So what does Profile-Driven Storage try to achieve? Very simply - minimize the amount of time required to provision virtual machines. Provisioning virtual machines isn’t only just selecting a random datastore. You will need to know what the requirements are of the virtual machine and then select the appropriate volume to the best of your knowledge. Profile-Driven Storage tries to help with that by providing better insight into storage characteristics and allowing for custom-tags and linking virtual machines to profiles. vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness is a new set of APIs which will enable vCenter to see the capabilities of the storage array LUNs/datastores, making it much easier to select the appropriate disk for virtual machine placement.
With Storage Awareness APIs, storage vendors can provide vSphere with information about the storage environment. It enables tighter integration between storage and the virtual infrastructure. Information about storage health status, configuration info, capacity and thin provisioning info etc For the first time we have an end to end story, i.e. storage array informs VASA storage provider of capabilities & then the storage provider informs vCenter, so now users can see storage array capabilities from vSphere client. Through the new VM Storage Profile-Driven Storageles, these storage capabilities can then be displayed in vCenter to assist administrators in choosing the right storage in terms of space, performance and SLA requirements. This information enables the administrator to take the appropriate actions based on health & usage information.
Currently we identify the requirements of the virtual machine, try to find the optimal datastore based on the requirements and create the virtual machine or disk. In some cases customers even periodically check if VMs are compliant but in many cases this is neglected. Storage DRS only solves that problem partly. We will need to manually identify the correct datastore cluster, and even when grouping datastores into a datastore cluster, we need to manually verify if all LUNs are “alike”. When using Profile-Driven Storage and Storage DRS together, these problems are solved. A datastore cluster can be created based on the characteristics provided through VASA or the custom tags. When deploying virtual machines, a storage profile can be selected ensuring that the virtual will be on compliant storage.