Originally introduced in Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s file system SMB 3.0 has become the standard way MS windows systems share files and folders. Microsoft SMB 3.0 introduced the ability to support hyper-v virtual machines and sql server databases. Rather than identifying where a VM lives by a drive letter and directory SMB features a UNC (Universal Naming Convention) path. This allows greater scalability and organizational management of file shares across scale-out storage arrays like Netapp and EMC. SMB 3.0 improves on its predecessor with many new features, but I find the top three are improvements in speed, introduction of fault tolerance, and support for live VM’s on a file server. In fact, compared to cluster shared volumes, SMB’s block based counter-part, Microsoft SMB 3.0 is much cheaper and requires less configurations on the hypervisor.
Extending Control to Microsoft SMB 3.0
VMTurbo’s 5.3 release introduces support for SMB 3.0 to provide discovery and decisions on SMB shares. For VMM environments, VMTurbo now discovers SMB 3.0 file shares as datastores, and manages them as entities in the supply chain.
VMTurbo’s updated queries can now distinguish between virtual machine images located on CSVs and/or SMB shares. Permitting that the SMB shares are presented to VMM, VMTurbo can illustrate the consumer and provider relationship between the SMB storage and the VM itself. For example, below is a screenshot of a VM that has a VHD located on a SMB 3.0 file share and a CSV.
We can see in the image above that the VM “pankaj9800” has two separate VHDs. One device is a CSV and the other is a SMB share. Through VMM, VMTurbo can discover both VHDs and illustrate the relationships inside the GUI.
The above image illustrates correct utilization metrics of VHDs sitting on the same SMB share
The most important part of VMTurbo’s support for SMB 3.0 is the ability to make intelligent workload decisions using data collected on the SMB shares. By recognizing the relationship between SMB shares and VMs, VMTurbo can respect architectural boundaries for placement decisions. Essentially restricting VM placement decisions to hosts that have access to the same shares and storage moves to shares accessible by the current hosts. VMTurbo will resize SMB shares when necessary, if capacity is running low or hot as well. Notably, VMTurbo will take action on SMB file shares to prevent storage related problems from arising by removing performance risks when resource demands outweigh supply lines. The image below represents a storage migration due to thin provision risk on a SMB share.
Storage migration of VM “TWO_TAILS” between two SMB shares due to thin provision risk
Control Any Workload on Any Infrastructure at Any Time
VMTurbo controls any workload on any infrastructure at any time, anywhere. Whether a VM must move, a SMB share should be resized, or more capacity must be provisioned VMTurbo ensures that workloads get the resources they need during stressful high-demands times and contracts resources during idle times, automatically. Support for Microsoft SMB 3.0 means hyper-v environments can use VMTurbo to help increase IT agility and give businesses the flexibility to leverage enterprise-class storage protocols!