A Guide for VM-aware Storage

One of the challenges when dealing with virtualized environments is latency caused by random I/O generation. Keep reading for in-depth information on VM-aware appliances and how one vendor is leading the technology trend.

A virtual machine environment conserves energy, makes it easier to consolidate data and reduces the need for physical systems, which is why you can find VMs everywhere these days. But for all of the benefits the technology provides, the rise of virtual servers has presented unique challenges for storage. Thanks to random I/O generated from server virtualization, latency has increased, and mapping LUNs and volumes has become a tedious job. VM-aware storage has stepped up to the plate to overcome the problems that come with a virtual machine environment.

This storage was designed with virtual environments in mind. To be considered VM-aware, a product needs to simplify implementation and management with software that manages the data associated with virtual machines. By improving communication between storage and the hypervisor, this storage option doesn’t have to rely on LUNs and the extra burden they can bring to virtualized environments.

According to vendors in the space, VM-aware storage can help users dodge the dreaded I/O blender effect, which occurs when the hypervisor becomes too overloaded. By preventing this and other issues associated with LUN and volume use, VM-aware storage allows for better performance and more efficient data migration in virtual environments.

However, the technology isn’t a cure-all. There is no industry-standard definition for VM-aware storage, so it could be difficult for organizations to decide if what a vendor is selling is what they actually want. There are technologies that perform the same function, but go by a completely different name. So how can storage administrators know if an appliance can actually fix their virtual server storage issues?

This comprehensive guide offers a more thorough understanding of this type of storage. We’ll walk through the basics, see how virtual machine-aware appliances compare to other storage products on the market and take a deeper look at one storage vendor that is leading the virtual machine-aware storage pack.

What is VM-aware storage?

With the rise of virtualization over the past few years, there has also been an increase in the products and methods that simplify the deployment and management of the technology. Virtual machine-aware storage seeks to ease some of the burdens brought on by implementing a VM environment.

Helpful posts:

Understanding VM-aware storage options

Where does virtualization-aware storage work best? (Podcast)

Breakdown of VM-aware Storage

Hypervisor-aware Storage

Hypervisor-aware storage is a category of storage array that provides storage administrators with important information that can aid them in capacity planning and in automating and managing a virtual machine environment. If the technology sounds familiar, it’s because the terms hypervisor-aware storage and VM-aware storage are often used interchangeably, although some approaches do vary.

Helpful posts:

Lessons in virtual technology: Evaluating hypervisor-aware storage

How hypervisor-aware are today’s virtualized server environments?

Can hypervisor-aware systems improve virtual server performance?

Hypervisor- and VM-aware storage make VM fixes more accessible

How do VVOL’s come into play?

VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) are a feature in vSphere6 that more efficiently provision storage in a virtual machine environment. While they solve some of the same issues as VM-aware storage, the two approaches are not interchangeable.

Can VMware VVOLs replace virtual machine-aware storage?

How VMware VVOLs compares to VM-aware storage

VMware VVOLs helps with provisioning storage (E-Handbook)

How Tintri is Dominating the Market

Of the vendors operating in the virtual machine-aware storage space, Tintri has been leading the pack. With the following posts, catch up on what the company has been doing in the VM-aware storage market as well as the products they’ve developed.

Tintri adds VMware and Flocker persistent container storage

Tintri VMstore adds all-flash support for VM-aware storage

Tintri VMstore upgrades quality of service, snapshot management

VM Scale-out software added to Tintri storage

Tintri sets its VM-aware storage roadmap




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Erick Bacallao joined Champion Solutions Group in 2015 after a career of Software Development in Cuba at the National Cancer Care Institute of Cuba, followed by moving to the States with allAware.


Champion acquired allAware and its properties and Erick has utilized his extensive background and expertise in IT and Software Development to rise to VP of Product Development in less than 5 years. During this time, Erick has been involved with key projects that led to the launch of numerous products including CSP Boss, Inscape platform and 365 Productivity Insights.


Erick has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Havana. He won Gold Medals for Programming from the Ministry of Education in Cuba, and he is certainly still a Gold Medalist for Champion!


As President and CEO, Chris is responsible for the development of key strategic alliances and solution portfolio. He leads Champion’s go-to market and execution strategies for integrated offerings in the cloud, in security, and in digital infrastructure, always focusing on improving the customer experience and driving transformative business outcomes.


He also aligns key partner initiatives with company strategy and oversees corporate marketing and messaging to gain mindshare with customers and partners. It’s his vision and innovativeness that have catapulted Champion up the ranks to become a $100M+ organization—and one of the most respected solution providers in the industry.


Over the past two decades, Chris has also focused on mergers and acquisitions, as well as innovative product development. He is the original founder and an active member on the Board of Managed Maintenance, Inc., a SAAS provider and consulting firm that utilizes their award-winning One-View Portal to help the IT Channel and its customers manage their IT Maintenance.


Chris is also the original founder and chief strategist behind one of the original storage cloud providers, Storage Access / BluePoint. During the course of a few short years, he had raised $20M and took that company public on the Toronto Stock Exchange. It has since been acquired by Pomeroy.


In 2012, Chris led the acquisition of MessageOps and continued the product development and worldwide launch of its premier SAAS, 365 Command. Built on Microsoft Azure, 365 Command is currently managing over 1 million seats of Microsoft’s Office 365. After achieving this phenomenal milestone, 365 Command and other MessageOps O365 utilities were sold to Kaseya.


Over the past 35 years, Chris as worked tirelessly to not only advance his own career, but those of his employees. In addition to leading a $100M organization, Chris can also be found sitting with sales teams, cold calling and coaching, and validating why Champion has been listed on Best Places to Work by both South Florida Business Journal and Computerworld.

Ultimately, the success garnered by Champion Solutions Group, its associated companies, and their employees is due in large part to the leadership of its President and CEO. Perhaps the most fitting award Chris has earned is South Florida Business Journal’s 2013 Ultimate CEO Award.