Infinidat Blog

New InfiniBox Capabilities for Modern VMware Infrastructures

It’s VMware Explore season, and we’re looking forward to a great show, with lots of enthusiasm building for F2F meetups again. Just in time for the show, I’m thrilled to introduce two exciting new InfiniBox® capabilities going GA this quarter that expand Infinidat’s rich history of making life easier and better for VMware admins: vVols replication with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) support, and NVMe/TCP certification.

InfiniBox vVols replication with SRM support adds VMware-native disaster recovery to Infinidat’s industry-leading vVols implementation, leveraging efficient InfiniBox asynchronous replication coordinated with VMware Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM). Setup is simple: the storage admin sets up a replication relationship, then VMware admins can choose to apply it by creating/selecting an appropriate VMware storage policy. Failover orchestration is managed and performed through VMware Site Recovery Manager, using the standard SRM vVols integration, rather than an InfiniBox-specific Storage Replication Adapter like you need when not using vVols.

Fun fact: the scale we can achieve with InfiniBox vVols greatly exceeds the design of VMware Site Recovery Manager, so we’re exploring ways to increase those limits with our friends on the VMware SRM team. We are happy to continue pushing the bar higher, as we help our customers drive consolidation and increase efficiency from their infrastructure. For more technical details about our vVols replication support, read our senior director product marketing Bill’s blog here, and the VMware Virtual Blocks blog from Jason Massae here, based on his own experience testing an early-access version of this capability using our gear in his lab.

Our new NVMe/TCP certification for VMware is a great illustration of the power of our InfiniBox software architecture, which was designed for multi-protocol use cases from the beginning, now covering Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NFS, SMB, and NVMe-over-Fabrics (NVMe-oF) as first-class peers. And it’s worth noting that all of those InfiniBox protocols are available regardless of backend media – in the InfiniBox NVMe-oF world, customers always get DRAM-led performance, even if they choose InfiniBox systems that use hard drives to keep their costs low or they select our InfiniBox SSA II that delivers latency as low as 35 mics. Try finding any other petabyte-scale, proven 100% availability storage system that covers that much ground!

As the NVMe-oF standards have evolved over the past few years, we focused on the transport we think is most impactful for the largest set of enterprise customers, who may be either already focused on all-IP deployments or considering heading there in the future. We also considered ecosystem readiness; VMware’s general support for NVMe/TCP was a big milestone only reached with vSphere 7.0U3 in September.

We increasingly see NVMe/TCP as a no-brainer upgrade from iSCSI, offering double-digit performance improvements for many workloads while minimizing new hardware requirements. (Often there is no new hardware required at all – NVMe/TCP is available for all currently supported InfiniBox systems with our upcoming 7.1 software release.) And with this upcoming certification, we’ll join a very exclusive club of enterprise storage solutions specifically certified with NVMe/TCP for VMware. Check out product manager Tsiyon’s blog here for more details about our overall NVMe strategy, value, and NVMe/TCP implementation.

These new VMware capabilities demonstrate our continued alignment with key VMware customer needs, supporting growing production-grade vVols adoption and protocol modernization, especially as customers increasingly add Tanzu container services to their VMware estates. (Feel free to talk to the VMware tech teams who have already been playing with these new features in the lab.) Best of all for our customers, they continue the Infinidat tradition of adding significant value without adding costs. There are no separate licenses or charges for these capabilities with any of the Infinidat business models, from traditional CAPEX to our FLX storage-as-a-service options. So, if you are already an Infinidat customer, we are looking forward to hearing about how you’re taking your VM farms to the next level after your nondisruptive upgrade to InfiniBox 7.1. And if you aren’t an Infinidat customer yet, then let’s set up a time to demo our VMware solutions!

About Erik Kaulberg

Erik Kaulberg is Vice President Strategy and Alliances at Infinidat, leading Infinidat’s overall strategic development, key alliance partnerships including VMware, and special projects. He has broad expertise in enterprise storage and frequently engages key customers, partners, and analysts. Erik previously ran worldwide enterprise storage strategy and business development for IBM, after he sold all-flash array innovator Texas Memory Systems to the company.