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System and Method to provision & share storage across Shared Storage Pool Tiers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240358D
Publication Date: 2015-Jan-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Abstract: In system storage virtualization environment, storage can be grouped in to multiple classes (Tiers) and the free storage which is part of one tier can't shared with other tiers. If storage utilization on one tier is high and there is a free storage available with other Tiers, there exists a need to have a mechanism to dynamically move the unutilized storage from one tier to the required Tier based on policies. This article proposes a method for Effective utilization of storage space by provisioning & sharing the storage across Shared Storage Pool Tiers

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System and Method to provision & share storage across Shared Storage Pool Tiers

Problem background and description:

PowerVM Shared Storage Pools (SSP) virtualizes the storage shared across multiple Power Servers by creating a cluster of Virtual IO Servers (IO virtualization). It's is responsible for managing the storage within the storage pool and provisioning the virtualizaed storage to Virtual machines.

This integrated storage virtualization provides several benefits over other storage virtualization models in the field:


 Simplified management of virtual servers with integrated virtual server and storage

  provisioning and management
 Reduced overall data center administrative workflow by server provisioning of

  workloads without storage administrator action
 Ability to leverage both existing and new storage infrastructure
 Simplified adoption of Live Virtual machine migration, Active Memory Sharing, and Hibernation

In a Shared Storage pool, user can group the storage disks based on the Storage media and assign this storage to different categories of data which is called Storage Tiering. User can create different tiers within the pool based on the usage and create Logical Units (LUs) within the Tiers. These logical units are similar to Storage LUNs where they can be mapped to the Virtual Machines(VM) as a I/O storage media. Currently, once the physical storage media is attached to the Tier, it belongs to that Tier and it's not possible either to share the same physical volume across multiple Tiers or Share some storage capacity between Tiers.

When we adopt a tiered model, inconsistent utilization of tiers is an issue. It is possible that a certain tier hits the capacity threshold whereas certain other tiers are underutilized. Even though the storage comes from the same storage pool, still it cannot be shared across the tiers without user intervention. When a tier capacity or overcommit reaches threshold, the user has to either add additional storage (PV-Physical volumes), move the storage (PVs) from other tiers or move a certain set of LUs to a different tier. This is a manual process.

From a user point of view, having tiered model provides a lot of advantages. But a user would also desire to use the available capacity across tiers to the maximum best possible. There could be a peak usage time duration on a specific tier and different peak usage time on other tiers. Depending on the usage and thresholds during the peak times, if the system can auto manage tiers, then the user intervention is minimal.

Solution:

There is a need to make the system intelligent enough to manage the virtual storage (LUs) and

physical storage (PVs) depending on the performance requirements. The proposal here is to effectively utilize the storage capacity by creating TierGroups through a new layer called SSPvisor.

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Main claims of this article are as below

1. New Layer called SSPVisor to Provision & Manage Tiergroups; and help in efficient utilization...