Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) is a feature widely available in VMware vCenter that is the cornerstone of software-defined storage in vSphere. In this course, viewers will learn the fundamentals of SPBM and learn how to implement it quickly with PowerShell.
Josh Atwell is a Cloud Architect for SolidFire, focusing on developing VMware and automation solutions. Over the last 10+ years, he has worked very hard to allow little pieces of code to do his work for him through various automation tools. Josh is a contributing author to the popular Mastering vSphere series and the DevOps for VMware Administrators book.
Understanding Storage Policy Based Management Okay. Well let's take it from the top then. What is Storage Policy Based Management? Yeah, that's a great question because there's a lot of components to it that you kind of got to get your head wrapped around. So Storage Policy Based Management is a framework and it's got a series of features that work together to enable an administrator or a storage administrator to say that these storage devices, these data storage represent certain characteristics in that when you go to provision to make sure that you're provisioning and you're maintaining your virtual machines on storage that meets those requirements. So for instance, if you… This is like performance, and IOPS, and stuff? Yep, performance is one, but also if you have requirements on the data store being replicated, or a great example, if you need a data store that is encrypted or the storage is encrypted because you have HPAA compliance. Oh, okay. Like you can apply that to a storage policy and then that can be leveraged by the administrators who are deploying out systems and know confidently that virtual machine is staying on a data store that meets that requirement and if it ever moves away from one, Storage Policy Based Management would then alert that it's noncompliant. So it's kind of a two-piece thing then. You've got a VM that's I guess tagged in some way. I need to be on encrypted, or I need to be on this level of redundancy, or I need this kind of performance, and then the storage is also tagged, and then the system does the best fit? Basically yeah and when you go to provision, you see those options, and it will present to you which data storage meet the criteria based on the policy. So it definitely simplifies how you're presenting storage to the people who are consuming it in the VMware environment and then also making that available for other features and capabilities.
The Different Ways to Create Policies So, let's talk a little bit about how the policies are created. Yeah, yeah. Just going to be a big graphical user interface that I have to go check checkboxes? Yeah. Yeah, actually and I'll pull up the lab here in just a second, and I'll show you like what the components are that make up a storage policy, and like how you can create one manually, but then we're going to it with PowerShell. Okay. It'll be much, much better. And these policies are just the things that kind of are an abstract. Here's a set of rules I want obeyed, so you're not going to create millions of these things. Not necessarily. It depends. I have a use case where you may create a lot of them and we'll touch on that. Because there are a lot of different application types, and a lot of different use cases, and it really comes down to the granularity of what the storage is able to provide, and Virtual Volumes is going to expand that a lot, right. Because when you think of the fact that I've got a SQL database, right, and it's for staging, it's being staged, it doesn't need to be high performance. Right. But it will be. Production. Right, so you would have a SQL database policy for staging, one for production, and then one production with replication, or production with encryption or… So you've got a lot of permutations. You could have multiple permutations depending on what the configurations and the rules and you nailed it, it's all about the rules and the ruleset that is created for that policy. So the three main components of a policy are the capabilities, and the rules, and rulesets, right, and those are what make up the policy.