My colleague Vaughn Stewart explains it in detail here. I didn’t feel we gave this the publicity it deserves.
In a nutshell: We have numbers (published only after VMware engineering themselves approved the paper as accurate and gave their permission) proving that, compared to traditional arrays, running virtualized workloads on NetApp gear needs less resources while providing excellent performance.
If you don’t want to spend time reading Vaughn’s article, this link has the goods in impressive detail.
It’s worth noting the “traditional” array had a lot more disks and RAM, but the NetApp array had a Flash Cache module. We are not allowed to publish the vendor of the “traditional” array due to licensing restrictions, but, as mentioned, VMware engineering verified the results – the test was legit (no vendor is allowed to publish VMware performance data unless VMware engineering has verified all testing was aboveboard and accurate).
Some pictures for the impatient:
- A lot less disk space needed with NetApp
- A lot quicker to provision the VMs
- Faster performance than RAID10 even without the Flash Cache (and dramatically higher with)
- No-compromise RAID-DP offers same protection as RAID6 without the penalty
- NFS for VMware can be pretty fast inded given the appropriate storage behind!