Q

iSCSI SANs management tools

Looking to implement storage virtualization on iSCSI? Expert James Geis offers his thoughts in this expert response.

What management tools can be used on iSCSI SANs in a virtual environment? I've heard that management tools and processes are the big barrier to implementing storage virtualization on iSCSI.

There are a few different topics covered in this question. I'll assume you are asking about virtual machine accessing iSCSI LUNs, not the actual management of iSCSI LUNs. It really comes down to what tool you use to manage the overall storage pool and what tool you use to manage virtual machines.

Unfortunately, the tools that manage storage and the tools that manage virtual machines are not yet well integrated. You need to use one tool to provision and dice up the storage array and present storage pools, and another tool (the virtual machine manager) to assign storage to the virtual machines. The smoking gun audit trail is difficult because of the lack of integration. Right now, as I type, all the storage vendors are feverishly working to integrate their storage management tools with virtual machine access, because after all, when trying to utilize resources more efficiently, multiple tools increase risk, increase the chance for data corruption, and increase management complexity.

This was first published in December 2007

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