Q. I’m considering a private cloud. Are there any special storage requirements that I should be aware of?
A. For any virtual environment the use of shared, centralized storage is a huge asset. Such storage can enable the highest utilization However, shared storage also allows organizations to invest in the highest performing storage that can also simplify provisioning and management operations.
For a private cloud environment, there are many options for shared storage—anywhere from SANs to SMB3 scale-out file servers. This does not mean that a private cloud cannot work in a scenario in which virtualization hosts have their own direct-attached storage. Mobility is still possible through technologies such as Hyper-V shared-nothing live migration. However, in the event of unplanned failures, the virtual machines (VMs) in such scenarios are not available to be restarted on other hosts.
For the best possible experience, your private cloud storage should support standards-based management, such as SMI-S, which allows the management layer to perform direct discovery and configuration of the storage. Additional features, such as Offloaded Data Transfer (ODX), enable near-instant provisioning of new VM storage while removing overhead on the virtualization hosts and management infrastructure.