it will wait until IO and CPU levels have dropped and then perform the region moves.
  • Adaptive Optimization will allow for support of two storage tiers and works at node level.
  • Adaptive Optimization will use a chunk size of 256K for region moves.
  • Adaptive Optimization will work on ‘thick’and ‘thin’ volumes
  • Adaptive Optimization will work on all snapshots of a given volume.
  • Adaptive Optimization will be included for free for anyone who has a StoreVirtual VSA 10TB license already.
  • Adaptive Optimization will not be included for the new 4TB StoreVirtual VSA license
  • Adaptive Optimization will work with PCIe Flash, SSD, SAS and SATA drives.

During the podcast I asked a number of questions, one of which is the potential to use HP StoreVirtual VSA with HP IO Accelerator cards, with C7000 blades and local storage for VDI deployments.  The StoreVirtual representative (who was at LeftHand networks before HP acquired them) mentioned this is the one of the primary use cases for AO and they are going to be performing some benchmarks.

The StoreVirtual representative was also able to field a number of other questions for the StoreVirtual road map which are:

  1. T10 UNMAP will be coming, just not in LeftHand OS 11.0
  2. Changes to LeftHand OS will be made to make manual adjustments to gateway connections for vSphere Metro Storage Clusters see this blogpost.
  3. Adaptive Optimization is likely to be coming to the physical StoreVirtual.

We also spoke about performance, the StoreVirtual representative explained about all the lab tests they had performaned and to get StoreVirtual working at it’s correct capacity you should try and keep the number of nodes per management group to 32 and have a maximum of 16 clusters.

5 thoughts on “Whats New? StoreVirtual VSA – LeftHand OS 11.0

  1. well, thanks for the information, sounds pretty interesting, but that lefthand still doesn’t support unmap is ridiculous. Seems like they are worried that people suddenly don’t need new nodes because horray, lot’s of unused space is suddenly free. we moved away from vsa to storage spaces just because of this little small feature, even accepting the lower speed of storagespaces provides (yet), but in our scenario it saves use over 10 TB of data. Only the hardware nodes and replication nodes are still Lefthand, but without real thin provisioning – it’s just not good enough. Tiering is nice – but not a feature you can just plugin without new investments – and then again, tearing without unmap… spacewaster. That disappoints me most, as we are waiting for it since 9.5

  2. We’ve waited and waited and waited for UNMAP.. i cannot believe it’s still not available. What is the point in making os 11 work with all these fast capabilities? So now it can fill it’s self up even quicker!.
    We have 40TB and we’re sick of having to move data, delete and recreate LUNs to get space back. Time for a move, looks like HP don’t know what their customers need. Pretty annoyed.

    1. Agree with your statement Allan, it’s something I have been pushing for. Rumour has it, we will get T10 UNMAP in the next release. Not sure if that will be 12 or a 11.

  3. I have one question that I have not found any answer to yet – maybe you know the answer… 😉
    I run one P4000 VSA on an ESXi 4.2u1 host, currently using SAN/iQ 9.5. Is it possible to upgrade this appliance to LeftHand OS 11.0? Do I need to upgrade the ESXi host to ESXi 5.5 first – or do this create problems with the current VSA installation (i.e. can VSA 9.5 run on ESXi 5.5?)
    Thanks in advance!

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